Out of the Ashes Cache
In Maine, United States
How Geocaching Works
This is a multi-cache with the first cache bringing you to an area where you will have to observe and do some simple math skills (sharpen up those #2 pencils) to bring you to the second cache location which contains the physical cache. You can either drive or walk to the second stage. Terrain is easy.
Please note: This cache should not be done after dark.
NOTE: I have been told that there is now a letterbox located somewhere at Stage 2. Please make sure you find and log the cache and not the letterbox.
January 12, 2000 is a night I will never forget. It was the worse night of my life as a firefighter and the only time I've ever thought about no longer volunteering as a firefighter.
I was on my way home from work when my pager sounded with a report of a house on fire around 4:30 p.m. on Wood's Lane . . . and then I heard those words that chill every firefighter's heart . . . "we have a report of children still inside" said the dispatcher.
When I arrived I found firefighters desperately trying to get inside, but being beat back as the old 2 1/2 story home was fully involved with flames licking out of nearly every window. It was then I learned that firefighters were unable to account for the three six-year-old triplets, Brydon Christopher, Joshua Allen and Marcus James White.
This was about the same time that I saw deputy sheriffs standing in the road trying to direct traffic with tears streaming down their face and our Fire Chief kneeling on the ground in utter and complete despair . . . this was when I learned that when I thought the night couldn't get any worse it had . . . Robert "Jonesy" Jones, the Sheriff of Waldo County, our former Fire Chief and a current Firefighter had dropped dead from a fatal heart attack while attempting to set up water supply.
The next few days were mind numbing. One thing I will never forget was the kindness of other firefighters -- the brotherhood if you would -- that I personally witnessed. Very few of us had any sleep on the night of the fire and for the first time I can remember we brought our trucks back to the station and couldn't muster the energy to put them back into service -- we were spent physically and emotionally. Many of us dragged ourselves to the fire station the next morning (a bit reluctantly) and began working on putting the equipment back since we knew it was a job that needed to be done . . . and then firefighters began showing up. Volunteer firefighters from all over Waldo County and call and paid firefighters from as far away as Fairfield, Winslow, Waterville and Bangor . . . they came to help. Hoses that needed cleaning (never a fun task) was loaded up in pick-ups and taken back to their stations to be cleaned and dried . . . and gear that needed to be put back on the trucks or new hose loaded was taken care of . . . I will never forget that display of comraderie that I saw that day.
The funerals were incredible with hundreds of people attending. At the triplets' funeral ribbons with puzzle pieces depicting the troubling problem of autism were passed out in memory of the three children. Later hundreds of helium balloons were released near the train station in memory of the triplets.
Jonesy's funeral was just as spectacular as there was a sea of colors as firefighters, fire marshals, game wardens, police officers, sheriff deputies and Maine state troopers gave him a traditional firefighter/law enforcement officer funeral with honor guards, gun salutes and bag pipes. Seeing all of those men and women from so many walks of life -- volunteer and career -- was awe-inspiring.
Today out of the ashes something good has been born. Where the house once stood is a memorial park which is well landscaped. Three structures on it were built to remember Brydon, Joshua and Marcus and in another location is a stone and bench dedicated to Jonesy. This is a very special place, a tranquil spot where some of us go to remember and some of us go to try to forget . . . and some of us just go to remind ourselves that life is neither good nor bad . . . but rather it is but a short span of time given to us filled with moments of great sorrow, great joy and everything in between.
The first set of coords will bring you to a site where you will need to use your keen (OK, maybe not-so-keen . . . this shouldn't be that difficult) powers of observation and math skills to determine the coords for the actual cache.
Once you're at the spot you'll want to find the coords for the second site:
N 44 degrees 36. __ (A) ___ (B) ___ (C)
W 069 degrees 20. ___ (D) ___ (E) ___ (F)
A = On Jones' stone . . . add the last two numbers of the year he was born.
B = On Whites' stone . . . Add the number of dolphins +1.
C = On Jones' stone . . . How many emergency vehicles are shown?
D = On Whites' stone . . . How many firefighters are shown?
E = On Whites' stone . . . Add up the number of points in the star.
F = On Whites' stone . . . What is the chapter shown (for those who may not be in the know, chapter comes before the verse.)
Once you have the figures plugged into the coords you are ready to either drive or walk (there is a trail here and you can easily access the second stage of this cache from the first stage by walking.)
After finding the coord info go to waypoint #1 N44.36.929, W069.20.108 which is the "start" of a snowmobile trail. Proceed along this trail turning left towards the Homestead Restaurant at the first fork and stay on this trail until you reach four up-right posts at waypoint #2 at N44.36.838, W069.20.245. Proceed along this trail until you come out behind the old high school and then you will see the trailhead which will lead you to the cache.
If I were me (and I am me) I would highly recommend taking this new trail to the second cache instead of driving -- if you so choose you can do another one of my caches (Out Behind the School) along the way. I would also recommend taking some time to check out the area around the second stage of the cache. This cache is an ammo can.
This cache is dedicated in memory of Brydon, Joshua and Marcus White and Robert "Jonesy" Jones . . .
N cnex evfrf bhg bs gur nfurf . . . naq n arj cngu ortvaf gb bcra. N zrgncube sbe yvsr . . . naq sbe guvf pyhr.
Last Updated: on 4/6/2013 4:36:44 PM Pacific Daylight Time (11:36 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum