29/29 Pick a Beacon
In Wisconsin, United States
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You are looking for a small plastic jar.
I enjoy picking up geocaches while traveling. I often look for quick park-and-grab caches that have reasonable access to my route. This 29/29 series is my attempt to put out 29 geocaches on a short section of Hwy 29. Most of them are pretty simple hides and are not too exciting. The majority are park and grab but I am throwing a few hides in that will get you out of your vehicle to stretch your legs. I am attempting to place these in such a manner that it is worth your time to get off the highway.
Wisconsin State Highway 29, a once hilly and curvy two-lane highway in north central Wisconsin, is now a major east-west route. Highway 29 was commonly referred to as "Bloody 29", as crash data revealed that portions of the highway had nearly twice the average fatality rate for two-lane highways in Wisconsin. Many sections of the highway had poor sight distances, curves and hills, heavy truck volumes, and dangerous at-grade intersections.
Historically, Highway 29 served as an important transportation link for many of the manufacturers, food processors, and transportation service providers in communities along the corridor. The highway connects over 20 Wisconsin communities of varying sizes, including Green Bay, Wausau, Chippewa Falls, and Eau Claire to domestic and international markets in Canada and Mexico. The Highway 29 route intersects with Interstate 94 and continues on to Minnesota, providing direct access to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Area, one of the largest trade centers in the Midwest. Additionally, Highway 29 serves as a major connector to many of the state's tourism attractions and recreational centers.
Over the years, as the economies of the state and the communities along the corridor grew and diversified, the highway became more dangerous and as traffic, perceived as heavy, flowed through smaller communities at all hours of the day. These safety hazards were not only claiming lives but also hindering the ability of communities on the corridor to achieve their full economic and growth potential.
Shortly after his election as Governor in 1986, Tommy Thompson vowed that Highway 29 would be converted to a four-lane highway between Green Bay and Chippewa Falls by the end of 2000.
Planning for this highway-capacity improvement began in 1989, and construction of the new highway facility began in 1992. Portions of the highway were rebuilt to freeway standards with new interchanges, on and off-ramps, and at-grade intersections with acceleration and deceleration lanes for the rural stretches along the corridor. Several bypasses were built that resulted in the reduction of downtown truck traffic and better access to businesses in the Main street communities.
The final segment of the highway, connecting the east side of Chippewa Falls with the segment running north of Eau Claire was opened to traffic on August 16, 2005. Of the total length, about 65 miles (105 km) of the highway meets Interstate standards. Most of the expansion was able to be completed with only minor additions to the already-existing easements, and as a result, the expanded roadway almost exactly matches the highway's original course. While traffic crashes have declined significantly, numerous memorials to those who lost their lives on the road still dot the route.
The portion of WIS 29 between Chippewa Falls and Abbotsford roughly follows what used to be the Yellowstone Trail. Zuma has a nice series of caches along the Yellowstone Trail which you may be interested in finding.
Sources: Chippewa Herald, United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, Wikipedia
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Last Updated: on 8/30/2014 12:39:11 PM Pacific Daylight Time (7:39 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum