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The Golden Heart of Alaska Mystery Cache

This cache has been archived.

Kruimeldief: As there's been no cache to find for months, I'm archiving it to keep it from continually showing up in search lists, and to prevent it from blocking other cache placements. If you wish to repair/replace the cache sometime in the future, just contact us, and assuming it meets the guidelines, we'll be happy to unarchive it.

Hidden : 05/05/2005
3 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

Please note: the coordinates given above are those of the "Grote Kerk" (church) in the town of Dordrecht,
not of the cache!

This is a special cache made possible by an international exchange by Ladybug Kids from Alaska and Johny Cache from the Netherlands.

The Golden Heart of Alaska cache is owned and stocked by Ladybug Kids from Alaska. It's hidden and maintained by Johny Cache from the Netherlands. The Dutch sister cache owned by Johny Cache is called "Dutch Treat, een Nederlandse traktatie in Alaska" (GCMXEK) and can be found in Alaska. It was in turn hidden there by the Ladybug Kids.

The Ladybug Kids, consisting of Mike, Sandra and their two kids Victoria and Isabelle, are living in the town of Fairbanks in the Alaskan Interior. Fairbanks is nicknamed "The Golden Heart of Alaska".

To find the Golden Heart of Alaska cache you'll first have to do some homework and answer some Alaska / Fairbanks trivia questions. When you manage to answer all questions correctly, you'll be rewarded with the find of a very special cache filled with some very special trade items coming all the way from Alaska!

The International Geocache Exchange. What is it?

The Golden Heart of Alaska cache is part of an international geocache exchange project.

An international geocache exchange involves the exchange of a new, fully prepared geocache with a geocacher from a different country. The caches are filled with items unique to each cacher's individual locality. Once an exchange has occured, each geocacher would then have the other person's geocache to hide as their own, as per current guidelines. Both cachers' names will be listed in the 'hidden by' section.

The idea to exchange geocaches internationally was popularized in this thread on the forum. You might also like to see the Nordic thread. One of the first cachers involved in a geocache exchange wrote an article on the topic in Today's Cacher. This article can be found here.

Fairbanks is one of the best places on earth to view the magical northern lights.

  • What's the scientific name for this natural phenomenon?
  • Take the first letter of the second word and determine its numerical place in the alphabet. For example: A = 1, B = 2, etc.

In Fairbanks it regularly gets so cold that tupperware cache containers would crack when opened!

  • What's the lowest temperature (in Fahrenheit) ever recorded in Fairbanks?
  • Round off the negative number to the highest ten. For example: if you find -27 or -22 in both cases the rounded-off value will become -20.
  • Convert to Celsius and drop the numbers after the decimal.

Beside geoaching, in their spare time the owners of this cache like to go "skijoring". Sometimes the two are combined.

  • What's the abbreviation of the Fairbanks based association promoting recreational and competitive skijoring in the Alaskan interior?
  • Take the third letter of the abbreviation and determine its place in the alphabet.

The Ladybug Kids live quite a ways away.

  • Calculate the shortest distance in kilometers between Ladybug Kids' GCKK54 and JC's GCGWMX.
  • Take the first two digits.

At 20,320 feet, Alaskan Mount McKinley is the highest mountain of North America.

  • Mount McKinley is also known by another name meaning "the high one" or "the great one" in the Athabascan language. Take the first letter of this name and determine its place in the alphabet.

In 1867, at US Secretary of State William H. Seward's urging, the US bought Alaska from Russia. At less then 2 cents an acre it was a real bargain. At the time however many Americans shared Russia's view of Alaska being an economic wasteland, and the purchase was often called "Seward's Folly" or "Seward's Icebox".

  • For what amount (US$) did the US purchase Alaska from Russia?
  • Take the first digit.

Geocaching in Alaska sure is something else than what we're used to in the Netherlands. Read the logs (and take a look at the photos) of the Ladybug Kids for Kaimus Cache (GCHQKG), Clear Creek Butte Cache (GCE27F), Beautiful Birch Lake (GC62F9), and Mammoth Tusk (GC5784), and experience the adventures of winter caching in Alaska!

  • How many moose were spotted running along the river bank?
  • How many feet thick was the lake ice?
  • How many degrees Fahrenheit was the thermometer reading in the sun?
  • What did they eat at Valley Center? (two words!) Take the first letter of the first word and determine its place in the alphabet.
  • Add up the four answers.

Now that you've answered all questions, you are ready to find the Golden Heart of Alaska. Use the formulae below and Alaskan treasure will soon be yours!

H = A + B + C + D + E + F + G

Now goto the following waypoints:

WP1   N 51º 4X.XX1'  E 004º 4Y.YY0'    X.XX = H + 544    Y.YY = H + 338

WP2   N 51º 4X.XX1'  E 004º 4Y.YY5'    X.XX = H + 538    Y.YY = H + 355

WP3   N 51º 4X.XX7'  E 004º 4Y.YY9'    X.XX = H + 522    Y.YY = H + 335

WP4   N 51º 4X.XX1'  E 004º 4Y.YY8'    X.XX = H + 508    Y.YY = H + 341

WP5   N 51º 4X.XX6'  E 004º 4Y.YY3'    X.XX = H + 500    Y.YY = H + 329

You can park your car close to WP1. At WP1 you'll find an info sign with a bird depicted on it. Remember the name of that bird.
At the other four waypoints count the benches. The total of benches is I.

If I = 2 then J = 444 and K = 291
If I = 3 then J = 462 and K = 296
If I = 4 then J = 437 and K = 297
If I = 5 then J = 443 and K = 302
If I = 6 then J = 455 and K = 302
If I = 7 then J = 465 and K = 303

If bird = "aalscholver" then L = 22
If bird = "blauwborstje" then L = 18
If bird = "roerdomp" then L = 15

The cache can be found at:

N 51º 4X.XX6'  E 004º 4Y.YY8'    X.XX = H + J + L    Y.YY = H + K + L

Are you sure you found the right coordinates? Check: the distance from the "Grote Kerk" to WP3 is approximately 7.25 km.

Wishing you good luck and Happy Caching,

Ladybug Kids and Johny Cache


Inside the cache you'll find a stack of Dutch postcards added to the contents by Johny Cache. They're addressed to Victoria and Isabelle of the Ladybug Kids. Sufficient postage is already affixed. Each geocacher can take one postcard to mail it to Alaska with a personal message for the Ladybug Kids. They would love to hear from fellow geocachers from the Netherlands. Send them your greetings and let them know what you think of their cache.


The cache also contains a single-use camera to capture cachers' images. Please take your photo and leave the camera in the cache for the next finder. The film will later be developed and the images will be scanned and added to this cache page.

Trade Items

Ladybug Kids and JC are planning on an ongoing exchange of trade items to keep the exchange caches stocked. The cache will be regularly refilled with Alaskan items.

The trade items have been put into a couple of zip loc bags. It's not the intention to take a whole bag. Please practice fair trade and take only one item per team!


Please be aware of muggles (non-geocachers) in the cache area. Take a couple of minutes to hide and cover the cache well again. Make sure nobody else discovers the hiding place. We don't want this special cache stolen or plundered!

Message from the Ladybug Kids


Hello from the Golden Heart of Alaska!

"Golden Heart" has two meaning here. The first is that the people up here are very friendly, so they are said to have "golden hearts" much like the people we have met in the Netherlands. The second is that "thar's gold in them thar hills" around Fairbanks and gold mining has had a significant impact on the area for more than 100 years. Check out the cache pages for Ditch Niche (GCNDY1) and Chuggah Chuggah!!! (GCNBKG) for some historical background of where the Ladybug Kids call home.

This cache has been in the making since December 2004 when Johny Cache first contacted us via e-mail with the suggestion that we create an exchange cache. Daddy Ladybug has been to the Netherlands several times and has thoroughly enjoyed visits to Amsterdam, Gouda, Alkmaar, and other places, so we jumped at the chance to work with Johny Cache.

We hid "Dutch Treat, een Nederlandse traktatie in Alaska" on February 27, 2005, after receiving Dutch trade goods from Johny Cache, but hiding the "Golden Heart of Alaska" cache took more time because the first box of Alaskan trade goods took more than ten weeks to get to the Netherlands. We hope you enjoy the trade goods in the cache and enjoy learning a little about Alaska as you obtain the answers required to calculate the cache coordinates.

Many thanks are due to Johny Cache for initiating this project and for helping bridge the vast distance between Alaska and the Netherlands. The junior Ladybugs eagerly await the arrival of postcards from the Netherlands so they can begin learning about a distant place full of wonderful people, picturesque towns and villages, and beautiful countryside.

Cache on!!!

Best regards,

The Ladybug Kids

Alaska Moose On The Loose #1
Alaska Moose On The Loose #2

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Arne gur sbbg bs n gerr abg sne sebz cngu. Fbhgurnfg fvqr bs gerr.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)