Saturday, April 19, 2008


Every now and then, I encounter things while caching that defy an explanation. It’s either something that is really out of place, or I can’t get a handle on why it’s there in the first place, or it’s just something that seems really different. I’m used to the occasional rusted out car that can be found in a ravine somewhere. Those seem to be rather ubiquitous and not nearly as surprising as they should be if you considered how they got the car up there in the first place to then push it over the side and down into the ravine. Nor am I talking about the odd dinosaur or giant spider that sometimes can be found near cache hides. With names like Dinosaur Droppings, Arachnophobia, or Out of Africa, you’d probably expect something like that at those caches. What I’m talking about are those things that just make you scratch your head and think, Huh?

Like the time we were caching in the hills overlooking Whittier. It had been a good day of caching, with a nice hike involved. This particular cache we were headed towards was on top of a small hill. As we continued up to get this cache, we came upon one of those enclosures that the electric company seems to have on various hills around here, or perhaps it was the water company or a cell phone tower this time. No matter, the enclosure was in our way, so half our party went one way around it and the other half of the party went the other way, and encountered the bathtub – filled with water.

At first, you just stand and stare trying to comprehend what you’re seeing. Sometimes it’s hard, other times it’s not. Now since this was May and we hadn’t had any kind of substantial rain in a good long while, it was kind of odd to see the tub filled with water, until, upon closer inspection, we noticed that it had a spigot that was keeping it filled. The only thing we can think of was that someone had hauled a bathtub up here and was using it as a modified horse trough. Still, I can honestly say that I’ve only encountered a tub one other time while caching and I was actually expecting that one.

My daughter goes to school in the big valley of central California and I’ve had numerous chances to drive up there, either taking her for visits when we were first looking at colleges, or visiting her, now that she’s firmly ensconced up there. It goes without saying that I get my fair share of caching in on the drive up and back. One cache outside of Visalia, California called The Muirman had me intrigued. I could never figure out how to get to the cache, because by the time I was near the cache, it seemed like I was already by the cache. I think it was the third time that I knew I was going to be heading by this cache, I decided to look at a Google map closely to see if I could figure out how to get there. The cache page even gives it a difficulty of 2 for figuring out how to get there. Once there, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was still blown away. It’s not really odd, just different, something that you would normally expect to be up on the northern coast of California as opposed to in the central valley, even if it is close to the giant Sequoia forests.

Several times I’ve cached in Griffith Park in Los Angeles. There are an abundant amount of caches here in the park. The park has quite a few scenic overlooks with strategically placed benches that afford a good view of the city, probably even more beautiful at night with all the twinkling city lights below. When we got to one particular cache, we found a bench, that didn’t have that same kind of knockout view as most of the others. Why the park hadn’t cleared the bushes and trees away, is beyond me, but there was several yeas of growth accumulated in front of that bench. It made for quite a sight gag to say the least.

Today, the Tadpole and I went caching in a nice park in Riverside. While walking alongside the lake in the park, we came across, what I initially thought were willow trees along the bank, although they didn’t look quite right, not having the right kind of droopiness to their branches. But what were these trees? After closer inspection, I realized that I was looking at a row of coast redwood trees. Obviously, these hadn’t started here and they looked very odd, not the typical type of coast redwood you would normally expect, with the tall slender trunk and symmetrical branches. The only explanation I have for the strange shapes of these trees would be that they were over watered. I know that sounds strange, since they naturally live in a temperate rain forest, but these trees were right on the bank of the lake, not where you’d normally find them in their natural setting. It’s the only thing I can think of to explain it.

It's those strange things that you encounter from time to time that make up life stories, things that you can tell your friends about. Some of them are funny, some can be downright weird, and some are just plain interesting. And if I find other oddities in the future, I’ll probably get a chuckle out of it, or one of those huh? moments and then it will either dawn on me, or I’ll remain clueless. Knowing me, it will probably be the latter.

Pictures were taken at or near the following geocaches:

Sunset at 17-A REVIVED - by The Cable Car Clan
The Muirman - by redwoodcanoe
Debs Park - by GPSKitty
Water Buffalo - by Bigmouth

Profile for Webfoot


Hick@Heart said...

I love the oddities. Sometimes it's trash and it's a bummer, but I still wonder. "How/why did these exercise bikes get on top this hill?" I was caching just today and exclaiming how great it is to find these hidden out of the way places.

Geocaching With Team Hick@Heart

benh57 said...

We noticed that trough too. I figured it was to prevent erosion by causing the water to go down the hill more slowly.

The water is from the AC units keeping the broadcast equipment cool in the nearby tower.

But i'm not really sure that makes sense...