Under the Stars  LbNA # 22844

Placed DateJun 5 2006
LocationColumbia, MO
Found By AliCat
Last Found Dec 16 2009
Hike Distance?

"Courteous Reader, Astrology is one of the most ancient Sciences, held in high esteem of old, by the Wise and the Great. Formerly, no Prince would make War or Peace, nor any General fight in Battle, in short, no important affair was undertaken without first consulting an Astrologer."
--Benjamin Franklin

Check with your astrologer (or at least read your daily horoscope) and make sure it is safe to venture out. If you have a particularly good astrologer (or a particularly accurate horoscope), you will know that you should bring your own ink on this hunt. The stars indicate blue as being the best color. Your astrologer should also warn you that this hunt includes several creek crossings, which could be wet and slippery, and also includes a bit of bushwhacking. Several portions of the trail might seem like bushwhacking during the growing season. A compass is required.

When your stars are aligned, head about 12 miles north of Columbia on HWY 63 to Pinnacles Rd. Make a right off the highway -- you will see Heuer's Country Store on the left just before the turnoff. At the "T" head right and follow the road as it curves sharply back left. Go straight into the gravel parking area for the Pinnacles Youth Park instead of following the road left where given the option. Park at the southern end of the parking lot near the picnic shelter.

Take the gravel trail that starts at the red gate and heads south away from the parking area. The shelter will be on your right. Shortly come to a picnic area and an intersecting trail. Bear right to stay on the main trail. When you come to a clearing with several intersecting trails, choose the southern most trail straight in front of you and then go left at the next fork. Hop off the wooden bridge on the east side (where there are ropes instead of wood), and stand with your back to the middle of the bridge. Take a bearing of 110 degrees and walk in that direction about 20 paces to the other side of the creek. Cross the creek any way you can and find the trail up the other side of the bank. Head down this trail and go right at the "T". This will lead you to the bank of Silver Fork Creek. Look down and find a large vine. Stand over the vine and take another bearing of 110 degrees. Look in that direction and see a steep path leading up the bank on the other side of the creek. (This will be difficult to see during the growing season, but it is relatively easy to find once on the other side) Again, cross any way you can - I recommend using the vine and stone path right in front of you, and then heading back to your left until you can pick up the path.

Shoot up the steep trail and turn right at the top of the muddy slide. Head 36 paces down the trail and spy a group of 6 trees sharing the same trunk off on the left. Another 40 paces down the trail brings you to a clear spot where you can see a rock ledge looming over the creek on your right. Notice a drainage slide down to the creek and a tree with exposed roots on the right. From this tree go 4 paces and look left toward a large trunked tree about 10 ft. off the trail. The tree has a dead limb at its base on the north side. Stand at this limb and take a bearing of 40 degrees 8 paces to a large double trunked, interwoven tree. Go around the back side and see if you can uncover your sign.

If you'd like to know more, and I think you do, decode the following using a keyword cipher shift (for a stellar explanation of how to use the cipher, se LND-CRZR's "Will Work For Peace").

I was born in November under this sign. My sun sign is said to be the most "intense, profound, and powerful character of the zodiac". I am mysterious, self-controlled, and emotionally energetic. Pablo Picasso, Marie Curie, and Georgia O'Keefe were all born under the same sign.

Find my sign and decode the following:


Please rehide carefully and completely. Fully cover with rocks, leaves, and other natural concealment in order to prevent loss...which I would cry about.

After taking care of LB business, head back north on the trail. If you are feeling particularly mountain goatish - or Sagitarian - continue north past the point where you crossed Silver Fork creek. You will wind your way up and will eventually find the rock formations responsible for the park's name. The limestone was carved out by the park's two creeks and now provides some fun scrambling for the adventurous. This may not be suitable for small children as it is awfully high up.

Send me a note via the 'Contact the Placer' link after you finish and let me know what you thought of the hunt, the box, or your philosophy on life in general!