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Geowoodstock, June 15 - July 15, 2010

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We have greatly enjoyed Geocaching for the past 4 years, and we also like to head up into the Pacific Northwest in the late Spring, so when the geocaching community scheduled its 8th international gathering known as Geowoodstock for the July 4th weekend near Seattle it was the perfect destination.
Although we've now traveled the Oregon Coast many times it never gets boring. Decent road, great scenery, and plenty of small towns worth visiting.
We had good coastal weather on the way up, meaning not to cold, not too windy, not wet. We stayed a few nights at each stop, including Brookings, Bandon (Bullard's Beach State Park) and Newport (picture, left). Traveling slowly like this is always our preferred way, although it doesn't always work out.
We did a lot of geocaching on our trip, and each of these pictures to the right and below were taken from a geocache location.

These four pictures were all taken during a few days we stayed near Seaside.

We found our 1,000th geocache in Astoria, which may sound like a lot, but we met many people at Geowoodstock with 1,000s of caches found, including one with over 17,000!
Holly plowing through the grass at Seaside
Holly plowing through the grass at Seaside
The beach at Cannon Beach
The beach at Cannon Beach
A pedestrian hill in Astoria - had raised
A pedestrian hill in Astoria - had raised "steps" to make it possible to climb.
The geocache description says this is the only beach in Astoria!
The geocache description says this is the only beach in Astoria!
After Seaside we made our last stop on the coast at Westport, Washington. During our visit there we geocached in Aberdeen and Westport, and also located a number of caches along the beach between Grayland and Beachport. It was an easy drive up the beach, then short hikes into the dunes to find the caches.
Walking from a geocache in the dunes out to the Jeep
Walking from a geocache in the dunes out to the Jeep
Holly waiting to continue the beach ride
Holly waiting to continue the beach ride
In the Seattle area we stayed at an RV park in Bothell, and drove to a lot of different places. The day before Geowoodstock (which was on July 3rd) there was an organized hike to visit the last remaining APE cache in North America.

These caches were placed in 2001 as a promotion for the Planet of the Apes remake, and this last one is located near Snoqualmie Pass.

It used to be an easy walk of a couple of miles through a tunnel from the east side of the pass, but that tunnel is now condemned, so you must come to the cache uphill from the west.

About 400 geocachers participated, with the organizers busing us in from the east side to a national forest trail. The hike was 4 miles round-trip, with the first mile having an elevation change of more than 600 feet.

They allowed dogs on the buses, so Holly was able to go. She made it a lot easier than we did! We were absolutely beat by the time the hike was over.
Crossing a bridge on the way up
Crossing a bridge on the way up
A sign at the top of the trail where we turned onto the rail bed.
A sign at the top of the trail where we turned onto the rail bed.
The old rail bed headed toward the Ape cache
The old rail bed headed toward the Ape cache
A crowd waiting to sign the cache log.
A crowd waiting to sign the cache log.
Geowoodstock is an annual international gathering of geocachers. Last year it was in Kentucky, and next year in Pennsylvania, but this year it was held near the town of Carnation, in the hills east of Seattle.

Seattle is the headquarters for geocaching.com, so that made for an exceptionally large event, with thousands of attendees from all over the world.

I actually spent most of the afternoon playing in my first ever Texas Holdem Poker Tournament, for which the buyin was 3 geocoins. Did OK, being the 28th out, of 40 players. Only the top 3 won anything (they split the 120 coins 60/36/24).

Met a player/geocacher from Austin, TX whose Father we had met a couple of weeks earlier at Bullard's Beach State Park. Small world!

An event the evening before Geowoodstock
An event the evening before Geowoodstock
Geowoodstock 8
Geowoodstock 8
Geowoodstock 8
Geowoodstock 8
Geowoodstock 8
Geowoodstock 8
On the 4th of July there was a street fair at geocaching.com headquarters in Seattle.

The VW belongs to one of the two reviewers who review and allow (or not) the caches in Northern California.
Another event on the evening of July 3rd was "Mignight Geocoin Madness" held at a downtown Redmond hotel. I had a lot of the two coins I've designed and had minted with me, so traded for a bunch of others, mostly shown here. There was one more that had already been released to the wild before I took this picture.
Weather during this trip had been cool and often drizzly, but as we started home it turned suddenly hot, and we were in the high 90s in Portland. Holly had a short swim in the Willamette to cool off.
Holly in the Willamette River, Portland
Holly in the Willamette River, Portland
Two pictures of Brookings/Harbor, Oregon, taken near a geocache up on a hill. The red arrow at right is pointing at our bus.

The third picture was taken out of the windshield of the bus as a couple of Coast Guard vessels entered the harbor.
The port of Brookings Harbor, Oregon
The port of Brookings Harbor, Oregon
The port of Brookings Harbor, Oregon
The port of Brookings Harbor, Oregon
The port of Brookings Harbor, Oregon
The port of Brookings Harbor, Oregon

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