Thunder on the Run
In West Virginia, United States
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This cache is located in Tomlinson Run State Park. The park is open year round from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The cache is not at the posted coordinates, but will take you to the location of some very unique structures which I stumbled upon while hiking the Beech Trail.
Begin your journey by parking near the Beech Trailhead. The parking area is large enough for two or three vehicles. After hiking a short distance on the Beech Trail (blazed yellow) you will find that the trail parallels a paved road before turning back into the woods. At the Beech Trail sign, take the path that goes to the right. This is actually an old access road that leads to the structures at the posted coordinates.
Although I have been unable to verify this, I suspect that the buildings were erected by the Works Progress Administration when they started construction of the dam in 1940. While I am uncertain of the originator, there can be no doubt as to their use. The Mining Engineers Handbook written by a staff of specialists under the editorship of Robert Peele, Professor of Mining Engineering in the School of Mines, Columbia University, published in 1918, details the techniques for safely storing explosives and blasting supplies.
The buildings were constructed of double walled brick to make them both fireproof and bulletproof and had to be well ventilated. You will see the ventilation holes on top and near the base of each structure. Blasting supplies (blasting caps and fuses) and explosives had to be stored separately. When selecting a location for the magazine, the local topography was taken into consideration by placing it next to the hillside to take advantage of the natural protection. The brick walls of the structures were lined with two by two inch nailing strips, covered with 7/8 by 6 inch boards to form a lattice work. The purpose of the lining was to keep stock away from the walls and assist ventilation. The doors were constructed of 3/8 inch boilerplate, backed with three thicknesses of 3/8 inch hardwood, which would stop a bullet from a U.S. Springfield rifle.
The building you are standing at, the smallest of the three, would have been used to store blasting supplies. A close examination of the door, which has been welded open, will reveal a few shards of the wood that would have been used to line the interior. The bolts that held the wood in place still remain. Count these and add them to 40. This will give you digits A and B of the latitudinal coordinates of the final cache:
Next travel to the low flat roofed building. As you can see, there is no iron framing around the doorway of this structure. Since steel or any metallic tools that could cause a spark could not be stored in the magazine, this building was probably used as a utility shed. As you are standing at the the doorway look inside at the left and rear walls (no need to enter the building). You will see small holes in the brick near the top of the walls that provided ventilation. Add the total number of holes in the left and rear walls to 4. This will give you digit C of the longitudinal coordinates:
Finally, make your way to the largest of the three buildings. It’s size indicates that it would have been capable of storing between 15 and 20 thousand pounds of explosives. As with the first structure, count the number of bolts in the heavy iron door. Add this number to 11 to give you digits D and E of the longitudinal coordinates.
The cache is a .30 caliber ammo box placed with permission of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation section. The hike to the cache and back to your vehicle is slightly under a mile and a half.
Ng gur onfr bs n snyyra gerr.
Last Updated: on 3/15/2013 7:07:17 PM Pacific Daylight Time (2:07 AM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum