Camping: Peninsula

B and I had planned a camping trip over the weekend to nab six more state park caches as we are getting so close to 50 and a little coin + its the halfway mark. Naturally our friends Jane and Dug came along.

We headed out Friday night by taking the Edmonds/Kingston ferry and driving about an hour to Sequim Bay State Park. The indian word “Sequim” was believed by many to mean “quiet waters.” A tribal linguist and an expert in the study of dying languages determined the translation should be “place for going to shoot”. Apparently the area was great for elk and waterfowl hunting. I personally like quiet waters better.

We arrived later in the evening than planned, set up our site and headed down to where Dug had camped out. He was lucky enough to get on the ferry that left 45 minutes before us. We made paninis with our camping press and chatted around the campfire. Soon it was bed time, we had a lot ahead of us for the next couple days.

The next morning we awoke to this view below [Dug’s bus and Sequim bay]. Soon breakfast preparations were under way.

Dug Campsite

Of course we can’t do anything without our coffee first.

Gus and Coffee

The first state park cache was in this park and we set off for a short little hike to the waters edge. We traveled over this covered bridge.

Covered Bridge

The detail overhead was pretty cool.

Covered Bridge Detail

The cache was a quick one to find and soon we were off for our second state park visit and cache. Miller Peninsula State Park is a day use only park with hiking trails.

Hike in the Woods

We knew this could take us a while and Jane opted to wait at her bus in the parking lot. We started out at a trail head just off the highway and followed a road for about a half mile. At a Y junction we veered off on to a pretty wide path through the woods.

Blasting

The area apparently is also used for commercial blasting. We made note of the warning signals and continued on our way. There were a couple more forks in the road and except for once always chose the one to the right. It made remembering how to get back really easy. We traveled through approximately five different changes in the woods between the trees, shrubs and underbrush. We saw a few types of mushrooms and some cedar trees with a face like appearance.

Mushrooms

Cedar

It took us about an hour to hike the roughly two miles to the water. It rained on us but not too bad and we were under tree canopy pretty much the entire way. The cache was labeled as a “typical NW hide” meaning it was probably in a log. The area for GZ had heavy tree cover and the GPS was bouncing around. There were quite a few logs to look through and eventually I scored the find. It took us about an hour and fifteen minutes to make the return trip as there was a slight grade. We ascended about 400 feet in the two mile hike.

B and Dug wanted to find another cache while we were out there but I was tired, hungry and needed the use of facilities. I headed back to the bus and was ready to go by the time they got back. We picked up Jane and headed to Fort Flagler State Park.

Triangle of Fire

The triangle of fire that is Forts Flagler, Worden and Casey, once guarded the nautical entrance to Puget Sound and were established in the late 1890s. They were created to prevent a hostile fleet from reaching such targets as the Bremerton Naval Yard and the cities of Seattle, Tacoma, and Everett. The above map of the Triangle of Fire. Fort Flagler is at the bottom of the triangle. Fort Casey is to the right and Fort Worden [in Port Townsend] is to the left.

Fort Flagler is on the tip of Marrowstone island. The general store has this cute sign on it’s building that says “A tiny island nation off of the coast of America. Where the living is easy, the water is sweet, and ALL the beaches are clothing optional”. Definitely was too cold for clothing optional bathing!

Fort Flagler’s cache we figured would be pretty quick so we headed in the direction of the old buildings on site. As we got out of the buses to nab the cache we saw seven deer in a field. They must feed here a lot as they were aware of us but not concerned with us being there.

Deer

After a few photos we quickly located the cache and then headed off to find our campsites for the night. We got our campsite set up just in time for the major rain. Yay for easy ups! B and I had prepared a crockpot meal on Friday for Saturday’s dinner. Brats from DD Meats , kraut and potatoes simmered in beer. Jane brought Brussels sprouts and Dug contributed a stuffed delicata squash. Sooo good!

Dinner

The photo above does not do it justice! After dinner we broke out the cards and played some Kings corners. Jane and I were pretty tired and went to bed early, 8:00 PM! Dug and B stayed up and played Yatzee and then B went on a hike by himself and found a Geocache.

The next morning while the coffee was being made we used a fun app I have on my phone called Pocketbooth. Basically you have two second between photos to take a series of shots that appear in a strip like the old photo booths. It took us a few tried but we finally got each of us in a photo.

Coffee

Beej was relaxing I mean watching what mom was doing by the campfire. After breakfast B and Dug did some wandering and caching while I attempted to knit some socks and Jane reorganized her bus.

Beej

There was a cache that B and I had done with Dug back in February 2014 before we were cachers and were camping at Fort Flagler. It was up behind this bunker in the woods. So of course we HAD to officially mark the book.

Bunker

B is participating in Movember this year. Here is one week of no shaving. SUCH a cutie! Gals he’s taken!

Movember Week One

We quickly moved on to Anderson Lake State Park to get out fourth state park cache of the weekend. This park is closed in the winter but they invite you to park at the entrance and hike the trails. We headed off to find our cache through the woods. It wasn’t too cold and no rain in site.

Trail

The cache was another typical NW hide and pretty easy to spot in this Dr. Suess looking stump. The moss was so green!

Mossy Stump

We carefully reached in so as not to mess up the necklace of moss around the edge. Another stamp for our passport and we were on our way. We decided to take a different trail back to the buses and pick up another cache along the way that was placed in 2001. Old cache it was! We had to do a fair bit of bushwhacking to get to the cache and our GPS was bouncing around a lot. Finally found the Geosticks that hid the cache in between two trees. Apparently this cache is part of the Washington History Challenge so of course we will have to attempt to complete this one too!

One thing I have noticed this autumn is the trees changing colors and they almost have an ombre look to them. Starting with red a the tops and moving in to orange and yellow towards the bottom. Simply beautiful!

We were all getting a little hungry so we bypassed Fort Townsend for later and drove on in to historic Port Townsend, which was first settled in 1851 for some grub. Sirens looked like a good spot for some beer and an early dinner. We decided to sit outside and ordered up some beers.

Beer and Water

We had a few dinner companions who kept their distance.

Sparrow

Sea Gull

This particular pub was in an old building on the waterfront. I love old buildings, architecture and history. This particular one had steel shutters on the doors and windows in a nice rested patina and overhead stained glass lighting to die for!

Steel Shutters

Stained Glass Light

After our meal was eaten it was getting just a bit nippy outside. B and Dug had ordered second beers so we thought we would take them in. I decided on a second one until I saw the lovely looking drink the bartender was making for another patron. I quickly ordered up some Mexican Hot Chocolate – the adult version! perfect end to a yummy meal!

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Port Townsend is also the site for the annual Brass Screw Confederacy Steampunk event, if you are in to that kind of thing.

Port Townsend

Above, a building in historic downtown Port Townsend.

After our meal was over we headed to Fort Worden State Park. It was getting quite a bit darker but we took the five minute to drive over and see if we had time to attempt the cache. I have visited this park a few times before and really enjoy it here. There is camping and you can rent out homes on the site. Part of the movie An Officer and a Gentleman were filmed here as well as in the town of Port Townsend.

It was too dark and the road to the cache was barred with a gate. We did think about wandering up with our headlamps but the gates to the park were closing. Sadly this state park cache and the one at Fort Townsend will have to be done another day. B and I are already planning an overnight trip to get those as well as some others in town that looked interesting.

One thing about trying to get as many state park caches in as we can is sometimes there is way more to see at the park or in the area along with other caches and we miss out. There are several places we plan on returning to do just that.

The last cache I wanted to do was a night cache. We have never done one of these before and I was super excited. This particular cache was written up by Geocaching HQ so I was even more intrigued.

We donned our head lamps in the parking lot in Port Gamble and proceeded up a hill where this guy pictured below marks the trail head. He was a little startling peeking out from the cedar trees!

Trail Head Marker

The first marker on the trail is a crescent moon made of some sort of glow in the dark tack. Unfortunately this photo below does not do it justice. It was way more obvious in person.

Crescent Moon

We proceeded in to the trees on a trail and watched for “stars” to mark our way through the forest. We had to be careful of roots and squishy spots. We followed the trail for a bit and came out on to a dirt road. B went right a few hundred feet looking for more markers. We all stayed at the end of the trail. Then he went right and spotted another start to mark our way.

Soon we came across a second crescent moon and turned back in to the woods on another trail. This one was not as well defined and we had to rely heavily on our star markers to get us to where we needed to go. We finally came across two star markers together which was to signify we were near the end. I start looking and found our last crescent moon. There was a rope tied to a tree with the instructions “pull” above it and the last of the crescent moons below it.

X Marks The Spot

I looked up and saw rope above me and started pulling. An ammo can with stars and a moon on it rose in to the air. We were able to log the cache and both B and I came away with a trackable each. Mine was attached to a Lara Croft action figure.

Found It

The route back was easy to find as we just had to back track and follow the stars. The ferry was only a ten minute drive away. While we were waiting we grabbed one more cache we had tried to get almost a year ago but it was teeming with muggles. It was moved but we were able to find it quite quickly.

Below a shot of a cool sign at the ferry landing in Kingston.

Ferry Landing

Here is the list I made for our weekend of caches. For those of you non cachers the smileys were the ones we found and the two green dots were the ones we are going to have to come back for another time.

Weekend Caches

We are so close to our fifty caches, B has 47 and I have 46. We are hoping to get our 50 done and our coin by the end of November.

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