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RR Knutz: The Golden Spike Mystery Cache

Hidden : 01/15/2012
4 out of 5
3 out of 5

Size: Size:   small (small)

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Geocache Description:

The Golden Spike is for geocachers who find the
fifteen preliminary caches in the Railroad Knutz series.
But, only the first to find this final cache in the series
will have the honor of retrieving the actual golden spike
contained in The Golden Spike cache as the FTF prize!

The posted coordinates are NOT the coordinates of this cache!

The posted coordinates are actually the average position of the fifteen preliminary caches in this series. While all of the caches in this series are in the Rappahannock region of Virginia, like the posted coordinates are, you will be stretching out quite a bit to find them all. Besides, of course, the City of Fredericksburg, the hub of the region, we will be taking you to Stafford, King George, Caroline, Spotsylvania, Orange and Culpeper Counties. For those of you local to the Fredericksburg area, we will even be getting you ever so slightly out of your usual 38°N by 77°W box.

If you weren't already a rail fan, the Cachew Knutz hope you will be by the time you have the information needed to seek this final cache in the Railroad Knutz series. Giving any detail about what you will find at the location of The Golden Spike would spoil the challenge, but, as you'd expect, it is near a railroad feature of the Rappahannock region of Virginia, just like the preceding fifteen caches in the series.

Within most of the fifteen preliminary caches of the Railroad Knutz series a digit will be found inscribed on the underside of the lid of the cache container; the one exception is explained in the description for that cache. As each cache in the series is found, besides signing the log, geocachers should also note in a table like the one below the digit discovered. Seven of the digits discovered will be the seven digits of the North latitude of The Golden Spike cache and the other eight digits discovered will be the eight digits of the West longitude. One of the fifteen prelimary caches also contains the critical guide that indicates which digit goes in which position of the coordinates of The Golden Spike, so be sure to check around the edges of the underside of each lid for that information. The lid with the position guide is pictured here to illustrate what the digits look like and what the cache with the position guide will look like, but, of course, the actual positions have been obscured so that the cache must be found to obtain the information needed.

N _ _ ° _ _ . _ _ _ '    W _ _ _ ° _ _ . _ _ _ '
position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

The fifteen preliminary caches of the Railroad Knutz series are:

At each of these fifteen caches the first-to-find will be able to
   retrieve a Utah state quarter minted in 2007 and mounted as an
    FTF prize. These quarters and the RR Knutz FTF prize are meant
     to evoke the 1869 ceremony at Promontory Summit, Utah,
      celebrating the completion of the first transcontinental railroad
      link in North America. Unlike the original golden spike which
     was 17.6 karat gold, the RR Knutz FTF golden spike is just a
    standard 6-inch steel spike coated in gold-colored paint, however,
   the Cachew Knutz hope that the geocacher who retrieves it will
display it proudly, for it will have been a significant achievement.

More info about the original golden spike and the ceremonial completion of the first transcontinental railroad depicted in the Thomas Hill painting below is available at the Wikipedia article Golden Spike.

In the Rappahannock region of Virginia there is much railroading history, also, and it is, still today, a very active railroading area. Two Class I freight railroads, Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation, both have main lines that run through the area. The area is also well-served by Amtrak passenger trains, which are sparse in many other parts of the United States, and has commuter service provided by Virginia Railway Express. Former railroads operating in the area were the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac, the Orange and Alexandria, the Virginia Central Railway, the Potomac, Fredericksburg and Piedmont and the Dahlgren Railroad. Information about each of these railroads is provided throughout the descriptions of the fifteen preliminary caches since each one is placed near a railroad feature of the Rappahannock region.

Please join the Cachew Knutz as rail fans and let's go
Railroad Knutz

Additional Hints (No hints available.)