Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Sounds of Caching

We all see the sights of caching all the time. For the most part, caching is a very visual experience, which is one of the reasons why we spend so much time making the camo on our caches just right. Even on a hike, we primarily use our sense of sight to enjoy the scenery as we make our way to ground zero and the cache zone. Very rarely do we use our ears.

Last week, I was fortunate enough to find one of those caches where the area literally sang to us. The cache is called Pass Cache, and it's located along the Tehachapi Willow Springs Road, right at Oak Creek Pass leading from the Antelope Valley up and over to Tehachapi. It's also an area of high winds and there's some enterprising business that's taking advantage of it by placing windmills all through the area. If you've ever been through Palm Springs along the I-10 leading away from Los Angeles toward the Colorado River, you know what I mean. These windmills are huge and they catch the wind and generate electricity.

Now, whenever I've driven out to Palm Springs, I never had my windows open, mainly because I'm driving 70+ mph along the interstate and it's usually hot out, so I have the air conditioner going as well. I've never had the chance to actually hear what these windmills sound like until our encounter with the windmills near Pass Cache a week and a half ago. It was really eerie.

As soon as we got out of the car, my prime concern was finding the cache. It was hot that day and we hadn't been spending a whole lot of time outside of the car because of it. Immediately I was struck by the sounds I was hearing. To me, my first impression was that of a very large windchime, the kind that many people have in their back yards that catch the breeze and give back pleasant tones on a cool summer evening. These were just like that, only very deep in pitch. We kept hearing different frequencies, but there was an ethereal quality to it all that made the entire experience quite haunting. I noted to Chaosmanor what I thought it sounded like and he said that he heard singing.

Hmmmmm. Now I couldn't hear the singing that he defintely said he heard, so in my mind, that made the place even more interesting. We were hearing the same thing, yet they were saying different things to each of us. Then I heard the singing too. About five feet from where the cache was hidden, there was a benchmark, so I had to go back to my car to get the camera so I could document it as well, and that's when I heard the singing. It literally sounded like some kind of Gregorian chant, or possibly some druid elves chanting to each other. You couldn't understand it, but you definitely knew it was singing. It was a very cool effect and all done by the wind and these windmills.

Usually on a large cache hunt like I did that day, I'll go back over them and think about the coolest cache that I found that day. I keep a running 5% bookmark list, of what I consider the best caches that I've found. The list is constantly in flux with additions and subtractions occuring when some caches get archived and when I find new ones that I think fit the bill. The list includes caches that I find whimsical, or that I found particularly challenging, or they could be on the list because of the great view. This one was a no brainer to make the list because of the experience. I got to find a cache, I got to document a benchmark and post a visit at waymarking and I got sung to all at the same time. You really can't beat that in my opinion.

Pictures were taken at or near the following geocache:
PASS CACHE - by rborch

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