I moved back to the westside, so I have a long commute. I started geocaching again to pass the time until traffic dies down. Oftentimes, the coordinates given for the cache are off, but they get me to the general vicinity. So I have to rely on a punny name for clues. Here are my latest finds by campus.
There was a Honeywell box geocache under a lamppost skirt near the Honeywell building.
This “basset” cache was found in between rocks in a parking lot.
This “tired” cache was found near a golf course.
This tree hugging cache was found in a tree by a parking lot.
This cache was found on the side of a bike trail. I took a travel bug to bring overseas.
This cache was tricky, because the coordinates pointed to a different lamppost. But the hint was “Black,” so when I saw the black tape I looked under the heavy metal lamppost skirt.
I’ve found over 50 geocaches now. I enjoy taking walks, and geocaching gave direction to those walks. But now it’s time to retire this hobby and do more running and tennis. And with that, here are the most recent finds.
In Pioneer Square, in between buildings, there is a waterfall garden park to honor Seattle as the birthplace of the UPS. I found this magnetic tin on the outer gate.
Near CenturyLink field, a magnetic key case geocache was placed under the metal divider.
By the Sheraton in downtown Seattle, there is a sculpture called Urban Garden. There’s a giant watering tin that pours water over the sculpture’s flowers. While searching for the geocache, I got rained on by the watering tin. There is a glass panel in the flower pot of the sculpture that lets you see into the sculpture. You can see the computer that controls the sculpture’s movements. It turned out that the geocache was on a nearby parking sign.
While waiting for brunch, I found this geocache under a sign for a Mexican restaurant in Kirkland.
By the Microsoft campus, there is a trail through the wetlands. There is an amphitheater in the middle of the wetlands, a bunch of wooden benches by the water. There is a geocache underneath one of the informational signs.
Along the 520 bike trail, under a random pine three, a tupperware geocache was hidden.
In Mercerdale Park on Mercer Island, there is a geocache hidden under one of the grates.
There was a geocache hidden at Roanoke Landing on Mercer Island, essentially a small road that leads to private driveways.
To the left, there are shrubs where the geocache is hidden.
The geocache was a container with an X on top.
In Robert E. McCormick Park in Bellevue, there is a tupperware geocache next to a tree.
In a neighborhood in Factoria, in a forest, there is a tree with a geocache hidden under the plant debris.
Also in that neighborhood, there was a beer bottle geocache hidden in a pine tree. To add camouflage, pine leaves were taped to the bottle.
My final contribution is a geocache full of knickknacks I’ve accumulated over the years. The trinkets serve no pragmatic purpose to me, but I’m sure a child would be happy to get a Batgirl toy or My Little Pony.
This is not the end of geocaching for me. In the future, I’m sure I will be stuck in some mall or neighborhood against my will, and then I will whip out my phone and start hunting.
You know what I haven’t done recently? A photo dump of all my geocache finds! The following is a typical conversation between me and anyone else when I solicit them to go geocaching.
Me: “Hey, want to go geocaching?”
Well I see how it is, you only want to grab food or go hiking or play tennis or do work or attend to your hemorrhoids or photosynthesize or any other activity other than geocaching. That’s okay, I’ll still go about my solitary hobby and post these images with red circles overlaid on top of them.
After playing tennis at Aubrey Davis Park, I found this geocache. The park is also called “the Lid,” because the park covers I-90. It’s a great service to the public, a recreational area that prevents residents from seeing, hearing, and smelling the freeway.
I love the view from the tennis courts. The sun sets over the I-90 floating bridge on Lake Washington.
Then I walked towards the baseball field, through a thicket of blackberry bushes. At the corner of the retaining wall, there was a shrub where the geocache was hidden.
I was giving a friend a tour of Seattle, and that unfortunate person had to humor me and my inane hobby. When we got to Seattle Center, I swung by the KCTS public television station. Outside, there is a lamppost, and at the base there is an adorable hinged door that swings open to reveal the geocache.
Now that it’s still light outside when I get out of work, I can rollerblade along the Sammamish River Trail again! I found a cache in a shrub by a parking lot.
There was a cache velcroed under a sign about local birds. These tiny caches are called bisons, because these capsules were originally popularized by a company called Bison Designs.
One side of the Sammamish River trail is paved, the other side is mostly gravel. There was a geocache on the less popular, unpaved side. I had to rollerblade on gravel to reach it, which is basically just walking.
While rollerblading on the Alki Trail in West Seattle, I found another geocache inside a picnic table.
I found a magnetic bison at the Mount Si trailhead.
I rollerbladed around Marymoor Park. There was a geocache behind the sign at the entrance. If anyone noticed me, I’m sure they found it odd that I was rollerblading down a grassy knoll into the trees.
Next to the windmill, there was an oddly shaped tree. Inside one of the knots, there was a bison.
I rollerbladed to the opposite side of Marymoor Park to get on the East Lake Samammish Trail. There was a geocache behind one of the signs.
After hiking in North Bend, we stopped by Twede’s Cafe for lunch. There was a geocache in the North Bend Park & Ride. It looked like a drainpipe.
We unscrewed the pipe to find a green egg container, and inside that, a yellow bison with the logbook.
During my lunch break, I went geocaching. My workplace’s campus is but a small pimple in the center of Microsoft’s sprawling Redmond campus, surrounded on all sides by Microsoft buildings. Lucky for me, there are a lot of geocache enthusiasts in the area.
It’s getting easier to find the caches, as there are only so many types of caches and so many places they can be hidden. Geocachers call this sense of where the cache is hidden “Geointuition”.
I instantly found a cache disguised as a lamppost plate, the third one I found of this type.
Across the street from work, on a derelict basketball court, there was a magnetic cache behind the hoop’s padding.
Near a water sampling station, there was a cache nestled at the base of a fence.
And finally, by the marsh, in an open field where people jog and fly their drones, there was an ammo box cache. Apparently it is filled with apple seed kits to take and plant, but the box was too rusty for me to open.
I’m really addicted to geocaching now. Each cache takes a nontrivial amount of effort to walk to and find, so I feel very proud each time I find one.
HERE ARE SOME GEOCACHES I FOUND!!!!!!!!!!!!
This cache was on a picnic table on the shore of Lake Washington, a short walk from where I live.
I had some time before a Mariners game, so I walked around Chinatown looking for geocaches. This cache was hidden in an electricity box at a playground. I could tell some of the parents were wondering what I was doing, examining the electricity box so closely.
Geocachers call people that do not geocache “muggles”, since geocachers are enlightened and in-the-know that these secret stashes exist. But alas, I never got that letter from Hogwarts,
This cache was cleverly camouflaged on a telephone pole.
I recently started geocaching. The Seattle area has so many parks and trails, and geocaching is a good way of discovering them.
It was really easy to get started. There is a geocaching phone app that has a map of all the nearby caches and their recent activity (like if the cache was found recently and is in good condition). It was surprising that there are caches nearly everywhere, even in places I’ve been to many times before.
The first cache I found was at a bus stop. It took two search attempts. The first attempt, I went with my coworkers and we felt we combed the area, even checking under the trash bag and looking at the bus stop across the street. But we couldn’t find it. The problem was, we had no idea what we were looking for. We found the cache on our second attempt. It was a magnetic case, smaller than a fingertip. We were expecting something bigger.
I proudly signed my name on the log.
After the first find, it was easier to find other caches. The trick was to go to the exact coordinates and search for any loose object with no preconceived notion of what to look for. Geocaches can have tricky hiding places, like this one embedded in a gate.
This geocache was disguised as a rock. The rock was hollow and contained a logbook and trinkets.