3 07 2010

Today was the main event, the piƩce de resistance, as it were, of the trip and of the geocaching year:
Geowoodstock VIII

I got to chat with so many cachers, and am really flattered that so many read and enjoy this blog! That makes it even more worth writing – thank you!

There were a lot of activities, from travel bug trading to a GPS accuracy contest to a live band to freshly grilled burgers and hot dogs to a vast number of booths featuring various product and services for geocachers:

After a full day of caching before and after the event with f0t0m0m. the Ventura Kids, & babj615, I headed back south, continuing my extended road trip. It usually takes a couple of days to relax in to vacation mode, but I seem to be in that. My last cache was at a southbound rest stop, hidden in a striking giant fallen tree stump:

Road Rage #1

Tomorrow: back through Oregon….

San Juan Farm Supplement

30 10 2008

OK, per request, here are three more photos of the farm and my visit there!


Those in the background would be future dinners… mmmm… lammmb…

Ferry + Tunnels + Apes + HQ = Seattle! (part 2)

30 10 2008

Another reason I went to Seattle was to reconnect with my eldest cousin. We couldn’t remember the last time we’d seen each other, but it had probably been 30 or 40 years! He looks like both his mom and his dad, and it somehow being with him felt like being with them, too. He and his wife live on a farm out on San Juan Island, where they raise kiwis, apples, asian pears, filberts, lambs and gourmet grass to feed them. I got a long tour of their whole operation and of the island, which has a curious history involving a dispute between the American army and the English army over a pig. The resolution of that dispute led to the border we have with Canada today.

I found one cache on the island with my cousin. It’s right near where I disembarked the ferry:
Ferry Godmother – Annie’s Corsets

I also picked up two near the ferry dock at the other end:
Ship Harbor Earthcache

Ferry Godmother – Saturday Cove

The ferry rides were great fun and superbly scenic.

I just couldn’t resist getting this shot:

The music of the waves on the pebbles is something I don’t hear in Southern California, which only has sandy beaches:

For all of my newer readers, a reminder to check out my monthly newsletter on my career as a professional singer: Elin Carlson.

Until next week…. cache on!

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