Just to clear up some confusion & misunderstanding about this which has already occured, I'll add this part in. This was going to be included in tonights part of the posts, since this 1st part mentioned that it was only an introduction & lead-in to the actual main part, which would deal more with the specifics of the cache-idea & location. But I wasn't able to get that far:
1. This post deals with a small group of caches which I am currently in the process of making near North Little Rock. One of them is planned to be a historical-type Traditional. Rather than include that history in the cache itself, I decided to mention it here. "Arkansas Geocaching" seemed like the appropriate section of the forum to post a thread dealing with geocaching inside the state. But if that's not correct, then I apologize & have no problem with it being moved wherever it needs to be.
2. One of the caches MAY be actually on the location which is being discussed. That obviously requires permission & that process has already started, but not concluded yet. I should know by tomorrow evening what the final decision is, since I'll be consulting with them again tomorrow morning in person to finalize some last-minute items.
3. If the permission is granted, any conditions which cachers may have to abide by will be detailed on the cache-page, as is usually done. If it's not possible to actually place the cache at the location, then it won't be. It'll be close-by, as are several more existing caches.
4. If everything goes right, there will be 1 traditional dealing with Ft. Roots itself, 1 EarthCache dealing with the nearby cliff/rock formations, & possibly a WhereIGo, which I'm not 100% sure what the main focus of will be yet.
Some of this was already mentioned in last nights post below. Some of it was to be in tonights final post. And whatever wasn't covered in those, would have been covered on the cache-pages when published. Hopefully this clears up the confusion & concerns which were posted.
.... and for his widow, and his orphan."
Those words are taken from the 2nd Inaugural Address of President Abraham Lincoln on March 4th, 1865. Only 41 days later, our 16th President, & most popular one by many accounts, would be dead.
But those words set in motion what would eventually become the world's most extensive care-system for the military veterans of the United States. The Veteran's Administration is the largest & most well-funded of any single governmental agency, with the sole exception of the Department of Defense.
And of these VA facilities, Arkansas has what is consistently ranked one of the finest. This may be partially related to the fact that Arkansas is among the top 10 states which provides volunteers for our military .... a fact that is very disproportionate to the state's total population ranking. So we just simply have a lot of veterans to care for.
And those veterans were often top-notch soldiers also, as is typical for soldiers coming from the Southern states. I'm not positive the reason for this, maybe it's because many Arkansawyers have no problem with hard work, adapt easily to the rough life of a soldier, & are usually a pretty decent aim. But that has been a well-known tidbit of info in the military for practically forever.
During my last years in service, as a Platoon Sergeant, the first thing I would look at with a new soldier just assigned to my platoon would be the first 3 numbers of his SSN. The series from 416-439 are given to people who lived in the states of Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, & Louisiana at the time they applied for the number. Quite often, that also means they were born & raised in that state. This gave me a quick & basic one-up on potentially what type of troop that person was. This wasn't a new idea, not for me or anyone. One of my earliest mentors in the military, SFC John Foster, introduced me to this little hint. He had used it in Vietnam, when he also was a Platoon Sergeant. And of course, he was a Southern soldier himself, from Mississippi.
The VA system of Arkansas (CAVHS) gets its excellence from a variety of reasons. Of course the main reason is the doctors. The primary purpose of the VA is to treat wounded vets. You can't do that without doctors & you can't do a good job of that without good doctors. And I can personally attest to that fact. Not too many years back, inside the very hospital that we'll look at a bit later, I was given a 33% chance of living past 7 days .... I walked out of that hospital & went home 3 weeks after my family was given that statement. Four things assured that I would still live. Three of those were my family, my faith, & my own stubborness. The fourth was the quality doctors that the CAVHS attracts to work for it.
Another reason for the success of the CAVHS is it's excellent facilities. And SOME of these facilities aren't even part of the VA system. Arkansas is very lucky to have one of the best Children's Hospitals in the nation, which also contains one of the highest rated Burn Units in the US. That is located just a short distance away from the VA hospitals & in a remarkable show of cooperation, this knowledge & experience is shared with the VA. Similarly, the teaching hospital of Arkansas, UAMS, is very close to the VA facilities .... both geographically & in sharing resources. And then the VA itself has TWO complete hospitals in Arkansas, one in LR, the other in NLR. So basically, the CAVHS has 4 complete medical facilities to draw experience from. And this isn't even including the 1 dozen smaller community-based VA clinics scattered across the state.
So now you have a very basic idea of just how the CAVHS is set up, & the quality of care it provides to veterans. And now you are also probably thinking, "Just what the heck do this have to do with GeoCaching?"
Well, remember up there ^^^^^ when I said we would be looking at a specific hospital in this system? Well, this certain hospital will soon have a really neat cache located near it, stocked full of all kinds of goodies that I can find. And this certain hospital also happens to be near one of the most scenic locations in the state, and also close to one of the premier caching locations in the state. Further, this certain hospital is LOADED full of historic locations, with over a dozen of them on the National Historic Register.
Is that enough reason yet for you to be interested in learning a bit more about it, & planning a caching trip to here? I certainly hope so, because if you ain't never been here, you have no idea what you're missing.
The hospital in question is the Eugene J. Towbin Healthcare Center. It's primary missions are physical rehabilitation for vets who have lost a limb and/or have been paralyzed, mental health, & job/trade training for vets who joined the service as a first job & never worked in the civilian sector. It also houses a large "Veterans Home", pretty much the equivilant of a civilian-sector nursing home, assisted-living facility, homeless shelter, & mental hospital, all rolled into one. It's a big place.
But the hospital itself isn't what the cache is designed to highlight .... it's the location it's built on. The area was an active Army post, called Fort Logan H. Roots, which was established in 1892, to take the place of the old Little Rock Arsenal, located at what is now MacArthur Park in LR. The history of that place is another story, but I'll give kudos to those who can say how the place got it's name.
Tomorrow, we'll start looking a bit into the history of Fort Roots .... not too in-depth, just mainly lots of pretty pictures. And we'll touch on some of the existing caches in the immediate area, plus figure out a little bit of what to expect from THIS soon-to-be cache. Matter-of-fact, there could well turn out to be TWO, possibly more, new caches appearing here .... including 1 or 2 types of caches which aren't real common in Arkansas. (No, not another LetterBox-Hybrid. )
Whatever I decide to do further than just the 1 traditional I'm already working on, I promise you it will be worth your time.
.......................... Continued Tomorrow .........................
The main CAVHS hospital, John L. McClellan, + UAMS in Little Rock:
Painting of WWI-era soldiers at Fort Roots: