728. Seattle, King County (WA01)

Oh, Washington!

This one really tore me to pieces. This is the county building where the administration actually operates from. If you have followed my opinions thus far, you can surmise my feelings about this building; if you have not, know that we do not approve. However, it is connected by the sky bridge on the right …

… to this older, more lovely building across the street. I know I’ve spent a lot of time and column inches griping about the differences between the beautiful older building used in a lesser context and the actual place where the county machinery is operated from. As always, I waver between being factual and being aesthetic trash. Honestly, I find I care less about the reality these days and more about the aesthetic. But, inconstant as the moon, I will no doubt waver back and forth on that question. As for a final decision, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Because the Washington State County Challenge requires small caches or larger, my pool of candidates was greatly reduced. However, that left no shortage of truly worthy caches. Even paring away the less interesting or favorited ones, a few were still truly worthy. Ultimately, I settled on one of the most revered caches of them all. Preparations were made, and in the morning …

… I went out to get Tunnel of Light, one of the only two Project A.P.E. caches on earth.

For those of you who don’t know, in 2001, when geocaching was a pretty new fad, the film studio for the movie Planet of the Apes made a marketing deal with Groundspeak. Fourteen caches were hidden around the world, containing props, script pages, and other incidentals from the movie. Most of them subsequently went missing, the exception being Southern Bowl, placed in Brazil. In 2016, Tunnel of Light was rediscovered, and (after consulting with the geocaching user base) Groundspeak took the unprecedented step of unarchiving the cache. This makes Project A.P.E. Caches among the rarest cache types to acquire. Of course the trek to this particular cache famously involves a two-mile trek through a train tunnel.

The good news was that I walked and walked and eventually caught the spot of light I could see from the front of the tunnel. The bad news was that it was cold enough to fog up my glasses in the moisture-laden air. Another half mile of trail and trees (I assume pine trees, but I’m not some sort of tree person) and the kind of scenery you imagine when you think of the Pacific Northwest went by until I saw something that looked a bit like a path in the grass to a deadwood shrine. I followed the path around and beheld a sight.

How much more beauteous doth beauty seem than this APE for which we have scrambled so? With this, I fulfilled a long-held wish. I also took some time on the way back to the tunnel to grab a few more waiting off the trail …

… one placed by Boy Scouts, the other an even older (2000) cache. But all good things must end. I returned through the tunnel as I had come and set off. I had a northward trek to make that continued on through…

22 thoughts on “728. Seattle, King County (WA01)

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