Treasure hunt: GPS sleuths hiding, finding secret stashes in Snoqualmie Valley

Uncovering a geocache stash near the Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Company, Megan Devine of Chicago signs her name to a list of hundreds of 'cachers who found the hidden treasure. The name of the cache is 'Mmmmm, beer'; it is a magnetized Simpsons candy canister in the shape of a keg, and draws an average of two geocaching parties daily. Devine was visiting Snoqualmie with her family and friends from the Eastside. She used a handheld GPS device to find several hidden caches in downtown Snoqualmie.
— image credit: Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record

Snoqualmie Falls draws millions of Valley visitors each year. But more and more people are coming to find Snoqualmie Valley attractions that most locals don't even know exist.

Who knew, for example, that secret treasure troves are hidden in plain sight at places like the Northwest Railway Museum and Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Company?

Last Wednesday, Aug. 18, the Menon and Devine families—from Bellevue and Chicago, respectively—used handheld GPS devices to track down a tiny cache hidden just outside the downtown Snoqualmie brewery.

The cache, officially named "Mmmmm, beer," is a magnetized Simpsons candy canister in the shape of a keg. It draws an average of two geocaching parties down Falls Avenue daily. The scroll inside showed hundreds of visitors in 2010 alone.

Geocachers find their targets using computer software that pinpoints their location, down to a few feet. After that, they have to use their wits to track the items.

Searching for a hidden cache along the Railway Museum's line of trains, it took Cathy Menon's inspired searching at ground level to find the magnetic box.

"That was tiny," she said. "Some of them are just film canisters."

Folks like Menon and the Devines enjoy the sport for its fresh perspective and outdoor adventure.

Caching has already made an impact on the local economy. Earlier this summer, Carnation's Remlinger Farms hosted thousands of 'cachers' at its GeoWoodstock convention. Staff at the Brewery say that while the slim Simpsons canister doesn't generate significant business, it is definitely not a negative.

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