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May the Skies Be Ever in Your Color

(Crossposted from Jennifer Brozek)

This weekend was a whirlwind trip through Port Townsend and the surrounding area. The Husband decided we needed a weekend away and we had volunteered to clear parts of Port Townsend for a mega-field (Ingress game). One of the beauties of playing Ingress while vacationing is the fact that seeking out unique portals to hack and capture leads me and the Husband to some of the neatest places.

[Quick aside about Ingress. It's an ARG—augmented reality game. Think of it as a cross between digital geocaching and capture the flag. All the portals are based on real world locations and you must be within 30 meters of it to hack or capture. Two portals can be linked. Three portals can be linked to make a field. No links can cross each other. Nothing can be linked if they are under a field. There's a lot of layers to the game. It's not for everyone, but for some people it's the bee's knees.]

This past weekend, we explored Port Townsend, Port Gamble, Fort Worden, Fort Flagler, and the surrounding areas. We followed the portals and the missions connected to them. We discovered and visited a marine, an orca museum, a couple of literal castles (Trollhaven! Castle Manresa!), crazy roadside attractions, a couple of farmer's markets and a ton of parks. We walked so much. The Husband's pedometer had him walking 27,000 steps on Saturday. I did less than that, but enough that my feet ached.

The highlight, of course, came from helping create a field so big that it covered both Seattle and Portland and stretched into Montana. We didn't do much. Cleared a couple of links but the hour of sitting in the dark, waiting for the "Go!" command was awesome. Everyone was the enemy... the teenagers sneaking out of their house and looking at their phone, the dog walkers looking at their phones, even the coyote that randomly showed up. (Another cool thing about Port Townsend--the random deer and other wildlife around.) When you play Ingress, everyone with a cellphone is a potential enemy or ally. Do you know how many people stare at their phones all the time? :)

In the end, there was elation at being part of such a big endeavor. Over 50 agents and operators in all. Satisfied with a job well done, we took the long way home on Sunday to find more interesting places that we would never have found without playing Ingress. It is a great game for people who like to travel and explore. It's even better when the op is successful.

May the skies be ever in your color. (In this case, Enlightened Green.)