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Rainbow Mystery Cache

Hidden : 04/09/2008
3.5 out of 5
3.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

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How Geocaching Works

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Geocache Description:

A puzzle that will take you on a hike through many of the trails of the Michael Ciaiola Conservation Area in Patterson, NY. You should expect to cover around eight miles, so you should allow at least a full morning or an afternoon if you wish to visit all stages of this cache in one visit.

Please note that this description was amended in November 2015 to take account of changes at the trail-head.

This cache will test your of powers of critical thinking and your ability to use your GPS receiver. Please read the instructions carefully and also do make careful note of the logging requirements.

Please stick to the trails and do not bushwhack between the intermediate stages. If you bushwhack you may well end up taking much longer, at times you may inadvertently stray off the property, cross into environmentally sensitive areas, and you may well miss the clues needed to solve the puzzle anyway!

The published coordinates are for the start of the adventure, they are not for any of the stages!

Your final quest is for a 50 calibre ammo can hidden somewhere in this magnificent preserve. To find this cache, you will locate a series of decon containers each of which contains the coordinates to the next stage plus a clue to help locate the final stage. It's essential that you take note of how to piece the final clue together.

The original contents of the cache were a log book, a FTF prize of a Pooh Bear hard-back book, assorted goodies, travel bugs looking for an adventure, and some other Things Of Pooh.

The first test is to actually find the location of stage one:

  • to do so, park at the listed coordinates and proceed to the kiosk. There you will find a trail map.
  • you'll need the map so take one but return it when you are done if at all possible. If all else fails, use your phone and take a photo of it
  • project a waypoint from the parking area / listing's coordinates of 864.24 metres @ 88.65 degrees true; that is the location of stage one!
  • Of course, you could - and should - do this at home, but you do need to start there anyway

At each intermediate stage you'll find a decon container that contains a laminated card. On each card you'll find two things:

  • the coordinates of the next stage
  • a number. You'll need the numbers later so make a note of them.
  • please leave the card in the container for the next visitor.

At the final intermediate stage the card will indicate to go to the final location; but, where is that?

The numbers on the cards, when put in a natural sequence, will give you the location of the final stage but in UTM coordinates as follows: 18 T xxxxxx 4xxxxxx; where the x's will be filled in by the numbers you found. Additionally, you'll find that one of the entries in the expected sequence is missing, and one stage doesn't quite fit the sequence. So, just put that out-of-sequence entry in the missing spot and all will be well. Again, this will make so much more sense when you see it. NOTE: The order that you find the stages is not necessarily the order of the final solution.

With the final coordinates, you can proceed to your prize. As a check, the cache is within 200 metres of the last decon container and at a height of approximately 250 metres.

As you make your way to your destination you may find yourself wondering if the cache is not located on Mars and, hey, just when did NASA's Pathfinder probe land there?

The final location is not on a marked trail but you should be able to find a path of sorts to reach it. Please try to find the path if at all possible.

Other than the final location, all stages are close to a marked trail and all the containers are either at the base of a tree, in a crevice in an outcrop of rocks, or attached to a reasonably solid object. None of the intermediate stages are camouflaged or placed so as to be difficult to find. At least one stage can probably be seen from the trail. The final stage is not on level terrain so proceed with caution.

It is possible to visit all the stages in the puzzle without having to backtrack significantly, so study the trail map carefully as you go along. Please trust the trails, so after finding an intermediate stage continuing along the trail to a junction is most often going to be a wise choice.


  • You must sign the log book and there will be no exceptions of any kind.
  • Please make sure that you stick to the trails as bushwhacking may take you into environmentally sensitive or private areas.
  • You may claim a find when you sign the log but please also send me your solution as proof that you found the cache.
  • Please do not put spoilers in the logs. Puns and the like are fine, just please don't give the nature of the puzzles away.

Feel free to send an email if you need clarification as to how the puzzle works.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Fgntrf: Onfr bs gerr, gerr yvzo, be ebpx perivpr
Svany: Fgvpxf naq Fgbarf
Rkgen: Lrne bs Znef Cngusvaqre ynaqvat

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)