Vanguard 1 LbNA # 38477
|Placed Date||Mar 17 2008|
|Location||Fort Davis, TX|
Terrain Difficulty: Moderate (slight slope, .5 miles RT)
Status: destroyed by fire
Project Vanguard was a program managed by the United States Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), which intended to launch the first artificial satellite into Earth orbit. However, due to early failures and in response to the surprise launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957, the U.S. restarted the Explorer program, which had been proposed earlier by the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA). Together with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), ABMA built Explorer 1 in 84 days and launched it on January 31, 1958 to become the first artificial satellite successfully placed in Earth orbit by the United States. Then, on March 17, 1958, Vanguard 1 became the second U.S. artificial satellite in orbit, but hardly anyone remembers it. But it is worth remembering because unlike Sputnik and Explorer, Vanguard 1 is still up there and remains the oldest human-made object in space, with a projected lifespan of over 250 years. I placed this minibox as a tribute on its 50th anniversary, and since I happened to be at Davis Mountains SP on that day, that is where it was placed. I placed it on a different trail than my other box in this park. This trail goes down to the Fort Davis NHS and is very scenic. If you decide to hike the whole trail after finding the box, arrange someone to meet you at the Fort so you don't have to hike back up.
Davis Mountains State Park can be reached by traveling 1 mile north of Fort Davis on State Highway 17 to State Highway 118N, then west for 3 miles to Park Road 3 entrance on the left. Pay fee and continue on road to jct where you will go left on Skyline Drive. Drive up the mountain and near the top go straight at another jct to the end of the road and park.
Find the trail to Fort Davis NHS by the stone building and head northeast past a cement table then down to a jct. Go left for about 20 yards then bend right on the trail going up the hill. After about 100 yards and just before a small trail sign, stop at a juniper bush on the right about 3 steps off trail. The camo minibox is on the back side under 2 big flat rocks. Please re-cover well and be discreet since this can be a popular trail.