Monday, January 18, 2010

Inclement Weather

It's raining in Southern California.  I have a weather station in my backyard with a minimum and maximum thermometer plus a rain gauge.  So far, we've received a little more than 2 inches of rain from this first of three storms.  There's been a respite since about 4 in the afternoon so we must be between storms at the moment.  The third one is supposed to pack the biggest punch.

If you're reading this from the east, you're probably thinking that 2 inches isn't very much.  Most of Southern California is desert to semi-desert.  Where I live, we average 13 inches of rain per year.  2 inches in a 24 hour period is a lot of rain.   The hillsides absorb a lot of it, but if there have been fires recently, then there will be problems with mudslides.  The Tadpole and I went out to find some virtual flags today and we actually heard a broadcast from the emergency broadcast network this afternoon, warning about flash floods in certain areas.  I think that's only the second time I have ever heard an actual emergency broadcast on radio or the television.

More to the point however is I used to think rain hindered my ability to find caches.  I don't think that way anymore, although the rain did a number on us today, but I'll get to that later.  With inclement weather, a geocacher just needs to have a different mindset.  On the 30th of last month, Chaosmanor came out here to go on a hike with me.  By the time he got over here, it was raining.  Well, at least raining by Southern California standards, which is mostly a drizzle with occasional bouts of slightly heavier rain.

We could have gone out, but would have been hiking in mud which didn't sound like a whole lot of fun, so we opted to do some suburban caching.  That was the best decision we did because we had a great time and found many caches that I'd passed up in the past due to high muggle activity.  With the rain, muggles don't go out unless they actually have to and so most geocaches that tout on the cache page something along the line of "high muggle area" don't have that problem when it's raining.

This might not be much of a revelation to most, but I hadn't really thought that seriously about it.  My thoughts about rain was it made caching less fun.  My glasses would get wet and I wouldn't be able to see as clearly.  Clothes would get wet when you searched in bushes, etc.  Chaosmanor and I have cached in the rain a couple of times, but that time last month, for whatever reason, was the eye opener for me. We found a lot of caches and enjoyed the time caching and the time together.  As you can see from the pictures, places where caches might be hidden were quite vacant as opposed to what they might look like on a nice day.

Needless to say, I didn't hesitate to go out today, even though it was pouring.  I figured that the rain would slacken at some point and we might be able to get a couple of caches in between the virtual flags we were seeking.  We'd come to an agreement that if it wasn't really pouring, we might try for a cache here or there.  The weather really didn't cooperate with us at all.   It seemed like every time we got to a flag spot, it would be pouring, while when we were commuting between flags, it wasn't raining as hard.  That's how it goes some days.

We did find a couple of caches near the end of our trek today.  One was a lamppost hide in a parking lot.  Rain kept the muggles away and we found it quickly.  Another was by the side of a road.  There weren't any joggers to bother us.  I think the Tadpole and I both decided that we're not going to let a little weather deter us from our "appointed rounds."

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1 comment:

Erika Jean said...

Hopefully the sun comes out to play soon! We are about to get all your rain here in Tucson, AZ :-(

We are used to flash flood rains here - but usually we get monsoons in the summer!!