We set aside much of Friday (July 2) for shopping. After all, it’s pretty hard for the GeoKs to resist a shopping trip to any official Lego store (there’s one in Bellevue) or a visit to REI’s flagship store in Seattle. Other CONVOY members headed south to Portland to visit the Original Stash Plaque (we’re saving that for a future trip to Oregon) or to the Planet of the Apes cache (which we did 3 summers ago when the "Tunnel of Light" was still open).
On our way back to Bellevue, we made a bit of a detour to visit the site of GCPXWW Urban Earthcache – Vashon Ice Sheet. This turned out so well! When Mrs. GeoK and oldest son hopped out of the cachemobile to work on the earthcache logging requirements, Mr. GeoK and youngest son found a parking spot about a block away – right in front of iCactus! restaurant. Mr. GeoK noticed a Zagat sign in the window so we decided to give it a try. Wow! What awesome fajitas! We recommended this place to every Calgary Area Cacher we saw over the next couple days, and some of them even managed to make it to Madison to give it a try (and they concurred with our assessment). We thanked the manager, Joe Huffman, for what was – by far – our best meal of the trip. He topped off what was already a great experience by delivering a flan, complete with 4 spoons, for us to share.
After relaxing for a couple hours, we headed to Issaquah for GC261XB COWWS Friday Meet & Greet and Luau, where we saw a few familiar faces – geocachers we met last fall at Geocoinfest 2009 in Salt Lake City. And there was a bit of a Calgary Area Cachers’ convention, too. While Mrs. GeoK and Oldest GeoKid stood in line to collect our registration packets for the Saturday’s "main event", Mr. GeoK and Youngest GeoK completed a short scavenger hunt, coming away with a Tiki travel tag from Oak Coins.
We decided to tackle a three-stage multi-cache hidden in the park before we headed back to Bellevue. This turned out to be a bad decision. Parts 1 and 2 were pretty straightforward, and we learned a bit about the local watershed at stage 2. But the path to the final stage was so muddy that once they saw another cacher slip (ending up getting covered in mud all the way up to one knee), Mr. GeoK and Oldest GeoKid headed back to dry ground. Mrs. GeoK and Youngest GeoKid did make it to the final, but when we got back to our hotel Mrs. GeoK spent more than half an hour washing the mud off all the hiking boots!!
We left for GC1QM7K Geowoodstock VIII in what we thought would be plenty of time to be there for the 10 o’clcok opening. We didn’t realize was that we’d be held up for more than 20 minutes, in a very long line at a stop sign waiting to cross the highway heading into Carnation. And then we were another 10 or 15 minutes in the line that was slowly wending it’s way to the parking area for the event. So it was almost 11 o’clock before we stood at the Pathtags trading tent and made our first trades of the day. We went back there 2 more times over the course of the day, and managed to trade for almost 100 pathtags over the course of the weekend.
We also took time to visit with Helen and Chris of Landsharkz and for another quick chat with Sonny and Sandy of the Podcacher podcast. Lucky timing had us join several members of the CONVOY for lunch and then we made picked up a few travel bugs and made note of some tracking numbers at the "discover me" table. By 2 o’clock, we were ready for a break, so we left the grounds and headed off for some downtime from geocaching, but not before we asked another attendee to take a family photo at the giant ammo can…