Saturday, February 2, 2008

Trestle Collapses!

I usually don't point out the secrets of a geocache, but today, I'm making an exception. So if you don't want to know the truth about trestle collapses! stop reading now.

It was October 9th 1953, when 600 feet of the Minnesota Western Railroad trestle over Winstead Lake collapsed, sending nine cars filled with oats and corn into the lake.

Efforts to repair the trestle failed, and new tracks were laid, bypassing the lake. Today, the railroad bed is part of the rails to trails movement and has been converted to part of the western suburbs trail system.

That brings us to the geocache. A great idea. And a great place to put a geocache. The idea was to create a multi, with the first stage on one side of the trestle collapse, and the final stage on the other. Very historic. Bits and pieces of brick and steel are still there to be found.

Our first attempt ended with a big fat DNF. The hint, do not fall in, misled our search too close to the water's edge. We looked and looked, but to no avail.

Our second attempt was a bit more successful. We found the first stage. I was determined.

At the trails end is a park bench to sit & enjoy the view. I placed the GPSr on the bench and sat down to wait for the coords to settle in.

Now our GPSr may not be the newest and brightest, but if I set the thing down long enough, it will rival anything out there. And that bench was pretty danged close to GZ! So we went over it inch by inch. We looked at every screw on it, if by chance one was a fake. Nothing. We checked the bottom, thinking that the coords for the second stage were simply written there. Nothing.

Back to the GPSr. I knew that the cache couldn't be behind, or to the sides of the bench. From my best guess, it had to be about seven feet in front of it. But we had looked and looked all around there - and there's just no place to hide a cache. Nothing there but a 4 X 4 post stuck in the ground. Hmmmm. . . Don't tell me.

I swung around the back side of the post, and there, written in pencil were the coordinates for the second stage. Too bad they were illegible. We tried our best to read the numbers, even plugged what we thought they should be into the GPSr. No dice. So we walked back to the other side of the collapse and looked into every beacon over there. Nothing.

Click on photo to enlarge.

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