Geocaching Block Party 2013

Shannon and I decided to go to Seattle on Aug 17th for the day to check out the Geocaching Block Party 2013. Before we got down there, we had to pick up a few caches so the block party would be Shannon’s 1000th find. We also did a little shopping as well. Sooooo we were just a little late, but caught the tail end of it and still had a great time!

Blue Moon Burgers… We’ll be back for you later! Great food!

Signed the board to prove I was there!

Like I’ve said earlier, Shannon and I arrived really late, but it was still cool wandering around the area. They had different booths, free swag, and a bunch of food trucks.

Now that the huge crowds have cleared out, it’s time to do some caching/sightseeing! First stop was the Aurora Bridge. They’re always great to photograph.

A really awesome geocache. You had to find the combination to be able to get into it and sign the log. Throughout the night we were impressed at how much time and thought were put into these caches.

We also found the troll that lives under the bridge. There was also a new type of “test” cache they released. It’s called Lab Caches. You go to the area and find a secret geocaching code or phrase somewhere… And you type in the phrase/code on the website to log it. Interesting idea, but not sure if it’ll catch on.

Random awesome artwork we found! Love it!

Thank you Groundspeak for hosting such an awesome party and all the time/effort put into setting up the caches, venue, etc etc. Will definitely try to be back next year! And hopefully I’ll be there earlier next time.

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Why Is There So Much Gum on The Wall?

Shannon and I went to Seattle on Sunday to get some epic pizza, geocaching, and do some sightseeing. We wandered around the Pike Place Market. It was a really cool place. Really busy though (maybe because it was Sunday).

I’ve been hearing about this “wall of gum” for a while, so we had to check it out. It was pretty gross and at the same time it was also pretty amazing. You couldn’t help but to keep staring at it. So obviously I had to get an HDR picture of it because of all the different colours.

10mm, ISO 200, F4.5

Sweet light!

After all that, we wandered around the different piers and grabbed a couple geocaches.

Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to check out the sculpture park. Till next time!

Operation GeoTriad

Ok, so instead of splitting this up into a 3 part blog, let’s just have one huge post! There’s not going to be as many updates because Summer is over. So I apologize in advance. But here’s hoping my adventures will continue!

Sept 30 – Me, Pete, and the 2 Shannons decided to hit up Seattle and Portland for the weekend because we wanted to do the GeoTriad, and the fact that Pete has never been to the westcoast of the States. Every time Pete visits from the UK, the four of us get together and make an epic geocaching adventure. This time, we thought we’d go for the gold. The GeoTriad consists of three stops – Groundspeak HQ (Seattle), first geocache location (just outside of Portland), and Mission 9 of the Project Ape series (East of Seattle at Snoqualmie Tunnel). Sooo here we go!

DAY 1:

Friday morning. We all meet up at Shannon’s place, and off we go! First stop, Groundspeak HQ in Seattle. We got Pete through the border with no problems (phew!), and by the afternoon, we were downtown. We were a few minutes early for Groundspeak HQ, so we decided to grab a cache or two. We parked my the Aurora Bridge and started our adventure.


Groundspeak HQ! It was awesome to finally check out this place. First out of three of the Triad!! We Met some fellow cachers and the people who work there were super nice. They even have a TV screen showing the logs that people have recently logged. It updates every 30 seconds.


Box of swag!


Signing the logbook after we took some pretty ridiculous photobooth pictures.


After picking up some TB’s and GeoCoins, we were ready to do some more geocaching! We found this awesome troll guarding the bridge.

Next stop, the Space Needle.

View from the top of the Space Needle. Just in time for the sunset.


Panoramic shot from the top. Click on it to view high res.

Once we got back to the bottom, we continued on with our caching adventure. We were heading over to our next cache, and then realize there was a huge group of cyclists gathered around a really sweet fountain. There were cyclists going around the found which was really cool. People were sitting at the bench where the cache was, so we had to just hang around until the crowd left.

Not sure what this place was, but the lighting and stuff looked really sweet.

It was getting late, so we decided to call it quits on the caching. We then drove to a pizza place called Juliano’s to get some pizza. We didn’t know what to expect because obviously it was new to us. We found this place on the interwebs as my friend Shannon can’t eat any gluten, and this place offered gluten free pizza. So it was worth a shot. You pretty much build your own pizza with your choice of sauces, cheese, and toppings. I had a calzone while the others ordered pizza. I must say it was the best pizza I’ve ever had. I said it SO many times on the trip that I can’t eat regular pizza anymore because this place just raised my standards.

Happy happy happy!

DAY 2:

Woke up at 8:00am. Checked out of our hotel at 9:00am. Went to Trader Joe’s for some stocking up on food, then off to the second destination of the Triad, the original cache location just outside of Portland!

We arrived in the early afternoon. We found the plaque where the original stash was. SO COOL!!


We are such nerds…

After a few hours of hiking around the area, we decided to check into our hotel in Portland and explore a bit. The place we stayed was so awesome! We drove downtown afterwards and parked at a parkade. Once we got out, who did we see?

Jimi Hendrix!! That’s who!

Anyways… Let’s continue our caching adventure! We went all over the place. We even played at an old school video arcade place where it only costs 25 cents a play! It’s like I’m reliving the 90’s all over again! We also checked out Chinatown.

One of my favourite things about Seattle and Portland was all the art that’s around the city. There’s so many cool things around the place that it’s great for photographers.

After walking around for quite some time, we all got hungry. So… It was time to test out restaurant #2 we found on the internet – Deschutes Brewery and Pub. We waited about 45 minutes for a table because the place was packed! But we were glad to be finally in.

The problem with going to new restaurants is, you end up staring at the menu for 5 – 10 minutes not knowing what to get. Our server came and I made up my mind… Until he said that there was a $15 special on beef ribs. So I HAD to go for it along with a pint of Mirror Pond pale ale. Oh my goodness… Everything was SO good!! So far it’s been a pretty amazing trip with lots of amazing food and amazing friends and amazing geocaches.

Did I mention that the food was amazing?

DAY 3:

Got up early again, checked out of the hotel, stocked up at Trader Joe’s (again), and off we went to our last destination of the Triad – Snoqualmie Tunnel. This is where Mission #9 of the Project APE is. But apparently sometime stole the cache in the summer, so we didn’t get the original Project APE cache. It’s a tribute cache which is a bummer, but oh well… We’re still going to do it!

Once again, another afternoon start. So far we’re doing pretty good about staying with our “planned” schedule. We weren’t sure how long we’re going to be here for, but here’s hoping we’ll get out of here by dark. We had to hike about 6.5 km. Sooo here we go!

Team Awesome… Assemble!!

Hey, look what we found! A container for a rocket! I think we’re off to a good start in our caching adventure. So awesome!

An hour or two later, we got to the site where the APE cache was. Operation GeoTriad accomplished!! It felt GREAT being able to do this. Afterwards, we awarded ourselves with the GeoTriad coin we all picked up from Groundspeak HQ in Seattle. That sneaky Pete had these coins with him the whole time while the rest of us thought they were in the car. Amazing amazing amazing!

Here’s the GeoNerds at the APE site with our coins.

Oh, here’s the cache.

Once we celebrated and gave each other high-fives, we checked out the Snoqualmie Tunnel. It’s an abandoned train tunnel that’s 3.7km long. It was so awesome because you could just barely see the end of the tunnel on the other side. Unfortunately we didn’t venture that far in there as we were pretty tight on time. We’ll definitely have to come back!

We decided that on the way back we HAD to drop by Juliano’s again to pick up some pizza because it was so epic…. And that’s what we did.

It always sucks having to go back home… Back to reality. But it’s been an awesome trip!

Week 30 & 31 of HDR Project – Seattle & Snoqualmie Tunnel

Summer is over and the days are getting shorter… This project is going to get harder as I don’t go out as much when the weather gets colder and wetter. But I’m going to try to do my best.

Sorry this post is late (again). My friends and I decided to do some geocaching in the States from Friday until Sunday. So this means, I was able to get some new places for my HDR project! Yay! We went to Seattle on Friday, then to Portland on Saturday, and then East of Seattle for some hiking on Sunday and then back home. It was a really good trip!

The first set of pictures were taken in Seattle – the Aurora Bridge and a view from the top of the Space Needle. I must say, Seattle and Portland are awesome for photographing!!

10mm, ISO 200, F7.1

18mm, ISO 200, F7.1

The next set of photos were taken at an abandoned railroad tunnel called Snoqualmie Tunnel. It’s East of Seattle, and it was an awesome place. It’s a 3.7km tunnel, so you were able to just barely see the end of it. Next time, I’m definitely going to walk through it!

10mm, ISO 200, F4

10mm, ISO 200, F4

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