N 34° 14.757 W 083° 49.897
UTM: 17S E 239223 N 3793055
Elachee Nature Center has three “Discover Nature Packs”. There is a Plant Pack, an Animal Pack, and a GPS Pack. The GPS Pack is designed for kids at the 6th through 8th grade levels, though a precocious adult might just manage.
The posted coords are of the Elachee Nature Center’s Gift Shop, which is where the “GPS Pack” can be checked out. The Nature Center is open from 10 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday, closed on Sundays. It will take you a leisurely hour to complete your mission, so plan accordingly. Since you’ll be handling paper and pencils to take notes, doing this on a rainy day is not recommended.
You can leave your GPS in the car, as the GPS Pack includes a Garmin Geko. Because of the value of the GPS and other items in the nature pack you’ll be asked to leave a credit card or driver’s license when you sign out the GPS Pack. The items will be inventoried upon your return, so don’t loose them! You can use your own GPS, but the little Geko has the coordinates of all the waypoints already programmed into it. Our donations at the 2004 GGA Challenge held at Elachee helped pay for this little GPS, so see how it works.
What is a “GPS Pack”? Well, it’s a fairly large fanny pack in which you’ll find a notebook, pencils, the GPS, instructions for using the GPS, and all the tools and equipment you’ll need to conquer each stage of the challenge and proceed on to the next. You cannot log this cache without checking out the GPS Pack, as it contains items even a well equipped geocacher will not have. You’ll be hiking on a loop trail right behind the Nature Center. Of Elachee’s seven trails this is one of the less physically challenging, but it does have some steep places, so be careful.
You’ll visit a series of waypoints along the trail to observe the environment and gather clues. If you’ve done everything correctly you’ll be able to unlock the combination lock on the ammo box in the gift shop and log your find.
Tammy of Elachee Nature Center and I used the Geko to mark the waypoints you’ll be visiting, and you’ll see that Tammy did a great job of putting together the booklet of waypoints, clues, information, and questions that you’ll be answering. No waypoint averaging was possible with the little Geko, but the clues for each stage are such that you should have no problems if you stay on the trail. Have fun, but if you can’t open the ammobox don’t yell at the gift shop volunteers! They don’t have the combination and can’t help you. If you’re like me you probably transposed some numbers and will have to try three times before the lock pops open.
If you’ve enjoyed this and other caches at Elachee please become an Elachee Volunteer. Join me and others on the first Saturday of each month as we do trail relocation and bridge building under the guidance of Preserve Manager Cynthia Taylor. Alternately, the third Saturday of the month is also devoted to volunteers helping maintain Elachee’s trail system. Thanks! ~erik~
Official Geocache Code: GCR83Q