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Pembina Valley EarthCache

Hidden : 06/09/2009
1.5 out of 5
3 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

The cache explores the Pembina Valley through the park. You will be visiting at least two locations, hiking down the valley trail less than 1km but with a significant elevation change.

The Pembina Valley was formed thousands of years ago as the continental glacier rapidly retreated. Glacial spillways were created by the rapidly flowing meltwater as it drained into the Lake Agassiz Basin. Today the Pembina River flows in the valley.

Thousands of years ago, the rushing waters of a newly formed glacial spillway, instead of the forests of lush vegetation you see today, would have greeted your visit to the Pembina valley. The effects of the glacier, time and weather have left a remarkable feature behind. The valley is the notable landform of the area, a vast and deep valley carved through the glacial deposits exposing the ancient fossil rich cretaceous shale of the area.

The ancient Pembina River flowed from Glacial Lake Souris south easterly to Lake Agassiz. Today you can see the valley traced from the Souris area and meandering south east into North Dakota where the it is called the Pembina Gorge.

To best experience the Pembina Valley, access the park from Provincial Road 31 west of the park. Turn east at provincial road 201 and follow the signs to the park. The drive through the valley is filled with incredible views and a wonderful introduction to the sheer size of the valley. Along PR 31 the valley extends five kilometers wide and includes a plateau on the south side of the valley.

This cache is located within Pembina Valley Provincial Park with permission from Manitoba Parks and Natural Areas. A provincial park pass is required to visit the park.

The park's boulder-filled creeks that drain into the Pembina River are bordered in places with cattails and willows, while the hills towering above the creek bed are covered with dense ridges of aspen and oak forest. Mixed and tall grass prairie plants can be found along the hiking trails, while valley slopes feature wild berry plants. The park's hiking trails offer picturesque vantage points of the Pembina valley and surrounding countryside. They provide various levels of intensity, from challenging hikes to relaxing strolls. Picnic tables provide a place to rest and refuel for the next leg of your journey.

Everyone wishing to find the cache must submit the correct answers to the following questions.

1. Measure the depth of the valley formed by the creek. You can do this by measuring the elevation difference from the Parking Lot (N49 00.497 W98 16.437) to the Creek Bottom (at the posted cache co-ordinates). To get a better signal you may wish to use an elevation reading from the bridge or a clearing on either side of the creek, the creek bottom is approximately 10m below.

2. Using the creek tributary as a half sized model of the Pembina Valley (which is approximately correct), estimate the depth of the Pembina Valley.

3. At the Creek Bottom (posted cache co-ordinates), what specific geologic structure is featured on the trail marker and how many trail arrows accompany it on the post? Consult the trail map for the name if you're stumped.

4. Please post a picture of the valley with your log. The cranberry hollow viewpoint (N49 00.579 W98 16.307) is one of many great viewing points in the area to snap a picture.

Additional Hints (No hints available.)