Hitaga Sand Ridge Prairie Cache______
This is the March Featured cache celebrating the Linn County Conservation's 50th Anniversary activities
In 2008, the Linn County Conservation Board will celebrate 50 years of service to Linn County residents. A yearlong celebration is planned to highlight all the outdoor recreation opportunities available right here in Linn County. In celebration of Linn County Conservation's 50th Anniversary there will be 50 GeoCaches placed within various parks and recreation areas in the next year. Some of the caches will reveal a "clue" that will enable you to be eligible for a special prize drawing at the end of the season (December 2008).There is one featured cache each month.
This is the March featured cache so look for the clue.
Additional information can be obtained from the Linn County Parks Website and the Iowa Geocachers Website.
Hitaga Sand Ridge Prairie Preserve is a diverse area. There is a good example of a sand prairie complete with a very rare Iowa species - the plains prickly pear cactus. The remainder of the 156-acre property has examples of restored prairie, mature timber and moist woodlands. A trail is planned for the preserve.Hitaga Sand Ridge Preserve was purchased in 1991 at a cost of $100,000 with a grant from the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program.It is one of only six or seven other places like it in Iowa that has actively moving sand dunes. These sand dunes provide habitat to certain types of plants and animals such as the prickly pear cacti, rough blazing star and ornate box turtles.The area has changed owners over the last century but was always referred to as "the peanut farm" due to it's sandy soils.
This is the rock that you are looking for. The cache is very near the rock and is a standard ammo can. The usual stuff is inside along with some travel bugs that need moved. The walk will be about 0.4 miles.
When you near the cache be on the lookout for an interesting big rock! This is known as a Glacial Erratic. A little information on these:A glacial erratic is a piece of rock that deviates from the size and type of rock native to the area in which it rests; the name "erratic" is based on the errant location of these boulders. These rocks were carried to their current locations by glacial ice, often over hundreds of kilometres. Erratics can range in size from pebbles to large boulders such as Big Rock (16,500 tons) in Alberta. Geologists identify erratics by studying the rocks surrounding the position of the erratic and the composition of the erratic itself.
Here is another "big rock" that used to reside in Linn County.This big rock was once located at Squaw Creek Park.The boulder was located on the south bank of Squaw Creek, west of Stange Road on what would become the golf course. It is thought that the boulder was possibly from as far north as Canada and was pre-Cambrian. The boulder often was the subject of class field trips because of its spectacular "banding." (The "banding," which is different rock that wraps around the boulder like a ribbon, actually runs through the boulder. It was formed when magma, or liquid rock, flowed through larger pieces of rock.)This glacial boulder that stands 6 feet tall is located between MacKay and Science I on the Iowa State campus.
Here are some web sites to visit if you are interested in Erratics
This is a view of the parking lot in winter.