Alice in Weatherland - UNAVAILABLE  LbNA # 22722 (ARCHIVED)

OwnerThe Christmas Elves      
Placed DateApr 22 2006
LocationDelafield, WI
Found By Front Range Hiker
Last Found Aug 21 2010
Hike Distance?

Terrain: varied
Distance: 1 mile
Status: 5/6/2011 - Alice has been removed. The clue will be updated or archived when decisions are made to replant or retire.

This letterbox was created for the 2006 Great Lakes Gathering - Wandering in Wonderland - held at Lapham Peak. The park charges an entrance fee.

Alice, having eaten too much of the left hand mushroom, towered above the highest point in the land observing her surroundings. She bent down to examine a boulder far below, which was a marker honoring an “eminent scientist and useful citizen”. While reading, she was distracted by a blur to her left – it was the white rabbit!

Alice tried to follow, but the trees caught at her dress. Inspired, Alice nibbled the right hand mushroom until she shrunk enough to hurry down the white rabbit’s path.

“It’s chilly down here at the bottom”, thought Alice. “It was warm and breezy up above, but down here it feels as cold as the Ice Age!”

The rabbit zipped left and forked right along the edge of pines, with Alice running behind. Reaching a broad path, the white rabbit dashed to the right. Entering a clearing, Alice spied a house as white as the rabbit and that seemed to float in mid-air. “I don’t suppose that’s the rabbit’s house,” said Alice, “but things here are so curious that I wouldn’t be surprised if it lived there.

Something glimmered as the rabbit ran under a bench, into the woods, and disappeared from view. Dejected, Alice rested on the bench and asked herself, “What to do?”

“90 degrees! 90 degrees! You’ll find what you seek, at 90 degrees!” chirped a bird from the doorway of the white house.

“90 degrees?” asked Alice. “Is that latitude or longitude?”

This seemed to irritate the bird, which swooped under the bench, circled back to peck at Alice’s feet, and repeated this behavior, all the while repeating “90 degrees! 90 degrees!”

“Ouch!” shouted Alice as she bent down, trying to wave the bird away from her feet. “Oh! Here’s a compass under the bench! Perhaps it’s that kind of 90 degrees.” This seemed to calm the bird, which perched on the bench to watch Alice.

Standing at the northern end of the bench, Alice dialed the compass to 90 degrees and followed that bearing into the woods. Above her, the bird followed from branch to branch. Stepping over the remains of a fieldstone fence, Alice spied a hole in a mossy log ahead and looked inside. “Oh, there’s a box!” cried Alice and she opened it at once. At this, the bird chirped in satisfaction and flew away.

“I’ve seen one of these”, said Alice, and it seemed that she could hear her teacher say . . .

“Lapham Peak, the highest point in Waukesha County at 1233 feet, is named for scientist Increase Allen Lapham. One of his many interests was weather. In the 1850’s he mapped weather data received by telegraph from observers across the state and was the first to observe the ‘lake effect’ phenomenon of temperatures ‘cooler near the lake’,” [but that was a different gathering].

“Concerned with the increase in weather-related shipping accidents on the Great Lakes, Lapham proposed a state weather forecasting service in 1850. This proposal was never adopted.”

“In 1870, Lapham petitioned Milwaukee Congressman Halbert E. Paine for the creation of a national weather service. On February 2, 1970, Congressman Paine introduced a Joint Congressional Resolution requiring the Secretary of War ‘to provide for taking meteorological observations at the military station in the interior of the continent and at other points in the States and territories and for giving notice on the northern (Great) Lakes and on the Seacoast by magnetic telegraph and marine signals, of the approach and force of storms.’ The resolution was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on February 9, 1870.’”

“On November 8, 1870, the Signal Service gave Lapham responsibility for the Great Lakes region. During this time, Lapham Peak was used to relay weather data from Denver to Chicago.”