Was this a trip to the zoo? Well, not unless you count a zoo full of geocachers. Then again, maybe there is a similarity? Either way this trip was not going to happen until the last few days before the big geocache event at Snoqualmie Pass in Washington.
I had undergone knee surgery a week or so before the event. So sticking around not hiking would be the thing to do. That was until I found a “APE Tag” just north of home. With that tag you must go to the event and show it, the geocache volunteers at the event then give you a unique geocache coin. I just happened to find the tag the morning of my surgery. It was a little hike to the tag but I figured…what the heck…I am going to hurt more later today.
So now that our travel plans had changed we had a new plan. A little over a week after surgery we left Thursday once my wife Joanne got home from work. We would travel to Frenchman Coulee just east of Vantage Washington. We have stayed the night there before and really enjoy the stop. It is free dispersed camping.
We had an enjoyable quite night. We woke up to watch the sunrise and have breakfast. We were in no hurry as our next stop for a couple nights was in Cle Elum Washington, only a very short drive away. We would geocache along the way and take side roads for the most part. We stayed off the interstate for almost the whole drive today. We did stop in Ellensburg at a grocery store and to fill up on fuel. After that we made a stop at a fruit stand then on into Cle Elum to where we would stay at Whispering Pines RV Park. At Whispering Pines we would park in the dispersed camping area, so no hookups. No big deal to us. After setting up we drove around and found a few geocaches. We also stopped at the local fish hatchery. That was a great place but we only had about 20 minutes before they closed. We will go back to spend more time on some other trip. After caching we would make a quick stop at a local brewery to try the beers they had. We took a growler full of one of the beers we liked back to camp. After arriving back at camp Joanne would cook up some ribs for dinner and all we did after that was relax around camp.
The next morning we left and drove up to Snoqualmie Pass for the big geocache event, The APE Event. We would find a couple caches before arriving at the parking lot. Then it was time to visit fellow geocachers literally from all over the world. We would check out booths and visit with friends. The big thing for this event was the return of a very special geocache that you had to hike through an old long train tunnel then go a bit more to where the cache was. Remember my knee surgery? No way could I hike that far right now. So we had fun visiting with others and I was able to collect my special geocache coin. We were then told that there was someone we knew that was giving rides on a side by side through the tunnel and to the cache for those who could not do the hike. Normally we could do the hike easily. In fact we had made the hike back in 2013. We were very grateful to Gene for giving us a ride to this very special cache…”Mission 9: Tunnel of Light” or otherwise known as an “APE Cache”. That cache was stolen and lost for several years but found a few months ago. Today it went back “live” for cachers to find. There are only 2 of these caches left in the world, so yes…cachers came from around the world to find it.
After the event we would make a stop for a couple caches then a stop at Roslyn Washington. We would do a short walk through the historic town and found another brewery to taste at. We would also stop at a store for ice cream afterwards. After a bit of looking around we returned to camp. We would do a short walk with fellow cachers who stayed the campground to a geocache. After that we sat around camp for the rest of the night where I iced my knee.
Sunday morning it was time to pack up and head home. Slowly of course with several stops to find geocaches. We stopped at a state park near Vantage for lunch. Then we also would make a stop at Cave B Winery, not far from George Washington. After that we set sail for home…time to get moving.
It was a great trip and one we did not think we would do. So glad we were able to. Getting into the camper and out was painful using the steps. Joanne and Cody were great and got things for me when I needed them so I could sit in my chair with ice on the knee when I needed it.
all about the ape 7/17 – 7/20 2017