The Gold Bug

A cache by dukemartin Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 8/24/2015
In West Virginia, United States
4 out of 5
3.5 out of 5

Size: Size: regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

This geocache is a tribute to a geocache I found in 2010 and was very impressed with it.  That geocache has since been archived. This geocache is a simulation of the classic short story, THE GOLD BUG by Edgar Allen Poe. 

This Geocache has been approved by the Division of Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Section and by the Superintendent of Coopers Rock State Forest.

The coordinates above are for parking. No cache there!

THE GOLD BUG short story was written in the mid-1800's so please be aware there are some totally inappropriate racial slurs and stereotyping in the story. 

In order to make this a complete GOLD BUG experience I highly recommended that before attempting this cache you take some time and read the THE GOLD BUG short story found HERE
(Navigate to stories, then select The Gold Bug link)

I only simulated so much of the tale, so I took some creator liberties that I hope are close enough.  You will do in field decoding with your code breaker, acquire a GOLD BUG, find a deer skull, a hidden parchment container, a devils seat, reveal an embedded code, a human skull, and finally use all of your collectibles to set up an elaborate 1800's style "Red Arrow" plus pacing off a distance to find the final treasure (just as any self-respecting pirate treasure hunt should have.)

There are six stages altogether, but two have sub stages. This should all make sense as you work through the stages. Unless instructed otherwise, please replace each stage and its equipment as found so it will be serviceable for the next cacher.

Round trip mileage is about 3.5 miles, but I would leave at least two to three hours to do this cache. You will enjoy trying to find things that the GPS won't help you find, decoding messages until you wanna throw up, and even after you decode them they still won't scream, "LOOK HERE!" This is a true treasure hunt that is a major accomplishment if done successfully. If Mr. Legrand almost went crazy trying to find the treasure, why shouldn't you?

I do think it is a unique cache that people will enjoy doing. If you have the tenacity, time, and temperament, you will succeed.

All coordinates are in decimal degrees.

I had originally thought of making you climb a tree like the picture shown, but have nixed that idea due to safety concerns. This geocache is within Coopers Rock State Forest (south side of I68) which is supportive of geocaching. Thank you for your support!

Dress appropriately including wearing long pants (some ground briers).
On this adventure you should take 3 AAA batteries, your code breaker, a magnetic compass, a pencil, a notebook, maybe a friend or two, and some patience.

You will need to decipher the following code to determine how and where to start the hunt.


1) I have modified the Poe code for several letters. If you can figure out the original code, you should be able to figure out what I've changed/added.

2) All coordinates are the best I could get. Use the hints and your geosense.

Quadguy47 is First To Find, Congrats!


5; ;48)8 -‡‡(†)

5 -5-48 †‡8) (8);

(8-86¶8 †6(8-;6‡*)

;‡ ;48 3‡O† 2?3 *8);




__ )#5†8) ;5@8* ‡* ;48 4?*;

__ 96O8) I(‡9 -45(O8);‡* ;‡ 6)O5*†
__ 4‡?() ‡I );85†6O: †6336*3

__ (?†8 -6(-O8 †6598;8( #O?) 3‡O† -8*)8()

__ ‡#5O



__ ;698 ;48 4?*; );5(;8†

__O5); O692 ~?# 5;;56*8†
__I6(); *?928( O‡‡)8 #68-8) ‡I 3‡O†

__ 3‡O† -8*)8()

__O8*3;4 ‡I )?OO6¶5*) 6)O5*†

Good Luck

"And dis all cum ob de goole-bug! de putty goole-bug! the poor little goole-bug!"

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Fgntr 1: Nqinaprq fxv genvy, terl, unatvat vafvqr, cynfgvp.
Fgntr 2: Cbjre yvar, ybt cvyr, cynfgvp.
Fgntr 3: Oebxra gerr, cynfgvp. Ybbx pybfryl ng oebxra gerr nobir lbh. Svaq gur nyvtazrag fxhyy naq gura ybbx qbja gb gur tebhaq. Crbcyr ner zvffvat gur tbyqra ebq ubyqre ng fgntr 3N. Cvcr fgho va gur tebhaq.
Fgntr 4: Nqinaprq fxv genvy, haqre ebpx frng, 30 pny zrgny.
Fgntr 5: Vagrezrqvngr fxv genvy, ebpxf arne gerr, 30 pny zrgny.
Fgntr 6: Hccre fvqr, ynetr ebpx, 50 pny zrgny.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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**Warning! Spoilers may be included in the descriptions or links.

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Last Updated: on 5/18/2017 5:06:45 AM Pacific Daylight Time (12:06 PM GMT)
Rendered From:Unknown
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum