fenchurch: (Barefooter)
Followup on Numfar and the mouse: Still no idea where she caught it... I was assuming she would become obsessed with the area of the house where she found it (as an example, she once found a spider in a particular corner of our bathroom and now every time she walks into that room she checks that spot first... as if it is the room's spider dispenser or something), but nothing seems out of the ordinary from her today. I still just keep thinking back to how happy and proud she was... and I'm so glad that sort of thing doesn't bother me, because I think she would have been absolutely crushed if I'd freaked out about her first real kill (since I don't think bugs and spiders count). She was definitely bringing it to me to show off so I could be proud and happy, too. But again, soooo glad it happened while I was still awake.

Today we had just a few errands to run and had planned on spending the day working on projects around the house. First, we headed over to [personal profile] kehf's place... she was giving away her elliptical trainer, which is something I've seriously wanted (for those days when it's just too cold/rainy/snowy to go walking outdoors and I don't have time to go to the gym). With a bit of help, we managed to get it into the back of our car and got it home and set up before lunchtime!

We grabbed lunch at our favorite spot, followed by a run out to Home Depot to pick up a few things, then decided to go for a nice 30-40 minute walk on the Marymoor Connector Trail since we were already down in Redmond. And of course, after we parked, we had to do a quick look around to see if there were any Geocaches nearby that we hadn't found yet. Turned out we'd parked about 50 feet from the start of a Difficulty 3 / Terrain 4 Multi-Cache (Difficulty and Terrain are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the absolute hardest... and a Multi-Cache is a Geocache that has multiple waypoints with clues or information that eventually lead you to the final location). After a bit of dithering (because neither of us was particularly feeling like doing a D3/T4 today), we decided we could at least get started with it and work our way along the waypoints until it got too tough, then save what we'd figured out up to that point and finish it on another day. Ha!

I didn't keep close track of the time, but I think we were out there a bit over two hours... and for a great deal of it we were tromping through tall grass coated with a thick layer of fallen leaves, often hiding fallen trees and sloggy, muddy terrain. Probably the best workout I've had in ages, but wow... I am *sore* tonight, not to mention incredibly tired. We followed a lot of game trails to reach some of the waypoints, but also did a fair bit bushwhacking and climbing over fallen trees and branches and through thickets of shrubs and blackberries. And did I mention the mucky, muddy ground? Despite all that, it was pretty obvious that the terrain would be a whole lot worse at other times of the year (that area was actually a bit drier than it will be in the spring and there were relatively few blackberry brambles compared to how it will be later in the year). In the end, we managed to make our way over to the final location and found the cache! Yay! I love caches like this, where you actually feel like you earned every bit of the D/T rating to make the find. I still can't believe we did the whole thing today, though. Definitely not in our original plans.

And, even better, we did some detours along the way and found a few other caches and then got to go walking through "Doggie Disneyland" (aka the Marymoor Off-Leash Dog Park -- 40 acres of woods, fields and a dog's dream come true), which is probably one of my most favorite things to do. The place was hopping today, too, with dogs everywhere... running around, having the times of their lives and just being completely and utterly happy. All in all, it was a pretty good day.

ETA: Aha! I found a pretty good video about Marymoor Offleash Dog Park out on YouTube... just to give a bit of an idea of what it has too offer in its 40 acres.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Barefooter)
Yesterday ended up being a pretty busy day... to the point where I nearly hit 18,000 steps for the first time since I got the FitBit. I also, apparently, seriously overdid it with my shoulders (this sort of thing is why I added the physical therapy exercises to my goals this year) and woke up this morning more sore than I've been in a long time. I took some ibuprofen and went back to sleep... and, unfortunately, ended up sleeping through church. It looked like it was going to be a lazy, recuperating kind of day. Not a horrible thing, considering [personal profile] rackham starts his new job tomorrow!

Anyway, it was a bit after 11:00 and I'd just woken up the second time, feeling a bit better, although still a somewhat stiff and sore, when it came to our attention that a recently published Geocache *still* hadn't been found (it had popped up the night before and we were sure someone would have gotten it early this morning). It wasn't too far south of us, down in Chinook Bend Natural Area along the Snoqualmie River, so we swapped our pajamas for something warmer and headed on down. It was a bit of a muddy tromp out to the cache, but relatively easy to find... and, despite the rain, was rather beautiful out there today. It also turned out to be a good thing to get out and get moving... the shoulder is still sore, but a lot less stiff than it had been.

The local beavers have been busy! )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.

Gig Harbor

Jan. 3rd, 2015 10:50 pm
fenchurch: (Barefooter)
We tried getting up early this morning and were only moderately successful... but we did manage to get out the door by 8:30, which means we made it down to start doing the Gig Harbor Cache Machine by about 10:00. For those not in the know, for a Cache Machine, basically someone spends a good bit of time selecting Geocaches in a particular area (in this case, the town of Gig Harbor, WA) and setting up a route to take you around to all of them in the least amount of time. Today's route had around 90 caches, of which we found 35, I think (we got a very late start compared to most people and actually stopped for lunch). There was a fair bit of hiking involved in today's adventure (I believe I'm up to nearly 17,000 steps) and we got to see a lot of cool things. In fact, I debated posting several photos... today's caches took us to some really neat stuff, including a gigantic, incredibly intricate wood carving (done from a huge old stump) and a gorgeous old stained glass window (made in Portland in about 1910).

In the end, though, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge won out. )

Oh! And an addendum to my post on goals yesterday... I forgot one!

8) Design, build and install a Little Free Library in the front yard. I've been wanting to do it since we moved in, so it needs to be done this year!

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Barefooter)
I've decided to just start posting my daily photos again and then work on getting caught up as I have time... it's gotten long enough that the task was getting a bit daunting (and, I thought, would also be a bit overwhelming to folks on my friendslist).

Today, we met up with several other Geocachers at the trailhead for the hike to the ghost town, Monte Cristo, up in the mountains. The others were all biking up, but I hadn't had a chance to do my physical therapy to build up my shoulders for it, so we decided to just hike it. All in all, it took us about five hours, with just over three and a half hours of active hiking (I kept track) for the eight mile roundtrip trek. The terrain went from insanely easy (at the very beginning, I was regretting not just bringing the bikes because it was so flat and well-packed) to incredibly rough in the many areas that had been washed out (it was exactly like walking up a dry rocky creekbed). To give you an idea how bad it was, we left about 20 minutes before the cyclists and ended up arriving only about ten minutes after they did... and that was with us making several stops to look for Geocaches, which they didn't. Of course, they sailed right past us in the flat stretches on the way back down.

This post will be very picture heavy, mostly because it was so hard to choose!

Just after the first washout was the temporary "bridge" - a fortuitous fallen tree, positioned across the river. )

About an hour and a half of hiking later, we got to see some of the fun old signs for the town. )

This is the sort of sign that will make you pause before proceeding! )

And some video of Rackham having fun with a random fellow hiker, pushing the old railroad turntable. )

Part of the old ghost town. )
fenchurch: (JM - Hee)
On Saturday, we drove down to the Olympia area to visit [personal profile] rackham's aunt and uncle, but also to finish off one of the best puzzle caches we've ever done, The Di Gital Code. So worth it! The puzzles are interesting, but solvable and there are some fun stages to the cache (including two Chirps... but we thankfully have a Chirp-enabled GPS) and the final was a nearly hour-long hike through the woods (where we ended up only going about a mile, total) with no trail plus lots of rainforest undergrowth and fallen trees. But I gotta tell you, there was a definite sense of triumph when we finally laid eyes on the cache and got to sign the logbook. Wow. If you're in the area, this one is worth it, but it will really eat up your time.

Anyway, while on the drive down, we got caught in some heavy traffic through Tacoma and I happened to glance over to the right just in time to see this... and burst out laughing. )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Barefooter)
Yes!!! Finally! Actually posting a day's photo ON THAT DAY!!!! Now to see if I can manage to keep it up (ha!).

This afternoon, [personal profile] rackham and I decided to go for a bit of a walk/hike in one of the parks up in Monroe. And yes, we were in search of a Geocache (there's one in the park that's been eluding me, so I was dragging Rackham along to be a fresh pair of eyes). We very quickly ran out of a wide trail and ended up doing a bit of bushwhacking (as those who follow me on Facebook will already know, because I complained about being an idiot who persists in wearing shorts while hiking in areas prone to stinging nettles... ouch!).

Ze forest, she is teeming with life... but all around zere are signs of man. )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Space Shuttle)
On Sunday, we headed south to stay the night in Vancouver, WA so we'd be down near Portland the next morning. After a stop for dinner in Olympia, I did a quick search for nearby Geocaches and was surprised to discover there was an Earthcache just a block or so away. This is actually one of the things I love about Geocaching... it takes us to really cool spots we otherwise never would have known about.

An artesian well in the middle of a parking lot. )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Barefooter)
So many good photos to choose from on this day! We ended up driving down to the Olympia area to visit [personal profile] rackham's aunt and uncle... and to find a rather cool Geocache that is going to be archived soon (the person who built it and owns it is moving and taking it with him). Rackham's aunt and uncle have a really clever portable chicken coop that I snapped a few shots of, they've also go a cow with a calf, who got over being shy and let me take some photos... and the bull was just so happy to have visitors (he's currently being kept separated from the others until the calf is a bit bigger) that he was willing to do all sorts of posing. But in the end, I went with a photo of an entirely different cool cache! )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
The Washington State Parks system celebrated its centennial last year... and as part of the celebrations, they've sponsored a GeoTour (a series of Geocaches, in this case placed in State Parks all across the state ([personal profile] rackham actually helped them design the Geocoin that people can earn as part of the GeoTour)). The caches are owned by various cachers who place them and maintain them and work with the rangers to make sure they're in good locations. Well, I managed to miss out on owning any of the caches in the GeoTour when it first went up last year, but one of the cache owners recently moved out of state and needed someone to adopt a few of his GeoTour caches... and I volunteered. So, we headed out for Gig Harbor for the night... and tomorrow we'll be going out to find the caches I'll be adopting (they're multi-caches, so I'd like to have an idea where the waypoints are, plus I want to get the finds on them before I take ownership).

Anyway, to get out to Gig Harbor, we had to cross over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Spiffy!)
So, unlike last week, I'm actually getting around to posting Sunday's photo today... and not waiting another week!

When we first bought this house, when the deal was done and we were still a few weeks away from taking possession and moving in, I drove out here one day and did some coordinates averaging out in front of the house at a spot I thought would be a good one for a Geocache and started building a page for it out on the site. To some extent, I was trying to make sure no one would put in a new cache too nearby during the weeks before we moved in (since caches have to be a minimum of 1/10th of a mile apart and there's a wild area next to our lot that some people might think is public property (we actually co-own it with two other families).

Since then, we've been trying to put everything together to build the cache we really want. Something that will be obvious to Geocachers (so they won't tear apart the yard or even feel the need to go into the yard), but still not stand out too much for non-cachers so hopefully no one who shouldn't be finding it will disturb it. Well, yesterday was finally the day. The cache was done, the cache page was done and I hit publish on that sucker.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
You know, I was doing so well. Last Sunday I got almost all the way caught up on posting these things and even had this photo prepped and ready to go... but it was late and I figured I'd just do it in the morning. Ha! I'm really hoping to catch up today and then keep up. I didn't mean this to be a once a week kind of thing! I'm putting practically everything under cuts, though, so as to spare my flist while I get things up to date.

Last Sunday's Photo - 6 April

The guts of a Geocache. )

Monday's Photo - 7 April

Beautiful view. )

Tuesday's Photo - 8 April

Curled Up Kitty. )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
I *really* wish I'd managed to get caught up before last weekend. And when I didn't, I actually picked out photos, resized them and uploaded them to our server before I left so that I could work on getting things posted here while I was in Texas and, yeah, that didn't work out either (even though I had wi-fi on the plane on both legs of my trip). So, now I'm stuck again with the daunting task of writing things up about the last two weeks. Don't worry, I'll be combining posts again.

First up, we have Friday, 21 March. [personal profile] rackham got off work early and we headed across to the other side of the state and down into Oregon for a Geocaching event called a Cache Machine (more on that later). I snapped this photo at a rest area on the way: The Fred G. Redmon Bridge over Selah Creek, just outside of Yakima, WA )

Saturday, 22 March was the Hermiston Cache Machine... )

On Sunday, 23 March, we decided to hit a few more caches around town... including one puzzle cache that Rackham wanted as his 3000th cache find. )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of Earthcaches... a different sort of Geocache where the object is to take you to a spot with, usually, geological significance and hopefully get you to learn something. The requirements for them are a bit different from your average cache, since there's no physical container and, well, the aforementioned desire to have you learn from the experience. Usually you have to email the cache owner with the answers to some questions (things you can observe at the site, often related to information given in the cache description) and sometimes also a photo of yourself at the site in question.

I decided to celebrate the anniversary by actually finding an Earthcache and went searching for one close to home that I hadn't already done... and came up with one up in Snohomish. The locals call it Spirit Rock and kids from the nearby high school will paint it with messages (mostly related to the school, near as I can tell).

It's a big rock... I can't wait to tell all my friends. )

Crossposted from my Livejournal
fenchurch: (Cats)
I have a ton of things I want to catch up on here, but once again, I've sort of let things build up to a point where it almost seems overwhelming to talk about... and if I let it go much longer, it will start seeming a bit silly to talk about because so much time has passed. Gonna have to work on getting better with that.

As for more recent stuff... today we finally had some piano movers come by and move our piano from the hallway in the basement (just off the garage) up to the living room. Yay! I felt really bad for those guys, though, because that sucker is HEAVY. It's a 1909 upright grand and they had to take it up the outside stairs to the main floor. One of the guys actually ended up slipping and seriously scraped up his arm on the stairs (to the point where I really hope he has it looked at, since it was bleeding pretty badly). But the piano is upstairs!

Here, have a photo! )

Now we get to let it sit there, all out of tune but still playable, for a month or so until it acclimates to the living room... then we'll call our piano tuner to have it worked on. I'm so happy to finally have it in the living room, though, and I rather suspect I'll be a LOT more likely to practice.

Numfar has suddenly started noticing things out in front of the house. The other day she was sitting next to me on the arm of my office chair when, out of the blue, she started growling... pretty much exactly like she does when she sees a raccoon or another cat right on the other side of the sliding glass doors. So I started looking around to see what had her in a tizzy and realized that she was growling at our neighbor across the street who was out getting his mail. o_O A little while later, she was sitting in the front window in the living room and started growling again. This time? It was a pair of deer across the street. I have to wonder if she doesn't have good depth perception or something and thinks they're right outside the window. Just a few minutes ago she started growling again because someone had pulled up in front of our house before driving off (they were using our driveway to turn around). Really not sure where this territoriality is coming from. The only thing that's changed is that we put a bird feeder outside one of the windows at the back of the house (which both cats will watch obsessively) and I suppose it's possible that it's made her more aware of the outside in general.

In other news, I've somehow managed to maintain my Geocaching streak to the point where it's getting a bit embarrassing to talk about... as of today, I have found at least one new Geocache a day for 950 consecutive days. I'm pretty much aiming to do 1001 days at this point, since I'm so close... and that will also let me end it before winter really sets in here. Since we moved, we don't have any unfound caches within walking distance of the house and if we get a big snowfall, I'd have to end the streak anyway... so, I may as well pick the day it happens.

We're still one episode behind on Marvel's Angents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Non-spoilery talk about the first two episodes. )

Crossposted from my Livejournal

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