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Vigenere's Duck Nest Mystery Cache

Hidden : 05/15/2022
2.5 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

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How Geocaching Works

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Geocache Description:

Hike, mountain bike, or cross-country ski to this corner of Ingham County's Riverbend Natural Area.  Posted coordinates are a trailhead only, a place where you might enter or exit the trail system, from the gravel road which leads to and from parking.

Everything you need to know about the cache, including description, coordinates, and possibly a hint, are found by deciphering the text below.  Everything else in this description exists to guide you to the deciphering.  The Viginere Cipher was invented in France in the 1500s, and today there are many great articles that describe its history and how it works, even how to crack it.  There are also handfuls of tools out there that help one to create, and to solve, such ciphers.  I will trust in your internet searching and browsing capabilities to get you that far.

To make things a little harder, I have removed spaces between words, but have left sentence breaks.  Some words that may or may not occur in the plain text include: north, south, east, west, degree, zero, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, decimal, point, cache, geocache, container, can, box, jar, trail, path, route, conceal, hide, camoflage, cover.  Some of you may try to break it just from that.  However, most of you will want the key. This I will not simply give away, but I will give some information.

The key is the name of a Duck. This Duck is a medium-sized perching Duck, known for the striking coloration of breeding males.  Its prefered habitat is wooded swamps, shallow lakes, marshes, ponds and creeks.  It is a Duck that can be found commonly here in Michigan, but not year-round.  It generally builds its nest in a cavity, and many parks and nature centers build and place nest-boxes especially for this species.


Just a couple technical points to end on:  This cache is near the boundary of the park, but is well inside the posted signs.  If your solution and GPS are reasonably accurate, you might see the signs from here, but will not be near nor past them, just in case there is any doubt.  Also, please ensure the cache is re-hidden as well as or better than found, covered in a pile of leaves and sticks.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Qbrf Praghel Pbyyrtr va Juvgr Orne Ynxr, ZA bssre nal pbhefrf va Yngva?

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)