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The Stuart Range EarthCache

Hidden : 08/07/2011
1.5 out of 5
1 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

This cache is in a rest stop on east bound I-90. This is a good place to stop if you’re still tired from activities in the mountains or you just want to find some caches. From this rest stop you will be able to see the Stuart Range to the north. There are no signs or views of the range from the west bound stop, so this cache must be done while going east.

Geography The Stuart Range is part of the Cascade Range and is located on the eastern side (of the Cascades). The Stuart Range is just SW of Leavenworth and runs east-west, similar to I-90. The western peaks of the range make up a single ridge, while the eastern half of the range splits into two separate ridges, the ridge to the north is referred to as the Enchantment Peaks. Between the two ridges there are many small lakes (or “tarns”). Tarns are formed when a glacier carves a cup like formation which later fills with melted glacier water. Formation The Stuart Range was formed by the Mt. Stuart Batholith. A batholith is a large mass of volcanic rock that forms from cooled magma below the earth’s crust. The most common types of rock that batholiths are composed of are granite, quartz monzonite, or diorite. The Mt Stuart Batholith is about 13 by 16 miles in size and underlies the Stuart Range as well as the Wenatchee Mountains. The Stuart Range is located where the North American tectonic plate overlaps the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate. As the Juan de Fuca plate continues to slowly move inland, the plate is forced down toward the earth’s mantle. This causes ongoing volcanic and seismic activity in the cascade mountain range. This process has been going on for more than 200 million years in the region. Over the years, Uplift and erosion have exposed the once underlying Stuart Mountain Batholith. This caused the formation known as the Stuart Range, which can be seen north of the rest stop. History In September of 1853, U.S. Army Captain George McClellan was heading a survey party in search of a good pass through the Cascades. They came across the area, but George was unable to find a reference to the Stuart Range on previous maps of the region. George decided to name the highest peak after an old friend, Captain James Stuart, who had died 2 years earlier during an attack against Indians in Southern Oregon. The main goal of the survey was to find a good route from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean (Which required crossing the Cascades). They had 4 routes to choose from, and the governor of the Washington Territory (Washington had not become a state yet) was eager to get the final section of the route approved. Local Indian tribes were reluctant to assist, but Indian guides still pointed out a small trail used by Snoqualmie and Yakima Indian tribes to cross through the Stuart Range. Later surveys confirmed that there was a trail, but not before congress was persuaded to drop the plans for a northern route. Snoqualmie Pass was eventually used for a highway over the Cascades, which was later paved. This became I-90, the so called “northern route” that we use today. congrats to justlearnin' for FTF Logging Requirements Proceed to the posted coordinates. You will see a sign with info about the Stuart Range. The answers will not come directly from the sign but it can be used as a reference. Send your answers to me via email or message through my profile (DO NOT POST IN YOUR LOG!). If I do not receive your answers in 5 days I’ll have to delete your log. Pictures are appreciated but not required. 1) Do you think the Stuart Range is growing or shrinking? 2) Is Mt. Stuart volcanic or non-volcanic? Why? 3) Based on the view from the rest stop, are the sides of the Stuart Range steep or gradual? Support your answer.

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