US Trip 2015 – A Weekend in Seattle

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Seattle was on our list this year as well, partly because we like Seattle and partly because we had to attend the last Block Party. We planned our trip long before they announced that this would be the last one, but that announcement surly made a lot of other people make plans as well! I believe somewhere around 50 Norwegians attended!

This is our fourth time visiting Seattle, and our third Block Party. So we’ve found a lot of caches here before, and we knew exactly what we wanted to see and do. Since we also wanted to see and do so much more on this trip, we had to minimize the time we spent in Seattle. So we arrived on Thursday, and left in time for the Ape Mega on Sunday.

On Friday we started the day with User Insights at Geocaching HQ, after getting breakfast nearby. We attended User Insights last year as well, and made sure to book tickets as soon as they were made available. We enjoy being allowed to help improve our game. After the User Insights session, we got a tour of the office. They’ve done some changes since last year, it’s still an awesome office! And, like so many others did this weekend, we met both Jeremy and Bryan there.

Jeremy, me and Bryan
Jeremy, Heltinnen and Bryan

We had planned a trip down to the waterfront, and by the time we got in the car, it had started to rain quite heavily. So after we parked the car, we went straight to the first place we could find and bought some umbrellas. Apparently only tourists use umbrellas in Seattle, but hey, we are tourists! We would later learn why…

It's raining

We had a few caches planned, and some stops we always visit when in Seattle, like Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, the Arcade at Miners Landing and The Frankfurter, to get the world’s best Limonade. The first stop was a cache that is new since last we were here, at Pier 62/63. While there, we met some other cachers.

Miners Landing was kind of a big disappointment, because much like rest of the waterfront, it looked like a construction zone – and the Arcade was long gone. This added on top of the bad weather. At some point we joked about that the weather could cause the GIFF to be cancelled – but we really didn’t think they could do that…

Luckily, the Frankfurter was still in place, and we got the world’s best limonade! That saved the day!

World's best limonade

We continued up through Post Alley, and enjoyed watching some other cachers poking around the Gum Wall. We found the cache three years ago (and two years ago, and one year ago), but then it was in good shape and well hidden. Now it’s a whole lot easier, and doesn’t look as awesome anymore. But it’s still fun to see the different methods people use to look for the cache here!

We met some other cachers at the next cache, and ended up trading pathtags and joining them to find another cache. Too bad we couldn’t find it. About that time, with bad weather, a DNF on the Arcade and now a DNF on this cache – we also got the announcement that the GIFF was cancelled! What!? (I did not know that an event with 1000 attendees could be cancelled like that, a few hours before it was scheduled to start)

Right before getting to this art thingy, our umbrella looked just like it – guess we know why only tourists use umbrellas…

We did a short stop at our AirBnb-room, before we decided to drive up to Archie McPhee. That was easier said than done! The traffic was crazy! We probably would have walked faster up there, but at least we were dry when we entered the store. This was an amazing place! It’s not often you can buy electrical components, kitchen supplies, candy, artist brushes and other stuff – at the same store! When we were done there, the weather had cleared up, and so had the traffic. We decided to go to the Ballard Locks, and see if we could find any caches there.

And that we did, including the shortest multi cache we’ve ever found (nice one!). We’ve been to the Ballard Locks before, but we didn’t find the caches here then. We walked around a bit, before heading back, stopping by to get some food before leaving.

At the Ballard Locks

On the way back, I suddenly spotted a cache named «Bergen Place» on my GPSr. Since we live only about a three hour drive away from Bergen i Norway, we just had to find this cache! We found a place to park, and walked back towards the cache. We quickly learnt that this place is named after Bergen in Norway, and that the Norwegian king himself has been here. We even met some other geocachers here.

After getting back to Fremont, we weren’t quite ready to go to bed yet. So we started on the Wherigo cache there. It took us all around Fremont, and since we’ve been to Fremont a couple times earlier, we knew where to go. In the middle of it, we stopped by a grocery store to get some supplies. There we found traditional Norwegian brown cheese! We just had to buy it, so we could test if it tasted the same (it did).

Ekte gjetost

After completing the Wherigo, we found a few other caches – and once again met some other geocachers – they are everywhere! 😀

After getting some sleep, we got up well in time for the Block Party. We had about 2-3 minutes to walk from the place we stayed, so we got there early. But not early enough to beat the crowd – it was clear right away that this Block Party was bigger than both the two others we’ve attended. But for some reason, people were not staying at the Block Party very long. We met some Norwegians around, but not many when we think about how many that was there…

You should buy his magazine!

We spent the entire day at the Block Party, just walking around, buying stuff, meeting people and eating food. The food trucks sold so much this year, that one of them just had to go home – they sold out!

For the second time, we bought two Cokes with very appropriate text:
Adventurer and Better Half

We said hello to the hamsters, that got to enjoy some fresh air during the Block Party.

And we got to meet Signal again, that is always nice!
Us and Signal

We’ve eaten dinner in the Space Needle every time we’ve visited Seattle, so we had made a booking at the Sky City Restaurant today as well. Together with a bunch of other Norwegians. We booked it so we got up right before sunset, so we could enjoy the sunset and see the city both in daylight and after dark. The view was awesome, like it always is. And it was nice to sit down and relax for a couple hours together with the nice gang from Østfold.

Heltinnen got her usual dessert, and so did several others of us as well:
Dessert in the Needle

After dessert, we went up to the Observation Deck to enjoy the view and take a group photo. Thanks to all of you that joined us in the Needle, we had fun!
Up in the Space Needle

We even got time to find one more cache, before taking a taxi back to Fremont.

Until next time, Space Needle.
The Space Needle

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