The coordinates take you to a special candy store hidden in a special location in the driftless hills of Northeast Iowa. First, of course, there is the candy itself…… Maybe you prefer creamy caramels, chocolate or vanilla, your choice. Or, would you like to try some truffles or coated caramels? Don’t forget the hazelnut “meltaways” made with milk chocolate, top quality hazelnuts, and a hint of salt, they really do "melt away" in your mouth! Last, but certainly not least, there are the mints: “Swiss mints” or “Irish mints”, which are (naturally!) light green squares, made from white chocolate. My personal favorite is the fudgy chocolate sauce topping, which can be microwaved and is just heavenly poured over vanilla ice cream.
If eating these Creamy Caramels seems like a religious experience, it is. The treats are handmade by nuns at Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey, whose chief source of income comes from sales of the rich delights.
Currently the Abbey is home to about 30 nuns, who, as required by the Rule of St Benedict, spend their days in a balance between choral and private prayer, lectio divina (meditative reading of Scripture and other spiritual books) and manual labor. . Each day begins with the Office of Vigils at 3:45 a.m. Compline, the last prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours, is at 7:15 p.m. The Abbey supports itself primarily with candy making, but also farms the land it owns on the bluffs of the Mississippi River.
From September through December the Sisters make over a ton of caramels each week and ship them world-wide. The nuns operate an on-site gift shop stocked with candy from their factory as well as various religious gifts. The gift shop is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm. It is closed on Sundays.
The cache is hidden less than 1 mile away on a steep gravel road. The final part involves a steep hill climb (down is always worse than up).
To find the cache you will have to answer three questions and insert the answers in the following coordinates:
N 42 24.(A)(A)0
W 90 35.(B)(C)3
The answer to the questions can be found on the abbey property.
Question 1: Which of the following three religious sayings is NOT listed on the water fountain?
a) Jesus cried out: let anyone who is thirsty come to me (John 7:07) (insert A = 6)
b) With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation (Isaiah 12:3) (insert A = 7 )
c) And God said, let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so (Genesis 1:9) (insert A = 8)
Question 2: How many bells are in the belfry on the roof of the church?
a) one (insert B = 3)
b) two (insert B = 4)
c) three (insert B = 5)
Question 3: Which of the following can NOT be found on the abbey property?
a) A candy loading dock (insert C = 5)
b) A small statue of Pope Francis (insert C = 6)
c) A stone archway with a view of a large cross (insert C = 7)
Safe travels, PJM
Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. iowaPete on FTF!!