Geocaching Basecamp

boulter's Geoblog

Jun 30, 2003

Tue Zane

By: The Rat Difficulty: 4.0 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Micro

7:37pm - FTF (our first!). I wish all of The Rat's puzzles were this easy! Good thing we checked our calculations a few times. We almost missed a subtlety in the puzzle. Found the cache quickly. We still don't get the title, but I guess you didn't need to. Thanks!

Jun 29, 2003

Standing By

By: TeamAlamo Difficulty: 1.5 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Micro

We really expected to projecting quite a distance from the plaque. Turned out to be a lot closer! Anne's Mom made the find on this one. Thanks.

Border Patrol #3

By: DavidT21 & Fisherwoman Difficulty: 3.0 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Micro

Busy day at the park today. There were lots of families hanging out and kids playing in the creek. Took us a little while, but we found all the plaques without the hint. With the final coordinates, we looked for quite a while but came up with nothing. There was a gathering in the area just beyond the cache area, so there was too many people coming through to search well. Some guy came by and jokingly asked us if we were stealing squirrels. We gave up looking for now, but we'll be back when there's fewer people around.

Trigger Happy

By: Mohetka Difficulty: 2.5 Terrain: 2.0 Container: Micro

Started off our day with a quick visit here. Found it after a few minutes. These micros are getting smaller and smaller!

We can do it!

By: KaneTheGerman Difficulty: 2.0 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Regular

Easy find on this familiar trail. TNLNSL. Thanks.

Redwood Preserve

By: PhilippeGPS (Maintained by MotorBug) Difficulty: 2.0 Terrain: 2.0 Container: Small

Caches like this are exactly the reason I love Geocaching - a great spot right under your nose that you never would have noticed. Apparently the park is a completely a secret to anyone under the age of 60 as we were by far the youngest people there.
The GPSr got a signal where it counted and we found it quickly. Leaving the cache was a bit treacherous, but we made it! Took a happy face keychain and left something I can't recall.

Leland's Curios

By: markens Difficulty: 2.5 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Not chosen

This was a nice tour of Stanford. There were lots of people out today taking tours of campus, especially at location #2. We ended up driving up to this barrier on one road when suddenly one of the poles sunk into the ground! We went through and ended up driving around this quad. Not sure if we should have done that, but we parked where another car was parked and did two of the locations. Luckily the magic pole moved again on the way out. Very strange.

Historic Palo Alto

By: Rain734 Difficulty: 1.5 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Regular

Geez, that first plaque is old, at least for around here! Found the locations without difficulty and located the cache. Took a light-up ball and left a 1-hour free limo token and an Apple pin. Thanks for revealing a little bit of Palo Alto's history.

Jun 25, 2003

Up a Creek

By: Green Gables Difficulty: 1.0 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Other

Of course I drive to the wrong side of 101 and got lost in East Palo Alto. Found the bridge eventually and hitsman took the picture for me. Hot day out there!

Jun 24, 2003

Resistance is Futile

By: componenx Difficulty: 3.0 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Regular

I'm going to give up on this one, at least for now. Solved the puzzle long ago (confirmed by componenx), but can't find the cache container. I've been to this place about 10 times now. Several of those times we couldn't even look because it was just too busy. You'd think that anytime after dark would be ok - nope, the lights stay on until 10. And at 8:30 am on a Saturday, it's full of people.
I thought the puzzle was a bit obscure. Apparently the cache is more so!

Jun 21, 2003

Take a Gamble

By: ChrissySkyking + Blaze (adopted by CaliSeaSta Difficulty: 2.5 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Micro

Cool place. We couldn't figure out one of the clues because there was private event going on. We took a few guesses at the missing number and found it, but I managed to bump my head pretty well leaving the cache area. Ouch! TNLNSL. Thanks.

Gateway of Dreams

By: WeBeDnD Difficulty: 1.5 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Micro

We figured out where this one was several weeks ago, but the cache location was occupied. We didn't actually do all the calculations - we just made our best guess and spotted the cache. We came back several times and each time someone was preventing access to the cache. Came by this morning and someone was there again. Staked out the spot for a half hour, waiting for the person to finish their coffee and leave. Lost patience and finally just sat down right next to them. Made a quick move for the cache and other to put it back and I was out of there.

Goose, Goose, Duck!

By: DR. Doolittle, the Mrs. and Zoo Difficulty: 2.5 Terrain: 1.5 Container: Regular

Last time we wre in this area doing a cache, we stopped here because it was a cool place. Now there's a cache here and we had a reason to come back. Found without difficulty. Had more trouble getting the cache closed again. TNLNSL. Thanks.

Valley of the Serpent

By: Kreebelle & Kids (maintained by WalruZ) Difficulty: 1.0 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Regular

Plenty of parking on an early Saturday evening. Finding the cache was a little scary - we hoped we were finding the cache! Took a bouncy ball and left an angel. Thanks.

Northern CA Solar System Model: Ganymede

By: bthomas Difficulty: 1.0 Terrain: 1.5 Container: Regular

Ok, we must get more organized with our caches. This was about our 10th time to this park! Easy find, TNLNSL. Thanks, looking forward to the rest of the series.

Historic Palo Alto 2

By: Rain734 Difficulty: 2.0 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Regular

This one was pretty interesting and a nice walk around downtown PA. We messed up and did some of the clues in the wrong order. We managed to find the bonus cache. It was huge for that spot! I can't believe we walked right by it once. Took a bouncy ball and left a fan. Thanks.

Tongue Radius: A LooneyTunes Puzzle Cache

By: LooneyTunes Difficulty: 1.5 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Virtual

[ Some interesting art here, for sure and a nice part of campus. ] Auguste Rodin was one talented guy. [ Thanks. ]

Jun 14, 2003

Doc's Geo Cache V

By: The Doc Difficulty: 2.5 Terrain: 2.5 Container: Regular

We were on our way from the park HQ to Sada Spring for the night. This one was right off the trail on the way. Took a little while to find it. Took the swiss army knife to replace the one I forgot in my bag one trip and was confiscated at LAX. Left a rubberized flashlight. Thanks.

Higher Than You Think: Hardcore Hiker #1

By: Abraxas Difficulty: 1.0 Terrain: 4.0 Container: Regular

We were staying at Sada Spring for the night, so we were already 1/4 way up the ridiculous incline from Coyote Creek and decided it might be fun to try for this cache. After dumping our backpacks, we grabbed some water and headed up again. What an incline!
We were quite surprised when soon after we started up, some guy (not a ranger) in a truck rumbled by. Once we got to The Bench, it was mostly flat and pretty easy. I even ran some of it. Near the cache we took one of two roads and got close, but the cache appeared to be too far away, so I headed b
ack to the other trail. That turned out to be worse, so I doubled back, went down the first trail some more, headed off the trail a little bit, and found it pretty easily. Had to take the Simpsons watch. All I had of value was some TP, so I left that. Maybe someone will really need it up there! Near
ly forgot my GPS there.

The hike down was even more painful. After over 3000 feet of elevation change, we slept well that night!

Jun 8, 2003

Former Ford Assembly Plant

By: bykenut Difficulty: 2.5 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Micro

3:52 pm - Been here many times - didn't know the history. This one really is a drive-up. We were lured inside to browse around for a few minutes, but the crowds drove us nuts and we left rather quickly.

Eschew Obfuscation

By: The Rat Difficulty: 1.0 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Micro

DNF. Looked around for quite a while at all the levels, but didn't find a thing. Lots of good places to hide. Maybe that's the problem - there were too many places to hide a micro here. We were surpised by the lack of security people around, though we did smile at the cameras a few times. We had a great rule all ready, too. Well, all isn't for naught. After this one and other earlier today, I think I have a good idea where The Rat makes his nest and toils for his cheese. Maybe we'll stalk him for a better hint [:D]


By: spider3 Difficulty: 1.0 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Regular

3:24 pm - After driving through some corporate parking lots, we found a legitimate access point to this trail. Had to read the hint to find it after wandering through lots of prickly bushes. Left a Into yo yo and took a cool Boeing moon ball. Thanks.

Dog Does

By: The Rat Difficulty: 1.0 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Micro

[We don't have a dog, and the cat wasn't interested in coming with us today. We found this one easily, logged it and then decided to walk from there to some other caches nearby. Thanks
What do you call a dog that is left-handed?] A south paw

Great America Station

By: Stacy & Jerry Difficulty: 1.5 Terrain: 1.5 Container: Micro

Started off our day by driving to this one. Parked somewhere we probably shouldn't have and walked to the cache after crossing the street twice. Relatively easy find. Thanks.

Milpitas Station

By: Stacy & Jerry Difficulty: 1.5 Terrain: 1.5 Container: Micro

3:39 pm - We drove to this one and parked at the Park and Ride across the street. The hardest part of this one was getting the log sheet out of the container. There were also some scary bugs hanging out on the container. Once we solved both those problems, we were on our way.

River Oaks Station

By: Stacy & Jerry Difficulty: 1.0 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Not chosen

Woo hoo, #100 and our second page is clear! We walked to this one from Dog Does. Took us a little bit to find it. That step is pretty tiring after a few repetitions! Thanks.

VTA Quiz

By: The Rat Difficulty: 2.0 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Regular

Not sure what we messed up on the quiz, but I think we failed it. SMILIE We ended up in the place next door when it clearly should have the place we just walked through. We walked all around, then decided to stop and see if we couldn't figure out what we calculated incorrectly. It all looked correct, so we tried the brute force method. 20 minutes or so later, we had it. We had to wait for some local sheriffs to take off before we could replace the cache, so we pretended to be using the fitness trail for a while. TNLNSL. Thanks.

Jun 7, 2003

Henry Schmidt

By: Stacy & Jerry Difficulty: 2.0 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Micro

#11 of 13 today; I always thought someone should place a cache like this. Nicely done. Lots of people around, but we were able to make a quick grab and replace of this one. The paint from the cache was coming off on my hands! TNLNSL. Thanks.

Keyfob light 01

By: Cinway Difficulty: 1.0 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Micro

#13 of 13 today. Another classic placement. Found it quickly and headed off to Sweet Tomatoes to gorge ourselves after a long day of caching. Thanks.

The Lizards at Carli Field

By: DustBlazer Difficulty: 1.5 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Micro

#12 of 13 today; The GPSr was acting funny here today. We were walking in circles. As soon as the coast was clear, we made a quick grab for this one. TNLNSL. Thanks.

Border Patrol #2

By: DavidT21 & Fisherwoman Difficulty: 2.0 Terrain: 2.0 Container: Micro

#2 of 13 today; We parked in the wrong place (as usual), but had a nice walk to the cache. When we got there, the cache was occupied by bykenut. We took another short walk while she finished up, then met quickly before she took off with her dog. The cache was easy to find and well hidden. Took a koosh ball guy and left an M+M guy. We had to wait a while until the coast was clear to replace cache, then we were on our way. Thanks!

Pass Over Art

By: PhilippeGPS (Maintained by MotorBug) Difficulty: 2.0 Terrain: 1.5 Container: Micro

#3 of 13 today; Lots of cool art here. We walked right by the 4th one and had to cross the street again. It was also cool to peer down into the houses on the way back to the start. TNLNSL. Thanks.

Sly Dog's---Mary Gomez spots George

By: marwagsalot Difficulty: 2.0 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Micro

Stopped by today but there were about 50 people having a 30th birthday party for someone right near the area of the cache. We'll have to come back some time again. Nice park and pool though.

Urban Assault #11

By: Ruprex Difficulty: 1.0 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Micro

#7 of 13 today; We of course started out at the wrong spot here. Read the hint and we were much closer. Very tricky maneuver getting the cache out. TNLNSL. Thanks for the quick one.

Steel Finch

By: Anvickfam Difficulty: 1.0 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Regular

#10 of 13 today; We took the hard way into this one. Bumpy road! Then we parked at the wrong end of the parking lot. We found it eventually. Took a 10 ball and left a Ms. M+M. Had fun bouncing the ball around the huge parking lot on the way back to the car. Thanks!

Clip Joint

By: The Rat Difficulty: 3.5 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Regular

#5 of 13 today; I was talking to a friend the other day who Geocaches in LA. I asked him if there were lots of puzzle caches there where you crack ciphers and such. He said No, I don't live in Silicon Valley. If I was only so lucky! SMILIE
I now have a 150-line Java program that does most of the manual work of solving Grandpre ciphers. (No, you can't have it. Do you your own caches.) My eyes got buggy after a while of trying to manully place the phrase into the cipher. Things got a lot easier after I realized that Componex != The Ra
t and I was able to make some good guesses at the words and start filling them in. From there it was easy.

Once we arrived at the cache site, we had a different problem. There were people right next to the cache waiting for the bus. So we parked in a plastic surgeon's office parking lot and waited.
.. and waited... and waited. After about a half hour we decided to see if we could look like were were waiting for the bus, but casually look for the cache. Luckily the bus arrived shortly after. Totally forgot about the hints in the decoded cipher, but found the cache anyway.

Left a binder clip,
left nothing. Thanks!

The Oaks

By: Marky & Joani Difficulty: 2.5 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Micro

#8 of 13 today; Quick cache - this placement was once so tricky, now it's almost always the first place we look! TNLNSL. Thanks.

Shockley Semiconductor

By: boren Difficulty: 1.5 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Micro

#1 of 13 today; 1:15 pm
Pretty amazing that this is where all this mess started SMILIE. We were a little unsure of two the numbers, but we made it. Cool bridge and a quick find once the coast was clear. It was a very nice day for a walk. The flowers were in full bloom and we stopped at a garage sale on the way back during
Palo Alto's city wide sale.

Cry Wolfe

By: Brute-Force Difficulty: 1.5 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Small

#9 of 13 today; The GPSr was all screwy here. We drove around it a few times, then past it. We walked up to the spot and were about to grab it when security appeared in their truck. They were heading right for us, but luckily they went right by. We decided to go back down for the car, park it right next to the cache and make a quick dash for it, keeping an eye on the security truck at the other end of the lot. Very nice placement. TNLNSL. Thanks.

Wizard Walnut Huller

By: rib Difficulty: 2.0 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Micro

#4 of 13 today; There was a baseball game in progress, so we were concerned we wouldn't be able able to get to this one. Luckily it was well hidden and we were able to find the huller and cache. Nice place. TNLNSL. Thanks.

Cipher Creek

By: The Rat Difficulty: 4.0 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Micro

#6 of 13 today: Ah, my first page nemesis - Cipher Creek - I have defeated you at last!
This one took quite a long time to figure out. I had to go back to Cipher Sites to remember how to do these puzzles and these definitely were a lot harder. At one point I had several pages of equations and attempts at solutions before I finally got the rhythm of the thing. As long as I kept things
organized and wrote down how I came to certain conclusions, I was OK. I nearly messed up my last attempt because I added wrong somewhere. Luckily I got enough of the keyword that I was able to guess it.

Thankfully, I found the second cipher to be much easier. I was able to make some good guesses a
t words and things started to line right up.

We came at the cache from the wrong way and drove around it for a bit. We found it pretty easily. I probably didn't even have to decipher the second puzzle.

It was a lot of fun anyway and it truly became an obsession after a while. TNLNSL. Thanks.

st edit: 6/7/2003 8:55:05 PM PST]

Jun 4, 2003


By: PhilippeGPS (now managed by WeBeDnD) Difficulty: 3.5 Terrain: 2.5 Container: Micro

7:24 pm - Woo hoo, #2!
I was pretty lucky on this one that the language was the only one I know reasonably well besides English, though again my memory from high school was tested. I like the numerous hints about the language and trying to figure out the phonetics. Geocaching has definitely made me looney; this one qual
ified me even more with hours of mumbling words to myself. I guessed most of the words incorrectly at l
east once. The digit sum check definitely helped make sure we weren't hopelessly wardering around people's backyards. I didn't find a dictionary very helpful. A spelling correction tool however did help.
We tried to get into the cache the back way, but couldn't find the entrance. At the cache it was obvious the back way was a lot shorter to the cache. Easy find once we got there - already some very distinctive trampling. Thanks for the interesting cache!

Jun 2, 2003

CalTrain - Sunnyvale

By: normanb Difficulty: 1.0 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Micro

Since we come here 10 times a week, it was nice to do something else here besides commuting. We were a bit perplexed for a bit - we were supposedly 2 feet from the cache but it was no where in site. A second read of the description gave us the info we needed. We've watched this place be rebuilt over the last several months. It was nice to take a few minutes and look at the result of all the mess.

Jun 1, 2003

Heritage Oaks Park

By: DavidT21 & Fisherwoman Difficulty: 2.5 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Micro

Second time was a charm here. There were still lots of people here, but none immediately next to the cache. We made a lucky grab and came up with it. Thanks.

European Highways

By: PhilippeGPS (maintained by The Rat) Difficulty: 2.5 Terrain: 2.5 Container: Regular

Thanks to the logs, we knew to work out this one before our second trip back to a nearby cache. The slope was a bit steep, but short. We nearly tumbled into the stream, though I don't think at this time of the year there was much threat of drowning, only getting a little soggy. Took a koosh ball guy and left an anti-poaching sticker we picked up in Idaho. Thanks.

Cipher Sites

By: The Rat Difficulty: 3.0 Terrain: 1.0 Container: Virtual

Geez, it's been a while since someone finished this one. We solved all of the ciphers a few weeks ago, but then finally had time to visit the waypoints this weekend. This was one of the more time-consuming caches, but you also learn a lot. Now we're ready to take on Cipher Creek, the last holdout on our first page... Thanks.

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