Five Star Drinks: Eight Ounces LbNA # 20746
|Placed Date||Jan 30 2006|
4/3/2011: Confirmed in place
This LB is part of the nine-box "Five Star Drinks" series. For a full explanation of the series, see "Five Star Drinks: Herbal Tonic."
Ink: Bring your own. I recommend blue.
Length/Difficulty/Terrain: About ½ mile roundtrip: half on a trail around a lake, half bushwhacking over uneven and hilly terrain through woods and brush. Watch for ticks and chiggers.
Pace: One pace = two steps; I’m about 5’1” so my paces tend to be pretty short. The bushwhacking and rugged terrain may also throw off pace count so I’ve included lots of landmarks. Although I’m biased, the quality of the stamp is worth the effort.
Encryption: This one is enough of a “stumper” that none of the clues are encrypted.
From Interstate 70, in Columbia, MO take exit 124. Head north on Route E toward Harrisburg. At T-intersection, turn right on Hwy 124. Eventually, pass YY on right. Soon after, turn left onto Oak Grove School Road. Follow signs to Lick Creek Conservation Area.
From Hwy 63, north of Columbia, MO, turn west on Hwy 124. Turn right (north) on Oak Grove Church Road. Follow signs to Lick Creek Conservation Area (LCCA).
From LCCA parking lot, head clockwise on trail around lake.
Notice beaver activity, including girdled trees. A girdled tree is when bark and the underlying cambium layer is stripped in a ring or “girdle” all around the tree. This effectively kills the tree. Beavers will often girdle trees to eliminated unwanted species, such as cedars, and increase habitat for their preferred species such as cottonwoods which have easily digestible bark (if you’re a beaver) and are high in protein. Beavers also like oaks, ashes and sugar maples. They usually prefer pole-sized trees as they are the most efficient to cut and haul.
An abandoned pond frequently contains many conifers, such as cedars, as the cutting of hardwoods and re-cutting of their stump-sprouts weaken their survival rate and allow conifer seedlings to flourish if not girdled.
Near the far northern end of the lake, look for a 4’ high stump on the right where trail heads 135 degrees. Update: This stump has been reported as missing. Walk 12 paces to a drainage bearing 30 degrees, (you’ll pass a fallen log on right). Turn left (Facing 30 degrees) and head up drainage 10 paces to a Y-intersection. Go left, still heading 30 degrees. Pass small drainage on left.
At next intersection, see partially girdled tree about 15 feet to the right. Do not head that way but continue up drainage bearing 60 degrees 6 paces. (Drainage will twist and turn). Continue counting paces. After 13 more paces you’ll pass a tree on the right with a hole in its base. Go 10 more paces passing a tree on left with a grapevine wrapped around it. Go 9 more paces till you see three small sister trees on left and drainage starts to bear east.
Exit drainage on left side bearing 60 degrees and walk 11 paces toward a tree with a large base. Before you reach this tree, look left and see a fallen log that lies across another drainage.
Head up this drainage on east (right) side. Travel along drainage about 40 paces until you see a one-foot-high stump near drainage.
Go 10 paces, still following drainage, to a medium-sized white oak tree. If you look left across drainage, you should be roughly across from a fallen tree that lies wedged in the V of a tree.
Go 50 degrees 7 paces to a two-foot high stump with a twin-trunked snag.
Standing on west side of stump, look north through the trunks of another twin-trunked tree. You should see a 4’ high stump at about 20 degrees. Walk 10 paces at 15 degrees to this stump. Stand on east side.
Go due east 14 paces to a double stump, each about one-and-a-half feet high.
Go 30 degrees a few more steps to a single stump measuring about one-and-a-half feet high tall, one-and-a-half feet in diameter, and with a hole in the top. Look inside this “watering hole.”
When you’re finished stamping in this stumper, please re-hide well, placing rock and leaves back on top of box to prevent theft, vandalism, animal mischief or forces of nature from destroying the box.
Return to waterfront trail. The shortest way back to the parking lot is the way from which you came.
If you wish to continue on trail, it continues partway around the lake. The first V to the right leads to a view of the lake. Enjoy the view then return to main trail.
You’ll eventually cross a wooden bridge, and the trail will head uphill away from lake and into the woods.
At the next V, take a right. Follow it for some time. Trail will exit onto the road about halfway between Oak Grove Church Road and parking lot. Turn right to return to parking lot.
A shortcut and scenic route back to Columbia: From Oak Grove Church road, turn right onto Hwy 124 then left (south) on Hwy YY. At T-intersection, turn right on Benedict Road (Red Rocks Road is to the left). At next T-intersection, turn left on Route E.
If you would like a cipher-lesson plan that explains how to decode many of the ciphers used in mid-Missouri letterboxing, please e-mail me using the "Contact the Placer" link.