US Trip 2015 – A Coastal Drive

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After spending a few days in Seattle, the plan was to continue along the coast down towards San Francisco. But first we had to do a detour to the Going APE Mega event.

This is the third time we attend the Going APE Mega, so we’ve been through the tunnel before. We spent some time at the event location, just to talk to people, and say goodbye to everyone that we met during the Block Party weekend.

Going APE

Before heading towards Astoria, where we had booked the hotel for this night, we spent some time to find a few caches around in the area. Some other cachers told us we should give the T5-cache on an island a try – because since the lake was dry, we could drive almost all the way out to it! Of course we had to try then! Not often you get to drive, and park inside a lake!

It was a short, but nice hike in beautiful weather the last feet to the cache. We didn’t take the easiest route, but hey, it was a T5, so why make it too easy?

We found it!

After the APE event, and the caches around in the area, the next planned stop was Olympia, and the virtual cache there. We had a couple more virtuals planned along the road, and a webcam in Long Beach. And of course some other caches as well. Since we like collecting counties, we also did a short detour to get a find in Wahkiakum County.

After doing the webcam in Long Beach, we spent a bit more time to find a few extra caches – and to visit the arcade (since the one in Seattle was closed).

We made it to Astoria just as the sun disappeared completely, getting as much as possible out of the daylight.

The bridge over to Oregon

We had a lot of earthcaches and virtuals planned along the coast, and since we know they can take a lot of time, we made sure to start early the next day.

Before leaving Astoria and heading towards Bandon, where the next hotel was booked, we went back to find the webcam and virtual cache in Astoria. We struggled a bit with the webcam, but not too much, and we got what we needed!

We continued down along the coast, hoping that we would get some great views – without any fog. Haystack Rock was one of the next stops, and after parking and finding our way down towards the beach, this sight met us:

Haystack Rock

Not exactly as we had hoped… But luckily, walking in the sand is a bit harder than walking on asphalt, and takes more time – giving the fog enough time to get away before we made it to the cache.

Haystack Rock

There were plenty of viewpoints along the road, and when there’s a cache on almost every one of them, we simply had to stop at a lot of them. The view was really great from many of them.

Awesome view

We slowly made it down the highway, finding both earthcaches and traditional caches on viewpoints along the road. It was fun to be able to apply knowledge we’ve acquired on previous earthcaches, in totally different environments, to the caches here.

We had a longer stop in Depoe Bay, since we had planned to find three earthcaches there. Amazing views, great weather, lots of muggles and more to learn.

Depoe Bay

We continued along the coast, and got to see both interesting geological features, huge rocks with holes in them and light houses. Blue skies all the way, okay temperature and no more fog. A bit windy at times, but I guess that’s what keeps the fog away.

At one of the last caches of the day, we spotted a whole family of mice only inches from the cache container.

Living in the same spot as the cache

We finished the day with a couple of virtual caches, before heading to the hotel. After a long day of geocaching, we arrived after dark – and apparently also after every single restaurant/food place in Bandon had closed. So dinner that night consisted of various snacks and dried fruit we had in the car.

At breakfast the next day, we met some other geocachers. They were on their way home from the Block Party, and prioritized earthcaches along the road. Our plan for the day consisted mostly of virtuals, and a few other caches – including one right outside the hotel.

We had a long way to go, to the hotel in Fort Bragg, so we made sure to start early today as well.

After driving a few miles, I discovered a cache marked as Not Found on my GPSr ( GC60R1Z Medium cache) (I have a GSAK-macro that puts useful information like that at the start of the cache name). It was a very short detour, so I suddenly decided that we should go FTF-hunting! So we did…

We looked all over the place, but we couldn’t find anything. Eventually, we just had to give up. But it was fun anyway!

When we stopped at GC5GYXH Rainbow Rock, we met the same people that we met during the breakfast – it’s always nice to meet other geocachers while out caching!

Nice view

Rainbow Rock was our last find in Oregon, for now, and it was time to head into California. In Norway it’s the California coast that’s famous, but I have to say that the Oregon coast has a lot to offer too!

Most of the caches we had planned the rest of the day, were virtuals. We always like to prioritize them, since we don’t have many of them back home.

We had beautiful weather in Oregon, but once we got to California, it was both colder, darker and more windy. But it wasn’t raining, so I guess it was okay anyway.

We started with three virtual caches in Crescent City, before continuing further south to visit a giant statue, and his giant companion.

Paul Bunyan

We took a a lot of photos during the trip, and it’s fun to see how the high amount of virtual caches this day make half the photo album full of photos of me standing in front of things…

It was also a bit fun to discover which t-shirt I had on the photo of me with this thing – perfect match!

Nice bear!

Geocaching brings us to placed we never ever would have visited as regular tourists. One of them brought us inside a local library, where we found an awesome room with an awesome view! This is the kind of rooms we’ve only seen in movies!

We also did a drive through the Redwoods, and those trees are simply breathtaking. After finding a cache, we found a tree with a big enough hole in in, that we both could stand inside it! That was a new experience!

Redwoods

We didn’t only have caches planned, we also had some other stops planned this day. Like Shrine Drive Thru Tree:

Shrine Drive Thru Tree

And the One-Log House, which was closed by the time we got there:

One-Log House

And the Chandelier Tree:

Chandelier Tree

My personal favorite is the Chandelier Tree, just because it was fun to drive through a tree. By the time we had finished shopping in the gift shop, it was dark outside. The rest of the way to Fort Bragg was just like driving in Norway! It was dark, animals at the side of the road, very windy and we had to drive slow. We stopped at one more cache along the road, before arriving at the hotel late enough that everything was closed here as well.

While driving here we realized why there’s so many straight and nice roads in the US, they used every single turn available while building Highway 1!

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