Geocaching part 8: Electric Boogaloo

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.

geocache by Honeywell
geocache by Honeywell

This “basset” cache was found in between rocks in a parking lot.

a geocache for rockhounds
a geocache for rockhounds
a geocache with a basset hound photo
a geocache with a basset hound photo

This “tired” cache was found near a golf course.

geocache in a tire planter
geocache in a tire planter

This tree hugging cache was found in a tree by a parking lot.

geocache hugging a tree
geocache hugging a tree
closeup of tree hugging geocache
closeup of tree hugging geocache

This cache was found on the side of a bike trail. I took a travel bug to bring overseas.

geocache by a bike trail
geocache by a bike trail
geocache with dog drawn on lid
geocache with dog drawn on lid
geocache travel bug
geocache travel bug

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.

lamppost with black tape
lamppost with black tape
micro bison geocache under heavy lamppost skirt
micro bison geocache under heavy lamppost skirt

Geocaching part 7, fin

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.

UPS Waterfall Garden Park
UPS Waterfall Garden Park

Near CenturyLink field, a magnetic key case geocache was placed under the metal divider.

Magnetic key case by CenturyLink Field
Magnetic key case by CenturyLink Field

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.

Geocache near the Urban Garden sculpture
Geocache near the Urban Garden sculpture

While waiting for brunch, I found this geocache under a sign for a Mexican restaurant in Kirkland.

Magnetic geocache in Kirkland
Magnetic geocache 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.

Wetlands amphitheater geocache
Wetlands amphitheater geocache

Along the 520 bike trail, under a random pine three, a tupperware geocache was hidden.

Geocache under a tree
Geocache under a tree
Tupperware geocache
Tupperware geocache

In Mercerdale Park on Mercer Island, there is a geocache hidden under one of the grates.

Geocache hidden under a grate
Geocache hidden under a grate
Geocache hidden in Mercerdale Park
Geocache hidden in Mercerdale Park

There was a geocache hidden at Roanoke Landing on Mercer Island, essentially a small road that leads to private driveways.

View from Roanoke Landing
View from Roanoke Landing

To the left, there are shrubs where the geocache is hidden.

Shrubs at Roanoke Landing
Shrubs at Roanoke Landing

The geocache was a container with an X on top.

X marks the spot of this geocache
X marks the spot of this geocache

In Robert E. McCormick Park in Bellevue, there is a tupperware geocache next to a tree.

Tupperware geocache by a tree
Tupperware geocache by a tree

In a neighborhood in Factoria, in a forest, there is a tree with a geocache hidden under the plant debris.

Geocache inside a tree in Factoria
Geocache inside a tree in Factoria

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.

Beer bottle geocache
Beer bottle geocache

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.

Geocaching part 6

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?”

Friend/colleague/lover/brother/houseplant: “Nah.”

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.

Magnetic key holder on the fence
Magnetic key holder on the fence
Key holder by the Lid tennis courts
Key holder by the Lid tennis courts

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.

A geocache hidden among thorny bushes
A geocache hidden among thorny bushes
Geocache hidden in a shrub
Geocache hidden in a shrub

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.

A geocache in a lamppost
A geocache in a lamppost

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.

A geocache hidden in a shrub
A geocache hidden in a shrub
The geocache was full of trinkets
The geocache was full of trinkets

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.

A cache velcroed under an informational sign
A cache velcroed under an informational sign
A bison cache on the Sammamish River trail
A bison cache on the Sammamish River trail

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.

A geocache on the Sammamish River Trail
A geocache on the Sammamish River Trail
A magnetic key case geocache
A magnetic key case geocache

While rollerblading on the Alki Trail in West Seattle, I found another geocache inside a picnic table.

A geocache hidden in a picnic bench
A geocache hidden in a picnic bench
A magnetic key case cache on the Alki trail
A magnetic key case cache on the Alki trail

I found a magnetic bison at the Mount Si trailhead.

A magnetic cache
A magnetic cache
A bison cache at the Mount Si trailhead
A bison cache 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.

The Marymoor Park sign
The Marymoor Park sign
A water bottle geocache
A water bottle geocache

Next to the windmill, there was an oddly shaped tree. Inside one of the knots, there was a bison.

A knot in a deformed tree
A knot in a deformed tree
A bison geocache
A bison geocache

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.

A sign on the East Lake Sammamish Trail
A sign on the East Lake Sammamish Trail
A magnetic key case cache
A magnetic key case cache

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.

Geocache that looks like a drainpipe
Geocache that looks like a drainpipe

We unscrewed the pipe to find a green egg container, and inside that, a yellow bison with the logbook.

Container in container in container
Container in container in container

Geocaching part 5

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.

another cache disguised as a lamppost plate
another cache disguised as a lamppost plate

 

Across the street from work, on a derelict basketball court, there was a magnetic cache behind the hoop’s padding.

magnet on a basketball court
magnet on a basketball court

 

Near a water sampling station, there was a cache nestled at the base of a fence.

key holder cache at the base of a fence
key holder cache 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.

ammo box by the marsh
ammo box by the marsh

Geocaching part 4

I checked out the cat cafe in Wallingford. Before the cafe opened, I found some geocaches.

A geocache disguised as a book
A geocache disguised as a book
A metal plate on a light pole
A metal plate on a light pole
A rock geocache by the tennis courts
A rock geocache by the tennis courts

I also found some geocaches during lunch walks.

A camouflaged geocache under a tree
A camouflaged geocache under a tree
A bus stop shelter
A bus stop shelter
A film cannister
A film cannister

Geocaching part 3

I went geocaching with my brothers. We are getting pretty good at this, and found all the caches we set out for.

We found four caches at the Monmouth Battlefield State Park.

A tupperware geocache hidden in the middle of the forest
A tupperware geocache hidden in the middle of the forest
A tupperware geocache hidden in a clump of trees in the middle of a grassy field
A tupperware geocache hidden in a clump of trees in the middle of a grassy field
Geocache hidden in a fallen log
Geocache hidden in a fallen log
A geocache log book
A geocache log book
Geocache hidden in a tree hollow
Geocache hidden in a tree hollow

 

We also found a few caches whilst biking around town.

Geocache hidden near a sign
Geocache hidden near a sign
The geocache looked like a film canister
The geocache looked like a film canister
Geocache in a tree
Geocache in a tree
The geocache had camouflage colors
The geocache had camouflage colors
Geocache hidden between logs in the arboretum
Geocache hidden between logs in the arboretum
Lots of toys in the geocache
Lots of toys in the geocache

 

Back on the Eastside of the Seattle area, I found a couple more caches.

Geocache in Redmond, under a bench
Geocache in Redmond, under a bench
Magnet geocache attached to a guardrail in Bellevue
Magnet geocache attached to a guardrail in Bellevue
The guardrail geocache
The guardrail geocache

Geocaching part 2

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.

Cache under a picnic bench on Mercer Island
Cache under a picnic bench on Mercer Island
Mercer Island magnetic key case cache
Mercer Island magnetic key case cache

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,

Cache hidden under an electricity box
Cache hidden under an electricity box
Seattle Chinatown playground minicache
Seattle Chinatown playground minicache

This cache was cleverly camouflaged on a telephone pole.

Disguised cache on a telephone pole in Chinatown
Disguised cache on a telephone pole in Chinatown
The log was hidden on the other side
The log was hidden on the other side

This cache was visible from far away.

Geocache in Surrey Downs Park, Bellevue
Geocache in Surrey Downs Park, Bellevue
Magnetic key cases seem to be a trend
Magnetic key cases seem to be a trend

 

 

Geocaching part 1

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.

Geocache under a bus stop bench
Geocache under a bus stop bench
Geocache under a bus stop bench
Geocache under a bus stop bench

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.

The geocache was hidden in the gate
The geocache was hidden in the gate
Geocache on the 520 bike trail, Redmond
Geocache on the 520 bike trail, Redmond

This geocache was disguised as a rock. The rock was hollow and contained a logbook and trinkets.

Geocache disguised as a rock in Pioneer Park, Mercer Island
Geocache disguised as a rock in Pioneer Park, Mercer Island

Some caches are more obvious than others.

White bucket in Luther Burbank Park, Mercer Island
White bucket in Luther Burbank Park, Mercer Island