Geocaching: Awesome Cache Hides – Get Out of my House!

I meant to post this one yesterday.  This one, believe it or not is just near a park and ride on Whidbey Island. The terrain is actually pretty steep. 

The name I assigned to this one is a reference to an 80’s film Adventures in Babysitting. there is a scene towards the beginning of the film where Penelope Anne Miller is making a phone call in a phone booth (what’s that?) and a homeless man is telling her to get out of her house. It’s hilarious and now I need to watch it again.

Get Out of my House!: difficulty 1, terrain 2.5, size small, hidden 4/19/15, we found 4/16/17, favorites 28.

Official Geocache description: A convenient place to park and ride. Or, a convenient place to stretch your legs and look for a cache. The area has a bit of a view of the valley. An ideal place for a condo with a view.

Our GPS was bouncing around a lot but eventually we found the “trailhead”. We wandered around using our GPS and evidence of people who had been there before us. Just an old stump…….with a door.

I gave this one a favorite for the effort it went in to creating this little “condo”.  Which led us to this cute little space.

Isn’t the little squirrel just so cute?


Geocaching: Awesome Cache Hides – Pillings Pond

So, I’m gonna make an exception just this once and give you the real Geocache name. This one is a gem, not necissarily for the hide but what it brings you to. 

Pillings Pond: difficulty 1, terrain 1, size small, hidden 5/6/10, I found 4/24/17,  favorites 62.

Official Geocache description: This cache is placed next to a small neighborhood treasure – Pilling’s Pond. The pond was created over the years by Charles A Pilling (1911-2001), who at the age of twelve started digging a small pond in the backyard of his home to care for three injured mallard ducks. His passion for waterfowl grew – and so did the size of the pond. Today the pond is a sanctuary for numerous rare waterfowl. Also, the southwest corner has a big bird cage with an exotic-looking bird. We actually met “Dave” (who takes care of the place now) as we were working on the hide, and he said it is a Golden Pheasant. Based on some cachers’ logs it seems like Dave is aware of the cache, which is on public property.

The home next to the pond was built by a member of the Denny family, one of Seattle’s founding fathers. Charles Pilling dug a small pond to care for three ailing ducks. You can read the rest of the story by clicking on the name of the cache for more information.

The house is actually to the left in the photo below.

Lots of ducks in residence. Love that willow tree!

A nesting box.

I really enjoy it when a Geocache brings me to a hidden gem like this!

Geocaching: Awesome Cache Hides – Sit For A Spell

Two blog post about Geocaching in two days? Why not? Today if you find a Geocache you get a souvenir called “Big Blue Switchto celebrate the 17 year anniversary of satellite availability to the masses.

One of my favorite types of hides involve the little free lending libraries. I am a huge reader and appreciate the effort the owners go to in order to place them. Even more so when a Geocache is involved.

Sit for a Spell: difficulty 1.5, terrain, 1.5, size small.  Hidden 7/15/15. We found 5/1/17. Favorites: 11

Official description of the cache:

book·worm (bo͝ok′wûrm′) n.
1. One who spends much time reading or studying.

2. Any of various insects, especially booklice and silverfish, that infest books and feed on the paste in the bindings. 

You are welcome to visit the library, but you do not need to access the inside for your geocaching purposes. Rest and relax here while you sign the log. Please bring your own pen. I’m looking for the next great book to read. What is your favorite book? I recently read “A Single Shard” by Linda Sue Park. What do you think about VOYAGE? I have received permission from the property owner to place a cache at this location with the understanding that no cachers will be showing up after dark or late in the evening (sorry, not a night cache). Give yourself a bonus point if you figure out how we decided on the name for this cache.

B and I were headed to meet friends for dinner and had a couple caches on our list to hit, we found this one. 

Even though you didn’t need to open the library to find the cache, I of course had to investigate if there was anything worthwhile to read inside. Couple good books I had already read and a cookbook I had my eye on for a while so I took that (I love reading cookbooks!). 

Of course the draw is the library and B and I didn’t even notice the line chair sitting near it…….at first. 

But look what we found underneath it!

The log was in a wooden book placed under the adirondack chair. So clever! Definitely gave it a favorite point!

Geocaching: Awesome Cache Hides – Water Stopper

I have not posted in a while for this series and thought I would start again. It’s inspirational how clever people can be. The cache name, the container, the location they choose makes Geocaching even more fun. I am calling the hides by different names other than the ones they have officially been called on the Geocaching website to protect the caches. GZ refers to Ground Zero, CO refers to Cache Owner, DNF refers to Did Not Find & Smiley refers to successful find.

A few weeks ago B and I were camping over on Whidbey Island. After leaving the campground Sunday we had the day free to do whatever we wanted, a rarity for us. We stopped by a lovely little church off the highway to grab this clever hide. Sorry I forgot to get a photo of the cute little church.

Water Stopper: difficulty 2.5, terrain, 1.5, size ?. Hidden 11/18/14. We found 4/16/17. Favorites: 40

Official description of the cache: The cache is located on church property with their permission. It’s a cute little traditional style white country church. Complete with a steeple and a bell. I bet you’ve glanced at it plenty of times as you’ve driven by on the highway. Easiest to access while heading west on highway 101 though you can also come by from either end of Old Gardiner Road. There’s plenty of parking available. You may want to check the church schedule (available online) to avoid high muggle times. No tools necessary to retrieve the cache. But, DadwithTools warns you to be careful as you search. It could be tricky! 

Now B and I have been doing this a while and spotting the trickier ones is a lot easier for us. The coordinates were spot on and we were able to park right next to the cache. We hopped out of the bus and found –  a water pump.

At first we thought it might be in a fake rock at the base but the difficulty level led us to believe otherwise. We didn’t even bother turning the rocks over. Being naturally inquisitive we pulled up on the handle.

Can you see the little red bison nestled inside? We quickly signed the log and went about finding our next Geocache for the day. More of these posts to come!

Who Done It?

Last weekend B and I packed up the dog and the bus and hit the ferry to Whidbey Island. Our destination, the small town of Langley, population 1,045. Island residents pride themselves on a slower pace of life as evidenced by this sign seen at the mystery weekend headquarters.

Langley has the longest running town murder mystery in the US, this was their 33rd year. It all started with the early morning discovery of a dead man in a Chewbacca costume behind the inn in the wee hours of Friday morning. The list of suspects were a combination of locals and out of towers representing three groups, ISFAT (International Society of Science Fiction) who were holding a convention at another local inn, the BFF,s (Big Foot Friends) and the Sasquatch Hunters.

There were lots of bunnies all over town too. And they were NOT afraid of us humans!

We met up with friends in the morning, got our packets which consisted of a map where we could get clues and the town paper with articles relating to the murder and other town happenings. There were 39 clues in all and to obtain them you consulted the map and visited the businesses that had the clues. Some businesses just left them out to grab and others would only hand out one clue per person. Later that day you could hear the coroners report in person or pick up a copy. All of the cast of characters were wandering town and you could talk to them in the hopes of gathering more clues.

This interesting prayer wheel with hand prints was near the center of town.

Some favorite shops we went in to were Music for the Eyes ran by a retired couple and feature Oriental rugs, tribal jewelry, beads, textiles, hats and so much more from around the world. I bought a knitted, felt lined hat and B bought knitted, felt lined fingerless gloves. Knitty Purls a local yarn shop featuring Rowan yarns. Whidbey Island Gem Gallery where I picked up some yummy polished rocks and our friend Krissy picked up some stones for her jewelry making business. Artisan Crafted Home had beautiful glass blown lamps and other high end fixtures for your home. 

The floor lamp below is from a line made by two sisters in law who actually live across the country from each other. One of the women does the glass blowing and the other does the shades. If we didn’t have cats I would consider it – hmmmm maybe for my studio – eventually. All of the lamps by this particular artist have male names for the floor lamps and female names for the table lamps. The two below are Ed and Alexandra.

Krissy and I stopped in Ott & Murphy Wines for a tasting and to take a little break. The tasting room was playing Jazz and it was a nice little spot to have a snack if you so desired. The proprietor let me wear her wine goggles.

I loved Moonraker Books and one of the owners was a suspect with the nome de plume of Josh DeFax. The Star Store is billed as Langley’s market and fashionably fun mercantile had a bit of everything; reasonably priced clothing for men and women (clustered in color coordinated groupings), beer and wine, gourmet foods, etc. 

After visiting shops around the quaint downtown gathering clues (in the form of paper slips) we took a lunch break at Village Pizza for sustenance. We sat at a great table overlooking the water. After lunch we returned to the bus to check on the dog and stop at the public library for a clue. They had a rather clever fund raiser going. You could buy a bag of brown paper wrapped books (all mysteries) for $5.

Among the crime scene items there were two different colored tranquilizer darts, a bag with apples and mushrooms in it, marshmallows, a Chewbacca mask, a business card for Joe Curr, etc. lots of clues, some real and some misleading.

The Tipsy Gourmet was another shop I really liked. They featured wine, beer, cheese, meats and crackers. We finally had all of our clues and settled in to the outdoor fires it at Double Bluff Brewing to sort them out and figure out who done it. Saw this great blown glass art outside too.

We could not come to a conclusion at the brewery and decided to sleep on it. Dug and Krissy filled in their information and left their ballots with us and we would drop them off after filling in who we thought the prime suspect was. B and I planned on camping on the island that night. We stayed at Fort Casey for the night. It was raining A LOT so we just stayed in the bus with the heater, made a sandwich, split a beer and poured over the clues, coroners report and suspects mug shots.

Some of the suspects names were hilarious like Daryl B. Moretocome, Al Betseroff, the previously mentioned Joe Curr and Josh DeFax, Hagatha Kisstea, Clara Bouyant, Maxine Factor (who looked pretty cheerful in her mug shot), Al Luzon, Natalie Drezed, Benton Wenning, Shari Fissure (understudy to Carrie Fissure from Star Wars and the now widow of the deceased Stone Fissure found wearing a Chewbacca costume), Douglas Ferr, Dr. Doolittle, Dr. Bambi Hunter, Red Herring, Harry Varmit. We narrowed our prime suspects down to Al, Shari, Dr. Doolittle, Natalie & Benton.

The next morning B and I went in to Coupeville to a favorite breakfast spot the Knead and Feed. We had communicated with Dug and Krissy on who they thought did it, filled in our ballots and headed back to Langley. On the way we did some Geocaching. We stopped for another beer at Double Bluff after turning in all four ballots and went back to some of the stores we had been in the day before. Dinner at Prima Bistro before we headed to the middle school to find out who the killer was. The killer unveiled, we were unfortunately wrong but stuck around in the hopes of winning a prize. Alas we went home empty handed but had a blast and we will be back next year!


Hey there peeps. Been a while since I have been posting on a regular basis. I don’t know what to say but life got busy. I can’t believe it’s already 2017! Where did 2016 go? 

My apologies for the radio silence. Part of the reason is the slow death of my laptop which means posting from my phone. I need a new laptop but unfortunately it’s not high on the priority list.

I do have several posts in process and will be much more diligent here in the ol’ blog. 
Two trips to update on (Arizona in September and Vancouver BC in January). Some goals for the year along with some projects and Geocaching plans.

So, stay tuned!

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.


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].



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.


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.


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.



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.



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.


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].


B posing before huge agave leaf 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!


B is concentrating hard.


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.



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.


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


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.


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


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


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.


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?









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.


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.


Another view of the canyon.


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.


We obviously took the opportunity to take a selfie.


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


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


There were a lot of sculptures in the gardens.


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


I love the sign on these doors.


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.


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.


I love the industrial vibe of the place!


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].


Inside the 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.


B looking to the north over the canyon.


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



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.


Cave drawings at Palatki.


Looking out from our hike.


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.


B is looking at the outside of the shelter.


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


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.