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Grayson Sulphur Springs Traditional Geocache

Hidden : 05/10/2008
2.5 out of 5
3 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

You are looking for an ammo box located about 40 yards off the New River Trail. Cords were averaged to 18 ft. accuracy but I did experience some bounce on the gps reading. If you get a better reading, please note it. Terrain is rated a 3 because the hike to the cache will be at least 2 miles one way depending on your starting point. Thanks! Enjoy the Trial!

Today, not a single board, brick or stone remains of the legendary Grayson Sulphur Springs hotel and mineral-water resort. Once located on the west bank of the New River near the mouth of Brush Creek, its site is now covered by the backed-up waters of Byllesby dam. Only the fast-fading memories of a few elderly citizens and a voting district in Carroll County named Sulphur Springs are all that still exist of this once thriving landmark. The hotel was part of an isolated but beautiful section of what was then Grayson County near the Fries Junction which included a post office, rail depot, and voting center. At the height of its popularity around the turn of the century, the hotel attracted large crowds of paying guest from not only the nearby counties, but also neighboring states, and occasionally as far away as Florida and Texas. Its main attraction was the four types of mineral waters which flowed from springs on the resort’s grounds. These were advertised as being of great benefit to human health, and were said to have remarkable curative powers for a wide range of digestive and other illnesses. Also on the property was a lovely two-story hotel building with thirty-two rooms which hosted large seasonal parties and balls and was well known as a polling place during elections. The resort also featured a ten-pin alley, and had unsurpassed outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, boating, and horseback-riding. Many local people earned a living working at either the hotel, its dining room, or in the nearby support building.

For many years groups of outdoorsmen had camped at the springs, and in the 1830’s a group of citizens from Grayson and Wythe Counties formally organized a company to open the site to guests. Early accounts of life at the resort, drawn from dairies of patrons, tend to describe the accommodations as being rough-hewn and Spartan. The trip south from Wytheville was invariably described as long and exhausting, but any fatigue was countered by the peace and exhilarating beauty of the surroundings. The river and nearby landscape were described by experienced travelers as being remindful of the Hudson River area, and the nightly musical entertainment delivered by slave musicians was surprisingly good. Voters often cast their ballots at the main building, staying on for several days afterward, and many heated political disagreements were settled by flying fists. A major flood on the New River damaged the resort’s buildings severely sometime after the summer season of 1859, and a loss of patrons during the Civil War caused abandonment for nearly a decade. In the 1890s, two physician brothers from North Carolina, J.L. and George Kernodle, completely redesigned and rebuilt the main hotel and outbuildings, and aided by a newly constructed rail siding and better road from Ivanhoe, set the Sulphur Springs on a second period of prosperity. This lasted until 1910-13 when the Kernodles sold the property to a predecessor company of Appalachian Power which was interested in building the hydroelectric dam at Byllesby. The end came when the buildings were torn down, and the site was flooded. The railroad track was moved back to higher ground.

(Text taken from Norfolk and Western Railway Company North Carolina Branch by Munsey W. Webb copyright 1995)

Original contents of the ammo box included: Blue Seas Cruiser TB, Rail Runner TB, spinerbait, 2 bobber stops, a Richard Petty car, sunblock lipblam, a Gatorade towel, stay-put hair grips, log with pencil, and an ink pen.

Please replace the cache as you found it so that others may experience a good hunt. Please make sure that the cache is covered and not out in the open. Thanks!!

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Ba gur qbjafgernz fvqr bs gur oevqtr, gnxr gur genvy nybat Oehfu Perrx. Gnxr nccebkvzngryl 20 fgrcf sebz gur svefg ynetr obhyqre ba gur evtug bs gur cngu, ghea evtug. Gur 20 fgrcf fubhyq yrnq lbh cnfg gur ynetr cvar gerr jvgu cbvfba vil ba vg gura gb n fznyyre cvar gerr. Ghea evtug cnfg gur fznyyre cvar gerr. Gur pnpur vf ybpngrq nobhg unys jnl hc gur onax orgjrra gjb ynetr ebpxf. Vg vf pbirerq jvgu yrnirf. N yvggyr pyvzovat vaibyirq ohg abg qvssvphyg.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)