Featured Player: 96Shadow

96shadow

What was the inspiration for your geocaching name?

My bike – motorcycle, is a 1996 Honda VT1100c2 Shadow A. C. E. (American Classic Edition)  I attempted other handles but they were all taken already.

 

Why did you decide to try geocaching?

I discovered “Where’s George” – a cash bill tracker where you enter the serial number and other information of the cash bills into a database and can get alerts when it is logged again thereby allowing you to see the bill’s travels – from a dollar I had that was stamped WheresGeorge.com. One such bill had an extra stamp on it – geocaching.com. Curiously I checked the site and then went out and found my first cache a few blocks from my home before I even signed up for membership. I was instantly hooked. It has since been archived and I now have my own cache in the general location: https://coord.info/GC6E83R. 

 

What cache were you after? What did you expect to find?

That was https://coord.info/GCHB7B. Had no idea, that’s why I went looking.

 

Everyone has a Geocaching “big fish” story about the hunt that was much more than you expected at the start. What is yours?

It was recent. Almost has to be because I’m very forgetful.  My parents heard something on the news about the Atchafalaya Basin and Louisiana and Geocaching but they didn’t understand what they were talking about. So I got a call and, as I missed the news, I had no idea what they were talking about. Then I attended the meet event https://coord.info/GC771XA and posed the question to some of the other attendees. No one heard of it. I came home and did an internet search and came up with the story from a Baton Rouge television station. I immediately began preparing for the fun. After some stressful sweating and long hours and hard work and a couple mosquito attacks and lots of back tracking miles on my gas guzzling pick-up and spending 1 night in said truck, I completed the trail – first.

 

What is your Geocaching EDC (Everyday carry)? What gear do you have to have with you?

Hmm, I’m always forgetting something. My phone is about the only thing I always have with me. I have a military belt with pockets that’s loaded with all sorts of tools. I don’t always have it with me on hunts though.

 

What is the most memorable thing you’ve seen or found while caching?

My memory isn’t any good, I forget just about everything. There is nothing that stands out. I guess https://coord.info/GCE02C would be it. Taking all those elevators and being on top of New Orleans.

 

What cache is on your Bucket List?

No particular cache. Want to complete some Trails / Challenges and make it to a Mega Event – GeoWoodStock. 

 

Any other hobbies?

Riding my bike when it’s up and running, gardening, been a very long time since I’ve seen a Where’s George bill or gotten an alert from one, spending way too much time on Facebook or the computer in general, making wine, canoeing, fishing on a rare occasion, tent camping when I can, looking for a beautiful young virgin to be my wife and later, the mother of my children (also known as dreaming / fantasizing), photography, butterflies and birds (watching and helping), some years ago I purchased an observation hive for bees and have yet to get bees for it (someday I hope to), when I can – travel / exploring / taking the back roads. I also like to check out houses and other properties that come up for sale if they are unoccupied. 

 

Anything else you would like to say?

Some caches are so cool and imaginative. I wish I had that kind of talent.
I wish I had better memory ‘cause without a good memory I find myself missing out on conversations of certain shared experiences even if not done at the same time. I’m also hard of hearing – been tested 80% loss in left ear and don’t remember what the number was for right ear.
I don’t like puzzles. I do like gadget caches.
I also like the LGO Facebook page, great bunch of people on there.

PLEASE, don’t just WATCH for but make the effort to LOOK for motorcycles!!! Often times bikes are hidden behind your mirror or C-pillar. 

Waypoints: Kisatchie and Little Pierre Bayou Falls

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Little Bayou Pierre Cascade: N 31° 23.717’ W 093° 03.810’

NATCHITOCHES PARISH

WHAT’S HERE:

Waterfalls in Louisiana. Yes we have some but they’re not the Oregon Trail – shampoo commercial – variety.

Most web searches for ‘waterfalls in Louisiana’ will yield the ones we know already from our geocaching exploits around LaSalle Parish: St Mary Falls and Rock Falls. According to our geo-friends who have explored that area, the Sicily Island Hills State WMA, there is a third waterfall, somewhere near GC5ZKXZ.

Frustratingly, those same web-searches typically yield some ‘hey this is in your state’ aggregate blog pages that always, always start with Clark Creek Falls, which is actually in Mississippi.

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Little Bayou Pierre Cascade, viewed from La-118, looking SW

Buried deep in the search results though, one author listed Little Bayou Pierre Cascade.  Visible from a bridge crossing the bayou on La-118, there isn’t much in the way of water or fall, but it’s there.  Without actually measuring, it appears to be a 3-foot drop in elevation. That aforementioned author labels it a Class II rapid.

On the other side of the bridge, off to the NE there is a public swimming hole.

Tripgoers to this site should keep in mind, La Hwy 118 is one of a handful of paved highways that don’t terminate on both ends at another highway. The western end is an intersection with La Hwy 117. State maintenance ends at the Mink community, just about exactly where this waterfall is.

So don’t continue east past the falls on Kisatchie-Mora Rd. unless you want a rough ride through the country.  You may get a damaged tire like we did.

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The Longleaf Vista area of Kisatchie National Forest is geologically the same limestone foundation that make up the highlands of Sicily Island Hills.  Therefore it’s not surprising that there should be waterfalls in Natchitoches Parish as well.  We know of three, including Little Bayou Pierre’s.

Kisatchie Campground Fall: N 31° 26.674’ W 093° 05.589’

Hidden deep in Kisatchie’s Red Dirt WMA is Kisatchie Bayou Campground, on Kisatchie Bayou, a meandering stream coming out of its limestone hills, which flows north to join the Cane River near Natchez, La.  For most of the year the stream is sparse, carrying what rain water the hills take in.  Visitors to the area, following several days of storms (as we did) will find the bayou a veritable torrent.

This will reveal a set or two of rapids unseen at most other times.  This one, near the very end of the Caroline Dormon Trail and the campground there, becomes a drop of about 15-24 inches, scored diagonally across the entire bayou from SW to NE.

While there, and taking the opportunity to dip our feet and pull out rounded stones from the bayou bed, our team met a duo of downbound kayakers who verified the existence of a third fall further upriver.  The directions they gave us indicated there is a Forest Service road off of La-118 (why is it always that one?) that should take one straight to it.

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Map courtesy Google / Geocaching

Turns out, that’s exactly the case. Even Google Maps identifies it as ‘Kisatchie Fall’ but only on one Zoom Level. FS-361, the kayakers indicated, doesn’t have a sign, but map-heads should be able to locate it.

Kisatchie Fall: N 31° 24.403’ W 093° 07.925’

It may be our next geo-trip.  After all, this forest road entrance puts curious cachers very close to GC13AY9.

That’s six waterfalls in Louisiana we can verify. If you know of any more, let us know.

 

This Tag is growing. See our overview of geoLa Waypoints here.

North East South and West

Here was our question: Which Louisiana geocaches are the northernmost, easternmost, southernmost, and westernmost? What are our geo-extremes?

It seemed easy enough. Starting along the beach at the bottom of our state, one needs to only follow the Geo-map from one side to the other. There’s really only a couple places that our L-shaped geography protrudes with any kind of vigor into the Gulf. There’s the Mississippi Delta, and the Bayou Lafourche corridor.

A quick search for geocaches in both of those areas easily give us the site of the geocache hidden for us which is the farthest south, and the farthest east.

No place in Louisiana goes farther east and south, land-wise, than the Delta.

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And most of it is accessible only by boat

The three-veined Mississippi entrance doesn’t have any physical hides (presently). The closest place to the river’s mouth is Venice, where the world ends. At that ending we find a handful of hides, and the one farthest to the east is GC64VNP ‘Park at the End,’ one of BAMBOOZLE’s many droppings. It’s sitting on 89° 21.158’ W of Greenwich, making it the easternmost physical geocache in Louisiana.

That stretch of delta isn’t the east-iest dry land in the State, however.

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Here’s an interesting fact: The easternmost point of the Chandeleur Islands is farther east than Biloxi is.

The Îsles de Chandeleur arc out into Mississippi Sound, and even though they’re disappearing at a disheartening rate, they still are a beach with fauna and flora. However, there isn’t and there won’t be any physical geocaches there, since they’re part of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge.

Now, a swipe of the map westward leads across Barataria Bay past Grand Isle to the land of the Lafourche, and it is there we do find the southernmost geocache presently on our map.

It’s another one of BAMBOOZLE’s. GC3A0K7 ‘Come Get Me Big Doggy’ was hidden by Bam and Short Circuit 2, as a challenge to Big Doggy, a veteran player in the New Orleans Metro Area. To our knowledge, Big Doggy still hasn’t gone after it.

Measuring latitude 29° 06.463’, it is the closest place to the equator in Louisiana that you can sign a geocache log.

Now, astute map-heads will point out that there’s an Earthcache at the Head of Passes, more southern and more eastern than these.

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Image: geocaching.com / Leaflet

GC605FW ‘Foot of the Bird – Earthcache’ is an educational exercise touching on delta formation and river navigation. Its published coordinates are southeast of Venice, in the river proper. Auxiliary to the lesson, the owner has left a physical log at the Pass-A-Loutre WMA check-in station. Because the coordinates to that station are below the 29th Parallel, and nearly three more miles east than the pin for the earthcache, we can interject a kind of asterisk to our above statement about the southernmost log you can sign.

However, this author will claim that such an ‘additional logging requirement’ is optional for the Earthcache and does not count as a physical geocache, respectable and exceptional though it may be.

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Image: geocaching.com / Google

 

What started as a hypothetical question about geographical geocache extremes has blossomed into a monumental puzzle to solve.

Check this out. In the Caddo corner of our State we have a physical geocache, looking like it’s across the dotted line and properly in Texas, but listed in Louisiana, and hidden to the NORTHWEST of a Virtual cache, listed as being in Arkansas.

GC23HE8 ‘ArkLaTex’ and GC7EF5 ‘Two for One, Three at a Time’ seem to have swapped bathrobes. Is one of them not in their actual state? Who knows?

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Image: geocaching.com / Google

 

A Kind Of Controversy

Our North-West corner’s actual location has been the subject of much international, mathematical and astronomical debate since at least the end of the Jefferson administration.

Here’s a little history on the topic. The south and east boundaries of our State are easy enough to find, but where our legislative boundaries slice dirt can be much harder to project.

In 1804 Congress divided the Louisiana Territory using the 33rd Parallel. Everything south was called the Territory of Orleans, and is roughly our Louisiana today.

[For exhaustive history on the matter see: Oliver P. Stockwell, The Boundaries of the State of Louisiana, 42 La. L. Rev. (1982) Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.lsu.edu/lalrev/vol42/iss3/7 ]

Then, in 1812 Louisiana entered the Union as the 18th State, and its Western and Northern Boundary was at that time defined as:

Beginning at the mouth of the River Sabine, thence, by a line to be drawn along the middle of the said river, including all islands, to the thirty-second degree of north latitude, thence due north to the northernmost part of the thirty-third degree of north latitude, thence along the said parallel of latitude to the River Mississippi…

 

And on and on. It’s fascinating reading.

One thinks it should be easy to figure out. Turns out it wasn’t. Nineteenth Century geodetic and astronomy tech was good, but not to our modern degree. Those original, and later, surveyors were in error to the north by 2,220 feet when they laid a granite marker on the left descending bank of the Sabine River where they said it met the 32nd Parallel, calling it the International Boundary between the U.S. and Spanish Texas.

 

The marker still stands today. Aim for GCTBR8 and you’ll find it not far from the cache. See also this Waymark.

Since the granite Sabine-32° marker was off, their later mark for the 33rd parallel was off too. Therefore, we find there is some of Louisiana above Latitude 33°.

No big deal, right?

That’s actually the case. There has never been a dispute between Arkansas and Louisiana over the border. Whatever it is today, based on the original survey, is good enough for both parties.

It took some time before anyone asked the all-important question (it was 1841 in fact), ‘What is the granite marker’s longitude?’ Later, the Louisiana Geodetic Survey defined it as 94° 02’ 33.0”.

 

How To Give Up and Yet Succeed

This leaves us with the questions: Which geocache is farthest West, and which is farthest North?

To answer them, we are going to simply have to refer to the listings and follow the map down the border. Whatever state the Geo-map tells us the caches are in, we will use.

Of the caches which are shown as falling in Louisiana, the one with the greatest latitude will be Northernmost, and with the greatest longitude will be Westernmost. Sure, it’s arbitrary, or throwed-off a bit. Sure, the surveyors were either drunk or followed a snake. Look what happened with the ArkLaTex cache and it’s little ghosty friend.

There are a lot of candidates. For many miles the boundary between the Natural State and the Bayou State follows a road that’s supposed to be arrow straight but isn’t, and there is a series of geocaches along it to one side or the other, named alternately for local players. The AR-LA boundary was supposed to be a perfect parallel, but it’s not and so it winds a little bit. Due to surveyor’s errors, the Louisiana border dips slightly more and more south the farther east one goes.

 

The Winners Are…

So, after following the map east and south, and much aspirin, we have the following results:

Northernmost: GC17J60 ‘A Welcome Sign’

Westernmost: GC23HE8 ‘ArkLaTex’

Easternmost: GC64VNP ‘Park at the End’

Southernmost: GC3A0K7 ‘Come Get Me Big Doggy’

Honorable Mention: GC605FW ‘Foot of the Bird – Earthcache’

There you have it. A little history, a little geography, a little nonsense.

 

Here’s a challenge: If you find and log all five of them in the same day I have a little prize for you. How little? You’ll just have to try it and see.

Waypoint: Burr’s Ferry

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N 31° 03.936 W 093° 30.716

VERNON PARISH

WHAT’S HERE:

Just 18 miles west from Leesville is the Sabine River crossing ghost town of Burr’s Ferry, named for Dr. Timothy Burr, cousin to 3rd Vice President Aaron Burr, who built a home here in the early 1800’s.

From http://www.toledo-bend.com/:

Burr’s Ferry was a point on the Sabine River where invasion by Federal forces was expected during the Civil War. Extensive breastworks were thrown up, and these may be seen today north of Louisiana Highway 8 a short distance from the bridge.

It was never a bustling city, but the relative importance of the town in the period from 1850 until 1910 was considerable when compared with its status today. It has no school, no post office, no commercial enterprise except for a small restaurant on the bank of the river.

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Nearest Geocache Listing: GC2F3PM

This Tag is growing. See our overview of geoLa Waypoints here.

Waypoint: Cheniere Shack

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N 32° 31.100′, W 092° 14.572′ 

OUACHITA PARISH

 

WHAT’S HERE:

(from nelageo.netThe North Louisiana Geocachers Saturday luncheon is now held at the Cheniere Shack Restaurant located on Hwy 80.

We try to meet every Saturday for lunch at 1:00ish at The Cheniere Shack in West Monroe. It’s an open invitation for any/all geocachers to stop by and chat, eat, and all around socialize. Feel free to stop by and join in. Depending on how many we have, will dictate on where they seat us. The owners said they would do everything they could to accomodate us and make sure we all sit together. Just ask for the geocaching group when you show up.

 

Nearest Geocache Listing: GC1VA8A

This Tag is growing. See our overview of geoLa Waypoints here.

 

Houma GeoTour

HOUMA

Houma Travel has partnered with Geocaching to bring you the Houma GeoTour, a many-cached venture into urban and swamp-rural South Louisiana.

Our state has gained a welcome notoriety from its creation.  One famous Youtuber has recently featured it on his channel, garnering thousands of views. See it all here.

One can only hope for more GeoTours in Louisiana to come.

Louisiana Geocaching Organization

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LGO

Louisiana Geocaching Organization is a social benefit organization promoting Geocaching and geolocation gaming in Louisiana.

LGO aims to be the foremost unified society of geocachers in Louisiana, in order to keep geo-gaming relevant and modern, available as a vibrant family-oriented activity for present players and generations to come.  LGO uses modern internet-based social media and forums to keep member players connected.