Fountain Valley Cache and Dash, Dawn To Dusk on May 30, 2009.
Check this out (Click to embiggen):
Dougandsuzy and Calipers hung around after a meet and greet for one more round a few months back and suggested we should throw down another little crush event with the three of us. Doug suggested Fountain Valley, Calipers thought he meant Death Valley and asked if this was “Survivor: Geocache”. Needless to say we almost left him at home.
After prepping in the usual way (see my extensive instruction manual on this topic) we ended up bagging 124 during daylight hours. Not too shabby. I figured I would throw in some of the highlights of the day and share some things we learned about one another on the road. No, we didn’t have a Brokeback Caching moment or anything, but I did almost break Dougandsuzy’s back. Oh, and my apologies for the crappy logs I left most of the owners. Let’s be honest; after 45 LPCs what more do you need to write than “TFTC”?
After meeting at 5am, we packed the supplies and TOTTs in the trunk:
- Implements, magnets, rubber gloves and handi wipes (uh, remember what I said about that brokeback thing?)
- A case of Dr. Pepper
Who needs more? You do. And it’s all below the fold…
We uncovered some gems and learned a great deal about caching in Orange County. First off, it’s not as easy as Palm Springs by a long shot. The distances are pretty significant with all that asphalt and concrete lying around. In palm springs we drove 40 miles. In OC, over 100. Here’s a few (well, the only) pics dougandsuzy took:
#1: $ign of the Times (Camera Required)
For this one we were supposed to get a picture of the gas prices sign in the shot along with our faces. What we succeeded in doing was shooting our self titled album cover for the new band. There’s always that one guy looking off in the distance. Calipers is that one guy.
Sorry to have to pick on Calipers again, but really- where’s the form? It’s like you’re not even trying there. Read the cache description and you’ll get a better feel for it.
Now this is what I am talking about. Nevermind that you’re not supposed to smile in a Phoon pose, dougandsuzy is enjoying every minute of it. Calipers: take a lesson. And Doug: careful with your hand there, she’s a modest lady.
I’ve got the leg going, no smile, but I can’t get the hips and arms right. A natural phool. Truly.
After all that, a stunning four (4) pictures. Awesome skillz there for us. At least if we didn’t take away a lot of photos we did take away some lessons learned…
Lesson Number 1: Pete Drives Fast
Exceptionally so. At one point around 5:30am I hear Dougandsuzy in the back asking “are we really going 100 MPH?”. No, Doug. The speedometer is in binary in my car. We’re going 4. He didn’t buy that, so I sped up.
Lesson Number 2: Calipers’ GPS is Broken
Seriously. It consistently read 372′ north of actual coordinates all day. This is great if you live in the land of caches placed 372′ north of GZ, not so much if you’re on a speed run. SEND THAT THING IN FOR REPAIRS. I was going to rip on Calipers for finding approximately 1 of 124 caches but it’s hard to locate GZ when you’re on the other side of the parking lot from it, so he gets a pass.
Lesson Number 3: Dougandsuzy is a Farking Fanatic
For anyone wondering how it is Doug manages a FTF every other day, I now know. We hit one cache after about find #115 or so that just beat the hell out of us. I wanted to give up after 30 minutes but Doug Doggedly Dug in the Dirt for this one. We quite literally disassembled a 25′ section of hedgerow for a 1/1 micro that never materialized. Doug only left because Calipers started smacking him with the flashlight until he passed out. Doug: your honor is intact. That thing is GONE.
Lesson Number 4: Pete Is Way Too Focused
I almost left with Dougandsuzy hanging out the back of the car about 20 times. Once, I almost killed him backing up while the door was open. Oddly enough, nobody got hurt. Thanks for being a good sport, Doug. (Calipers, I’ll try harder next time).
Lesson Number 5: Calipers Is Not a Friend of Flat Stanley
How a man can have a school-aged child under 10 and not know who Flat Stanley is boggles the mind. I bet after this he carries one with him on every business trip.
Lesson Number 6: Dougandsuzy is a Horrible Wing-Man
Listen, we’re all happily married men with no ulterior motives or designs, but the wing-man is not supposed to blab when someone chats up a co-ed looking for directions to lunch, even if it is 7am and she’s on the bikini team. My wife is now encouraging me to spend more time with Doug. I wonder why?
Lesson Number 7: You CAN Make an LPC Interesting
Seriously. I had all but resigned myself to a neverending series of 35mm LPCs when we ran across a darned diorama under that skirt. I mean, WOAH! Someone fully decorated the underside and created a little world for the hide. At least 8 of them, too! Marvelous work. They should all be like that. Check this out:
Lesson Number 8: You Can Hide a LARGE Cache at a Pay Phone
Best cache of the day. Period. This thing was inside a crash barrier and it had to be 4′ long, 6″ wide and loaded for bear. I can’t say the crash barrier was very effective after hiding the cache inside, but it was a marvelous find.
Lesson Number 9: When I’m With Them, Cops Leave me Alone
We bagged a find right in front of the police. Either the Calipers/Dougandsuzy combo provides a cloak of invisibility or the donuts were just that good. Either way, I’m caching with them more often from now on.
Lesson Number 10: We Can Do Better
Our pace was not particularly stunning and had I spent another 3 or 4 hours planning the route we could easily have nabbed 200. Lesson learned, but we absolutely proved you CAN make right turns all day if you just do a little advance work.
This was another great time with quality folks. We managed 124 smileys, walked away from about 4 and had DNFs on maybe 2. Life is very good. Thanks, guys, for the outing. I had a blast!
Lesson #11: Pete can’t count.
Lesson#12: When the hint simply tells you the brand of mint that the tin once contained, it is not really a hint. If the hint describes the contents of the cache container, it is not really a hint. If the hint directs you to the bushes, but the GZ is nothing but a bush, it is not really a hint.
Lesson #13: It takes a lot of e-mails to get something like this off the ground.
Lesson #14: Dougandsuzy is related to Gumby. Not a small guy, mind you, which made it all the more amazing at how he managed to fold himself into the backseat and not complain for 15+ hours.
Lesson #15: Pete’s driving is a cross between an Indianapolis 500 winner and my dearly departed Grandfather just before they took his driver’s license away. Fast as hell, and traffic laws largely ignored.
Lesson #16: Dougandsuzy knows Meatloaf. It is not every day when you run into someone who knows all the words to “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”. I’m impressed.
Lesson #17: We all brought a backpack with supplies, but Pete and Doug were like Felix the cat and his magic bag of tricks. They had everything in there! We were ne’er in need of anything all day. We came across a containerless, wet log at a cache, and one of these jokers pulled out a ready to go container while the other produced a scrap of waterproof paper that was already dated and signed with our names in advance.
Lesson #18: Pete has balls of steel. Literally. When a cache called for a magnetic TOTT, he had to peel the magnet from his crotch first.
Most serious lesson of the day: Left turns will annihilate any chance of success in a So Cal town like Fountain Valley. The route we followed could have just as easily been 60 finds all day if we had chosen to cache both sides of the street the whole way.
Overall a ton of fun. I’m ready for the next one!
Update: we had 6 DNFs officially logged, but only 2 were “we give up, can’t find it”.
re: Lesson 12…
It’s going in my “Don’t Do This” series, with an honorable mention to the guy who flamed me for putting “No Hint” in a hint on one of my hides. I loved that thread…
Doug: What’s the hint?
Calipers: Uh, says here “Mickey would like this”
Doug: So it’s a pair of Minnie’s shoes?
Me: Found it! Looks like a highly camouflaged piece of dog food! Inside it says “Pluto was here”.
Calipers: Kill me now.