Picnic in the Capitol  LbNA # 9308

OwnerWisconsin Hiker      
Placed DateJul 11 2004
LocationMadison, WI
Found By archaeofrog
Last Found Apr 21 2011
Hike Distance3-5 mi
Last EditedMay 14 2016

Last checked/found: I received a report on 21-JUN-12 that the area has changed and some landmarks are missing, making it difficult/impossible to follow the clues. I will check the area and update the clues the next time we are out that way.

This is approximately a 5-mile roundtrip hike on level paths and takes approximately 2 hours. You’ll have great views of Lake Mendota as you walk along the shoreline. You may also want to bring a picnic meal along in keeping with the spirit of the box and location!

The hike begins at the student union in Wisconsin’s capitol city. The address is 800 Langdon Street.

In front of the union, locate a bench facing the lake on the pathway. Note the year Mr. Kunz graduated with an Engineering degree: __________(A). Facing the lake, continue along the path to your left. You’ll pass a sign indicating that a section of the path was a 50th reunion gift from the class of: _______ (B).

Continue past the sailboats (seasonal) and you will then see a bench on your right that was a gift of the class of: _______ (C). The path will soon change from paved to gravel and you will notice a large rock with a plaque dedicating the path to a professor who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in this year: ________ (D).

Eventually the path will change to asphalt and you will pass the Food Research Institute on your left. You will pass several buildings. After the last one, a driveway meets the path. At this point you can stay on the main path or take a smaller footpath to the right that parallels the main path. The smaller path eventually rejoins the main path.

After walking along for a while, you will cross a bridge over Willow Creek. Note the year the “Pleasure Drive” was constructed: _________ (E). Later you will pass a boat launch area and a sign that warns of an “exotic species”. Note the highest number of pairs of leaflets on the plant: ________ (F). [Note: we have heard this sign may be missing, so I'll tell you that F=21]

The path will parallel a road for a while and eventually you will see a gravel path on the right between a wood fence and a stone wall. Take this path and head straight in. Continue on the main path as you pass picnic spots 1, 2 and 3. The peninsula narrows and you will easily see water on both sides when a beach area is on your left.

A short while later you will see a concrete bench on your right. Note the year of death of the person this bench memorializes: ______ (G). Next you will see a pump on your left, then picnic spots 4 & 5, and finally a bench at the point. Note Alvin’s year of birth _____ (H) and death _______ (I).

Turning around to face the way you just came, you will notice a small wood chip footpath to the left of the main path. Enter this path and continue along it until you come to a bench on your left. You should have a great view of the state capitol building and downtown Madison from this bench!

Now comes the part where you’ll use all those numbers you gathered:

Take the last 2 digits of (B) ______ steps further down the path.

Using only the last 2 digits of the following numbers, add them together:

_____ (C)

_____ (D)

_____ (F)

_____ (G)

_____ (H)

_____ (I)

_____ This is your compass bearing.

Now calculate (D) ______ minus (E) ______ minus(A)______ = ______. Take this many paces on your compass bearing.

You will find what you seek in the upper cavity where two fallen ones intersect. [Warning: I've received a report that there may be an active beehive nearby, so be on the lookout.] Please replace carefully to be sure the box doesn’t slide down and that it is concealed with bark from all sides and openings. Thank you!

You can continue along the wood chip path in the southwest direction until it rejoins the main path. If you need a rest stop, primitive toilets are located near the beach area on a short side path to the right of the main path. Continue back to the union the way you came along the main path. Upon returning to the union, you might want to enjoy some Babcock Hall award-winning gourmet ice cream to celebrate your accomplishment!

I won’t be in the area very often, so it would be great if you would send me an email to give me an update on the box status.