I was always fond of visiting new scenes, and observing strange characters and manners. Even when a mere child I began my travels, and made many tours of discovery into foreign parts and unknown regions of my native city, to the frequent alarm of my parents, and the emolument of the town-crier. As I grew into boyhood, I extended the range of my observations. My holiday afternoons were spent in rambles about the surrounding country. I made myself familiar with all its places famous in history or fable. I knew every spot where a murder or robbery had been committed, or a ghost seen. I visited the neighboring villages, and added greatly to my stock of knowledge, by noting their habits and customs, and conversing with their sages and great men. Ieven journeyed one long summer's day to the summit of the most distant hill, whence I stretched my eye over many a mile of terra incognita, and was astonished to find how vast a globe I inhabited. -- Washington Irving
This is a Challenge Cache. The challenge is for a series of geocachers to complete an Alphabetical Sampler of items. Read on!
Dogs are allowed to run off-leash here between 4 PM and sunset on weekdays. In reality, they can probably run off leash anytime, assuming you can regain voice control -- we have never seen the 4 PM weekday rule enforced, and this park is a big meeting ground for local hound owners. There is also a seasonal waterway your lab will love. This is a kid-friendly cache.
Park in the same spot for this cache and The Inside Out Cache; round trip for doing them both if you don't get lost is about a mile.
The cache is a LARGE green ammo box (40 mm), hidden in a place that should be out of view from any casual passersby. Because the possibilty of plunder is higher in this area -- the forest has good clear views -- please be coy when hunting for it, and make sure it's covered up in a way only a geocacher would recognize.
The title of this cache is a hint about the name of its general location, which does appear on some (but not all) maps. There is a copy of the great American short story related to the theme of this cache in the cache log. You will find a good spot to sit down near the cache so you can read this story and sample the cache in tranquility -- and perhaps even take a little doze!
This cache (initially) contains 26 items beginning with the letter "Z". One of these is a Ziploc bag with the cache logbook, a disposable 27-shot camera, cache letter, and pen and pencil, which should stay permanently with the cache.
The other 25 items beginning with the letter "Z" are special super-cache items. If you want to take an item (and please do), leave an item or object whose name begins with another letter of the alphabet. For instance, you might leave a plastic aardvark for the letter "A".
Here's the cache-catch: you can't leave an item beginning with the same letter that another geocacher already has left. So if there's already an Aardvark logged, you might leave a Banana Splits lunch box, or something like that, but not an Archie comic book. Check the log (which is organized alphabetically, not chronologically) if you're not sure which letters have been taken already.
You may instead leave another "Z" item and take one of the "Z" items in the cache. As long as the items remain unique, that's fine.
When we get a complete alphabet from A to Z, we'll reverse the process, and cachers should then replace each A through Y -named item with a Z-named item, until we're back to 26 "Zs". And so on.
Update as of 05/15/03: the letters A B C E F J L M N O P S T V and W have been claimed. The Zester, Zen Garden, Zloty, Zebra, Ziggy Calendar, Zipper Pull, Zamboanga Hummer Recipe, Zagat's Guide, Zombie Movie (Dawn of the Dead) Zinnea seeds and Zuni Fetish have been swapped out.
You're also more than welcome to take/leave nothing, and just log the visit (but read the short story!)
This is a relatively easy find, but approaching it may be the difficult part, so in the hints, we've included, in order, suggestions/hints for parking and some progressively more helpful/spoiler hints.
Again, this is a moderately well-trafficked area with good visibility, so try to conceal the cache as good or better than you found it.
Waypoint note: because of the forest cover and a tendency towards fogginess, satellite signals are a periodic problem here. We've taken multiple readings, but additional reports of the precise waypoint from other cachers would be appreciated. For best results, attempt this one in clear weather.
POISON OAK WARNING: There's a lot of seasonal growth around the cache area. The cache is hidden in a place which should be fundamentally immune from having poison oak abutting it. But please be cautious when searching, and definitely wear long pants for the hunt.
But the important thing is -- no tengas miedo, es un juego.