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An island adventure in Tate Island Conservation Area on the Missouri River
They say that men start telling "tall tales" when they get near a river (i.e. 'fish stories'). I don’t really know about that, but one day I ran across the photo shown below.
Looking at the actual photo, it seemed like a bonafide reality that there really was a treasure on Tate Island. So I figured I’d check it out--I mean how hard is it to find something on an island? Having found lots of treasures in the woods, I figured ‘no problem’. But to help out, I contacted Ooga Booga, who quickly reminded me that I had no boat to get to the island, and without any real reason to suspect that there really was a treasure, I forgot about it.
Then, a few months later I got a mysterious phone call from an unidentified caller who said “Remember 5146” and then after a few coughs said "Some days the gold is there, some days it isn't" and then hung up. It took a little while, but I remembered the number he mentioned was the same number that was on the photo. And, realizing that the river was currently lower than normal, I thought maybe we can get to the island without a boat. I quickly called Ooga Booga--he got a hold of Tangerine and we all gathered at the Katy Trail parking lot in Portland, Missouri, hoping that we could find a way to crossover to Tate Island which was a little over a mile downstream from there.
It was a pretty quick and easy walk to the island where we found a secret crossover which is available only when the river is low!
Noticing that it would be bushwhacking on the island, several members stayed at the crossover, but Ooga Booga, Little Arrow, Thunder Arrow and myself pursued the hidden treasure. We were only getting a look at the island and had gone about a quarter mile when we ran into what we thought was probably the treasure. It even looked like it was disguised to be a geocache.
The only problem was that we had a hard time getting inside the box. The ammo can just didn’t seem to want to come out of it’s hiding place. We ended up leaving in frustration with the feeling that there was something we should have remembered that might have helped.
So, now we’re opening up this ‘puzzle’ to any geocacher who can help out. If you’d like to try your caching/puzzle solving ability out, go and give it a try. We did record the coordinates which are shown above.
Remember, this is an island and during most of the year it is only accessible by boat. If the river is low enough to wade/walk across, or you’re brave enough to cross over via ice in the winter (please be careful), here’s the coordinates of the ‘secret crossover’.
N 38 42.556 W 91 41.440
Of course there may be other ways in. Good luck. If you do visit on a day when the gold is there, we only ask that you remember those who got you there.
Note: The terrain rating on this cache is '5' because you're at the mercy of the river to get to it. Whether you take a boat, walk over ice or wait for low water levels, it takes more 'terrain planning' than most land based caches. Without the river, the terrain rating would be about a 3.5.
When we went to seek the treasure (8/30/2003) water levels on the Missouri were low enough to walk over to the island without getting wet, as shown in the photo at left taken by Ooga Booga. The maps on his GPSr conclude that he was in the river, or on the river bed as in this case. You can check out the current river stage at the USGS web website. Here's the Missouri River's Jefferson City gauge. The river was at 4.8 feet when we went--we estimate that 8-9 feet on the gauge would cover the crossover and that 10 feet would require a shallow wade at the same point.
Note: There is a nearby subdivision which by the satelite images shows it to be a closer access to the KATY trail when getting to Tate Island. However, we don't reccomend parking or approaching from that area because the land owners seem very private and have warning signs all about. Your best bet is to use the Katy trail parking in Portland. (If you're going to walk in, you should at least have to walk a mile to get a '5' terrain rating!!)
Snyyra sbexrq gerr fgenqqyrf n fgnaqvat gerr.
- The Treasure Photo
- Crossover to the IslandThe river was low enough that we could cross over to the island without getting wet.
- GPS says were in the riverOoga Booga took this shot of his GPS while standing on the crossover. The on board map clearly shows he was standing in the river, or on the river bed in this case.
- FullQuiver, Sam, Little Arrow and Thunder Arrow at the treasure site.
- SPOILER! (don't view unless you want to spoil it.The treasure was here... or maybe not.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum