N 47° 40.844 W 122° 15.073

N 47° 40.844 W 122° 15.073

By: Spenser January 20, 2013 8:00 pm 4 comments
Seattle park map, 1958 By Seattle Municipal Archives

Seattle park map, 1958
By Seattle Municipal Archives

Today we decided to try something new after reading a little bit about it during some random internet surfing, and that something is geocaching. Now I’m going to be honest, when I first read about it even I thought it was pretty nerdy. Quoting the official website: “Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.”

It seemed like something that might be fun to tack on to our current plans of hiking pretty easily. We’re already using one of our phones GPS with Runkeeper to keep track of the trails/hikes we go on, so using the other phone to find some hidden treasure is trivial. So this morning I downloaded the official geocaching app for android, and we drove down to Warren G. Magnuson Park to hopefully find our first geocache. We parked the car and started walking through the trail that winds through the wetlands project and opened up the app to see where the nearest geocache was located. We were in luck and the first one was about 150m from where we started. The description said it was in a gold container right off the trail, but alas after much looking around and trying not to look conspicuous while walking around partly in the bushes and off the trail we gave up on that first one. Not to be defeated, we opened up the app again and looked for more nearby.

Success! A miniature ammo case

Success! I found something!

Two more were within 500m of our original location. We briefly searched for the one that was also on the trail we were on, but decided to move on and go towards Lake Washington. Onward we went through decommissioned parts of the old naval base, and according to the description of this particular geocache, we were looking for an old communications bunker or something. Sure enough after a brief 5 minute walk the trail diverged to a path that went by two large locked metal doors that fit the description. We looked at the map and went to where the treasure was supposedly hidden. We looked near the edges of the trail, the space between the hinges and the wall and all around but couldn’t seem to find anything. Determined, we kept looking and noticed that both of the doors had a weird bulge at the bottom of them, and appeared to only be sealed on three sides of said bulge.
A mini ammo case!

A mini ammo case!

Neither one of us wanted to stick our hands into the unknowns of a door, so we found a stick and started poking around the base of the door. Sure enough, I hit something that seemed to be stuck on the door and I reached in and grabbed it.

The title of this particular geocache was Magnuson Munitions, so it seemed pretty obvious that this must be the hidden treasure. We opened it up to see what was inside and there was a tiny strip of paper in a plastic bag. Being our first time we didn’t realize there would be a logbook inside for us to sign and hadn’t brought a pen with us. But despite that we took pictures as proof and learned a lesson for next time.

The logbook inside

The logbook inside

After our first successful venture into this new activity, we decided that we will continue to look for these when we are out and about, and perhaps hide our own geocache someday in the near future.
Things we learned for next time:

  • Bring a pen
  • Bring gloves
  • Make sure phone is fully charged before starting
        Or bring one of those external battery chargers

Depending on the weather, waterproof shoes might also be a good idea. Parts of the trail we were on were covered with big puddles, and Shelby had some wet feet by the time we went home.

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