B and I are really gunning to get as many State Park caches as we can. Our total right now is 20 but we need to return to two sites [thank goodness they are near each other] for the official stamps. We also are trying to get out and hike as much as possible in the nice weather.
Friday night we went online to book a site. Even though there was one available, it was after 8 so we could not reserve it for Saturday night. We decided to head to Larrabee State Park Saturday afternoon anyway and take our chances. As we pulled in to the park, luckily they just had a cancellation [hmmm deja vu from July 3rd!] so we quickly went and parked at site 37.
Larrabee State Park is Washington State’s first state park. Twenty acres was donated in October 1915 by the Larrabee family for that purpose and was named after Charles Xavier Larrabee.
The park is split by Chuckanut Drive. A scenic twisting road that winds along the coast from north of Everett to Bellingham.
Above, the backdrop to our campsite. Lots of exposed tree limbs which reminded us of Angkor Watt in Cambodia. We quickly set up camp and let our friend Dug know where we were and if he wanted to join us. While we waited I pulled out a craft project, something B had bought for me a while back.
Crafting + Beer = Morty the felted owl. The kit comes with enough wool to make two. His buddy will be crafted this week. Finally checking that off my goals list!
We walked up to the entrance of the park and did a quick Geocache and B grabbed a map of trails for the next day.
Apparently there is a raccoon problem at this state park. We were actually warned about it from a bartender at our regular brew pub. When we got to the camp ground we saw this embedded in the table.
Dug arrived in time for dinner and then we played Exploding Kittens which arrived at our house on Friday.
There is a burn ban in effect for the area so we set up a camp lantern and several citronella candles. One was a little out of control so we set it on the fire pit grill. Later the Ranger thought it was a fire, he was cool but asked us to put it out.
I headed off to bed and left the boys to more Exploding Kittens and beer. The next morning Dug made omlets and bacon and B made sausage and we also had left over rice and beans from dinner. We tore down camp and headed off for some Geocaching/hiking fun. We needed to get our Larrabee State Park Geocache and wanted to earn a souvenir for getting an earth cache.
Off of Chuckanut drive we took a windy dirt road to get to the trail head for both of the caches we wanted to get that day. All along the road were caches so we stopped several times, passing and then being passed by a couple on mountain bikes. It was pretty comical.
I was not feeling really great so decided to take a nap in the van while B and Dug went on a short hike to find some other caches. They returned an hour later. I had been up for a bit, ate some food and drank some water and was feeling better. There was a cache really close by in a fence so we nabbed it and moved on to the real reason we were up there.
Both the earth cache and state park cache we wanted to find were on the same trail. We decided to head to the earth cache first. We started at the Cyrus Gates Overlook for the Rock Trail.
The hike down to the wall was a decent of about 300 feet. Part of the trail is really steep but there are steps provided.
It’s really hard to get the true scale of the stairs from the photo above. Basically where you see sky is where they stop. Below, Beej on the trail. He was having a great time.
It took us about 45 minutes to arrive at our destination. I had to stop a couple times for water and a sit down as I was still not feeling well.
We were looking for a Tofani wall. “The base of the Rock Trail Tafoni Wall is pitted with various-sized holes weathered into the rock. They are not a remnant of older geologic conditions, but are continuing to form even now. These holes are called tafoni, a term derived either from the Corsican noun for ‘window’ or a verb, ‘to perforate’. Tafoni, natural pockets in rock, range in size from little pits to huge cavities and form a variety of shapes and patterns. The earliest known publication of the term tafoni was in 1882.”
Above Beej in the Tafoni and below Dug in a larger one – upside down.
Part of what you do for an earth cache is learn about the geology of an area. We had to answer five questions and send them to the cache owner to get credit for the cache. Right now its the Geocaching Block Party and for the next few weeks if you get an earth cache or partake in a CITO [cache in trash out event] you get a virtual souvenir badge.
Dug and B went in search of another cache and B left a travel bug in one. We headed back up the trail to find the state park cache. It took us a little longer to get back to the top as I had to stop several times on the stairs. At least the weather was not so warm as the previous day and we were mostly shaded.
Above a gully of ferns along the trail. You can’t tell from the photo but this hill side was pretty steep.
At the top of the stairs we branched off to another trail and make quick work of the state park cache. Then it was off to the vans for home.
Above, the very end of our hike. You can see our van in the distance. We were all tired and warm and dusty. It was a great day!