Can you guess what animal I am?
Here are some clues:
My scientific name is odocoileus virginianus. If I am a male, I can weigh between 150-350 pounds. If I am a female, I can weigh between 90-200 pounds. I can run 40 miles per hour, and I can swim 13 miles per hour. I am a herbivore. I eat grasses, acorns, twigs, leaves, nuts and fruits. I have oversized ears that can rotate like radar to pick up sounds. I have glands on my legs and feet that leave a scent to communicate to others. I have a large tail that is also used to communicate. When my tail is raised high, it reveals white. This signals that I am alarmed. Sometimes when I am alarmed, I stomp my feet and snort. I live in wooded areas. I live to be about ten years old. You can tell my age by my teeth.
Now can you find me?
I am just off of The Montour Trail, between the 6.5 mile marker and the 7 mile marker in Findlay Township. The closest large city is Pittsburgh, but I am near Imperial too. The closest parking area would be at Cliff Mine Road. This parking area is near the 6 mile marker on the Montour Trail. If you park in the Cliff Mine Road Parking Lot, stand facing Cliff Mine Road. You will be travelling in the direction to your left. You will have to cross over Cliff Mine Road once you are walking along the trail. (So if you have children with you, don't let them get too far ahead because it could be dangerous crossing the street.) Once you cross the street, here are some things to look for:
On the left is an industrial building. Further down on the left is a sign that reads, "Montour Run Watershed Association". The creek will make a sharp left turn here. Continue on the trail. Soon you will come to a half mile marker on the left. Start counting paces here. At about 60 paces, if you look to the right, up the hill you will see some evergreen trees. This is the wooded area where this animal lives. This is where you need to go, but if you continue on, there is an easier way to get there. Continue counting paces. At about 125 paces, look on your right for a trail that goes uphill. (Actually, it is easier to see if you are walking in the other direction, so you might want to look back over your shoulder when you approach 125 paces.) If you reach a telephone pole on your right with yellow on its guide wires, then you went too far. And if you get to a black metal bridge, you went even further! Once you find the right place, go up the trail. At about 40 paces from where you left the Montour Trail, there is a log that spans the path. You need to step over the log. Then at about 70 paces from the Montour Trail, you will see lots of logs to your right. Go toward these logs. There is a very small trail, used by this mystery animal, past those logs. You will have to step over some cut logs to get to that single-file trail. You will no longer be on the main trail that continues on up the hill. From those cut logs, at about 7 paces, you will be next to a very tall evergreen tree. The tree will be on your right. Go 4 more paces, and below you on your right, is another evergreen tree. You will notice a rather large hole in the tree roots. The mystery animal walks past this tree often. You can find what you are looking for at the bottom of that tree.
There was a lot of loose dirt inside the tree, so you may have to brush some away. The box is not buried, but pushed back to the right. I placed some rocks under the box, and around the box. I also tried to conceal the hole with some branches and bark. But it is very obvious if you are looking in the right place. After signing the book, please replace things as you found them. Conceal the box so that it can't be seen from the trail.
If you do geocaching, there are two caches located off the trail near that black metal bridge.
On the day I placed this box, I originally wanted to hide it further up that trail, but there was a lot of bushwacking, even for spring time. But while I was further up that trail, I heard some hawks screeching at me, and I looked up to see two hawks circling around, and a nest in one of the trees. Maybe you will see them too!
I checked on this box on May 13,2007 and it was in great condition.