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Pola Negri was here?

A cache by derektiffany Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 05/24/2013
Difficulty:
2 out of 5
Terrain:
2 out of 5

Size: Size: regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

This multicache will take you on a short walk (about 0.25 miles round trip) through the grounds surrounding the Gulf Branch Nature Center. You will pass several attractions and signs with information to be gathered for the final coordinates, leading to a physical cache container. Each of these virtual stages have been entered as a waypoint with coordinates available. However, if you follow the narrative, you should be able to make it to each stage along the trails simply via directions. Enjoy!

Multicache directions are given first to aid paperless geocachers. But read below to find out more about this cache's name.

All stages are on established trails, please remain on trails while in the park.

All information to be gathered consists of single digits. In questions E, G, F, and B, the single digit is repeated on a sign multiple times. Questions are presented in the description in the order you will encounter them if following the trail from the posted coordinates, however they are to be utilized to construct final coordinates as they are lettered (A, B, C, D, E, F, G). So jot down both the letter and number.

The cache starts near posted coordinates, at the Easterly corner of the parking lot of the Gulf Branch Nature Center where a trail heads towards the stream. There should be an outdoor art piece around / near you.
STAGE1 Rising Relics (Question to Answer) N 38° 55.153 W 077° 07.250 
A - There are ____ mosaic pillars (count)
H - There are ____ words at your feet in the trail (count) or There are ____ consonants in the lead artist's last name (count, total including duplicates)

Don't cross the bridge. Instead, take a walk upstream along Gulf Branch, via the western corner of the parking lot, where a trail will take you past a small pond. You should soon reach a small log house and informational sign (The Robert Walker House).
STAGE2 Robert Walker Log House (Question to Answer) N 38° 55.139 W 077° 07.286 
D - In 187_ Robert Walker and his bride moved into the log house that he had just built on the present day grounds of Glebe Park (date, last digit in year)
E - In 19_8 to _9, a log house utilizing as many timbers as could be saved from the original structure, was erected at Gulf Branch (date, decades digit in year)

Continue walking along the trail a very short distance to the blacksmith's forge (and informational sign).
STAGE3 Forge (Question to Answer) N 38° 55.139 W 077° 07.310 
G - The blacksmiths' forge was added to the park's attractions between 19_0 to _2 (date, decades digit in year)

Continue walking along the trail to a small "roundabout" near a bridge. No need to cross the bridge. In the center of the "roundabout" is a sign informing you of a restoration project for native plants, such as wild geraniums.
STAGE4 Restoration Project (Question to Answer) N 38° 55.127 W 077° 07.330 
F - The phone number on the sign is 703 228 _40_ (phone number, single digit which is repeated)

Bear right and continue walking upstream along the trail until you reach an intersection with a paved trail. There is a small sign with some rules and regulations on it at the intersection.
STAGE5 Rules and Regulations (Question to Answer) N 38° 55.177 W 077° 07.405 
B - Cited is Arlington Co. Code Chapter _, Article _, Sections _-4, _-5, _-6 (single digit, repeated multiple times in multiple formats)

From here you can choose two different paths to the next waypoint. The shortest, quickest, and easiest is to head up the hill on the paved trail. Alternatively continue on the dirt trail up the hill, and then make a right at the next intersection. I like the scenery along the later. Either way, you will reach a nice place to sit ... a small clearing on top of the hill ...
STAGE6 A Place to Sit (Question to Answer) N 38° 55.212 W 077° 07.382 
C - There are ____ benches (count)

The final coordinates can be calculated by plugging in the above information into:

N 38° 5A.BCD W 077° 0E.FGH

It should be very close (within eyesight) of where you are. If the GPS indicates otherwise, recheck the numbers. Or ... check the hint and try your geo-sense.

So who is Pola Negri?

Local lore suggests Pola Negri may well have sat here and enjoyed the sights and sounds of Gulf Branch and the forest around her.

Pola Negri was one of the most popular and famous actresses in the 1920's during Hollywood's silent era, with over 20 films made for Paramount Pictures to her credit in this time. Like other movie stars, she was also known for her personal life, including relationships with Charlie Chaplin and Rudolph Valentino.

There has long been an alleged connection between Negri and the stone building which is now the Gulf Branch Nature Center. According to some, she once owned the building and frequently visited when not in Hollywood, New York, or filming a movie. Others recall her more occasionally renting the villa. For a more detailed historical account, see the following paper by Jennifer Sale Crane of the Arlington Historical Society:
http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/parksrecreation/documents/file89095.pdf

Perhaps film stars once roamed these woods, accompanied by the sounds of music from a party at the nearby villa. Or, maybe not. There is certainly evidence that Negri travelled to and stayed in the Northern Virginia area. There are even confirmed accounts of her "renting a house". However, it's hard to say for certain if historical fact matches local legends. Even if they don't, it's still interesting to picture what these woods and this area must have been like years ago. And, I do like the following quote, reported by the Virginia Evening Star in 1935 when Pola was visiting the area, before she went for a walk in the woods ...

"I love this country. I want to buy some land here. I want to live like your George Washington. Oh yes, I love it here very much."

Hours for the Gulf Branch Nature Center are:

Monday: Closed
Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Limited parking is available at the posted / stage 1 coordinates, however there is additional street parking if the lot is full or the gate is closed. The park and trails are available from dawn to dusk.

No night caching! This cache is only available during daylight.


Portions of this cache page were originally used with a temporary cache placed in conjunction with an Introduction to Geocaching presentation at the nearby Nature Center. However, the cache hide and location have been changed. This cache was placed with permission. Please refer to the Arlington County Park Rules & Regulations for more information on geocache placements.


Best Kids Cache, Best Historical/Educational Cache, and Best Multi-Stage Cache

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Gnxr n frng, svaq gur cnve, naq purpx gur fubegre bar ba gur yrsg

Decryption Key

A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M
-------------------------
N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z

(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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