MAC event, Castle AFB museum

Since Karen felt good (only 3 days since her chemo treatment), Dan, Janet, and I went to MAC Presents “Picnic with the Blackbird” put on by the Merced area cachers at the Castle AFB museum. The first thing we did was go through the airplane display (an outdoor museum). I enjoyed all the planes (although I hate to see the dirt and rust accumulating on them), especially the A26 and the B36 (first one I think I’ve ever seen up close).

After that, we ate at the picnic (free)—an excellent tri-tip sandwich, salads, and cookies. Yakked a little bit with other cachers. Super cachers of note included DavidT21 (5950) and bthomas (5616). I finally met (very briefly) Team Tek. After lunch, there was an organized cache poker run. We passed on this because we weren’t sure of the time constraints and just went after some of the nearby caches.

We looked for Yellow tail gunner for a while, but it wasn’t in any of the obvious places we looked, and we weren’t going to waste all our time on hard to find caches. Turns out a large group found its remains later—it had apparently been chewed up by a lawn mower. That group found enough of the old log to sign and they claimed it as a find.

We drove over to a nearby park and hunted Just for Fun. There were a couple of trees where we zeroed out. Janet hunted one and I did the other. She found it.

Veteran’s Park was in the same park. Dan read us the hint as we walked up to it, and it had a key word which led me to an immediate find. It was a log only cache. There was a fake switch plate velcroed to an outside wall next to an old swamp cooler.

Hide and seek is back on the old AFB. It was clearly going to be in some shrubbery next to an empty building, but we couldn’t find it where our GPSrs were pointing. We finally gave up, but then a car full of cachers drove by, asked us if we’d found it, and gave us a good hint. We were looking in the wrong spot—maybe the building threw off the GPSr.

Castle Cache was around some other old, apparently abandoned buildings and in some shrubbery. It didn’t take long and I spotted it.

Then we figured out how to drive to Rock Out. We got there on dirt roads winding around the ball field. This was another one I found quickly. Stuck my head under the stairs and looked carefully.

Testing – Testing was close by. We took dirt roads again to get there, but there was a paved way to there. The site was an old jet engine test stand, although the cache was actually nearby. It was an easy find.

Now we headed north, but still on the old base, to Fire! This was an old fire fighter practice structure. We knew we were looking for a magnetic cache, but it took Janet’s persistence to get it.

I liked the camo on Fuel Cell, even though I walked right up to it. It might have been more difficult if the camo was not broken. The cache is in a hollow in the bottom of a section of a pole. The pole kind of fits in. Unfortunately, the pole has split into three pieces so it comes apart easily. Otherwise, it would have to be completely turned over to find the cache.

Our final find (Super Bowl ?)was at another nearby park. We walked to a far back corner and then realized that the cache was on the other side of the fence along a canal trail. Dan hopped the fence, and then I spotted the cache and directed him to it.

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