Monday, June 15, 2009

Lamp Post Flora

Sometimes, I end up finding lamp post caches. It doesn't happen that often and usually I don't have a lot to say about them, since they seem to be so pervasive in an urban area and usually pretty routine. One lamp post cache find did catch my eye, not because it was different, but because of the experience. Last Saturday was my first full day of vacation, so I figured what better way to spend it than to go out caching with my good friend Chaosmanor.

We met over near a park and ride off of the 118 Simi Valley Freeway, otherwise known as the Ronald Reagan Freeway. We've utilized this particular park and ride in the past and we both commented that it was surprising there wasn't a cache hidden in it since it's a large area, with several landscaped areas that could hold a small cache (not a micro as I don't hide micros). I even came up with a clever name for it should we decide to come here again as a base camp.

This particular park and ride is literally under a transition road for the freeway and so the geocache map would be interesting, making it look like the cache could be in the middle of the freeway, depending upon placement. It's probably because of the proximity to the freeway that there hasn't been a cache placed there. It is pretty noisy and not the most scenic spot in the world, but then again, there are quite a few caches that fit that description.

Which leads me to this lamp post cache we found after we'd dropped off Chaosmanor's car at the park and ride. This was our second cache of the day. We weren't sure what the cache was going to be when we first got there. That's often the case when you run a circle PQ for an area. You go out and you find caches. Some are interesting and some are...well, let's just say they're not as interesting as others.

As we pulled into the parking lot both our GPSrs were pointing at this particular lamp post, so I slowly approached it in the car, looking around to see where the concentration of muggles were, in order to position my car in a good spot to use it as a shield if need be. Once I had parked the car, we were out and had the cache in hand very quickly and then it got interesting. Chaosmanor was about to put the cache back when I warned him of a muggle that had just pulled up behind him in a car. So now we had to go into stealth mode, or actually diversionary mode. I've written about how I've used my camera quite often to distract muggles into thinking that I was only there to take pictures, as opposed to that more nefarious activity geocaching.

I'm not sure this time it worked very well, because the muggle just seemed to be interested in me and Chaosmanor for the longest time as she sat in her car. Perhaps she was wondering what two middle aged men were doing walking around in the planter looking at various weeds and other plants, but eventually she got tired of it and got out of her car and went inside the store. However, there were other muggles about as well, so we had to wait them out. I think this was the first time where I had more trouble replacing the cache than in retrieving the cache because of muggles.

We eventually got the cache replaced when I spied some clover growing near another lamp post further down. This particular clover was immense. The bud was at least quarter in diameter if not bigger. Most of the clover I've seen in lawns in this area are usually small white balls of little flowers. This purple bunch really took me by surprise. Couple that with the other pictures I took of the iris and the dandelion and I actually got some really nice photos at this rather average lamp post cache.

I guess I really need to thank the muggles though. Had they not been there in force, we'd probably have been in and out very quickly and we would have missed these little highlights. Eh. It's a weed some people might say. Yeah, it's a weed, but it made for an interesting picture, so I'll take that weed any day of the week. I still don't particularly like to find a lot of lamp post caches, but I'm pretty sure that I'll look at them slightly differently in the future because of this experience I had with them on Saturday. And that's what it's all about really, enjoying the experience.

Pictures were taken at or near the following geocache:
Greens - by shirconn

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