Um Yah Yah  LbNA # 40032

OwnerGlobal Nomads    
Placed DateMay 21 2008
LocationNorthfield, MN
Found By sky
Last Found Sep 18 2009
Hike Distance?

Established in 1874, St. Olaf College is a Lutheran liberal arts college with 3,000 students, known particularly for its excellent music program. The 300 acre campus includes 10 miles of groomed nature trails. With strong Norwegian roots, the college is named for King Olaf II of Norway, known as the eternal King of Norway. Northfield, MN is located about 35 miles from the Twin Cities and is also home to Carleton College, another excellent liberal arts college with a beautiful campus (and a set of letterboxes in its arboretum).

The name for this letterbox comes from the St. Olaf fight song. The official version is:

We come from St. Olaf, we sure are the real stuff.
Our team is the cream of the colleges great.
We fight fast and furious, our team is injurious.
Tonight Carleton College will sure meet its fate.

Um! Yah! Yah!, Um! Yah! Yah!
Um! Yah! Yah!, Um! Yah! Yah!
Um! Yah! Yah!, Um! Yah! Yah!
Um! Yah! Yah! Yah!

Um! Yah! Yah!, Um! Yah! Yah!
Um! Yah! Yah!, Um! Yah! Yah!
Um! Yah! Yah!, Um! Yah! Yah!
Um! Yah! Yah! Yah!

But I prefer this unofficial version:

We come from St. Olaf, we wear cashmere sweaters
We live on the hill to be closer to God
We don't smoke, we don't drink (at least that’s what they think)
and under the covers we Um! Yah! Yah! Yah!

Clue difficulty: Fairly difficult. It may be helpful to walk with a map of the campus, available at This would be particularly helpful for figuring out which are the “west doors”, etc. (Note: In this clue, 1 pace = 2 steps). Some clues will be quite obvious to former Ole's or others with inside knowledge of the college. For others, it may be helpful to read up a bit about St. Olaf, via their website or other info. Many will make you think a bit to figure them out.

Walking difficulty: Easy to moderate. This clue will take you on a stroll through the St. Olaf College campus for 45-60 minutes before leading you to the letterbox. The first half is on paved paths on St. Olaf campus and is quite easy walking. The second half is on maintained trails through woods, including some small hills, with a short jaunt into the woods themselves at the end.

Start your journey at Old Glory where old meets new. Facing west, walk on the sidewalk past the green building on your left.

Take a right at the Y just past the low country. Stay on the main path for 100 paces until you reach the nexus where music fills the air.

Turn to your right to take in a glorious sight and take the path leading northeast to the nearest building. Need a break? This is a good place for a pause.

Exit via the north doors and walk on a curve to your left. After a short while, turn left and walk through a diamond field. Pass through the building in front of you, stopping to appreciate the hard work of the starving to your left and right. Celebrate your passage to the twin building. Head downstairs and exit via the west doors.

Turn your back on the twisting arms and continue on to the stop sign. Turn left, follow the sidewalk, and pass by two groups of slumbering students.

Legs getting tired? Don’t moan—-take a left and pass through the small parking lot. Follow the small trail at the end of the lot slightly downhill through the woods.

Take the first trail to the left and continue going downhill. Walk past the small house in the clearing on your right, stay on the main trail past the small side trail on the right. Walk past two birdhouses and turn right onto a major trail. Go straight on the major trail past the posted map on your left. Follow the trail as it curves right and comes to a bench overlooking a pond.

Continue 48 paces past the bench to the far bank of small stream on your right. (Note: This is quite a small stream and may be a dry or muddy depression during parts of the year.) Enter the woods on your right and walk 13 paces ahead parallel to the stream. The letterbox will be a few feet to your left at the base of an old stump. Bring the letterbox back to the bench by the pond and enjoy watching the birds and scenery while you stamp in.