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Learning to Fly

A cache by Nazgul Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 11/3/2006
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size: small (small)

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Geocache Description:


A hidden trail – a hidden past

The Multi

This is a simple offset multi with a short uphill hike on an odd little hidden trail leading from about the end of Kennedy Road up to Bel Gatos Park. Almost. I suspect that it may have been created as a way for equestrians and others to avoid Shannon Road which is steep and very narrow in many places.

Park at the posted coordinates which are very close to the trailhead, since parking on the street is not permitted.

I really doubt this parking area or the trail gets much use, so the neighbors may be curious. Please do not do this Multi outside of the Belgatos Park hours: 8 a.m. until one half hour after sunset.

  1. Proceed to the trailhead at N37 13.225’ W121 55.404’. Head up the trail.
  2. You’ll soon come to a yellow sign with two words on it. Convert the letters in the first word to their numeric values (A=1, B=2, etc.) and add them together. That number is A. Do the same for the second word, and that value is B.
  3. Multiply A times 8, then add 27. That's AAA.
  4. Multiply B times 5, then add 22. That's BBB. The final location is at N37 13.AAA W121 55.BBB.
  5. The cache is a decon container. It’s just a little off-trail. Follow one of the obvious animal trails to it but watch for the old barbed wire fencing. In another nod to this area’s past, you’ll notice what’s left of an old orchard.

The Story

I noticed this odd little trail while in the area one day and figured I should explore it and see if it needed a cache. Not long after that, by coincidence I happened to also stumble upon the story of Neta Snook, who happened to live right near here. Who knew?

Neta Snook (1896-1991) was one of the first women to learn how to fly an aircraft back in 1917. As you might expect from that era, she had to put up with a lot of nonsense, but she obviously was not going to be denied. One telling story was that when the government stalled on giving her a full, proper pilot’s license, she simply and crudely modified her training permit. “I ignored it, as did my pilot friends, and erased the first "n" in "none" and carried passengers until I sold my plane.”

She became most famous not for her own flying, but because she was the person that taught the legendary Amelia Earhart to fly. Amelia’s parents had agreed to pay for lessons only if she could find a female instructor, something exceptionally rare in that day. They were to become good friends. One of my favorite anecdotes was when they had a stall during a training flight and landed quite heavily, damaging the little Airster plane they were in. Neta said “This was Amelia's first crash, and when I turned to see if she was hurt, she was powdering her nose.”

Neta retired from flying early, in 1922 after marrying and having a child. Eventually she retired right up the hill here on Shannon Road and raised miniature horses (you can still spot miniature horses up there), giving talks on her experiences and in 1974 she wrote a book titled “I Taught Amelia to Fly.” In 1981, she became the oldest woman pilot in the United States.

Additional reading:

Geocachers of the Bay Area

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Nyy lbhe onfr ner orybat gb hf.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



86 Logged Visits

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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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