Going APE (Alternative Primate Evolution). It is a geocache thing so don’t be confused if you don’t understand.
This trip took us to Snoqualmie Pass in Washington state. We took our time as we usually do and took the back roads as much as we could. We left after work on Thursday and that part of the trip was a bit faster. We took I-90 west to Frenchmans Coulee. Frenchmans Coulee is just west of George Washington and north of the interstate. It is a very pretty place to spend the day walking around and to boondock for the night. That is exactly what we did. We arrived there and set up camp for the night. That meant throw a couple chairs out and open a beer. Man, life is tough.
The next morning we had breakfast and our mandatory coffee. Sitting there while looking at our surroundings we thought, we are so very lucky to be able to have times like this. Our trip on Friday was to go a whole 35-40 miles away before we stopped for the night. Such a long drive, but it did take us 4 hours to get there. We stopped and did several geocaches and walked around to look at things. Our trip today would take us to Ellensburg Washington.
The old highway dead ends at the river and serves as a boat ramp. We parked and set out to look for two more geocaches. Well, we tried. Both times we got to with in 20 feet from the cache and there was some HUGE spiders blocking the path. I am not sure what they are but I was not going to get any closer. The body on them was the size of a dime, not the legs too…just the body. So yeah, we skipped those two caches.
So it was on towards Ellensburg with lots of stops along the way. I think we made somewhere near 25 stops in that 35-40 miles. We enjoyed every minute of it.
After we crossed the river we stopped at a gift shop in Vantage Washington. It is a pretty neat place to check out.
We made it Ellensburg. We parked downtown, so easy to do with a truck camper. There was a winery to find. It was the deal that I had to do with Joanne…stop at a winery if I was to stop at the brewery in town. Not a hard deal to make because I like wine too. Ellensburg is a historic place to see, there are several old buildings. A very welcoming town.
After we did our shopping and walking around we went to the KOA on the edge of town. It was a far cry from the solitude of our camp spot last night but that is okay. It was nice to have sewer hookups so I could flush the camper tanks real good.
The next day was another very long drive…30 miles. Again we would take the back roads and stay off the interstate. We would be driving highway 10 to Cle Elum. After Cle Elum we would jump on the interstate for just a few short miles to Lake Easton state park, our camp spot for the next two nights.
We eventually made it to Lake Easton state park. We found our spot for the next two nights. We took a short hike then went back to camp. Later we had a couple truck camper friends join us for a chili potluck dinner. It was great visiting with them. Bread, salads and chili…it was very good. Our friends left for the night, one couple back to another close by campground and the other family to the campsite next to us. We would see that family again, briefly up at Snoqualmie pass.
We found out that I-90 would be closed for 1 1/2 hours in the morning. Well, we are early risers so we left camp at 530am and headed to the pass. What was at the pass? The Going APE event! It is a big geocache event that brings people from all over the world. The day before in Seattle there was a big block party and this event is part of it too. It was a great time. There is a tunnel that you hike through as part of the event, the Snoqualmie tunnel. A 2.25 mile long tunnel. Since we were volunteers for the east side tunnel monitors we did the walk before most everyone got up there. We had to be at our post at noon. First though was to cook up breakfast at the parking lot before we took the hike.
We found a few geocaches on the west side then walked back through the tunnel and back to the camper. The event was going and the people were there.
Time for us to go back to the east tunnel portal for our volunteer duties. We had to make sure people had flashlights and warned people about heavy traffic in the tunnel. We also had to warn people that there was a monster in there. No really, there was someone dressed up as a monster to guard his geocache inside. They were warned.
After 300pm our duties were done. We walked back to our camper and then drove back to camp. The event was so much fun. We talked to people from all over the world. People from the farthest away that we talked to were from Sweden. We plan on attending this event again next year. Too much fun to miss it.
The next day we made our way back home, taking the long way of course. Our first stop was back to the Vantage Washington area to walk up to the wild stallions monument.
The next stop was to potholes reservoir, south of Moses Lake Washington. Then it was on to Palouse Falls state park. We had lunch there.
Our next stop was at Steptoe Butte state park. We love this place. We have been here before but the views are amazing. 360 degrees of fabulous views.
We stopped for one last cache towards the bottom of the butte. We could not get to the cache as there was a blockage to the cache. We got to with in 30 feet of it before we saw a moose and her two calves.
After this we made our way home. It was another wonderful trip for us. We really do count our blessings that we get to go on all these great trips. Life is short, get out there and enjoy it.
Interested in reading more about what the APE event is about? here is a link: http://www.markwell.us/projectape.htm
going APE – august 15-19 2013