Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Interstate 5 run

I'm starting a long four day weekend today. As of 2:10, the weekend had begun, but I stayed at school about an hour longer to get some paperwork done before heading out. Then I made a side trip to REI to pick up a windshield mount for my Garmin eTrex Legend. Up until this year, California was one of only two states that didn't allow windshield mounts for anything. As of the first of the year, the state now allows windshield mounts for GPS units as long as they are placed in the lower left corner or the lower right corner of the windshield. I plan to use the mount tomorrow morning when I go on a virtual flag run starting near Sylmar and ending somewhere down in the OC.

If you look at the map, you can see a nice line of 4 virtual flags running in a southeasterly direction, or northwesterly direction along Interstate 5. The purpose of this game is to get to within 100 meters (325 feet) of these virtual flags and tell others what you found there. Points are scored for each flag found. I found the Ecuador flag just south of Corona on the map last week and the flag situated in what looks like the middle of Rancho Cucamonga is pretty much inaccessible to get. The red highlight around the flag indicates that it's about to expire within the week and then won't be there anymore. Not like it's there anyway, since it's just a virtual flag. I could still go to the point, but couldn't score any points for the flag after it expires.

We plan on starting at the northwest end and work our way to the southeast on this particular trip. I ran some PQs around each spot where there would be a flag present, so at each spot we'll grab a couple of caches as well. I looked over some of the caches last night and picked a couple out that I want to try and get. That's one of the reasons I got interested in GeoVexilla. The flags are randomly generated, so when flags come up near where I live, I can go out and get those flags, plus possibly cache in a new area where I haven't cached before.

There appears to be an interesting virtual cache at an automobile museum near Sylmar. I wasn't aware there was a museum up in that particular area, so I'm hoping it should be an interesting side trip for us. There are also a couple of Letterbox Hybrid caches down in Orange County that we might be able to get as well. I've been working on a Letterbox Hybrid of my own, but haven't found the right hiding spot for it as yet, so getting one of these might prove helpful. Letterbox hybrids involve using clues, not necessarily geographic coordinates to find the cache.

All of the caching will be weather dependent since we have a high chance of rain tomorrow. It's actually supposed to rain the entire weekend (who ordered this up on a four day weekend no less?), but we'll see what happens. Tomorrow looks the least likely for us to get wet, so that's a good thing. We do have one more stop that's not marked by a flag on the map and that would be lunch. Since we're going to be driving very close to corporate headquarters of In-n-Out Burger, we're planning on stopping there for lunch. There's a micro there which we hope to grab and a couple of blocks north is a cache hidden near one of the old stations to the Pacific Electric Railway, commonly called the Red Car. For those of you not from Southern California, and have never heard of the Red Car, the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" deals with the eventual demise of the Red Car in a very humorous way. Whether that's actually what happened or not is beside the point. It's a very enjoyable and well done movie and had some good groundbreaking new types of animation in it, pre-Pixar.

I don't see too many obstacles to our run tomorrow. It should be an enjoyable day. I'll write more about it later in the weekend, particularly if I happened to be rained in for the rest of the weekend. I'll not complain though, since the entire state needs a few more good soakings this year and perhaps every year to keep the reservoirs filled. Drought is not a pretty thing in the state of California.

Profile for Webfoot

No comments: