Category Archives: geocaching

Geocaching: Awesome Cache Hides – May The Force Be With You

B and I went camping this past weekend in the Bremerton area. There is a cacher over there that does some amazingly over the top cool caches. I believe I have featured him before and will have to link to those later.

Because we were going to be in that area we specifically wanted to knock off some caches in his reperatoir. 

B had found this particular cache already when he was working but knew I would enjoy it. 

May The Force Be With You: difficulty 2, terrain 1, size large,  hidden 10/15/10, we found 5/21/17, favorites 262.

Official description of the cache: Many thanks to The local business for allowing this cache to stay at their property!

The property owners have happily approved the cache placement on the outside of the building but ask that cachers only hunt for the cache during daylight hours. This cache may now be done any day of the week. So feel free to find this guy any day you choose! Please adhere to these requests. Thank you.

Now on the cache!
This an easy cache to find. It is out in the open so no need to crawl, climb, swim, hike, walk on or move plants, run, just plain fun. Just stay on the grass.
There is only one small problem tho in that after you find the cache then you will need a bit more info to get it open and the only person who knows the secret is ole Darth himself so you will need to ask his help in getting the container open. He lives close by so you should have no problem with finding him. Just remember that he is only on duty during the above posted times.
No special tools needed for this cache, just your fingers (or a long nose) to open the container.
MAKE SURE THAT CONTAINER IS CLOSED PROPERLY TO KEEP IT WATER TIGHT!!!!!!!!
Kids will enjoy this one but please keep a watch on them. May be sharp objects around the area and near the container opening.
Do not post any pictures of the cache container or surrounding areas. Have fun!
So after reading the lengthy description I walked around the corner of the building to be greeted by Darry himself.


It was quickly apparent I would need to press his nose to discover the code to open the cache.


By holding the button down it activated whatever mechanism was in place to move a small ball in to this tube. Jackpot! Just like the lottery I had the winning numbers.


I proceeded over to a tree where there was a large padlocked container. 


I entered the combo (no that is not the correct combo) and opened the cache. It was a bit damp and large enough for me to leave a trackable. 

This is one of his easier, less evil hides. If you have ever been to the annual Block Party event (sorry last one was summer of 2015) then you likely have experienced a cache by this mastermind.


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Geocaching: Awesome Geocache Hides – Peek A Boo

This little cache actually should be fairly easy but in the dark the difficulty level goes up. Certain times of the year (blackberry season) this one gets a little prickly.

Peek A Boo: difficulty 1.5, terrain 2.5, size medium, hidden 5/7/17, we found 5/16/17, favorites 1 (me).

Official Description of the Cache: My granddaughter and I have so much fun geocaching together that we wanted to add another chache close to her home. We recently had a do not find, so she told me, “Don’t hide it too hard so that kids can get some swag.” We hope you enjoy this cache.

Last night B and I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2. After the movie let out we opened up the ole Geocaching app and headed to the back of the theater. A few years ago there was a pretty easy cache hidden behind this same theater. It’s been replaced with this one. 

Heading down an embankment with our trusty headlamps we picked our way along the soggy ground. On our left a chain link fence and not too far away the freeway. On our right, a little body of water/drainage area. We got to 20 feet from ground zero and looked around. We were pretty sure it was on the other side of the water. B crossed over and looked around but came up with nada.

We decided to go back the way we came and try the other side of which on our right was a tall cement wall with the back of the theater above us and the water was now on our left.


Notice all of the greenery? Not too long from now this will be a thicket of blackberries. 

B had the right idea earlier when he had crossed over. Just the wrong space.


He had searched another hole in the cement similar to this one. 


This time he came up with the find. In the dark this tape wrapped water bottle was seriously hard to see!

We quickly signed the log and headed back to the car to acpide getting too wet as it had started to rain – again.


Geocaching: Awesome Geocache Hides – Rock Wall

This one was also found on the island while visiting B’s mother for Mother’s Day.

Rock Wall: difficulty 4, terrain 1.5, size medium, hidden 6/4/16, we found 5/13/17, favorites 16.

Official description of the cache: Accessible from 270th St N.W. Do not attempt from highway. Did you ever have a pet rock? Do you still have it or did it end up here? Good luck. Parking right near the cache under the bridge. Please don’t damage the fencing material. Please don’t put anything in your log that will help the next cacher. 😱

How many of you just love a rock wall cache? Generally speaking B and I are not huge fans. But because this one had some favorites we decided to look for it.

We searched for quite a while and a local slowed his car as we were staring at this huge rock wall.

We were pretty certain that what we were looking for was not actually in the stacked rock wall but on the ground near it.


Took a while but B finally came up with the find. Can you see it just sitting there in plain site?


Do you see it now?


The pill bottle rests in this pipe in the ground.


The pill bottle is glued really well to the bottom of this rock. We almost gave up on this one as our GOS was bouncing around. There were a lot of rocks to turn over!

Geocaching: Awesome Cache Hides- Geo Sticks

This cache B and I found yesterday after visiting his mother for Mother’s Day. His mother lives on an island and we had never explored the southernmost end. We had time and decided to do that. All of the caches were pretty easy (we are saving the 4.5/4.5 for another time. 

Never seen a snail in the wild before.


While out and about today we were able to peer down on to an Eagles nest.

The cache we are saving for later was down the hill from this.

Geo Sticks: difficulty 2.5, terrain 1.5 size medium, hidden 1/14/15, we found 5/13/17, favorites 23.

Official description of the cache: The ammo box will not be hard to find BUT you must find the official log and sign it for credit. Please access through the Grange and do not park on the road. Feeling lucky?

So we parked at a grange and set off through a partially mowed field. The coords were very accurate and we found the hide easily.

The largest Geo Sticks we have ever seen! A Geo stick is usually a pile of branches made to hide a cache. We easily found the ammo can tucked underneath.

Once we opened up the ammo can we knew we had a clever prankster on our hands. We have seen caches like this before. I immediately thought of Constellation.

The ammo can was filled with pill bottles. Since we had seen caches like this before we ignored them. A newer cacher may start opening bottles to find the log. We did open a few, there were little items or pieces of paper that said not the log. We knew the pill bottles were a red herring and thought maybe the official log was one of the nearby stumps and all of the other stuff was obvious bait.

No dice. 

Then we decided to pull all the pill bottles out of the ammo can. 

We found a false bottom which was the log. 


This was a fun one of which I would love to emulate. We had found a similar one when we were newer to Geocaching. We were down in Oregon getting the Original plaque and found a large plastic container wrapped in electrical tape full of pill bottles. 

We opened each pill bottle.

Then we found a “pocket” made of electrical tape at the bottom with the log in it.

B and I are working on a couple caches. They are both mystery caches (ones you have to solve a puzzle to get the cache coordinates). I will start featuring our favorite mysteries here soon!



Vacation Arizona

B and I took a trip to Arizona for ten days last September to a visit a friend. It was a much needed time for us to relax and hang with friends. [Don’t know why some of the photos are big and some are small but enjoy]!

We arrived in Phoenix Friday afternoon. It was a quick shuttle ride from the airport to the mammoth car rental garage. We hopped in our economy car and quickly found sustenance in the form of food and beer at Mother Brunch Brewing not far away. We knew it was a perfect place to choose when we saw the VW van parked out front. The interior of the pub was industrial and quirky.

mother-brunch

I had the lunch special of a half sandwich, small salad and pint for $10. B tried the slider trio and a flight of six of their beers. One of their feature menu items is called The Mother of All Burgers. A beef patty topped with a fried pork belly, white cheddar, lettuce, tomato, red onion, smoked tomato-onion jam and aoli. You can add another patty if you like.

While lunching we searched for Geocaches in the area. B found one nearby that had been published three days before and had not been found. Getting an FTF [first to find] for our Arizona souvenir = awesome! We were even sent trackables as our FTF prize. We did a couple more Geocaches and then stopped at Wren House Brewing [Geocaching is thirsty work]. They also had an industrial vibe inside and this little alcove above a fireplace with a Madonna sitting in it [beer for size].

madonna

 

On our way out of town we stopped at Flowers Craft Beer & Wine to pick up some beers to take with us and share with out hosts. Great little craft beer market and deli founded by a guy who was from near where we were headed and recommended some breweries for us to visit. Our next stop was north to Cornville where my friend Terri moved. It took us about two hours including a coffee/Geocaching stop in Anthem [a bedroom community of Phoenix]. One of the things we noticed was how aggressive Arizona drivers are. Wow, 75 mph was NOT fast enough for some people! We also noticed there are A LOT of Geocaches in the desert.

geocaches-in-the-desert

Upon arrival at our friends house we chatted on the patio with some snacks and beer and went over our game plan for the week. Dinner and bed were early as B and I had been up since 3 AM [note to self, I learned my lesson flying red eye from our last trip but we still had to get up at an ungodly hour to get our ride to the airport for our 8 AM flight – Grrr].

The next morning we headed to Jerome for a VW bus show held by the Arizona bus club. We met up with a couple friends who reside in AZ, one who had been living in South America and drove a bus she had purchased up to the show.

Jerome “America’s most vertical city and largest ghost town” started as a large copper mining camp and today it’s known for its quirky artistic vibe. Near this puppy art below we found our first Geocache of the day.

puppy-art

The show is just outside town near the Gold King Mine and Ghost Town. The elevation of town is 5,200 feet and it was plenty hot so I spent much of my time that day under the shade of a friends tent. Below a leather bus bra another friend made and a Coleman tent trailer that was pulled behind the bug in the photo.

leather-bus-bra

pull-along-camper

After a short nap and some nourishment our hosts took us in to Sedona. I was really excited to see Sedona for myself as I have heard it’s very earthy and well for lack of a better word – woowoo. I was a little disappointed as with all the visitors over the years it has turned in to a place to shop. The views of the red rocks were stunning and photos do no do it justice.

sedona-red-rocks

sedona-red-rocks-2

We ate dinner alfresco at The Jevelina Cantina in Sedona that evening. A Javelina is a small hoofed mammal kind of like a wild boar and local to the area. Our friends have seen them walking along the road in front of their house.

Sunday B wanted to go back up to Jerome as he had purchased tickets to win a bus. Sadly he did not but the person who won turned around and handed the keys to a friend and said “happy wedding”. How cool is that? After that we met our hosts at an ancient pueblan monument nearby, Tuzigoot built by the Sinagua people. Below you can see the separation of different rooms of the pueblo.

tuzigoot

In the small museum at the site there was this amazing poster which was unfortunately not for sale. They had similar ones but I wanted this one. I found it on line and emailed the artist. He had one made for me for a reasonable price. I collect posters of this style of places I have been.

Tuzigoot poster

An interesting thing about Tuzigoot is they found bones from a toucan. Likely it was traded from South America.

On our way back in to Cottonwood we stopped at an art studio. The woman whose studio it was makes wings out of things like agave leaves and scissors [purchased from TSA].

scissor-wings

B posing before huge agave leaf wings.

bill-agave-wings

We found a great place to grab some food and drink at Pizzeria Bocce. This is also where all four of us played Bocce for the first time. It was a blast!

bocce-concentration

B is concentrating hard.

boccee

Terri is trying to knock our balls out of the way.

Latter that evening we drove along the highway and saw another ruin, Wupatki. You can walk out to this one and all the way around it.

wupatki2

wupatki

Most evenings we spent time out on the patio enjoying the weather and the sunsets. In the early mornings I would sit out here by myself with a book and my morning coffee.

sunset-from-terris

B and Terri’s husband Tom did a lot of plotting for excursions during the week.

plotting

Monday Tom, B and I headed to Montezuma’s Castle and Montezuma’s well. Although Montezuma had nothing to do with these ruins. We found out that the women and children were responsible for the building of the walls and they are slightly tipped back toward the cliff. If you were able to go up to the dwelling you can even see finger prints on the walls.

montezumas-castle

Sycamore trees and Datura were plentiful. I love the bark on the Sycamore, it looks like camouflage.

sycamore

Datura, also called Angel’s Trumpet is poisonous and the Native Americans used it as a hallucinogen.

datura

Below is Montezumas well. You really don’t want to swum in it. Not only is the water very brackish but there are leaches and all sorts of creatures that live in the water.

montezumas-well

Later we went back to Sedona to this crazy little shop called Silver Sun West. The shop was made up of a bunch of little buildings all cobbled together in a maze. We also went in to Tlaquepaque which is a shopping area in Sedona with restaurants and lots of stores. It has the feeling of an old Mexican town with squares and fountains full of art and lush flowering plants. We even met up with a couple famous people. Can you spot B with Einstein and Mark Twain below?

patio-azul

arches

blown-glass

bill-and-einstein

bill-and-mark-twain

chili-peppers

flowering-bush

tile

The next day we took a drive north east. Our first stop was Walnut Canyon which was probably one of B’s favorite places on the trip. Unfortunately I didn’t take many photos as I had a serious case of acrophobia. The trail down in to the canyon was steep and narrow and there wasn’t much in the way of railings. B and Tom hiked down and Terri and I waited at the top. The visitors center location at the top has an amazing view down in to the canyon. The photo below does not do it justice but you can see some of the cliff dwellings across the way.

walnut-canyon

There was a trail that looped around the ridge of the canyon that Terri and I followed. We came across a little garden. The red plant in the photo below is amaranth.

amaranth

Another view of the canyon.

wc

It was really windy and the view was amazing! Next stop was Winslow, AZ where yes we did stop at The Corner. Route 66 runs through Winslow and that “one song” is played on a loop outside at the corner.

rt-66

We obviously took the opportunity to take a selfie.

the-corner

Lots to spy in the mural. Notice the eagle in the first window on the left.

corner

We lunched at La Posada which was built by renowned architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter who also designed buildings at the Grand Canyon.

camel

There were a lot of sculptures in the gardens.

la-posada

A view from the back. Lush grass and just opposite the train station.

patio

I love the sign on these doors.

enter-in-silence

The next day we went back to Sedona for some shopping with Tom and then on the way back home we did a little wine tasting. We stopped at three wineries and Page Springs Cellars was our favorite. Their menu was amazing and they had loads of gluten free options as well so we knew we were going to need to bring Terri back with us another night.

psc-glass

Our $10 tasting fee included this glass. The vibe in the place was really cool. Lots of leather couches with burgundy velvet curtains to partition sitting areas. When we went back a few days later we sat out on the patio.

The next day we took a drive up north to Flagstaff and stopped for lunch at Beaver Street Brewery. This place also had an amazing Gluten Free menu. Route 66 runs through this college town too.

In the town of Cottonwood near our hosts home B and I stopped at That Brewery which was recommended to us when we were in Phoenix. Between the two of us we had a flight to taste all of their beers.

that-brewery

I love the industrial vibe of the place!

tasters

B with our tasters.

One of our last days in Arizona B and I trekked north to the Grand Canyon. It was my first trip to this wonder of the world and it did not disappoint. Alas photos do NOT do it justice.

We started on the east end of the south rim at the Watchtower [also designed by Elizabeth Colter].

watchtower

Inside the watchtower.

inside-watchtower

We visited several lookouts along the way where my acrophobia did not get any better. I peeked over the side and then stepped back some distance to feel better. Some people were going past the barriers and it was making me very nervous.

purple-flowers

B looking to the north over the canyon.

bill-at-the-gc

Some shots taken from the different scenic overlooks along the way.

grand-canyon-1

grand-canyon-2

When we got to the main area we parked and walked several of the paths or took a shuttle to get around. We wandered by different hotels designed by Mary Colter [the same woman who designed La Posada in Winslow]. The sun was at a weird angle so my photos of those buildings did not come out. We ventured inside El Tovar which was really cool.

On our last day visiting our friends we headed to another pueblan ruin called Palatki heritage site. Our friends husband Tom volunteers here and we were treated to quite a tour.

palatki-1

Cave drawings at Palatki.

paatki-drawings-2

Looking out from our hike.

palatki-2

A man who originally owned this property in the 1930’s used some of the cliff dwelling rocks to built a shelter which he lived in for two years. He planted an orchard with all different types of trees and later built a house which stands today and is used as the office for the historic site. We even saw wild mistletoe on our hike to the shelter and cave drawings.

shelter-3

B is looking at the outside of the shelter.

shelter-2

From the inside. The wall B is looking at is on the right.

shelter-1

This is that same wall B is on the other side of. The top has this makeshift screen.

We are very grateful to our hosts for having us for ten days and can’t wait to go back as there is so much more to see and places we want to revisit. All too soon we were headed back to the west coast but we have the photos and our memories.

 

A Pirate Geocaching Weekend

Our long weekend started Thursday night after dropping Beej off with a friend [he could not participate in one of our adventures this weekend and it was going to be HOT] we met up with friends who were visiting from California for dinner at McMenamins Anderson School. We ate at the North Shore Lagoon which features Polynesian style decor, food and drinks and is located above the hotel pool.

Pool

This hotel used to be a high school and sat for many years until McMenamins purchased and transformed it. The Art-Deco styling throughout the property is wonderful and very colorful. The goal of the owners who own many properties in Washington and Oregon is to “keep the past in the present, to celebrate and connect us all with people and events”. They “research, interview and compile materials to identify and commemorate our properties and their surroundings”. Not certain how the Polynesian theme came about but I loved it!

Tiki

The next morning B and I took Friday off and headed over to Port Orchard for some Pirate Geocaching fun. We got up very early and made it to the Fauntleroy/Southworth ferry in record time for our 8:45 crossing. We arrived in Port Orchard and found parking just in time for the lab caches to go live. We met a friend of the event creator and hunted down some of the labs with him. Unfortunately there was some miscommunication and not all the businesses were ready for us. We found 8 of the 10 and met up with friends for Bloody Mary’s at a local bar.

Bloody Mary's

The two lab caches we were waiting to complete were at business that opened while we were in the bar. Once our afternoon libations were done, we were able to complete the last two and were very high up on the leader board [4th & 5th respectively]. We grabbed some lunch at a local Mexican place and proceeded to Manchester State Park to check in to our camp site.

Flamingo and Beer

Our flamingos went up immediately.

B Natural Environment

B in his natural environment with a notorious “PNW vampire flamingo” as dubbed by a friend. We chilled a bit at our campsite and then headed back towards town for the first meet n greet at a sports bar, Everybody’s. B and I split a burger that had bacon jam on it. A side of potato macaroni salad was an interesting addition. Both were very good!

Log

The log was this telescope. We met some people we knew of their caching names from logs around the state. We stayed there for a few hours and search the parking lot for trackables on the backs of people cars.

On our way to the back of the parking lot we saw an interesting site.

Turkey in Tree

Yes that is a turkey in a tree.

Mosquito Netting

It was in the upper 80’s around 8:30 when we got back to our camp site. We opened up the sunroof and deployed the mosquito netting. That shiny spot is B with his headlamp. This made sleeping MUCH more comfortable!

We had a lazy morning of sipping coffee, breakfast and reading and headed back to town early afternoon. The second meet n greet of the weekend was at Slaughter which is a pirate themed brewery. The beers were really well balanced and good! B and I sampled a few and then headed to the dock of our two hour pirate battle aboard the tall ship The Hawaiian Chieftan. Our foe was the notorious Lady Washington which played the Interceptor in the film Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.

B dressed as a Pirate for a day.

My Pirate

The crew preparing to fire.

Prepare to Fire

And the aftermath – smoke on the water.

Smoke on the Water

The Lady in our sites.

Lady Washington

The two hours flew by and before we knew it we were docking. We went back to Slaughter where a fourth anniversary party was in full swing. Lots of people dressed as pirates and cannon being shot.

We soon returned to our campsite and our friends joined us for some snacks and a campfire.

The next morning we packed up after breakfast and headed out. There was a car show in town that B wanted to check out where we discovered this restored VW Kubelwagon. We chatted with the owner a bit who bought it from someone in Holland a year ago. It was the gentleman’s daily driver and he even towed a boat behind it. The new owner spent time tracking down and purchasing many accessories he had on display. We are hoping he attends B’s club vintage meet next year.

Kubelwagon

A couple other cars I liked at the show, a Willy’s Jeep.

Willys Jeep

This Nomad.

Nomad

I left B to wander while I got an iced coffee and took some shade. Our plan before hopping the ferry back to the mainland was to do some Goblindust caches while we were in the area. Goblindust was the creator of the Dead Men Tell No Tales Geocaching event  we had just attended. My favorite smiley of the day was The Super Pages. The effort and detail that went in to this caches was amazing! If you are in the area go check it out!

We had planned to do a night cache Saturday night but we ran out of time. That’s OK, just means we have to go back over!

Our weekend ended with picking up the dog and getting Zeek’s pizza for dinner.

 

Camping & Geocaching SE WA

Last Thursday night a week ago after work we took off on a four day camping/Geocaching trip. Our goal, to obtain 9 state park and 2 historic caches (placed in the first year of Geocaching) in south east WA. 

We drove east from Seattle about an hour and a half to the Indian John Hill rest area, arriving around ten PM. We quickly set up the bus for sleeping. I was tired and hit the sack right away. B stayed up for a bit and had a beer with Dug. Jane was already asleep when we got there. Free camping, can’t beat it!

Dug’s bus on the road

Early the following morning we drove in to Ellensburg for coffee and breakfast at the Palace Cafe. They had eggs Benedict on the menu so of course I had to have it – minus the English muffins and HUGE portion of hash browns which take up the left side of my plate in the photo below.

  

I suspect the hollandaise sauce and maybe even the ham “may” not have been W30 approved but I did my best. After breakfast it was off to Olmstead State Park for our first state park cache.

Recreation of a homestead

The cache was a nice walk along the river and a quick find. We scouted around some old buildings and peeked in some windows. 

The park is the original property of the Opmsteads, its namesake. After crossing Snoqualmie pass on horseback in the fall of 1875, a young family settled a few miles east of what is now Ellensburg. The two granddaughters of Samuel deeded the homestead to Washington state parks in 1968. 

From there it was another the thirty minutes along the old highway past a wind farm to Wanapum State Park (where we had unsuccessfully tried New Year’s Day in the snow) and quickly nabbed the cache.
It was where we thought it might be but under the snow the rocks were frozen so in Janury that was a DNF (did not find – Geocache speak).

Wanapum is part of the Ginko Petrified Forrest. There is camping and a boat launch.

  

Off to the Tri Cities to SacajaweaState Park. We had lunch and exercised the dogs. The walk to the cache started near some teepee frames and wound through high grasses and desert sage. We located the cache pretty quickly and B left a trackable.

  

The park was named after Sacajawea, the Indian guide who helped Lewis & Clark on their way to the west. In fact, many of the parks in this trip followed the Washington portion of the Lewis & Clark trail.

We had originally planned to get one of the historic caches near here but it was late in the day and we needed to get to our next stop. 

From here we went through Walla Walla and snappeda photo of the buses in front of a building on the campus of Whitman College (a fellow bus owners alma matter).

Busses at Whitman College

Our final caching destination of the day and where we planned to camp was Lewis and Clark Trail State Park. On the way in we drove through the town of Waitsburg and saw a sign for a brewery. B made a mental note and we moved on to the campground and set up. Right by our site we noticed a turkey in a tree. I didn’t think they could get that high.

Since the cash was literally 175 feet behind our site on a side trail that connected to the main trail that ran between the camp sites and the river we grabbed it.

Four state parks in one day – check.

Since I am doing the Whole30 I stayed at camp with Jane and knit while B and Dug went off to Laht Neppur (which is Gealic for “drink to life”) brewery. They shared the sampler (14 beers) to decide on which to buy and/or get growler fills of. B bought a few of his faves to share with me when I am done with W30. We plan on returning to the area another time for the Delorme challenge.

The next morning we went across the street to the day use area and nabbed three more caches. 

  

We headed in to Dayton to Elk Drug and experienced the oldest soda fountain in Washington and short shorty’s (well for the three dairy/sweet consuming members of our crew.

 

From the left; B, Dug & Jane
 
 

A short shorty is basically a small ice cream Sunday. And yes, that IS an elk head over the pharmacy counter.
 

Elk head over pharmacy counter
 

After browsing across the street in the hardware/everything store it was time to head to Palouse Falls State Park and enjoye the area. 

Palouse Falls

According to a story of the Palouse tribe, the Palouse River once flowed smoothly into the Snake. But four giant brothers, in pursuit of a mythic creature called Big Beaver, speared the great creature five times. Each time Big Beaver was wounded, he gouged the canyon walls, causing the river to bend and change. The fifth time he was speared, he fought the brothers valiantly and tore out a huge canyon. The river tumbled over a cliff at this point to become Palouse Falls. The jagged canyon walls show the deep marks of Big Beaver’s claws.

B and I at Palouse Falls

I was feeling a bit headachy so took Beej to the shade and waited for everyone to complete their wandering. We had a picnic lunch and then headed south to Camp Wooten State Park.

On our way in we came across a woman on an ATV with a slow sign. She asked if we would move over to the side of the road as they were moving cattle. As we came around a corner we saw a bridge and on the other side a LOT of cattle.

Moo!

Remarkably these huge beasts were actually afraid of our busses (and some of them were almost as big).

Above a video of the cattle moving past the bus. Some of them went on both sides of Jane’s bus.

Camp Wooten is a retreat center. The cash was a quick find so we headed down the road to Tucannon campground. For dinner that night Jane made homemade chicken noodle soup. She was sweet enough to make the noodles separately so I didn’t have to pick them out. Ever the experimenter, Dug created a sort of meat loaf with sausage and inserting cut up veggies. He wrapped it in foil and threw it over the fire. It was pretty good.

The locals fired up a truck and blasted country music but we were far enough away it was a minor irritation. We played some card games and then hit the sack.

Dug is an %&$@ princess!

The next morning at breakfast we saw two wild turkeys. One up a hill and one near Jane’s bus. We started to move closer and the one in the photo below ran down the road away from us.

  
B had loaded other caches in his phone and discovered a cache placed two weeks previously that had not been found yet. Yeah we needed to get this one. It was a short walk near a lake and were indeed the co- FTF’s!

FTF!

Our journey next took us to Clarkston (named for William Clark of the Lewis & Clark expedition) where we had a picnic lunch at a park. Jane decided to hang in town while B, Dug and I headed south about 40 minutes to Fields Springs State Park.

The cache here was a multi (more than one waypoint with clues to the next waypoint and final cache site). It was a short hike up a dirt road. At our first waypoint we were to leave the road and follow an animal trail out on to a meadow. 

The views were stunning! My photo does not do it justice. All I could think about was the the Sound of Music scene where Julie Andrews spins around singing “The hills are alive with the sound of music”.

  

At the end of the meadow as it starts to slope down there was a boulder with a case that had the final coordinates in it.

Arrowleaf Balsamroot

We traveled a little further up the road to an old farmstead and found the cache.

Back in Clarkston we met up with Jane and headed briefly through Lewiston, ID (named after Merriweather Lewis of the Lewis & Clark expedition) and up the grade toward our next destination, Steptoe Butte State Park.

Busses on the butte

Steptoe Butte was once known as Pyramid Peak, the landform was renamed Steptoe Butte after Colonel Edward J. Steptoe (1816-1865) who fought in the nearby 1858 Battle of Rosalia. Nearly two-decades later, pioneer James S. “Cashup” Davis purchased the promontory from the Northern Pacific Railroad. After building a wagon road to the summit, he erected a two-story mountaintop hotel in 1888. The hotel was capped by a glass observatory with a telescope. Guests using this telescope claimed to view the distant Cascade Range on a clear day. Although a unique destination, difficulty in reaching the 3,612-foot summit proved to be a barrier to travelers, and within a few years the hotel was scarcely occupied. Cashup and his wife Mary Ann remained occupants until Mary Ann’s death in 1894, and James’s death in 1896. On the evening of March 11, 1911, the neglected hotel burned to the ground, apparently the result of a teenager mishap with a cigarette. 

Sun starting to set

We went to the top of the butte for an amazing 360 degree view. On a clear day you can see 200 miles. 

  

Our final destination for the trip was Potholes State park but it was late and it was another two hours away. We decided to hit a favorite, Riverside Bowl & Pitcher state park (we nabbed thecache here last May) which was only a little over an hour away. 

On our way in to the campground we saw a porcupine up against a chain link fence. Dug shined his light on it. Apparently he didn’t like that so he presented his backside to us and puffed up his quills. B rolled up his window. Did you know porcupines could shoot their quills at you? Me neither.

Upon arrival and securing sites we made dinner and fell in to bed.

The next morning we made a quick trip to see B’s aunt and then went to NoLi brewing for the guys to pick up a few beverage so. I ended up with a pretty cool poster for free.

NoLi Brewing

We stopped at a coffee place nearby for some really good coffee! If you are ever in the Spokane area you should check out Riverwalk Coffee and NoLi Brewing oh and great pizza and beer (if you are not on W30 at Flying Goat.

With our last state park set in our sites we headed out of town. On the way to Potholes State Park I looked it up to refresh myself on the specifics of the cache and discovered to my chagrin it was temporarily disabled. No!

Turns out some terrible human broke the cache AND took the stamp we needed for our passports.

 

Exhibit A
 
 
I messaged the cache owner in the hopes it could be repaired before we got there.

No dice.

That also meant that we didn’t get the other historic cache which is in Potholes. Both B and I have it on our watch list and with less then two months left we are hopeful the stamp will be replaced in time. We don’t need it for the 100 gold coin but we would sure like it!

On our way back we stopped in Ellensburg for dinner at Valley Cafe with Art Deco decor. Even the bathroom stall lock was cool! 

I ordered a portobello sandwich without the cheese and bread and a side salad. I asked for lemon as a dressing as their balsamic had sugar in it. I explained to the waiter I was doing the W30. My food came out and ironic, my portobello mushroom, tomato and basil was covered in balsamic but the salad had lemon. 

We returned to Seattle just in time for B to get to a bus club meeting. I hung for a while then waited in the bus. We rolled in to our driveway around ten that night exhausted.