Flying Again  LbNA # 16964

Placed DateJul 30 2005
LocationJacksonville, TX
Found By BarefootLucy
Last Found May 28 2011
Hike Distance?

STATUS 03/21/08-GOOD.



Remember Apollo 11? I do! Until that moment, it never occurred to me that the world was bigger than my neighborhood and that gravity didn't have to hold us to this earth if we didn't want it to. Watching those first lunar steps was wondrous to me - a girl of five!

My husband was hundreds of miles away and busy turning six years old with a spaceman birthday party highlighting that moonwalk. What a lucky guy he was - to have a birthday party while that fateful mission was flying overhead!

When our lives converged a couple of years later, we learned that we were both enthralled by the space program and everything about it. Magellan, Pioneer, Skylab, Apollo, Mariner, Viking, Voyager - all those names have rich meaning to us!

We've often made trips to visit the Johnson Space Center in Houston when a mission was underway, and our last visit was while STS-107 was flying. There was a big "Welcome Home" card in the lobby for visitors to sign - Of course, we signed it. Little did anyone know that STS-107 would never come home to get that card.

I will not ever forget the thunderous noise that seemed as though it would never end as Columbia broke up right over our heads. My family had been preparing for a fun Saturday at a Cub Scout Pinewood Derby, and spent it instead driving around our beloved East Texas seeing the debris that was left of the mighty orbiter and talking to our neighbors, sharing the experience of the disaster together. The sadness of the lives lost was difficult, as was the reminder that our space program is not as indestructible as it seemed and our heroes can fall.

It has been two years since that time, and in the meantime a new lake planned for Cherokee County has been renamed in remembrance of the downed orbiter - Lake Columbia. Finally, a mission is flying again and it only seemed right that a box be planted at the site of the future lake in honor of the perseverance and courage of our space program.

To find the box, go to this site:

Look toward the southern end of the lake and you will see a highway that crosses over the lake. That highway is Highway 79 and the area of the lake you are looking at is between Jacksonville and New Summerfield, slightly past Afton Grove. From Jacksonville, go East on Highway 79 toward New Summerfield. When you pass the Afton Grove cutoff, begin looking for a sign for County Road 1409 to the right. As you look at the map, you will see a road right before the lake that cuts diagonally across Highway 79. This is the road you will be taking. Go right on County Road 1409, and go around the angled bend. Continue along to the 90 degree curve. As you enter the curve, slow down to park on the left side of the road as you are exiting the curve. If you look at the lake map, you will see that the curve will actually be underwater when the lake is completed. Imagine that as you step out of your car, you could be standing in water to your knees in just a few years!

After parking, you may see that there is a No Trespassing sign on a tree. You will NOT be going any further into the area than the road right of way. In just about the middle of the curve on the same side you parked are two large pine trees close together. Go behind those pine trees and you will see some pieces of decaying limbs between the two trees. Look under those limbs and under some pine rubbish for the box.

This is an area that apparently collects a bit of trash. If you would be so kind as to take a trash bag with you when you go to find Flying Again, and collect some of the trash you might see around. And while you're there, would you take a moment to think about the brave men and women who risk their lives to discover new horizons?


NOTE: This box will be moved as the plans for the lake move forward. If you are interested in watching its progress, visit often.

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