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Saturday, July 31, 2004

Know Future found Watchtower 3 

Finally got up enough nerve to come back for a second try. This time, took the advice in the logs and brought my binoculars. After circling the tower several times and getting a sore neck I spotted it from the ground. I hiked right past it on the first try. Glad to get this one marked off the list.

Know Future found Hillsboro City Park 2 

Found this one about noon today. Nice little park. Love the landscaping they've done at the entrance. FTF!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Roadside Geology – Missouri Southbound I-55 

This easy four-part multi is perfect for geocachers traveling south on Interstate 55 in Missouri.
We’ll visit some of the best road cuts south of St. Louis along a 45-mile stretch between Imperial and St. Mary’s.

* All the stops are close to exits, but you won’t have to park your car, or walk, on the interstate to view them.
* At Stops 1, 2 and 3 you’ll be looking for an orange plastic matchbox. Each contains information you need to find the regular cache at Stop 4.

The road-building philosophy in southern Missouri has always been to take the path of least resistance. Most Ozarks highways twist and turn along ridge tops and sometimes seem to curl back on themselves. Poorly designed roads have hindered economic development in the Ozarks. That’s one reason you’ll find so many quaint little towns that look like Hooterville. They are interesting for visitors, but in fact, many of these towns are dying. Natives are forced to leave to find jobs. There may be more ghost towns in the Ozarks than there are in Arizona.

In the 1950s and 60s, the Interstate Highway System was developed as part of our national defense strategy. These straight, broad four-lane roads, with access limited to selected intersections, are designed to move soldiers and weapons across the country quickly in case of an enemy (meaning Soviet) attack. Few people realize that in a national emergency, our military still has the authority to close interstate highways to civilian traffic. President Eisenhower initiated the Interstate system, but we can thank Nikita Khrushchev for making it happen.

The Interstate system created a windfall for geologists – road cuts. Because the roads go straight through hills, instead of around them or on top of them, there are spectacular cuts along many Interstate routes. Some of the best road cuts in the Ozarks are on I-55, south of St. Louis. We are going to stop and look at a few of the very best.

STOP 1 (N38° 21.450', W90° 23.425')
Take the exit 186, then turn west on West Main. Go about 120 ft on West Main, then turn south on West Imperial Drive. Proceed south on West Imperial Drive for about 0.7 mi. The road ends here. Park at this point and search for the cache.

This colorful cut has always fascinated me. It exposes a thick section of limestone, sandstone and shale. Climb to the first terrace and view the yellow-brown, iron-stained Bushberg Sandstone. If you’re feeling frisky, climb the next terrace. There you’ll view the Bachelor Limestone, which has abundant fossils, mostly small clamshells and crinoid stems. This is the only climbing effort required on this cache. The high bluffs made it hard to get good coordinates, but the clue should lead you right to it.

STOP 1A: (N 38° 21.564’, W 90° 23.376) – if you prefer not to make this climb, a duplicate micro is also hidden here. I recommend the climbing option; it’s worth your time and effort if you can do it. If you find the STOP 1 clue (on the roadcut), it has instructions on how to claim a bonus find for your efforts

STOP 2 (N 38° 09.437’, W 90° 21.124’)
– Take US 61 south at exit 170. Go about 1900 ft east on US 61 and park on the south side of the highway. Again, these coordinates may not be the best, but the clue should help.
This is one of the most spectacular road cuts on I-55. It exposes the entire section of the St. Peter Sandstone, capped by the Joachim Dolomite. Note that you can easily break small chunks of this sandstone with your fingers. That’s because it is almost pure silica sand with a very weak clay cement holding the grains together. Nearby Crystal City got its name from the plate glass factories that have operated here since the late 1860s. The glass is made from the same clean silica sandstone that you see here. As you pull back onto the interstate, you’ll see the rock exposures pictured here on both sides of the road.

STOP 3 (N 37° 53.224’, W 90° 02.630’)
– Take exit 143 and turn northeast on Rt. J. Go about 900 ft then turn northwest on Rt. M. Go 1.00 mi to Toots Hill Drive. Look at the rocks exposed on the west side of M and south of Toots Hill.
This is a good exposure of the Salem Limestone. There are some good fossils in this cut, mostly bryozoans (which look like nets), small clamshells and crinoid stem pieces, which look like beads. The Salem is 98%+ pure calcium carbonate. It is mined in nearby Ste. Genevieve, where it is used to make quicklime, calcium food additives and other products. If you’ve ever taken a Tums tablet, you’ve eaten a bit of Salem Limestone. Bon appetit!
Now you’ve visited three great road cuts and collected the clues that will take you to the cache!

STOP 4 (N 37° 50. A B 9’, W 90° 00. 2 C 0’)
– Take exit 141 (Rt Z), park on the ramp and walk the short distance to the cache. You’re looking for an olive drab ammo box. The values for A, B and C are hidden at Stops 1, 2 and 3.
Another exposure of St. Peter Sandstone. This cut is significant because it exposes the Ste. Genevieve fault zone, a major branch of the New Madrid fault. This fault has been mapped for a distance of 125 miles, from St. Clair, Missouri to Anna, Illinois. I-55 crosses the fault at the Route Z overpass, where jumbled blocks of the St. Peter lie at various angles. When you reach the cache, you’ll be standing right on the fault.

Just a quarter mile to the north, undisturbed beds of the much younger Burlington and Keokuk formations are exposed. All of the Silurian, Devonian and upper Ordovician units that should be here are missing, the result of millions of years of erosion. This represents a vertical displacement of about 1,800 feet.

There are lots of shell fossils in these rocks. At one time (about 500 million years ago) this was a tropical island beach with sparkling white sand and azure seas filled with clams, weird bugs and corals. There were no fish in the seas and no trees on the land – just moss and maybe grasses.
 
Additional Hints 
STOP 1: Clue C, first terrace, in crack, behind weeds, eye level.

STOP 1A: Clue C, behind guard rail at 186 mile marker.
STOP 2: Clue A, hole in rock, eye level.
STOP 3: Clue B, under a ledge, eye level, behind rocks.
STOP 4: Under an overhang, some rocks set in front of it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Know Future found Just a Walk in the Park (Traditional Cache) 

Yahoo! FTF! Always a pleasure to visit this pleasant park. Thanks for placing another cache here. TNSL - left compass.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Know Future posted a note for The Project Project (Multi-cache) 

The micro has gone AWOL. This is one of those precarious locations and the cache will most likely turn up missing again and again. So I met with the board of directors and they issued the following statement:

"We, the directors of the Project Project, approve the above changes. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our clients, but we feel these changes will enhance the future longevity of the cache. Thank you for patience and understanding."

George Papoon, Chairman


Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Know Future posted a note for Dark Side of the Moon (Traditional Cache) 

Replaced this one today. It's now a small regular cache with a few goodies for trade. Hidden in exactly the same spot. This should be too big and heavy for the squirrels to steal. The log book is a micro film canister stashed inside the larger container.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Know Future couldn't find TipTop (Traditional Cache) 

No luck on this one. Coordinates took me right to a big fallen tree full of holes, but all seemed to be empty. Found some other holey trees, but no cache. I'm not too good at finding micros, so I probably overlooked it. Will try again sometime.

Know Future found Mill Mountain Shut-in (Klepzig Mill) (Traditional Cache)  

You know how it is when you get that craving, like for a Snickers bar, or maybe a cheeseburger? That's how it is with a Hairy Hillbilly geocache. Go a few months without one and pretty soon it's all you can think about. I'm not talking FISS or BBQ here. I mean a real HHB cache. Like this one.
You know at least two things are going to happen when you seek a real, top of the line, Hairy Hillbilly cache:

1. You're going to do some driving
2. You're going to see something worth seeing

Klepzig Mill scores a 10 on both counts. Another great little shut-ins. Hairy can sniff them out like nobody else. I hung around for an hour, climbing on the rocks and taking pictures. Worked up a pretty good sweat on this hot and humid morning. The water looked soo cool and inviting that I couldn't help it - had to strip down and skinny dip for a while. It was perfect, cool but not icy cold. And the smooth rocks were just right for air drying before getting dressed.

Found the cache quickly (with the clue). It's in fine condition. Took nothing and left a compass. Thanks for showing me yet another example of what makes our little corner of the Ozarks so beautiful and unique.

Know Future couldn't find Dirty Harry (Traditional Cache)  

No luck here today. Your coordinates took me right to the leaning syacamore tree, which was kind of surprising, being right under the huge bluffs. I looked high and low. Even used a flashlight and did some rock climbing, since Hairy is a tall fellow. Met a pretty little snake, but no cache. I'll admit I'm not good at finding micros in the wild. Still it was a nice spot and well worth visiting. Thanks, Hairy.

Know Future couldn't find A Perfect Place For A FISS--Cool, Mahan (Traditional Cache) 

I'm batting goose eggs on micros today. I searched the structure high and low, inside and out, but came up empty handed.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Know Future found Round Mound of Sound (Multi-cache) 

Thought I might have a shot at FTF on this one, especially under these unusual circumstances. Today was my only chance, as I knew Mamalu was hot on the trail, too. So I took a detour after work and found it real quick. Not quick enough to beat Mamalu, though. Oh well, sometimes I beat her, sometimes she beats me.
Nice hide. TNSL, left Easter whistle. Thanks for putting a cache in beautiful Ste. Genevieve.

If you want to correct WP1 without physically changing it you can edit your cache page and post numbers to add or subtract that will give the correct results. Just a thought.


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