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1/21/13 opened to all, no longer premium only.**Cache is NOT at the posted coordinates.** Solve the puzzle below to find the ammo can. It's a little over a quarter mile from the archery parking lot on Pawnee Road, half mile round trip hike. Mowed trail almost all the way.
I had what I thought was a unique puzzle cache idea in mind, but of course when I searched existing geocaches, at least 6 cache hiders had gotten there before me. Since sandhill cranes hold a special place in Nebraska, I thought I’d go ahead and do a Nebraska version.
The Audubon Society Rowe Sanctuary site has information about the annual Sandhills migration. If you haven’t taken the time to stay in the area, awaken at 4 am and then sit quietly in a photo blind waiting for the morning bird uprising, the experience is highly recommended. It’s as essential a part of Nebraska’s good life as game day in Lincoln or canoeing down the Niobrara.
You may have encountered paper cranes in caches with numbers written on them; these are left by cachers trying to reach 1000 cranes. If you’re unfamiliar with the story of the Thousand Cranes, you may wish to visit here. For more information on Sadako Sasaki you can visit here. The folk singers known as Small Potatoes have a nice song called “1000 Candles, 1000 Cranes” which you can listen to here. There’s irony in using an ammunition can in the woods to collect peace cranes.
To find the cache, you’ll need to make your own origami crane. If you don't already possess this skill (or have forgotten how), there are web resources and videos aplenty, or you can use the images on this page, Instructions 01,02 and 03.
To solve the puzzle, you'll need to choose one of the 9 crane images below and print it out. The puzzle is the same no matter which design you choose. Thanks to Darick for letting me use a photo he took at Lake Zorinsky for one of the designs. If your fingers aren't fat like mine, you may want to print at 50-70% or so to keep your crane a nice tidy size.
If you're not comfortable sizing, printing and cutting the images here, you'll find easy-to-print pdf versions at the "Related Web Page" above. A pdf of the instructions is there also.
When you've printed out one of the designs, carefully trim it to a square. Then fold your crane. I've given you left, right, front, and back labels, as well as eyes and folding lines to make it easy to orient your crane properly. If it doesn't come out correctly a little refolding should do the trick.
The final cache is as follows:
N 41 ab.cde W 096 fg.hij
a: number found on left side of neck
b: number found on right side of neck
c: number found on left side of tail (back of tail is base for orienting integer)
d: number found on right side of tail
e: number found on upper side of left wing
f: number found on upper side of right wing
g: number found on underside of left wing
h: number found on underside of right wing
i: number found on left side of body
j: number found on right side of body
Your crane is also your logbook! Please sign your name to it and place it in the cache. I'll regularly photograph them and post the photos; feel free to also post photos of your successful and not-so-successful attempts at origami.
If for some reason you need to sign in without a crane of your own, you'll find a logbird to sign in the cache.
(No hints available.)