Thursday, January 31, 2008

50 Finds! Finally, A Milestone!

I've reached the half a century mark in geocache finds. This week, I was at the Marina Village Conference Center for some work training. I am in training to become a 6 Sigma Black Belt. That is basically a statistics based method of problem solving. Marina Village is in the Mission Bay area of San Diego. My classes started at 7:30. To avoid rush hour traffic, I got there early. Why not do some geocaching before my class starts?

On Monday, the first day of training, it was pouring rain in the morning so I could only dream. On a break I ran over to attempt a mystery cache. I believe I got the final coordinates OK because of some of the things I was seeing near ground zero that were mentioned in the logs of previous finders. I found things like a folding chair, a jar filled with an unknown liquid, some gold rimmed dinner plates and some random pieces of clothing. There are a lot of homeless people in the area due to the mild weather at the coast. The one thing I didn't find was the cache.

Tuesday was a much nicer day and I decided to check out nearby Fiesta Island. The island has a one way road around it that is popular for joggers, bike riders and dog walkers. The coves surrounding the area are popular for water sports such as water skiing, wake boarding and kite boarding. There are 11 traditional caches on the island. I started with a smiley on a cache that was an M&M tube tucked inside the top of a no parking sign post about 8 feet in the air. For my next search, I had to venture further in and through some very wet, very sticky sand. This was my obligatory DNF for the day. I made the find on a lock and lock container before heading off to my meeting. By the end of the day, the sand on my shoes had dried and there was a sandbox underneath my seat. OOps!

On Wednesday, I decided to take my camera as cover due to the number of "healthy muggles" in the area. I made 3 finds near the popular OTL fields. Over The Line or OTL is a game played with three players per team. One team hits a ball and tries to get it past the other. the annual OTL world championship tournament draws as many as 20,000 people to Fiesta Island. It is known for heavy drinking, rowdy crowds and half (sometimes fully) naked people. The center of the island is a giant OTL sandbox. Once again, I showed up to class all sandy. this time I was smart enough to bang my shoes off before going in!

Today, Thursday, I headed back to the island with 49 finds and 5 caches left to find. Find #50 was at Fiesta Island Returns Again. I made the find easily and signed my name on the 50th log to grace my grubby fingers. NICE! I then had to walk through a grass field towards my 2nd DNF for the week. The grass was not tall but it was WET!!! I didn't realize how wet it was until I felt the moisture soaking into my socks. That is not fun on a 40 degree morning with the aspect of 9 hours of classroom training ahead of me. I moved from this bummer of a cache to one that will go into my favorites. Don't fear the Reaper was an easy find and a cool hide. The cover is the shape of an old coffin. When you lift the hinged lid, a full size ammo can is revealed. Good times. I grabbed another parking sign M&M tube cache on the way back to the car. For some reason, I thought I was done and drove right past the final cache on the island on my way out. It probably had something to do with my water logged shoes and pants. This last one haunted me all day. I'll have to get it during week 2 of training in a month.

When I got to the conference center, I realized my pants and shoes were wetter than I first thought and guess what sand does to wet clothes. It sticks to it. That made for an uncomfortable day, but the caching was worth it.

I have now made 52 finds in 62 days. Not a bad average! If I keep this up, I'll be at 1,000,000 caches in no time!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

FTF Earns Us a Geocoin. (On a Technicality?)

The boy and I did some caching between storms today. We didn't get out of the house until almost 11:00 but there were no FTF logs on Steven's Birthday Cache which had just popped up in my pocket query. This past week has been rainy but today was BEAUTIFUL! Totally sunny and 65 degrees. The cache was just off of a dirt road that connected a few hillside houses. I did see a sign that said "Private Road, Residents only" but the road was on Google maps and there was a geocache. I figured the cache owner knew what they were doing so we made the find and grabbed the unactivated geocoin left as a FTF prize. I did notice a wooden "found it" token in the cache but no one had signed the log before me so I assume I was first. When we got home, I went to log the find and saw a post from another cacher stating they had gotten close but were run off by a resident that pointed out the signs. There is still no post from someone saying they left a token and besides, I believe the rules are "Sign the Log". So I say the FTF counts.

Anyway, I got a new geocoin out of the deal. The owners of the cache are involved with NAMI. National Alliance on Mental Illness. They recently took one of my travel bugs on a NAMI Walk. The coin is a NAMI coin commemorating a walk at Diamond Valley Lake.

I'm going to hold onto this one and log the mileage as I continue caching. (9 miles today)

Next, we were off to Tonchonah's First Cache. To reach this, we had to climb a very steep very rocky hill with no defined trail. I was glad it is winter and the rattlers are down! We searched for this one for a while before finally making the find. Another cacher found it today and they too said they found the coordinates a bit off. Combine that with the 6 DNF's on the caches page and maybe something is a bit off. There was a great view from up there and it's always great to find a good old traditional ammo can cache!

There were three caches near the Diamond Valley Aquatic Center. There is a water park and a museum located near one of the launch ramps on the lake. The Boy and I made all three finds and went to check out the Western Center for Archeology and Paleontology museum. Here is the boy in front of the bones of a Ground Sloth. It looks like a giant Dino-Rat! They discovered tons of fossilized bones while excavating the lake. They nicknamed it Mastodon Valley due to the high number of Mastodon and Mammoth bones discovered. It is a nice museum, however I would say it is a bit small for the large price of admission. (10 for me and 8 for the boy!)

After picking the bones we headed over to the fine dining establishment known as Wal Mart Super Center for some gourmet McDonald's. We then headed over to the Hemet-Ryan CDF Air Attack Base to make the score on CDF 70. I climbed up into the landing gear of a "Gate Guard S2" to retrieve the cache and The Boy Vogued it for us. This is a small park Dedicated to the awesome firefighters of the California Department of Forestry that risk their lives to protect our homes and property.

We finished the day near the Hemet R/C airplane field. We made a couple of finds while a herd of sheep was "mowing" the field nearby. As I was driving away, I noticed the "Shepard" was on the other side of the field watching us. He was too far away to see exactly what we were doing and hopefully the cache is hidden well enough to keep his curiosity dissatisfied. The Boy was upset that we could not get an R/C plane today. Me too!

We made a total of 8 finds today with no DNF's. We scored a new geocoin, went to a cool museum, climbed some crazy hills, checked out an airplane and had some lunch. What a blast! I know that these trips will be just as memorable for The Boy as the caving/camping/fishing trips I took as a kid. Our timing was excellent because just as we got home, the clouds announcing the arrival of the next storm to dump on us began rolling in.

Edit Note: The owners of Steven's Birthday Cache have contacted me and I am the official FTF for the cache.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Genesis - The History of Geocaching

Because geocaching is my latest obsession, I talk about it quite often. It's amazing to me that there are so many caches and cachers, yet so few people have heard of it. One question I often get while explaining the game is, "Wow! How did this all get started?" I decided if I'm going to pretend to be some kind of expert on this subject, I need to know the answer to this question. This is the the history of geocaching.

GPS was originally developed by the Department of Defense for military use only. The signal sent by this network of satellites was scrambled by a system called "Selective Availability". Civilians could only get about 100 meters accuracy. That is equivalent to the accuracy my Dad, Tonka_Boy, gets with his ancient GPS receiver. (Just kidding, Dad, your divining rods have found way more caches than I have!)

On May 1, 2000, President Bill Clinton announced that this scrambling would be turned off. The result was up to 10 meters accuracy for civilians. Two days later, On May 3rd, Dave Ulmer made a post on a Usenet Newsgroup sci.geo.satellite-nav. The subject was, "The Great American GPS Stash Hunt. In his post Dave stated that he was thinking of hiding a five gallon bucket with some cool stuff in it. Another post followed stating, "Well, I did it." And just like that, geocaching history had begun.

"Ulmer with the 'origional stash' plaque"

Within days, Dave's stash had been found and more were popping up around the country. On May 30th, Matt Stum came up with the term "Geocache". Geo- for geography and Cache- for hiding something.

On September 2, 2000 Jeremy Irish announced he had registered "" Irish thought of many was to make money off of geocaching and guess what, the controversy begins. Plenty of people got their feelings hurt and some got the mention of their names banned from discussion forums. I doubt the anger is still out there but I guess you could try mentioning "Robin Lovelock or Dave Ulmer" in the Groundspeak Forums and see what the response is.

As of today,, states there are 508,520 active cache listings at their site alone. While is the most popular website, there are more caches listed on other sites as well. Here is a list from

Another great, yet unknown date in geocaching history was November 30, 2007. This was the day I joined In an e-mail response to my MySpace invite, my Dad stated to me and my siblings "MySpace is cool, I'm not cool. Check out my blog here." Just like that I was hooked.

There are plenty of sites out there with a more detailed history of geocaching. I just wanted to put up a few high lites and learn about it myself. For a very detailed report check out Kimbo's blog.

Thanks to,, and for information on this subject.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Geocaching with the Family

Question: When it is 75 degrees in January on a cloudless sunny day, what do you do?

Answer: You put on some shorts and go geocaching!

Oh man, I can't even begin to explain how nice it was today!

We started off near Old Town Temecula at a cache called
little red caboose.

How many places do you see to hide a micro?

Just after spotting the hide, I smacked my head on a very solid piece of train. OUCH! See that big black hook up thing at my waist in the picture below? That's what I hit. I was not very happy about that, but signing the log made me feel a little better. Here's Brody with cache in hand.

What a fun way to start the day. Another one we found was called
Freddys Forrest. This was a pretty cool hide. It was in the................. What do you call the part of a tree where it splits off into two large branches? The fork, the split, the crotch??????? It was in the crotch of a tree about 10 feet off the ground. It was an M&M tube that was inside of a camouflaged tube. I had to step up on another tree to reach it.

One that was rather interesting was called
Quiet Neighbors. There was a sidewalk path through the middle of a neighborhood that went for about 1/8 mile. Right there in the middle of this housing development was a small cemetery. The graves couldn't have been more than 300 feet from the houses. There was a fence, but spirits can haunt you through a fence!! This was a small tube hanging in the ivy that grows all over the fence. Quiet neighbors, get it?

Dugout was pretty easy. You know that fenced in dugout area on the side of a ball field? Well one of the posts didn't have a lid on it. It was up about 8 feet so you don't really notice the little hook on the lip of it. When I pulled out the hook, out comes 12 inches of wire connected to a small glass tube. Sign the log and off you go.

The best hid we saw today was at
Spectrum. you end up behind a shopping center at one of those big green electrical boxes. The cache is about the size of a regular ammo can. It just happens to be a smooth hunk of steel painted to match the electrical box and stuck to the side of the box with magnets. You pull the thing off and there is a pocket for swag and a log. The paint on this cache has faded a bit over the years. I can imagine it was really tough to find when it was first placed! It is still very muggle proof. Why would anyone try to pull a giant hunk of steel off the side of an electrical box?

It was a good day of caching. We had 8 finds with zero DNF's! That puts our total finds up to 36. Now it is time for lazy and nappy time.

Blog Post Update

I had originally started blogging on MySpace. Now that I have gotten into it a little, I have decided to start this Blog. I have transfered my past MySpace posts to this blog and have their original post dates in their post title.

Rainy Days in SoCal (From 1/5/08)

We are getting some much needed rain this weekend. There are 3 back to back storms rolling through that are supposed to drop the most rain we've had since 2005. Some areas are expecting up to 7 inches (insert pee pee joke here) and the Sierra Mountains could get as much as 10 feet of snow. (I'll bet you think I'd like to make a camping/geocaching trip into these mountains..............You're right!)

So, I have resorted to blogging about the weather. That's just great. How about we talk about our geocaching trip up to the Cleveland National Forest, you ask? Very well then.

On New Years Eve, we did some fun caching. I had put this trip off until I could get the mapping software for my GPSr. I didn't really know how to get there so the turn by turn directions would be nice. The trip took us out the back side of Murrieta and along a dirt road. There were some beautiful ranch houses out here. We turned off of that dirt road onto a smaller dirt road which led up the mountain. As we progressed, the road got steeper, narrower, and more washed out. We put the two wheel drive to the test. The road was only wide enough for one vehicle. It had a nasty drop off on one side and a cliff wall on the other. It was very curvy and bumpy. There was no turning around; so, as I carefully navigated the road, Julie practiced deep breathing techniques in the passenger seat.

We finally made it to one of the "truck trails" that are the main transportation lanes through the wilderness. We happened to be on South Main Divide Road, (Formerly Killen Truck Trail) This was a good thing because this is where I had planned on being! We were able to relax and do some caching. This national forest is littered with geocaches. They are fun because you park along the road, head off down one of the many trail heads and grab your caches. To park, you have to display an adventure pass on your vehicle. I picked up a one day pass at Sport Chalet for $5.00. A season pass is available for $30.00.

Brody made some finds on a couple of micro caches. One was an altoids container stuck on the inside of a metal fence post with a magnet. The kids made their usual trades of toys and I did my usual walking in circles.

On my third or fourth cache, my GPSr started to act funky on me. The "go to" arrow that guides you to the destination would not point forward. I felt like Jack Sparrow carrying a compass that does not point North. I walked around in circles for two caches before I remembered to calibrate the compass and fix the problem.

I had 20 caches planned out, but the compass problem killed a bit of time and the kids were getting ready to go home. The Santa Ana winds were beginning to pick up so we ate lunch at a park surrounded by large pine trees to escape the wind. I dropped our Motogrrl Memorial Geocoin at a nearby cache called "Penny Pines Plantation" (The coin is still there)

We headed home via the Ortega highway, State route 74. This is a windy two lane highway that took us down the mountain and into nearby Lake Ellsinore. The views from the 74 are amazing. We will take the Ortega to the National Forest next time and avoid the nail biter we traversed earlier.

We ended the day with 7 finds, one DNF, spotted one travel bug and dropped one coin of our own. We also had our typical Rogers Family adventure craziness in the form of a "think you are going to die" trip up the mountain.

Brody and I have also placed two caches of our own on a nearby hill. We placed, "A Sea of Houses" and "Those Rocky Pictures". The first is an Ammo can that I painted to look like a rock and the second is a 35mm film container painted the same way. Unfortunately, none of the rocks on this hill look like the rocks I tried to make my caches look like. That's OK the weather will add "natural" camouflage. We dropped our first two travel bugs in the ammo can. Both caches were discovered this morning and the FTF cachers moved one of the TB's for us.

Once again and as usual, it has been great to be out with the family. Geocaching has already taken us to so many cool places that we didn't know of or wouldn't have gone otherwise. It is great fun for us and I highly recommend giving it a try.

I have pictures in my photo album regarding these last two adventures. Enjoy.................Bain sult as!

This Just Keeps Getting Better (From 12/29/07)

Ok, I finally got my computer up and running. I had not been able to upload any pictures and the internet was very slow. I figured I would just wipe the hard drive (Sounds like what you do in the bathroom at a Star Trek convention!) and start with a new computer. It takes over 2 hours to format the drive and re install windows. Not to mention the hours updating Windows and Norton and the rest. Well, that didn't work so I did it again. After the second attempt, I was able to upload photos but it was still slow going. Then, I noticed a little green thing at the bottom of my browser window that looked like a gauge going up and down. It was a Phishing Filter "scanning" the web site I was trying to look at. I turned that stupid thing off and BOOM, I can surf the web with impunity.


On 12/26/2007 we took a drive over to Simpson Park in nearby Hemet. There are about 12 geocaches in the park. It was a nice drive through some really neat hillside neighborhoods up into the park. We parked at the first of 3 parking areas. There are restrooms and a covered picnic area here. Unfortunately, we did not have a trail map so we headed down a trail that seemed to lead in the direction we needed to go to reach Rocky 1. The trail took us down into the canyon which was a bit steep and made it a little tough for the kids. Julie had to carry 35 pound Raegan for a while. Brody and I headed off the trail towards the cache and then it got even more tough and I had to finish the trek on my own. You can see how far I climbed in this picture looking back down at Julie on the trail. And you know I made the find. TNLNSL.

We went on to log three more finds. One of these was a Letter box hybrid. To find this cache, you are not given the GPS location of the hide. Instead, you are given a location to park, and in this case a couple of pictures to help you find the cache. I found this one while the rest of the team was taking a break in the car. When I opened the ammo can, I found some nasty notes written by the self proclaimed "cool kids". They must have found the cache while out partying in the rocks and decided to mess with it. At least they didn't destroy it. There was a travel bug listed in the inventory that was not in the can. Oh well. I removed the notes and notified the owner of the cache.

The kids were able to participate in the finding of the last two. Brody found a $1,000,000 bill in classic rock. The view was great from here and you can see Diamond Valley Lake in the background.

Yesterday, we went out on some nearby caches. I won't go into a bunch of detail on those but one of them was great. I was looking in a park not to far from the house. The GPS kept taking me past a big sign explaining the nearby Vernal Pool and into a flower garden surrounding the sign. I kept thinking the GPS was off. I would walk 30 feet away and walk back. Same thing, I'm in the middle of a small flower bed. Well, there were no micro's stuck to the sign so I start looking through the flowers and looking to the sky for a cloud to justify my GPS being off. This was our last cache of the day and it was getting cold fast. Julie and the kids were walking over to grab me by the ear and drag me home. I'm just staring into this flower bed thinking "where the heck is this thing?" Just then, I notice that one pop up sprinkler head for the underground sprinkler system is green and the rest are black. I'm thinking "No way" as I reach down to check it out. When I pull on the sprinkler head, it comes out of the ground easily and I have found my cache. Ha! I am a genius! I am the king of caches! I came to this park and I have been victorious! The sprinkler head screws off of a tube to reveal the logbook. (Which had been signed by plenty of other geniuses before me.) This was not part of the sprinkler system, just a sprinkler tube shoved into to ground to hide a cache. What a way to end a day of caching! That's the one that keeps you coming back for more.

I have created a couple of travel bugs to set off on a mission. They are Brody's Big Bad Wolf and Raegan's Red Riding Hood. We will look to drop them off during one of our trips very soon. As they move around the world, we will be showing the kids where they are and use it as way to learn about geography.

I got my mapping software for the GPS and now it is twice as fun to play with. Need a nearby bank, or Kinko's, or bail bondsman? I can find the address, phone number and driving directions no problem. That Cleveland National Forrest caching trip is getting very close...........................................

We Found a Geocoin (From 12/24/07)

We got to go do some Geocaching on Christmas eve. The temperature was in the 70's today, perfect for December. We once again started the day with a DNF. We were searching for a micro in a nearby park. Julie and I looked all over while the kids played. There was some Asain lady at one the tables who must have thought we were crazy. We moved on to some normal sized caches.

We found this one pretty easily. It was one of those M&M mini container tubes. They had it taped with green tape and fake leaves stuck to it. Nice hide. that was fun!

Then we headed over to this cache. This cache was along the fence of the Anheuser Bush Clydesdale stables. What beautiful animals. This was an ammo container with lots of goodies inside. Brody grabbed a stress ball that looks like the earth, and Raegan grabbed a plastic Poo character. There was also an unactivated Geocoin inside! We grabbed that and activated it. You can look it up using the TB (TB15VCF) I'll be dropping it off soon and we can watch it move!

This one was just up the road along the same horse farm. Another cool hide in some large rocks.

The last one we grabbed today was here. It was a full size Ammo can with lots of cool stuff in it. Brody grabbed a toy and it was time to head home.

I ordered a couple of travel bug dog tags today and will be setting them free soon. I also got some stickers to put on our first cache that we will be hiding this week. I'll post the numbers when I get them.

We are also planning a caching adventure into the Cleveland national forest very soon. Hmmmmmm I'll be needing some cool places to drop my new trackables.

I have some great pictures that I'll be posting soon. I'm having trouble uploading them right now.

Geocaching With the Family (from 12/22/07)

Today we went on our first geocaching trip, used our new GPSr for the first time and our first cache was our first DNF (did not find)

I got the GPSr on Thrsday. It is a Garmin Etrex Vista HCX. It is a really nice middle price range mapping GPSr. I loaded a bunch of caches into it and mapped out a route along which we could find up to 14 caches.

It was really cold overnight but by 9:00 am it was in the 50's and perfect for an adventure. Because we have not bought the "City Navigator" map software yet, I had to print out the maps from Google. We were headed out Rawson Road which is a dirt road bordered by several large ranches on one side and a county ecological reserve on the other. It was really beautiful and we were again surprised that we were so close to so much undeveloped land.

Our first attempt was at Rawson Road 1 I wish I would have read the spoilers before I left because my new unit took me 400 feet off the road into the chaparral where I found nothing. I personally think the coordinates are off for that listing. If you read the posts, a lot of people had the same problem as me. I had wandered off over a hill by myself and the rest of the family was waiting in the car, so I headed back. I don't know why but I had this feeling like I shouldn't be there. It was perfectly fine to be there but I couldn't shake the feeling anyway.

We headed further down the road to Rawson Road 2. This time there was a little more room to park and I wasn't worried about blocking the entire road. I followed the electronic compass until it said I was there and found it immediately. It was a cool container, a piece of PVC with a screw off lid called a clean out. It was green and hiding under a thick chaparral. I let Brody "find" it. The kids each grabbed a toy, Brody got a plastic harmonica and Raegan got a plastic guy on a skateboard. We left a clip on digital watch as a trade. We signed the log and moved on to...

Rawson Road 3.

This was pretty much the same thing. I made the grab just off the road and brought the container over to the car for everyone to see. Wouldn't you know it as I was putting the log back into the container, here comes someone driving up the road. I HAVE TO PUT THE CACHE BACK BEFORE WE LEAVE!!! I hop in the car and pull to the edge of the road. Muggle the farmer stops to say hi and I do a good job of convincing him we are just exploring Rawson Road. He said he had just recently grated the road himself. I complimented him on his fine work and he moved on. I got the cache back to it's spot and we were off to go find..

Dinosaur Dung.

This was a micro hidden in a bunch of rocks that looked like, well, dinosaur dung. I found the micro in a crack in the rock but it had slid deep inside and I could not get it out. Brody used his small fingers to push it in farther and Julie finally got it out using persistence, determination and a stick. Julie signed the log and Brody posed for a picture with the find. Next stop...

Diamond Valley View

This was a very bumpy ride, but the view was worth it. With Mount San Jacinto to the East and the dam to the North we could only say wow. There were squatters (or campers) down below us and the compass was pointing directly at a 15 foot wall of dirt. I found a way up and made it to GZ (ground zero) I was standing in the middle of a bunch of bushes. I saw a cluster of large rocks about 20 feet away. I knew that had to be it. I walked to the rocks and found the container under the biggest one. I signed the log and put it back. Then I slid/fell down the hill back to the car.

We started towards another one but the road we needed to take was marked no trespassing so we decided better against that.

The kids were starting to get restless so we decided to save the other 9 attempts along De Portala road for another day. The rough roads made it slow going. I am going to look for a string of caches along some trails we can hike. Getting in and out of the car is kind of a bummer but is still a blast.

As I mentioned in my previous posts, the best part is spending time out with the family. Our new hobby is going to give us many adventures and take us to really fun and interesting places. CACHE ON!!!!!!

Exploring the Santa Rosa Plateau (From 12/16/07)

Today, Brody and I Headed over to the Santa Rosa Plateau to do some exploring. The Visitor Center is a 15 mile drive from home. I never knew there was such a wonderful place so nearby.

We parked in the rock parking lot and entered the Visitor Center. We grabbed a map and a trail guide and paid our day use fees. ($2 for adults and $1 for kids.) We looked at a few of the displays, including replicas of all the native wildlife's poop. (This would come in handy later.) The lady working the counter suggested the Granite Loop Trail as a great place for first timers. Here is your printable Santa Rosa Plateau Trail Map. Click the map to open the trail map PDF.

There are several trailheads on the outside edges of the parking lot. The Granite Loop trail is neat because there are signs with numbers along the way that refer to a section in the trail guide. At each of the 15 signs, we would stop and read about that area. The trail itself is a very nice walk begining through chaparel with large granite outcrops and continuing through wooded areas and some grasslands. We took some pictures along the way.

Halfway through the granite loop, we headed down another trail called Vista Grande. This trail led us into wide open grasslands and far enough away from the main road to really enjoy the sounds and silence of nature. We crossed dry creekbeds, stopped under 300 year old Engleman Oaks and gazed out over the rolling grasslands of the plateau. On one part of a shaded trail near a creekbed, we were able to identify evidence of a mountain lion in the form of poop. (Thanks to the plastic poop in the visitor center) We also found some footprints of mountain lions and coyote in a mud puddle on one part of the trail.

We stopped for a snack and headed off down Waterline road. This road gets its name from the huge water pipe buried nearby that carries drinking water into Murrieta. As we were walking, a lone coyote crossed the road a few hundred yards in front of us. He is a little hard to see, but look closely in my pictures and you'll find him.

Waterline road took us back to Granite Loop and we headed back via the rest of the loop. We passed Tenaja Truck Trailalong the way, which leads to some old adobe Indian dwellings. We will have to save that 2.6 mile journey for next time.

It would have been fun to take along my GPSr, but I don't have it yet. (I actually got notification that it had shipped while I was typing this blog entry.) There does not appear to be any geocaches on the plateau probably due to the fact that it is an ecological preserve.

The best part of the whole thing was spending time with Brody. We walked and talked and learned and just enjoyed each other's company. While we walked, I couldn't help but think back on my own childhood and all the outdoor exploring I did growing up. These are the things he will remember and hopefully look back fondly on.

We only scratched the surface of this ecological gem and I am looking forward to spending lots of time hiking all the different trails of the plateau. There are vernal pools, great views and plenty of family bonding waiting for us there.

What a weekend (From 12/9/07)

We had some fun exploring this weekend. On Saturday we headed into old town Temecula to check out the Childrens Museum. We arrived just as they opened and the two ladies working there actually seemed surprised to see someone there. We kind of stood in the lobby next to an old Model T, waiting for instruction until I finally asked what we were supposed to do. They said oh feel free to give a 2 dollar donation and enjoy a self guided tour. That seemed odd because the website said it was a 4.50 entrance fee. As I dropped a crisp 10 dollar bill in the glass donation box, I could almost hear it hit the bottom with a thud as I turned the corner inside and realized we were in the wrong Museum. We decided to get our donations worth and check it out anyway. The museum was actually the Temecula Valley Museum, which was set up with very random displays, from Temecula in the early 1900's to a couple of rooms dedicated to Perry Mason. It took us a good 12 minutes to look around. The kids were particularly impressed with the elevator which took us from four indian artifacts up to a room where you can watch old episodes of Perry Mason playing on a loop. The walls were covered with Perry Mason posters. Just around the corner, you could put on a cowboy hat and sit on a life size plastic horse before returning to a new Perry Mason episode.

We decided we had enough of the Perry Mason Museum and headed over to the Farmers Market in Old Town. We grabbed a large bag of kettle corn which was one dollar more than a medium bag for a total of 6 bucks. We looked around for a little while and decided to leave.

Next, we headed over to the theater to see Bee Movie. It was really cute. Julie and Raegan got a little nap during the movie and I cracked up at all the subtle adult references. After that, we headed home for more napping and some happy birthday singing for Julie.

Today (Sunday) we decided to go over to Diamond Valley Lake to walk up to the lookout point. We talked to the volunteer workers up there. They were really nice. There is a virtual geocache up there called "Big Diamond". That will be find 2 for us once I get the posting code from the cache owner. Check out my new pictures of DV lake in my albums section. I also tried to check out a big hill in the area because there are 12 caches hidden up there.(Coordinates N 33° 41.003 W 117° 06.340) I thought I might be able to find some caches with just a printout of a Google Earth image of the area and no GPS. No luck, the dirt roads are not labeled in real life like they are on the image and it looks totally different from ground level than it does from space! Plus the roads were pretty nasty due to all the recent rain.

All in all it has been a fun weekend and I can't wait to get a GPSr so we can go out exploring more often.

Post from 12/7/07

We have our 2nd weekend of rain in a row. I took a vacation day so I wouldn't have to drive in it. Mount Baldy has some snow on it and looks really cool.

We are going to start doing some hiking as a family. My Dad introduced us to Geocaching and we are excited about trying it out. It is basically treasure hunting for nerds. Sounds perfect for me. Basically, someone hides a box of stuff somewhere, enters the GPS coordinates for where it is and you go try and find it. I don't have a GPS yet but I did find my first cache by using Google earth and the clues listed.

Tonight Brody is singing Christmas songs at a retirement home in Temecula. We are going to go see that. He has to wear red and a Santa hat. I'll post some pictures later. I have been wanting to do some feel good volunteer stuff with the kids, maybe this will give us a place to take the kids and make old people happy. Brody is doing really well in 1st grade. He is acing all his spelling tests which include words like needed, friend and other stuff that I misspell all the time. He is gifted of course.

Raegan is three. Enough said about that! Just kidding. She is a sweetheart. She does have her moments, however she is very loving and really a good girl. Why, she is screaming for my attention right now.

Work is going well, I hope to have a job as a 6 Sigma black belt soon. I am ready to take on some new challenges. I am also going to start taking some more classes in January.

I decided to put my mood as Jedi because that is retarded. I will also now insert a smiley.

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