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Thread: "Cache in with The Natural State"

  1. #1

    "Cache in with The Natural State"

    I read the article in the newspaper, read the article here.
    went to the location and found nothing.
    Have any of you found this cache?
    The article says it's listed on geocaching.com, but I do not see it there.
    that wich you are seeking is causing you to seek

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Conway, AR
    Posts
    1,392
    I've heard lots of things about this cache lately, but haven't talked to anyone who has found it yet. There are probably some folks on this board that have more information than I do...

    Wayne
    I get my directions from above.
    View my profile

  3. #3

    Re: "Cache in with The Natural State"

    Quote Originally Posted by OB1kenOB
    The article says it's listed on geocaching.com, but I do not see it there.
    The cache listing has been submitted for publishing. However, a permit is needed from the state park in which it is hidden and the cache owner has not yet responded with the required information. It will not be published on Geocaching.com until all the necessary requirements have been met.
    "Volunteering is for suckers. Did you know that volunteers don't even get paid for the stuff they do?" -- Homer Simpson

  4. #4
    In case anyone else has looked or have been planning to look for this cache, I’ll share this experience.
    Wed. Jan 17 article in Bella Vista newspaper, author Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism:
    "The first cache is hidden in northwest Arkansas, the coordinates are N36 19.108, W093 58.128"
    Then it explains about future caches they will hide and "The coordinates will be released on www.arkansas.com and www.arkgeocaching.org"
    Which lead this reader to both of those locations for more information...
    www.arkansas.com has a geocaching link that goes to a page from the parks department offering links to their geocaching policies and permits.
    Which didn’t tell me anything about the specific cache from the article, but the link to the policies and permits of the parks department from their site gives the appearance that they understand what it takes to hide one.
    At www.arkgeocaching.org there is a similar but not identical article with additional information “Find our first cache at these coordinates: N36 19.108; W093 58.128. (Hint: Follow the arrow and take a left on the trail. No climbing required, you won't find it on top of the bluff.)”
    I went to the trail and sure enough the hint is right on, it’s not on top of the bluff.
    I suspect it wasn’t actually there at all, but I may have just overlooked it.
    So I left, not sure if a) I just didn’t find it, b) someone found it and kept the whole thing, or c) They have published the location of their cache, and have no cache there for people to find.

    I had a great time hiking the trail with my wife and my great dane. She doesn’t always join the hunts, and he had never been to a trail before. The trail is really nice. The ice on the bluffs is really neat to look at, and Scooby kept licking the frozen spikes. That particular trail is just long enough to get that outdoor feeling, and just short enough not to wear out someone who is not used to that.
    It’s just a short drive from home, and now I have an excuse to return soon.
    that wich you are seeking is causing you to seek

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Bentonville
    Posts
    4
    In the January 18th issue of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette in the Northwest Arkansas Outdoors section there is an excellant article about this cache. It describes how two gentlemen looked for it and found it. It is a lengthly and very well done article with several excellent pictures. I know this was several days ago but if you could somehow find this issue I think you would really enjoy it. Perhaps a local library might have back issues. It made me want to go right out and find it but the only time I can go is on the weedends and, being a fair weather friend, am waiting for the conditions to improve somewhat .

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Bentonville
    Posts
    4
    I just read your first post closely, OB1kenOB, and see that you have already read the article. Sorry about that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Little Rock/Cabot AR
    Posts
    21

    Article from the Democrat Gazette by Buddy Gough

    Hidden treasures . . . in the Ozarks
    With technology and leg power, geocache hunters set out to find fun and prizes at N36 19.108,W093 58.128

    BY BUDDY GOUGH ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE

    PRAIRIE CREEK - An initial attempt to find treasure in Northwest Arkansas didn’t go far or come close, but this time was going to be different.
    When Wayne Williams of the Rockhouse community and I set out on a cold January day two years ago to find a lost silver mine in Madison County, we were relying on vague information associated with the 1936 trial in Huntsville of two counterfeiters.
    The counterfeiters supposedly were caught making bogus silver dollars with silver extracted from a secret mine rumored to be in Bear Creek Hollow, located in what now is the Madison County Wildlife Management Area.
    We found a treasure trove of scenic waterfalls, bluffs and small caves, but no sign of precious metal.
    On Thursday, however, we were certain there was a treasure to be found in the region based on the assurance of the new “Cache In With The Natural State” program announced last week by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. In conjunction with the growing popularity of “geocaching,” the agency issued a news release inviting treasure hunters to find caches of prizes that would be hidden in various regions of the state from month to month, with Northwest Arkansas picked for January.
    Included with the news release was a treasure “map” in the form of coordinates - N36 19.108, W093 58.128 - pinpointing the location of a cache that could contain such prizes as gift certificates for meals, lodging, guidebooks, posters, toys and other neat stuff.
    Within minutes, I called Williams, explained the program and read off the coordinates for him to check out with his computer’s Maptech topographical mapping software.
    It didn’t take long for him to call back.
    “The best I can figure, the coordinates are close to a cove on Beaver Lake not too far off Highway 303 between Highway 12 and Rocky Branch,” he said.
    The area also sounded like it might be a part of the Hobbs State Park Conservation Area, prompting a call to the park and a short conversation with Steve Chrychel, park naturalist.
    “We are participating in the new geocaching program and have taken the responsibility of monitoring the cache site,” Chrychel confirmed.
    He also confirmed that alongside Arkansas 303 was the trailhead for the Shaddox Hollow Trail, a short and scenic 1.5-mile loop leading down to Shaddox Branch and close to Beaver Lake.
    Terry Fredrick of Fayetteville, a buskwhacker of vast experience in finding hidden places in the Ozarks, was easy to enlist for the hunt.
    I thought we formed a formidable search team when we got together the morning of Jan. 11 at the Arkansas 12-Arkansas 303 intersection.
    “Let’s just say we are three older guys who are hard up for something to do,” Williams cautioned.
    Nevertheless, we would have technological advantages on our side, including detailed topo maps of the terrain along the trail and, most importantly, Williams’ high-end GPS unit.
    As we gathered our gear into one vehicle for the short drive to the trailhead, Williams talked of what he had learned about geocaching by visiting the Web site www.geocaching. com.
    “It’s a lot more popular than I thought,” he said. “According to the Web site, there is something like 544 cache sites within a 100-mile radius of Rockhouse, including several in the [Madison County] wildlife management area.”


    ON THE TRAIL

    Any doubt about the cache being somewhere along the Shaddox Hollow Trail was dispelled when we reached the trailhead and ran into Al Knox, the park’s trail maintenance supervisor, who was just coming off the trail.
    “When Steve [Chrychel] said y’all were coming out here to look for the cache, he told me I’d better go out and make sure it’s still there and has something in it,” Knox said. “It’s there, but I almost needed help finding it.”
    Seeing our smiles over the anticipation of finding treasure, he added, “Hope you don’t have your hopes too high.”
    After registering at the trailhead, we followed a sign indicating the trail loop should be taken to the right. It started out slightly downhill and soon swung to the left to run mostly straight and level along the spine of a ridge forested with large oaks and pines.
    With Williams occasionally checking his GPS, we hadn’t hiked more than 15 minutes before the trail made a big curve to the right.
    “Hold up,” Williams said. “According to the directional arrow on my GPS, the cache site is somewhere down this hill to the left.”
    Trusting in technology, we left the trail, started down the steep hillside, angled toward a small drainage and followed it down to come out on the rim of the sheer bluff.
    “The GPS says the site is somewhere directly below us,” Williams noted.
    Since there didn’t appear to be an easy way to get down the bluff without risk of falling, we followed the rim of the bluff to the right. Within 150 yards, we came back to the trail at a place where a series of steps led below the bluff.
    At this point, the little trail began to feature some nice scenery as it followed the bottom of the bluff downhill into Shaddox Hollow.
    At a point where the bluff line curved to the left and the trail followed it, we saw a spur trail to the right leading to a long, narrow cove of Beaver Lake. Although the GPS indicated we were going off course, we took time to check out the lake views.
    Back on the main trail, we followed it up the narrow hollow between the bluff on one side and a small creek on the other. With a bed dominated by slab rock, the creek promised to be a scenic one in wet weather.
    Noting the many large trees in the hollow and along the trail, Williams said, “It’s a good thing we are out here in winter because if these trees were in full leaf, the GPS wouldn’t be nearly as accurate.”
    Fredrick agreed, saying he had once become completely turned around by relying on his GPS in a thick forest. That’s why he now carries a low-tech compass as a backup on his bushwhacks.
    As it turned out, we would have trouble locating the site for a different reason.


    SEARCHING DOWN AND DIRTY

    We had only gone a short distance along the trail beside the creek when the GPS directed us toward the bluff.
    “It says we should be within 100 feet or so,” Williams noted.
    At that point, the bluff above the trail featured a rock shelter overhang with low roof, as well as small ledges, narrow crevices and piles of large slab boulders. Altogether, there were plenty of places to hide a cache.
    However, once we climbed to the base of the bluff, the GPS refused to lock in on the exact coordinates. Williams went back and forth along 50 yards of bluff to no avail.
    Showing me the screen on his GPS, Williams pointed out that it was most accurate when it could consult with up to 10 satellites, most of which were showing as blank squares on the screen.
    “We had no trouble getting good readings up top, but down here, as you can see, four satellites are being blocked by the bluff and two more by the high ridge across the creek. That affects our accuracy greatly,” Williams explained.
    We began a wide search covering about 50 feet along the bluff, looking in likely places before concluding the cache was not easily visible.
    Initiating a more determined search, we began looking under slabs of rock and poking into piles of leaves.
    Fredrick was in a tight spot and on his hands and knees when - Eureka! - he found the cache. Consisting of a military ammunition can about the size of a lunch box, it was stashed in a dark space between two boulders, partially buried and partially covered with gravel and leaves.
    Inside the can, we found a log book in which we entered our names right below that of “Al Knox,” thereby counting coup on the cache.
    As for treasure, the can was packed with a variety of gifts: meal tickets for the Flying Burrito Restaurant in Fayetteville, a golfer’s picture frame with golfing objects in bas-relief, locomotive medallions from the city of Rogers, a picture postcard, a 2007 Arkansas Tour Guide, a small woodcarving, certificates for a poster and picture book to be redeemed at the Hobbs headquarters, and children’s toys like strings of beads and sunglasses with star-shaped frames.
    The fun of finding the cache surely outweighed the preciousness of the loot it held.
    In the mode of it’s better to give than receive, we followed the geocaching tradition of leaving something behind - in this case, a nice Arkansas Democrat-Gazette coffee mug.
    Leaving the cache site, we followed the trail along the creek until it curved to the left and started climbing easily along a rock-bordered draw leading back to the trailhead.
    It occurred to me then that the short loop was a pretty nice little treasure in itself.
    In hindsight, we decided the cache would have been more easily found if we had taken the trail to the left instead of the right.
    According to the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, more than 2,000 geocaches are hidden in Arkansas, steering people to some of the Natural State’s scenic and historic settings featuring waterfalls, caves, wildlife and trails amid diverse terrain and picturesque landscapes.
    Their coordinates can be found at www.geocaching.com.
    Through the “Cache in with the Natural State” program, new caches in locations throughout the state will be unveiled each month, with the coordinates released the sites www.Arkansas.com and www.arkgeocaching.org.
    The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission also lists caches on its Web site, www.agfc.com, leading enthusiasts to nature trails, hatcheries, and nature and education centers.
    Those new to geocaching are encouraged to abide by the etiquette of the sport:
    Sign the logbook.
    Don’t move a cache.
    Tread lightly and be mindful of the environment when approaching or leaving a cache.
    Take something only if you leave something.
    Don’t leave food, weapons, alcohol or anything harmful or inappropriate.
    Follow the CITO rule: Cache In, Trash Out.
    This story was published Thursday, January 18, 2007

    Copyright © 2007, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved.
    This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc.
    [/quote]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Little Rock/Cabot AR
    Posts
    21
    This the same writer that wrote today's article in the Democrat-Gazette ActiveStyle section on GeoCaching in Arkansas. Celia Storey has a good article too on the same page about Ridgerunners and preserving our trails.

  9. #9
    Thanks
    That is a totally different article than the one I originally saw in the Bella Vista paper. It's got some valuable information too. Now I'm convinced that I did in fact just overlook the cache. I thought about going deeper into that area, but I didn't because I expected it to be more accessible due to it being a promotional thing (note to self: quit fighting instinct, it's a good thing).
    That trail really impressed me so I'll be going back soon to find the cache. There are longer trails too in that area. Looking forward to trying them.
    that wich you are seeking is causing you to seek

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Fayetteville
    Posts
    3

    Cache in with The Natural State

    I am a travel writer for the Arkansas Dept. of Parks and Tourism and helped create the "Cache in with The Natural State" program.

    Our first cache in the series is now on geocaching.com (thanks Chuck). Find it under Hobbson's Choice or GC10DNB. (Definition: Hobson's choice n. a choice of taking the thing offered or nothing.) Okay, so I tried to be clever with the name...

    Anyway, because this series is of a promotional nature, we needed special permission from geocaching.com to post our caches on their site. We did not receive permission from geocaching.com until about a week ago. So, sorry we were late in getting it on that site, and for publicizing too early that the cache could be found there. From here on out, we shouldn't run into that problem.

    As for our geocaching page on www.Arkansas.com - that page is supposed to be ready by Feb. 1!!! We've had some delays in getting the page online and I truly apologize for that. I'm in contact with our internet service provider today as to the status of the new page and will post on this forum to let you know when the page is live.

    I know that at least a couple of people have not been able to find the cache. As of Thursday, Jan. 25, the log book shows that 15 people have found the cache. (And a muddy paw print shows a mountain lion has been in the area as well.) We have a cache monitor, who checks the cache weekly and keeps it stocked with promotional items you can trade for.

    I love to geocache and am excited that Parks & Tourism is embracing geocaching with this "Cache in with The Natural State" program. Please feel free to contact me with feedback (good or bad) about this program. I'll continue reading this forum to see what you think, or you can send me a private message from this site or email me directly at jill.rohrbach@cox-internet.com.

    This is our first year to try this and we're already talking about how we can make it better next year.

    Happy Caching!
    Jill M. Rohrbach, travel writer (a.k.a. theflyingburritos)
    Arkansas Dept. of Parks and Tourism
    (479) 443-7228 (phone and fax)
    jill.rohrbach@cox-internet.com

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