Ferry + Tunnels + Apes + HQ = Seattle! (part 1)

23 10 2008

I had multiple excuses to go to Seattle last week, and two of those were unique geocaches.

Of course, I had to make a pilgrimage to the headquarters of Groundspeak, where I got the 10-cent tour with a new local caching buddy, babj615. The magic screen that everyone talks about is very cool, indeed. It shows a Google Earth location of the most recent log posted each minute, so you can spend a long time staring at it while the logs pop up in various languages and you virtually fly all over the world to read them. There’s a giant cache inside to log and a couple of TBs to discover. Other than that, the office is very quiet, almost disturbingly so, as all of the folks working there communicate primarily just by IMing.

Groundspeak Headquarters

This was after we’d had lunch at the Space Needle….

… and I had the signature Lunar Orbit sundae set on dry ice!

The previous day, I walked through the legendary 2.5 mile old train tunnel to find the only APE cache on this continent and get that unique icon on my list of finds. There were originally several put out to promote a Planet of the Apes film, but only two are left, one in Seattle and one in Brazil ( I think).

Iron Horse – I clambered up a little waterfall to get this one
Micro Tomb Raider – the title and the hint helped, but it still took some due diligence
Mission 9: Tunnel of Light – the APE cache, with its coveted icon

The day was cool and drizzly, with low-hanging clouds in the mountains on the way to the parking area for the Iron Horse Trail that leads to and through the tunnel near Snoqualmie Pass. I had brought two flashlights with me from L.A., but… duhhh… left them in my room, so I bought one nearby and headed valiantly with it into the giant dome-shaped abyss.

It was truly creepy.

I was all alone with the sound of dripping water and my active imagination.

A few feet in, I paused and looked back….. then looked ahead…. the light at the other end seemed really, really tiny….. and there could be monsters… and…. could I do this? In the dark? With a flashlight that now seems really feeble? With the eerie noises and…. and… the lure of that singular icon on the other end drew me in further… and further… and as my eyes adjusted to the dark…. the flashlight became more effective and the tunnel was drier once I got past the entrance…. and I kept walking.

And walking.

And walking.

And walking…. now my fear had turned to boredom… and the light at the end was still really small…

And walking.

And walking.

And checking out the alcoves.

And walking.

And walking.

And finally singing to keep myself entertained… hey! My voice sounded really amazing in there!

2.5 miles, then outside!

I made fairly quick work of the other two caches on the way then came upon the ginormous APE cache. Mission accomplished!

Now…. I just had to walk ALL the way BACK through the tunnel…..

The colors on the mountains were pretty:

Creepy Tunnel

Walk with me… into the Creepy Tunnel!

My day was capped off by a visit to Snoqualmie Falls and the cache there.
Cache at Snoqualmie Falls

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9 responses

23 10 2008
Outdoor Activities

[…] Elin Carlson added an interesting post on Ferry + Tunnels + Apes + HQ = Seattle! (part 1)Here’s a small teaserAnd walking. And walking. And walking…. now my fear had turned to boredom… and the light at the end was still really small… And walking. And walking. And checking out the alcoves. And walking. And walking. … […]

23 10 2008
golfgunny

Wow! Amazing pictures! I have been reading about the APE cache, and the Groundspeak headquarters, and I’ve decided that I’m going to hit both of them…someday. Ha! That’s a pretty long drive from here, so it will have to wait a while.

23 10 2008
Walking » Walking with Monsters: Water Dwellers (2/3)

[…] Ferry + Tunnels + Apes + HQ = Seattle! (part 1)And walking. And walking. And walking…. now my fear had turned to boredom… and the light at the end was still really small… And walking. And walking. And checking out the alcoves. And walking. And walking. … […]

24 10 2008
Ian

Hey Cousin! So glad you got to do some more caching in my neck of the woods. I love that picture of you with the smoking ice cream. I like to imagine you sitting there in one of your opera costumes, cackling. 🙂

If you ever want to nab some caches on the dry side of Washington, let me know; you’re always welcome! ~Ian

24 10 2008
benh57

As a huge Twin Peaks fan, i’d love to find that cache at the falls. 🙂 The lodge is right there!

25 10 2008
Elin Carlson

Oh, I’m a dork… I loved that show, too… and didn’t know that was the LODGE.
ah… well….

25 10 2008
tonka_boy

Congrats on the Ape cache. Cool video! There’s three tunnels like that on a bike trail over in Wisconsin. We’ve walked through the short one. Really cool in the hot summer. You can see it here. http://www.elroy-sparta-trail.com/tunnel-1.htm

25 10 2008
Elin Carlson

Great Wisconsin tunnels, Tonk!

5 11 2008
MyGeocacheNation

great adventure! i specially love the picture of the waterfalls. 🙂 I might geocache there probably after the holidays

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