I’m a 71 year old Goonie

Day 38:
Today I met Reggie, hands-down the coolest dog of my trip.
miles and counting.

I woke up in a hotel in Bellingham, and soon departed for Astoria.
After getting very little accomplished in the last two days, and being grounded at a hotel in Bellingham, I am back on the open roads. I got a start early in the morning. Before I left town, I filled Pervvie up with her favorite liquid diesel, topped off her freshwater tank, and found a truck wash where a couple of enthusiastic young men really gave her a great bath. They did not forget her undercarriage. They really gave her undercarriage the business. I haven’t been in a clean rig in weeks now. So refreshing.
Time to start heading south with today’s destination to be Astoria.
I traveled south on the interstate 5 corridor, only stopping for tinkle breaks and a few of the highly favorited geocaches.
Thanks to that I got to see some really fun and funny things. I spent about 45 minutes hanging out inside of a bathroom. While that’s not unusual for me, as my friends and lovers will testify, it’s rarely that I have to figure out how to escape one.
I got myself to Astoria safely, and did all the things that a little Goonie baby should.
I wandered around Astoria for a few hours. I had a burger, fries and a malt at the Custard King, because it’s 1968. After that it was time to get out to the coastline and start heading south. A couple of stops I wanted to make were also stops for the Goonies Adventure Lab. How convenient. That AL ended up being my all-time favorite adventure lab yet. Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating. It was misting and very foggy. You couldn’t barely see 100 yards ahead. There’s still some kind of beauty to that ugliness.
I made my way through Seaside and kept going south. I finished at Canon Beach. This is where I will spend the night. Before turning in, I wandered around town, in the dark, by use of headlamp. I took some amazing pictures of the beach and Haystack Rock, lit up by the natural moonlight. The legend is that giant rock helps lead to the Rich Stuff.
Unfortunately I can’t stay in Cannon Beach. But the officer was kind enough to tell me exactly where to go, a few minutes down the road. Wonderful place. Wonderful police officers.

Day 39:
9950 miles and counting. Today I turned over the 10,000 mile of this road trip!
Last night I got rousted out of town by the police where I tried to sleep 🙂
I misread the sign and thought I could stay overnight. The officer informed me otherwise. We had a wonderful conversation and a few laughs, and I moved on down the road a few miles. I woke up near Cannon Beach Oregon. I stayed up late last night photographing Haystack rock and the waves lit up by the natural moonlight. It was a ton of fun.
I stuck around where I woke up for a little while, wandering around and talking to some new friends. A lot of people just like me, wandering aimlessly, were all gathered together at this rest area on the coast of Oregon. Who would have imagined? So I took the time to chat with every one that would chat with me. It was all of them. I even parked right next to another BEAST! Once I started heading south on the PCH it wasn’t long before I was at the Tunnel of Fun. This geocache deserves it’s own entire entry, and I am sure someone has already done it. Duck Duck Go there if you want. That tunnel was so much fun I did it three times. Once because I had to, the second time because it needed a replacement log, and the third time so I could do it with a friend of mine on FaceTime. I would have done it 7 or 8 times if more of my knucklehead friends answered. People back east are not happy about how much fun I’m having.

View from inside the Tunnel of Fun

After a bunch of random pull offs and photographs it was time to head inland a little bit and find out about Hembres Ridge.
Today is the day I hope to finish up the continental portion of the cache across America series. Once I find Oregon, I should have 49 of the 50. Hawaii being my last. I guess I just hop on a plane right after?
I continue driving south on the PCH, stopping often, taking pictures, making new friends, and thanking the universe for my life. I finally made it to the parking area for Cache Across America, Oregon version. it wasn’t dark, but I was running out of daylight. I dashed up the hill, made the find, took my pictures, gave myself a high five down low, and went back to my van. just then another guy named Derek, with the exact same van I have pulled in. We talked for a long time, laughed and made fun of other people neither of us knew, swapped road trip stories, and I listen to him about how he pilots his own propeller glider? The video was insane! Derek also let me play with his dog.
I decided that’s where I would sleep for the night, so did Derek. I bed down for the night and reflected on one of the most amazing days of my life driving south on the Pacific Coast Highway.

I did start an album of this trip that I am updating as I process. HERE.

THE Hike I planned this trip around!

Day 36:
9600 miles and counting.
Today I met Zap, hands-down the coolest dog of my trip. Today was also THE day I was looking forward to when I left home for this roadtrip. This hike to Monte Cristo in Washington PNW. It is about 8 miles out to an abandoned gold mining ghost town. I KNOW! That is so many amazing adjectives! This was before I had any idea of the insane and amazing things I would accidentally get myself into.
This morning I woke up at Monte Cristo trailhead. I got started just before sunrise with my headlamp. I wanted to be on the trail and see the light as it rose, and hope for that Pacific Northwest beauty and glory.
I can always tell when I’m the first person through a trail each morning. I’m the one that gets the pleasure of eating all the fresh cobwebs. I walked and looked for all the geocaches on the way out. A few had to wait for the return trip, I knew the sun would be up by the time I walked back. The walk was great. It was an old railroad, lots of it along a river. All of it through the giant trees and forest.
I made it out to Monte Cristo, put my name on the geocaching log, and was on my way back to the van just before 9 AM. The sun was finally coming up over the trees, it was exactly what I wanted.
The Monte Cristo hike in Washington state is the thing I looked forward to most when I left home over a month ago. Of course, I did not realize I would be on a JetSki in slot canyons.
I got back to my van, made breakfast and then head back down the mountain a bit to visit the ice caves. I had no idea this existed until late last night, when local Mr. Ford, told me about this trail. I am glad I went. That was an amazing experience! I went uncomfortably deep into an ice cave, even for MY idiotic standards.
I met a family today who did the ice cave hike for their sons sixth birthday. I’m pretty sure for my six birthday I got a beating.
Try as hard as I might I was unable to find a way to penetrate, and get to the traditional geocache up here at the ice caves. I’ll have to settle for the two earth caches, but nothing feels like accomplishment the same way as writing my fake name on litter in the forest.
After I left the ice caves and the picnic area, I started to head back towards civilization but before I did, I found a beautiful spot along the river. I slung up my hammock, put on some mellow tunes, and took a few hour nap in the shade, along the river. That is not like me. It took me quite a while to wind down and allow my brain to except the fact that for the next couple of hours, I was not going to accomplish anything. Very tough for me.
After a nice nap, pack up minicamp, and head into Bellingham for at least 1 night.

Day 37:
I woke up in a hotel in Bellingham. The repair I had scheduled on my van window is not going to happen. So, I have hung around north eastern Washington for an extra week, with no payoff. Well, I did have the payoff of an amazing week outside and having fun! I saw a rain forest, I slept on the beach, I hiked to Monte Cristo, and on and on and on.
But today will be a dead day. I will spend the day catching up on real life stuff, while I have a hotel room and internet access. Hopefully catch up on my photo processing, and diary entries.
About mid day I finally went out to tour Bellingham, and complete my geocaching duties. I stopped by the webcam, a few virtuals, and a couple of whereigos and letterboxes. It was just a quick trip around town for a couple hours. After that, back to the hotel to keep working. Tomorrow I am back on the open roads, I think my destination will be Astoria. I am feeling a little Goonie, so it seems appropriate.

I did start an album of this trip that I am updating as I process. HERE.

If the options include rainforest, always choose rainforest

Day 34:
Today I met Bluto, hands-down the coolest dog of my trip.
9100 miles and counting.

I woke up in HOH Rainforest, Olympic national Park. I was not supposed to be here, and had no idea it existed. Now I am waking up here.
I stayed up late into the night taking pictures out along the river where the earthcache had me walk. Because of that, I slept in a little bit. I woke up to a hustling and bustling national park parking lot and skedaddled. I made it to Forks which is where I officially started my day with a couple of finds, learning some information about the town, taking pictures of vampires for my wife, and having breakfast.
From there I decided since I was close, I’d head out the Cape Flattery. That wasn’t originally on my agenda, or even on my radar in anyway. But it looks like the top left corner of our country, so I thought I better visit. It was a fun drive out, and indescribably beautiful. I failed at almost every geocache I looked for. I made time for the earthcache and the virtuals as well.
Once I walked out to Cape Flattery, I realized that is where I need to be tonight, overnight for the sunset and photographing the night sky. Once again, the galactic band is going to be right over top of an amazing foreground. Cloudy right now, hopefully that clears up. It did not clear up that evening. So I just slept instead of partying all night.

Day 35:
9250 miles and counting.
This morning I woke up in the Makah Reservation, at Neah Bay. The top left-hand corner of our continental country. I stayed out here overnight hoping to get some pictures, but the sky was overcast and cloudy all night. So that did not work out. Today I’m heading back towards Seattle area. On the way there I saw a van like mine parked on the rock and sandy beach. So, I stopped and chatted with that family for half hour. Turns out they are from DC, right by me, out here living life in a rental Beast. Took some great pictures of a Beached Beast.
I decided to take the ferry, even though they said it was a two hour wait. Because in life when you have a chance to take a ferry, always ride the fairy. I got to the ferry port and had a couple hours to kill. I walked around town, took in the sights of Kingston, and did the things I normally do in a strange town. Now I have another new best friend.
I put my van on a boat and road across the water. That was neat. I used that time to brush my teeth and get cleaned up a little. As soon as I got out on the other side in Edmonds, I head straight for Seattle proper. First, I had to go back to a giant needle and wrap my mouth around a bolt. After that it was time to head towards the Fremont area, I had a 4:30 PM visit at the Geocaching Headquarters. It is always brought up as a big time deal. I figured I better check it out. I would regret it if I did not. It’ll be dull, but I’ll have the memory and picture. I got there with about 2 1/2 hours to walk around and find all those world ranked favorited hides. Justifiably so, some really fun stuff for being in the heart of the city. After that it was time to go in and head up to the 3rd floor. I can honestly say I was visiting headquarters, because I think that’s what I was supposed to do. Without being disrespectful I hope, it wasn’t really the kind of thing I thought I would enjoy. I’m not big on history, memorabilia, tradition, any of that kind of stuff. I learned years ago that traditions are just peer pressure from dead people. But of course, I did what I was supposed to do. Boy, am I glad I did. I had a really nice time. I felt a real connection to something that I have a passion for my life, and lots of other people do as well.
After that I visited in the library, and then I skedaddled out of the city. Tomorrow I plan on doing the hike to Monte Cristo and hope to be at the trail head tonight before sundown and find a place to sleep.
I parked myself for the night at the picnic grounds just down the mountain from my big hike tomorrow!

I did start an album of this trip that I am updating as I process. HERE.

I made this video of the Milky Way:

Today was Nirvana

Amazing Sign!

Day 33:
8900 miles and counting.
I slept in Elam Washington, and got my start this morning by heading to Aberdeen. I spent quite a while walking around town and taking in the history. I am the perfect age for Aberdeen Washington to mean way more to me than it actually should.
I also visited a giant graveyard on a hill. Of course. You can always count on me, visiting graveyards. If I am not finding a geocache there, I am stealing water. Probably both, and a third thing, that you know what.
After that I head straight to the coast. My intentions were to find the cache across America, Washington state version. Then from there I wanted to get all the way to the north and west while going through Forks. My wife made me promise that if I did this trip, I would make it to Forks. She apparently thinks that I can bring back the ability for her to be a vampire? Not sure what that means, but it means something to her.
Currently I am having to kill a weeks worth of time around Seattle. I have a window repair on my van scheduled in Bellingham next week. So, I can’t get too far away, or I’ll just have to backtrack. I’m hoping to make it all the way to the top left of Washington. Spend some time in Olympic national Park. And at some point, I still must make it east of Seattle to Monte Cristo. That is the hike I was looking forward to most, when I left home with a loose itinerary.
I drove the full loop around the lake in South Olympic National Park. I drove out on the South Shore and then back on the North Shore. I stopped for pictures a few times, including about an hour of climbing up and down rocks taking pictures of a waterfall at the geocache. I guess that’s not inside the park if there is a physical container? I stopped for a couple virtuals as well.
Once I left on the South Shore road I was finally attempting to get to Forks.
I never did make it to Forks today. I was driving along the 101 and saw a sign that said HOH Rainforest: make a right. I couldn’t turn down the offer to see a rain forest. I didn’t know anything about it. I called a buddy back home who is a big nerd. He said that if I have the opportunity to go, I needed to go. So, I made my way down that road, through the entrance gate, and I went into HOH rainforest. I didn’t see but maybe 10 other people the whole time.
I got into the rainforest, I parked and did some hiking. Very little of the rainforest is actually traversable, which I am sure is a good thing. Reminded me of the Galapagos Islands… you are really only allowed to see about a millionth of a percent. I did the two loops by the campground and checked out both of those earth caches. I’m so excited about the spot where the rainforest meets the lake. I plan to go back there in the middle of the night to photograph the sky. It faces the perfect direction south southwest. Fingers crossed for great results there. After the hikes just enough time for a shower and a quick bite before hopefully I’m heading back into the pitch-black woods.
I hiked back to the forest/river intersection about 10pm and spent 3 hours there taking pictures. I watched the stars, listened to music, and maintained an overall gratitude for this unbelievable life I get to live. What a day. Cool towns, rainforest experience, watch the milky way dance. That sounds like a well balanced diet.

I did start an album of this trip that I am updating as I process. HERE.

International Geocaching Day, of course we have all heard of it

Day 32:
Today (8/20/2022) is the long time celebrated, International Geocaching Day. It is also the day of a giant event in Seattle. Today was an unbelievable day for me. It was a day that NEVER SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED. I have been minding my own business, working my way from coast to coast over the past month. Taking pictures, finding geocaches, breaking my van Pervvie, setting world records, released an album…I mean it has been a really decent month for me. Yesterday I was at Snoqualmie Tunnel. Apparently like every other geocacher on the planet. I had no idea why there were so many people/geocachers there on the same day. Turns out, there is a pretty big deal event in Seattle today. I had no idea. This is not my part of the world, events are not my favorite thing about geocaching, I have been on the road living in a van for just over a month. I thought that was neat, but I probably would not go. This was the first I was hearing of it. I didn’t have anything in my wardrobe. I am socially weird, awkward, and do not interact great with others. 
My wife made a great point. She said, and I quote, “if you spent a month driving cross country, having a great time, finding all the geocaches that you think are important, and then you accidentally end up 30 miles from the biggest event ever…that would be like smacking the Karmic Universe in the mouth, Fresh Prince style.” She had a great point.
I landed here, because of my own travels, mere hours before this big-time event. So, I went. I hate cities. That was the primary reason to not go in the first place. Parking, people, yuk. But this is Seattle, there is still plenty of parking. I can contend with NYC, anything else is basically sprawling.
I had a blast! I did a bunch of the labs and found all the caches within a miles walk in all directions. So many favorite points! I talked to a lot of strangers. Mostly, I did the multicache 3 times. I walked it and did the math 3 times, because I could not get a green light. Turns out I was mistaking an uppercase I for a lowercase l. See? Even as I just typed that I can’t see the difference!
I hung around town until mid-afternoon. That was enough for me, time to get back to my road trip. Next was the coast. So, I started driving toward Aberdeen, stopping and finding a bunch of the most favorited along the way. I didn’t make it all the way to Aberdeen. I had an altercation with a certain King of Burgers and found myself sleeping at a nearby rest area. I can’t thank my wife enough for making sure this day in my life happened. Socializing with a bunch of other socially awkward rejects, hell of a way to spend my day.

I did start an album of this trip that I am updating as I process. HERE.

Very eventful Idaho, into a calming Washington

Day 29:
8000 miles and counting.
I drove yesterday until I ran out of daylight. I stole an extra hour somewhere in Idaho, but that doesn’t change when the sun goes down in relation to when I started my day. So, I found a nice place to park and sleep along the river, during the homestretch of my drive to GC26 and 27, 2 very old geocaches in Idaho. I woke up nice and early, started moving immediately. In hindsite, glad I did. I thought I had 3 things to do. I never imagined those 3 things would take the entire day. The plan was for the three old ones in northern Idaho, and then on to Spokane where I’ll settle down for a day or two, and stay still.
Well, I had an eventful morning. By 8am I had found two caches from the year 2000, and busted out a side window in Perrvie, my van. Thankfully, it’s a small window, but that doesn’t change the fact that it sucks. All I can do now is keep driving north up to the camel toe stash.
It’s really great that the Camel Toe Hide has all those helpful coordinates for where to turn! I was able to use them the SECOND time I took a run at getting up there. At first, I went up a path all the way to the summit and started coming back down. I stopped and looked at my Gaia map and noticed I wasn’t going to be able to get there from here. So, I had to backtrack the last 30 or 40 minutes of driving, 5 miles. Now I follow the directions, and wouldn’t you know? that was a piece of cake. I decided to walk the last mile uphill. I think Pervvie could’ve made it, but I already lost one window today. Plus, I haven’t been doing a lot of walking, so it’s good to move my fat ass.
I found a handful of geocaches in that area, took a bunch of pictures, and it was time to get out of there. I’m getting a hotel tonight at Spokane, maybe even for tomorrow. I have to look into what to do about this broken window. And maybe just stay still for a minute. I can’t believe tomorrow will be 30 days. Yikes.

Day 30:
8400 miles and counting
I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night. I think this means I am now certified to do heart surgery? I think I would be great at it, nobody will give me a chance, unfortunately.
I then spent the entire day in the lobby catching up on work and pictures stuff. This is the first day in a month that I have ‘taken time off’. I have been nonstop for 30 days. It is insanely hard to get me to stop, slow down, or do anything not on my agenda. Glad I followed through. I got much more caught up on stuff that I have been neglecting.
I spent until mid-day working at the hotel in Spokane. I was catching up on photography stuff, and real work stuff. Then I finally got on the road. great idea to get on the road around a city at rush-hour.
I continued to head west, but with no real destination or agenda. That’s the first time in a while. I made my way to Potholes State Park. I struggled with the birdhouse there for a while. So long in fact the sun went away. So, I decided to just go ahead and sleep in that state park. I had dinner and did a nearby multicache from the comfort of my mobile bed. Quite a day. I found a lot geocaches along the way, and took a lot of pictures.

Day 31:
8500 miles and counting.
I woke up at Pothole State Park medium early. Earlier would always be better, that’s a general rule.
I solved a multicache while laying in bed last night, and went for that final. After that I continued further west. Just like every day before today, my plans have changed 10 different times. Now I need to stick around the Pacific Northwest for the next week, as I have a repair scheduled on Pervvie’s window in Bellingham next Thursday. So right now, I think I’m gonna go ahead make it all the way to the coastline and then work my way back inland towards Seattle over the next few days.
I keep seeing a lot of people I know in real life on these logs I’ve been visiting lately. I guess that’s what happens, people plan a road trip that involves Geocaching, and we all have about the same type of idea. I know for me it has nothing to do with numbers. Those just seem to be happening organically. I guess there’s something happening in Seattle in the near future that some people I know we’re heading to.
My first stop of the morning was out at the wild pony’s art piece. I love stuff like that. I’m not a big art lover, but I am a big fan of when people do weird things. And giant metal horses on the top of the hill is definitely a weird thing. I also think that’s the same artist from a virtual I did in Spokane the other day. David Coverdale. Isn’t he in Whitesnake?
Now I think I’m gonna head on to Snoqualmie Pass. I’ve been here before, several times actually. This time I’m gonna take the time to find all those important geocaches nearby.
I got a lot done at Snoqualmie pass today. So did a lot of other people. Holy cow it was like a train trail of geocachers that entire stretch of trail here. I have seen 5 or 600 other Geocachers. Now I found out why everyone is flocking to Seattle. A big event there at the headquarters. I toiled with trying to go. It seems like I must. I have traveled almost 9k miles, in 30+ days, geocaching my way across the country, and it culminates in a big deal event? I think I would be smacking the Karmic Universe in the face if I did not go. Crowds are not my thing. Neither are cities, parking, and everything that goes along with those.
Anyway, I was able to find everything I looked for. I put in 10 miles on a bike and almost as many by foot walking as well.
That tunnel at Snoqualmie Pass is a surreal experience, unlike anything else I’ve experienced. I am so grateful and thankful to have been able to experience that. Quite a productive day!

I did start an album of this trip that I am updating as a process. HERE.

Learning to photograph waterfalls, contain your excitement please

Learning to photograph waterfalls is something I became obsessed with recently. The opportunity does not arise very often to shoot waterfalls, considering where I live. But I did a lot of reading, and finally had the opportunity earlier this month while on Orcas Island Washington. I am pretty happy with my first attempt after jamming my brain with knowledge. HERE are a few pictures. http://www.jimmysellers.com/pictures/index.php?/category/25 2014-07-Oregon-Washington-July-2014-1001