Snake Story LbNA # 16829 (ARCHIVED)
|Placed Date||Jul 24 2005|
Last found/checked: 27-SEP-15 Box in great shape.
Location: state park south of Baraboo
Time: 1 - 3 hours depending on how many boxes you do
Terrain: rocky bluffs & wooded trails; several steep sections
Note: You will need a vehicle sticker to park in this area. 2007 fees are: Daily: $7/$10 for non-resident or Annual: $25/$35. Ask for a copy of the park newspaper or trail maps if you’d like to see the almost 30 miles of trails in this park.
There are actually timber rattlesnakes in this park and you can check the park newsletter for more details or find info on the Internet. The good news is that the snakes are reclusive and are not aggressive. They are listed as a “Protected Wild Animal” in Wisconsin. There is usually only one bite reported every 4 years, so the odds are good that you’ll be just fine… Obviously you should be alert and cautious when hiking in this park!
You can find this box by continuing on after finding the Vertical Ascent box or start fresh from the Balanced Rock trail on the South Shore.
If just starting out, start on the Balanced Rock trail. To get to the trailhead, take the path between the parking lot and the picnic shelters, heading east. The trail will cross over the railroad tracks and shortly reach an intersection with a trail map. Go straight up the rocks on the Balanced Rock trail! This is a difficult, steep trail with stone steps on the south face of the East Bluff, with great views of Balanced Rock along the way. Eventually, huffing and puffing, you will reach a well-like structure.
Story time: My parents used to take us camping quite a bit when we were kids, and one of our favorite spots was this state park. Often we'd camp together with aunts & uncles & cousins and have fun exploring.
One of our family memories is the time we ran into a rattlesnake on the trail. I recently sent out an email message to everyone to see what he or she remembered about the event. Here's what my mom had to say:
“It was early summer or late spring. That is when the snakes are out sunning themselves to get warm. I know Donna was little. We were there with the Siemers [our cousins].”
The area you just walked through may be prime timber rattlesnake area. Hopefully you got through it OK! From the well-like structure, head north and enjoy the views.
Here's what my sister Donna remembered about the incident:
“I think I was 6 or 7. As I remember it we were all climbing on the rocks and someone heard the rattlesnake. We were all told to stand very still. I believe it went under me through the rocks I was straddling. (Could have been someone else's legs though-Diana?) I don't remember if there were any cousins.”
Eventually you’ll pass a honeymooners bench. Record the year: ______
Here's what my sister Diana had to say:
“Oh yeah, it’s embedded in my memory. We were camping with the Siemers and climbing up a pile of rocks along the path. I think I was nine. Several of you guys were a ways up the rock hill already but I was near the bottom on a large boulder. Once Dad saw the snake he yelled for all of us to stand still, but the snake moved to go directly between my outspread legs. I was no way standing still when that thing was coming at me and I did a back flip off the boulder and back down onto the path below. From that day on out, Dad made sure we had a snake bite kit along with us when we went camping out there.”
Next you’ll pass a map at an intersection, but stay on the East Bluff trail until you reach some steps going down.
Here's what my aunt said to my mom:
“I think it was either Memorial week-end or the 4th of July. Yes, remember, how could I forget? Gene [my dad] was insisting there were NO rattlesnakes in WI. Boy was he proved wrong. Remember, Dick & Gene both ran up & grabbed kids. Unless, maybe it was Labor day week-end. Nope, couldn't have been. Rattlesnakes come out in spring to sun on the rocks. If I remember right, that’s what they were doing when kids ran up there.”
At the last step down, add the 1st, 3rd, and 4th digits of the year to come up with a number. Take this number of paces further along the trail. From here, look right and spot a large stone face/head in the woods. Go to this head and look in the nape of the neck to see where a harmless rattler is hiding. Please replace all covering carefully when replacing the box.
You can now retrace your steps or continue to loop around the lake to find the Demon’s Dwelling box on the West Bluff.
We hope you enjoyed your hunt and didn’t have any close encounters with rattlesnakes! Since we don’t live in the area we would really appreciate an update on the status of the box if you find it. We won’t be able to check on it very often…