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What, you don’t geocache? For those who do, the city is one big treasure hunt. GPS-enabled smart phone apps like Geocache canvas the land to seek out vessels stashed by fellow travelers. It’s a way to explore L.A. and learn a little history at the same time. Buckle up!
Part I: Crosstown Traffic
The app lists a cache within a mile of me, on the wide meridian at Fair Oaks and Huntington in South Pasadena. The clue: “terragreen.” A few minutes of searching and I spot a small green container under an oak. Inside is a paper log to sign and this trinket, mine for the taking if I put in one myself…
Part II: Tokyo Pop
Munching a mochi from Fugetsu-Do in Little Tokyo, I fire up the app. There’s a cache less than 600 feet away. Ten minutes later I’m reaching behind a pay phone to discover a black Altoids tin with this bottle opener. The cop walking by pretends not to notice…
Part III: Bridge Building
Driving to work, I hunt a cache at the Buena Vista Viaduct in Lincoln Heights. The bridge is fetching, but the app clue —“seven-feet”—seems meaningless. Then I look up and see a teeny metal tube that’s been tucked behind the steel fence. Eureka. No trinkets this time, only a scroll…
Part IV: Feeling Prickly
This time around I’m in Bishop Canyon in Elysian Park, looking at Dodger Stadium and downtown. With my phone as divining rod, I follow a broad trail, then have to cut along a narrow one dotted with cactus. Regrets vanish when I find it: a Goofy figurine stowed in a Wyler’s Lemonade canister under a dried cactus paddle.