- Player: chaosmanor
Team: En Dash!
> Date, Points, TeamPoints, Dashpoint, Country, State, Lat, Lon2005-09-01, 3, 3, GD51-AJIW, USA, California, 34.2658, -119.1137
Location: north of Camarillo, east of Saticoy
Closest approach: about 90 meters
Local Time - midnight PDT
Elevation: 87 feet above mean sea level
Straight-line distance from home - 5.1 miles, at 295� magnetic
Round-trip distance: 37 miles
Total trip time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
DP title: Flower Power
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Wow! In my first year-and-a-half-plus of geodashing, the closest DP that landed near home was about 15 miles away, and completely unreachable at night, and very difficult during the day. The two next-nearest were in mountainous terrain, possibly reachable, but one was on private property and the other would have required a stiff hike through a National Park Service maintenance area, so I demured. Now, two of the past three months have had a DP within 15 minutes driving distance of home, and both easily reachable. Two months ago, I was able to drive right into the magic circle. This month, I had to walk a little bit.
There had been a Minute War flag not far from here a couple of games ago, so I had a good idea of what to expect. There is a golf course and country club north of CA-118, with about 60-80 homes around it, sitting off by themselves in a small canyon at the west end of Oak Ridge. Below them is a lot of farmland. Skywalker Drive is a street maybe a half-mile long that has about ten home-sites on it: three lots are unbuilt-upon. It branches off to the west from Clubhouse Road. It bends to the north after about 600-800 feet. The DP is to the southwest of this bend, and I parked in a wide spot of the road, at a side road that leads to a gate. I reconnoitered this area a couple of days ago, and found a number of rows of flowers for cutting: snapdragons, mostly. There is a windbreak that parallels this field of flowers, and a narrow dirt road runs along this windbreak.
I left the house at about 11PM on the 31st. There was a new geocache listing in Oxnard, not far off the freeway, near St. John's Regional Medical Center. It appeared to be either in the back parking for the hospital, or else along the housing that lines the streets around it. Either way, it seemed like a better cache to hunt at night, when muggle activity was likely to be low. I figured that leaving this early would give me plenty of time to hunt. As it turns out, I went right to it. In fact, I had more trouble getting it open than I did finding it. So I drove around a bit, collecting gas prices, as I expected them to have already raised them for the morning, at least the stations that weren't 24/7.
Thus, I arrived at my parking spot about ten minutes early, meaning that I could take my time walking. I hadn't counted on someone being up and running a tractor, however! Fortunately, it was on the far side of the fields, near the highway, and the driver seemed intent on keeping it in a small area. So, after parking in that wide spot, I grabbed my GPSr and flashlight, and headed for that dirt road. I had little trouble working past a couple of parked farm vehicles and despite having to keep the flashlight shielded some (there are times when discretion is the *only* part of valor!), I followed the road easily, although it was chopped up in spots. I couldn't quite cut the Magic Circle from this road; instead, I had to take a road that took off at an angle, heading more northerly than I would have liked. But I had gone far enough southerly that I soon punctured the 100 meter circle. I had to wait for a minute for local midnight to arrive, so I crept forward, slowly, silently telling the second counter on my Maggie 315 to get a move on! While there are no signs proclaiming that this is private property, no "Keep Out!" notices, I was loathe to intrude more than needed to score, nor to linger longer than necessary, so I turned around as soon as the time read 12:00:00. The distance had dropped to 0.06 miles on our Maggie 315 40 or 50 feet earlier, so I judged that I was at about 90 meters from ZG. I had taken a few shots when I reconnoitered the area, and while I had my camera along, there was nothing worth taking a night shot of, so I didn't bother.
I hustled back to the car and headed for home, tweaked this report (mostly written ahead of time, but a few details needed to be inserted) and submitted it. Now to see if this one is the first of the month, as mine was in July. With three other fairly easy and moderately-close DPs for September, this is promising to be one of my better months. With the price of gasoline skyrocketing hourly, it's a good thing that there are so many close ones!
Wherever you went, there you were; as much fun as it is to travel to places far afield, there are times when close-to-home is better :-)