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Etch-a-Sketch (Ode to Imperial Walkers)

A cache by gvsu4msu Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 4/28/2010
2.5 out of 5
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Geocache Description:

** cache is NOT located at the posted coordinates **


The mystery portion of this cache will be solved while walking around in a strip mall parking lot, so please be watchful for moving vehicles (especially with kids!).

Also, it is HIGHLY suggested doing the cache during daylight hours, since the direction arrows will be more visible, and YOU will be more visible to vehicles driving around the parking lot, making it safer for everyone.

Finally, don't forget to read through the below listed directions carefully, since it will make things much easier for you in the end.

This cache should bring back some memories to anyone who has played with an Etch-A-Sketch toy. The concept is quite simple and hopefully will be fun. You will be using the map screen on your GPSr to draw an image like you would on an Etch-A-Sketch. The resulting image will be of a 3 digit offset coordinate, which when applied to a dummy set of coordinates, will result in both the latitude and longitude of the cache.

You will want to park in front of the bookstore. This is the parking lot you will be walking around. The above listed cache coordinates (also known as Reference Line Point #1) will take you to a sidewalk next to the building. This is the starting point for your Etch-a-sketch picture. From the starting point, you will walk West until you reach the following coordinates: N 42° 52.600 W 085° 45.666 (also known as Reference Line Point #2). This line you just walked is the the baseline. Every time you reach the base line, you will need to turn right 90° (turn to face East), then walk along the baseline until you are lined up with the next lightpole with a starting arrow on it. You will then turn right 90° again (turn to face South), and walk towards the lightpole you just lined up with.

So now that you are at Reference Point #2, there will be a lightpole directly South of your position. Walk towards this lightpole to start sketching the 3 digit Etch-a-sketch number. As you make your way around the parking lot, you will encounter lightpoles with small red  arrows on them, about 3 feet off the ground. When you come upon an arrow, you must follow the direction that the arrow is pointing, walking to the pole it is pointing towards.

If the arrow points to the right, then you will turn and walk to the pole immediately to the right of the pole you are facing (90°). If it points left, then go left (90°). If the arrow points down towards the ground, then turn around (180°) and go back the way you just came from. Do not take short cuts (but you may need to walk around parked vehicles). You must walk right up to each pole, and then make the direction change at the pole.

NOTE: If you come upon a pole that doesn't have an arrow on it then no direction change is required. You should continue past this pole, walking to the next pole in line. You will continue walking from pole to pole, in the proper order (as determined by these instructions and by the directional arrows on the poles), until you reach the baseline again.

Please keep in mind that you will be walking between some poles more than once, to finish the sketch. When you have returned to the starting (initial) coordinates, you will have completed the sketch, and the image on your GPSr should be of a 3 digit number sitting on the baseline: __ __ __

Take the 3 digit offset number, enter it into the spaces below, and make the following calculations to determine the cache coordinates:

N 42° 51.493 + __ __ __ = N 42° ___ ___. ___ ___ ___ (Final Latitude)

W 85° 46.398 - __ __ __ = W 85° ___ ___. ___ ___ ___ (Final Longitude)

Follow these new coordinates to the cache, which is within walking distance of the parking lot.

Good luck and have fun being a human Etch-A-Sketch!

I want to thank Imperial Walkers for the idea for this cache. I enjoyed doing their Etch-a-Sketch geocache so much, that I wanted to make one for the West Side of Michigan.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

qba'g funxr gur TCFe be lbh jvyy unir gb fgneg bire.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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