I’m recapping our adventures from The Great Roadtrip of July 2012! If you’re joining the story midstream, be sure to check out all the recap posts by clicking here!
From Oregon, we headed to Seattle!
We have friends who live in the Seattle area, and just like with our friends in Utah, we’ve been promising to come visit them. (It’s a good thing they’re patient.)
Technically, they do not live in Seattle specifically. They live just east of Seattle in a place called Issaquah. Interestingly enough, I’ve been saying this name incorrectly for years. Having only ever just seen it written, I assumed it was pronounced, “Iss-SAH-quah.” It’s not. As with nearly every proper name in the Seattle area, the em-PHA-sis is on a different syl-LAB-le. Apparently, the locals call it “ISSA-quah.” Who knew?
When researching where to stay, we opted to get a hotel relatively close to our friends, so that we could use that as a home-base for seeing them and venturing into the rest of the Seattle area on the days we wanted to explore. This worked perfectly.
This particular area located near a area/park spelled Sammamish, which is pronounced, “Samma-hamma-hamma-hamma-nitch.” At least, that’s what my husband and I referred to it as the entire time, and everyone seemed to know what we were talking about.
On this leg of the trip, we stayed in “the Seattle area” for four days. (See? That generalization is much easier to pronounce!) We arrived on Friday and opted to check out the ‘burbs with our friends before exploring Seattle proper on Monday and checking out of the hotel on Tuesday. This was the perfect way to do things so that we weren’t bothered by all those pesky tourists (ahem) on the weekend.
Because our days of exploration in the Seattle area were so different, I’m going to break down the different days in these recap posts.
Today’s post? “Our Washington Letterboxing Adventure” also known “If this is Green, what are those 45 other colors,” and “the day JoAnn nearly lost her street cred as an Iowa Farm Girl.”
According to my Letterboxing sources, there was an interesting series of boxes to be found at a park super-close to our friends’ house, so we opted to hike, explore, and find our very first Washington Letterboxes at the same time.
We had no idea what type of trail would await us. We arrived at our destination before our friends, and we decided to check it out. The trail that awaited us was tucked off the trail in the above photo and completely magical and completely unexpected. The clues proved to be more involved than we thought, so we ended up going back to the car to change our footwear into something more appropriate than flip-flops and wait for our friends so they could join us.
Our home state isn’t called Colorful Colorado for nuthin’, but Seattle has cornered the market on Green! It was so magical.
Claire was absolutely enthralled with the HUGE snails and slugs we found. It was interesting trying to avoid the slugs or dealing with their goobers on our shoes and on the stroller wheels. This was a completely foreign concept to me, but our friends took it all in stride. Apparently, this is an everyday occurrence on a trail like this, and it was another reminder how glad I am that we’re out of the stroller stage.
We aren’t, however, out of the “No, sweetie, you can’t have a slug as a pet” stage. Sadly, Claire had to leave all her new friends behind.
We all had a great time trying to find the letterboxes. We’re always up for a challenge, and this particular planter (person who plants a Letterbox) was tricky! There were also some environmental hazards thrown into the mix. At one point, the clues warn about “nettles” near one of the letterboxes. Easy peasy! I have distinct memories of the stinging nettles by my grandma’s chicken coop, and I know to avoid them. In fact, I’ve spent the better half of the last 30+ years doing just that.
We decipher the codes and found the box! I saw the nettles, but was sure to steer clear. Or, so I thought. As I was putting the letterbox back, I felt a searing pain on my arm! And my knee!
“Stinging Nettles!” is what I said out loud, but in my head, it sounded more like, “$%^&#ing $%^&#ers!”
Because of the bee incident, I carry B.enadryl in my Letterboxing Bag, so I got that out and used it on my arm and knee. They reacted immediately and puffed up, which was an interesting response. It didn’t do much to curb the pain, but I pretended it had the desired effect and that everything would be okay. I tried not to visibly pout and kept the wincing to a minimum.
Later that day, my arm and knee still stinging, I texted my sister about my run-in with the nettles. I was seeking support and condolences. Instead, I got the following:
“Oh no! Why’d you go walking in the woods with your eyes shut?”
Ha! So true. It’s my own fault. If anyone should know what nettles are and how to avoid them, it’s me! Talk about added insult to injury…literally! My street cred as an Iowa Farm Girl was hanging in the balance and very nearly suffered irreparable damage. But, because the letterboxing clues were so complicated, and we found 5 out of 7 in the series, I think I redeemed myself…somewhat. I must have been distracted by all those shades of green.
Next stop? An Island! …but not the kind we’re used to.