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A Look at Winona's Past- Sugarloaf EarthCache

Hidden : 08/14/2007
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Geocache Description:

By far the most recognizable feature of the city of Winona, Sugarloaf stands over this quaint little S.E. Minnesota town. This EarthCache will take you to the base of Sugarloaf.

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Sugar Loaf is a rocky pinnacle overlooking eastern Winona above the junction of Highways 61 and 43. It towers 500 feet over Lake Winona (former part of the Mississippi River main channel) and more than 85 feet above the remainder of the bluff. It resulted from the quarrying through most of the 1880s of the limestone which was then used for Winona's sidewalks and brick buildings.
The use of limestone began with the need to improve city sidewalks, most of which were made of wood and burned in the 1862 fire that destroyed 90 percent of the downtown district. Many miles of this limestone were installed before the turn of the 20th Century and met with such success that a city ordinance was passed in late 1890 specifying stone only for sidewalks. Buildings in the area also began to utilize the stone because of its texture. Quarry operations were shut down in 1887.

Limestone is a rock composed largely of the mineral calcite (calcium carbonate: CaCO3). Limestone often contains variable amounts of silica in the form of chert or flint, as well as varying amounts of clay, silt and sand as disseminations, nodules, or layers within the rock. The primary source of the calcite in limestone is most commonly marine organisms. These organisms secrete shells that settle out of the water column and are deposited on ocean floors as pelagic ooze or alternatively is conglomerated in a coral reef (see lysocline for information on calcite dissolution). Secondary calcite may also be deposited by supersaturated meteoric waters (groundwater that precipitates the material in caves). This produces speleothems such as stalagmites and stalactites. Another form taken by calcite is that of oolites (oolitic limestone) which can be recognized by its granular appearance.

In order to claim credit for this EarthCache, you'll need to do the following:

1. At waypoint one, please describe what you see here. Based on what you see tell me how you think this happened.

2. At waypoint two, determine the elevation of this particular point located at the base of Sugarloaf.

3. What type of rock was quarried here. Rocks are classified into three different types. Determine which one is the case here.

4. At waypoint three, please take a picture of yourself/team with your GPS and Sugarloaf in the back ground.

Logs that do not meet these criteria Will Be Deleted. No Exceptions.


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