Sassafras Tree LbNA # 41584
|Placed Date||Jun 29 2008|
|Location||Walnut Point State Park, Oakland, IL|
|Last Edited||Dec 16 2015|
All boxes are in place. Box #1 is now unstuck from the tree and accessible.
DIRECTIONS: Color-Green. No Room for Hitchhikers. Need mosquito spray and gloves for poison ivy.
Camping at Walnut Point State Park near Oakland IL is such a great experience. You don’t even have to cook if you don’t want to. The concession stand has great sandwiches and ice cream cones and if you didn’t bring a boat, no problem….they rent paddleboats and rowing boats. There are 34 Class A sites (vehicle access with electric); 6 Class B sites (vehicle access, no electric); 20 Class C sites (walk-in tent, no electric. They have 4 handicap sites, 2 in Class A and 2 in Class C sites. They also have group camping with tents only with no electric. Besides, camping, there are trails, horseshoe pits, fishing docks, basketball goal with ˝ court and a shower building. So it is an extra treat to find letterboxes while you are camping.
The Sassafras Tree grows on the edges of hardwood forests in poor soil conditions. Full grown it can be 50 to 120 feet tall with a diameter of 2.5 – 6 feet wide. The ones in the park look more like shrubs than trees. The competition for sunlight is tough and it is survival of the fittest. The Sassafras Tree roots provided our ancestors with something you might see in an old Western….Sassafras Tea. And for us…it used to be the flavoring for root beer until they discovered the Safrole caused Cancer in rodents. The other uses as toothpaste flavoring, perfume oils, and aromatherapy have also stopped production because the FDA banned its use.
The Sassafras Tree has three distinct leaves….and I count four different ones, so there are four cylinder shaped letterboxes.
Box #1 Park in the Fox Tent parking lot. Walk toward the “Do Not Enter Road” sign on the road. Continue down the road and at the end look right and you will see the dump station. Cross the road and look at the three trees between the dump station road and the main road. The first letterbox is in the crevice of the third tree. This is Sassafras leaf #1. [Bring pliers to pry out of hole in tree]
Box #2 Continue down the left side of the main road until you see a culvert with rocks. Stand on the culvert facing the grassy firebreak and look to your left. You will see two pine trees edging the clearing. Walk between the pine trees and stop. You should be standing very close to a Blue Bird house. Sassafras Leaf #2 is hidden behind the post of the birdhouse. [The honeysuckle has grown around the birdhouse. Just push it out of the way]
Box #3 Continue walking down the left side of the road crossing over to the right side between the Parking sign and the Speed Limit 15 signs. Hugging the forest edge, walk until you see a dead log lying on the left side of the path. Sassafras Leaf #3 is hidden in the hollow end covered by a piece of wood.
Box #4 Continue on the short path and at the end, look up and you will see the Fox Tent parking lot where you parked your vehicle. At the far right of the parking lot is a concrete sidewalk trail. Go down that trail, past 3 docks. At the 3rd dock or «Y» in the trail, go straight (not left) to the very point of the peninsula before it curves to the left into the tent area. Stop. You will see a very large oak tree on the left of the trail that has a fork with two very large branches (or trunks). Face the tree with the water at your back. The letterbox is to the left and a little behind the tree between the flutes hidden behind a little plant growing right next to tree. Look behind the little plant with bark covering part of it and you will find letterbox #4. After you find the box, see if you can find the straight leaf, the right thumbed mitten, the left-thumbed mitten, and the three-fingered leaves close by. As you walk back to your parked vehicle, see how many little Sassafras saplings you can find along the edge of the trail.
NOTE: As usual be discreet in finding and hiding the letterboxes and make sure all are hidden well behind bark or sticks or pine needles. Bring your own pen and stamp pad. There is a extreme amount of poison ivy in the park and of course mosquitoes, so bring gloves and insect repellent just in case. Please...I ask that the same person who finds the box to be the same one to put it back in the same place exactly as found.