Geocaching is one of the best ways to discover any place you go and Los Angeles is no exception.
Here is how it works and what it is all about.
GPS units used to be able to get you within maybe 60 ft of any given spot. Good enough to get you to a street and block but maybe not the exact house.
The satellites controlling the GPS signals sent out a less accurate data on purpose, but on May 1, 2000 the policy was ended and everyone with a GPS could now get to within 6ft of a target.
Soon people began stashing canisters with goodies all over the world and posting the GPS locations of the canisters online.
Now there is a whole industry surrounding geocaching (Gee-O-cashing). It is a global game and…
A Great Way To Discover The Best Spots On Earth!
Geocahers place log books and/or canisters of goodies everywhere but the main focus is to get people to come out and discover great places they wouldn’t know about otherwise.
Geocaching is how I found the Happy Days house, the park which eventually became the Baldwin Hills Overlook, and the pole which marks the spot where they filmed “King Kong” and Atlanta burning in “Gone With The Wind.”
Now the reason I can list this as a completely free activity is…
You Don’t Even Need A GPS!
You can still enjoy all the great spots Geocaching takes you.
On each page about the cache or stash, there is a map which you can click on and it is easy to find the spots. Plus you can always put the coordinates on Mapquest and get the location that way.
Some have no caches and are designed only to get you in the area to see something.
Also there are often hints with a simple code which tell you exactly where to look for a cache just in case you get too frustrated trying to fnd it.
FYI the hint code is really simple. The alphabet is divided in half. The first 13 letters are placed in a row on top of the last 13 letters. So all the letter “A”s really are code for the letter “N” and vise versa because all “N”s are code for the letter “A” above it.
It is a simple code but a lot of fun for the kids to figure out. This plus the treasure box at the end make geocaching a great way to get the kids out and into wherever you take them.
My daughter, son and I gave ourselves agent names and pretend each geocache is a secret mission. I am Agent Red Dog, she is Agent Red Pup and my son is Agent Red Runt. The kids love it and I must admit, I do too. It is fun because your goal is to get to find the stash and get to it without being seen by muggles (non-geocaching folks)
Having a GPS makes it easier to find a cache but I still use the site to find interesting places to go even without a GPS.
There are geocaches at almost every spot I have covered so far.
The best website for this activity is www.geocaching.com
Today I chose a simple cache to show you how you don’t need to find a cache or use GPS to enjoy this activity. I found the stash too.
I chose King Kong Gone. A quick look at the map told me exactly where this was and I drove right up to it.
A quick scan and I saw the cache. A small grey Tupperware type box hanging in the bushes. Inside the cache was a plastic bag. The last pic on the left shows the contents.
You are supposed to record your visit in the log and take one item and leave an item in its place. I usually have little rubber devil ducks for exchange except today I didn’t take my compass, GPS and gear because I wanted to show you don’t need one to enjoy the benefits of geocaching.
After all, the real point of placing the cache here was to show us the pole in the first picture at the top. It marks the spot where they built the gates for King Kong. Later, the gates were burned as part of Atlanta Burning in Gone With The Wind.
I won’t tell you where the King Kong Sign is because you really should sign up for a free account at www.geocaching.com and use the map to find it.
Again, this is great to do with kids. They print up an assignment/mission at home, decode a secret message and hunt down a hidden stash of goodies all while trying not to be seen. Then they sign in and return the package to its hiding spot.
Later they sing in to headquarters (the geocaching website) and report their findings.
As a kid, what’s not to love?
Once they find the first one, they really get into it so make sure you pick an easy one first.
I am not affiliated with www.geocaching.com in any way but I fully support what they do.
While in the area I noticed a lot of modern architecture. It seems the area is really taking off and I for one am glad they don’ look like your typical stucco boxes.
Some pictures of these modern buildings are on the right and I think I’ll continue to point out the different architectual styles we have in different parts of Los Angeles.