Class participants sign in.
A Girl Scout troop shows up for the class.
Sam begins his talk on geocaching.
Sam gives a paper Powerpoint presentation on geocaching, beginning by
explaining what geocaching is.
"Does anyone know what this is?" Sam shows a film can used as a cache
container. This size is called a "micro cache."
Sam shows the different types of geocache containers. He is holding an
army surplus can used as a large cache container.
Sam demonstrates how to use the GPS receiver that were provided for the
The class looks for the first geocache near the deer pen.
After finding the cache, they look
at the white fallow deer. Geocaches usually have a purpose, often
marking trailheads, trail junctions, viewpoints, or points of interest.
The purpose of the cache here is to introduce people to the deer pen.
The deer here are descendants of
the two pairs of deer that newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst
gave to the Henry Miller Estate in 1934. The deer are native to the
Mediterranean Europe and Western Asia. Since they are non-natives and
can be invasive, they are not allowed to breed or roam freely outside
their pen. A number of deer were killed a few years ago by mountain
lions, who climbed over the fence to prey on the deer. The barbed wire
and electrified wire on top of the fence now protect the deer from
The class split into smaller groups, accompanied by experienced
geocachers. This group is taking the route clockwise.
Other groups prepare to take the
hike counter-clockwise. The hiking route is 2.3 miles, mostly on the
crest of the ridge, with a few gradual climbs and descents. Along the
way are seven geocaches of widely varying sizes. All are close to the
This group taking the counter-clockwise route walks down the Lower
Miller Trail, looking at their GPS receivers to lead them to the first
The group finds the cache and signs the log near the Henry Miller
estate site. The purpose of this cache is to bring people to the
The ruins of cattle baron Henry
Miller's house. Henry Miller (not to be confused with the Big Sur
author) was a Gold Rush-era immigrant who eventually owned 1.8 million
acres and 1 million head of cattle and became one of the most powerful
men in California. He built an estate here on the ridge of the Santa
Cruz Mountains. There were five structures at this site built between
1890 and 1902.
Checking out the stone ruins of the Miller House. This was once part of
a mansion with seven bedrooms and 3,600 square foot ballroom.
The group with the Girl Scouts arrives at the cache by the Miller site.
The cache container is a small plastic box, containing a logbook and a
number of trading items.
This is a closeup of the cache, which is a Lock-N-Lock food container.
This type of container is waterproof and durable. It contains a wide
variety of trading items.
The hiking route follows the Tan
Oak Trail, which runs through shady redwood and tan oak forest. The
shady forests kept the hike cool, but the trees made GPS reception less
accurate, which would make it more difficult to find the caches.
However, the kids were able to zero in on the caches quickly,
particularly when there were many searching at the same time.
One of the groups finds a cache at a corner of the trail by a cluster
of redwood trees.
The next group, with the Girl Scouts, looks for the cache by the
The trail passes by some large boulders. The next cache is nearby.
The Girl Scouts have found the cache.
The forest floor here is covered with redwood sorrel.
This redwood stump looks like it has a face. Cuts in the trunk were
made by loggers for steps and platforms so they could cut the trunk
higher up, where it was slimmer.
The hiking route turns to follow the Meadow Trail, which runs through
and near open meadows.
This group looks for a cache near another large redwood stump. After
finding this cache, the group continued on the Meadow Trail, which
crosses the park road and closely follows it for about 0.1 miles.
At the next site farther down the
trail, the kids have found a micro-cache, made from an M&M's candy
tube. It contains only a logsheet, though very small trading items can
be placed in it.
The last cache in the hike is near the park's amphitheater.
The kids are searching for the cache near the amphitheater. After this,
the hike followed the park road back to the deer pen parking lot.
Wrapping up at the end of the class.
Geocacher and hike leader Duckylee has her ducks in a row. The ducks
and balls were used as geocaching trading items.
Page created by Ron Horii, 7/14/09