This is a five-stage multicache. The first four stages are not containers, but small *objects displaying the coordinates for the next stage. If not for the 5+ mile journey between stages, the three star rating would be one and a half stars as you will journey to areas of the island (not usually experienced by the casual visitor) on mostly level, paved or hard packed terrain. None of the stages require you to enter any forbidden or ecologically sensitive areas.
The final cache is a small round metal container on a spiral cord in the crook of a tree. Please replace lid and conceal as found. Thanks.
*Special thanks to good friends and fellow cachers "Eithnie" and "Tonsil" for allowing me to borrow their "stage objects" idea from their world-famous "Le Saut D'amour Encore" cache (GCKHNG),in Cumberland, MD, an exceptional multicache.
The Calusa Remembered
People lived and fished on Florida's Gulf coast long before the first pyramids in Egypt. Among the coastal dwellers were the Calusa - a powerful, and artistic society that at the time of Spanish contact, dominated all of South Florida. Tribes as far away as Lake Okeechobee and the Florida Keys paid tribute to the Calusa. The Calusa built enormous mounds, engineered canals, and their wood carving skills were among the best in all of North America.
The secret of Calusa success was the estuary - a partially enclosed water body where fresh water run-off from the land meets and mixes with the salty waters of the sea. Estuaries are one of the most productive environments on earth. They are often called the "cradles of the ocean" because many fish and shellfish spend all or part of their lives there. Calusa prosperity relied on the bounty of the estuary which provided food and in a land devoid of hard stone, shells were fashioned into tools. The bounty of the estuaries was so great that the Calusa did not have to labor to grow food.
While the Calusa resisted Spanish insurgence for 200 years,they were eventually driven from their homeland and wiped out by European diseases and war with Spaniards and other Indians. Still their legacy lives on etched in the landscape by mounds, canals and estuaries that supported them. While estuaries have adopted to withstand the impacts of hurricanes, they are limited in their ability to tolerate adverse human impacts such as pollution and over exploitation.
12/10/2005 Thanks to Corbitt Torrence, archaeologist and project engineer for the Chadwick Mound Project on Captiva, FL, for adjustments to "The Calusa Remembered" section based on studies and information gathered from archaeological digs at mounds once inhabited by the Calusa.
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