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Abernethy Elm, the tree that moved a bridge Traditional Geocache

This cache has been archived.

DoodleCat & MisterKrrk: Unfortunately, whenever we go to perform maintenance, a group of homeless persons sit nearby watching and the cache containers go missing soon after. Archiving.

Hidden : 08/14/2006
1 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

Bison Capsule. Very short walk. Bring your own writing stick, the container is too small to hold a pen or pencil.

"Oregon Country" is what Americans in the early 1800's called the area from Russian America (Alaska) to California and from the Pacific to the Stony Mountains (the Rockies). This land was claimed by Great Britain, Russia, Spain and the United States. In 1818 the U.S. and Great Britain signed a treaty to peaceably co-exist there.

Over time the Oregon country settlers decided they needed a settler-run government. In May of 1843 they met about 20 miles SW of here at the town of Champoeg Oregon where they decided to create a Provisional government. Five years later Oregon became a U.S. territory, but while it was a still a Provisional Government the elected Governor was George Abernethy. He lived here in Oregon City, on the east bank of the Willamette River. In 1850 he planted an elm tree behind his home, near the river.

As Oregon Trail pioneers of the 1840's traveled down the Columbia River and up the Willamette, it was near this spot where they came ashore then traveled the short distance to congregate at Abernethy Green (site of the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center).

Over time, the Abernethy Elm tree grew to an enormous size and became a landmark for travelers on the Willamette as well as Highway 99E.

In the 1960's as Interstate 205 was being laid out, the tree was directly in the path of where a bridge was being planned. However, the historical significance of the tree was brought to the attention of the department of transportation soon enough to move the George Abernethy Memorial Bridge slightly south, allowing the Abernethy Elm to be spared.

Eventually, it was nature and not man or even Dutch Elm disease that caused the demise of the Abernethy Elm. At 150 years old the tree's limbs had gotten so huge that they broke off and split the tree apart. In 2000 what remained of the tree was cut down. Wood from the tree was saved so that local artisans could create objects that have been given as gifts by the city to visiting dignitaries.

The stump of the tree remains, as well as a concrete block where the historical plaque once stood. And now, there's a microcache there too.

You're looking for a Bison Capsule. Please be sure to park on the access road that leads to the Marina, (not on highway 99E or at the hotel) when searching for this cache.

This cache contains the coordinates to puzzle cache GCXP57, Canemah Cache Returns.

Please don't poke at or remove anything from the stump. The cache is not hidden in the tree stump.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Ybbxf yvxr gurer vf n ovgr zvffvat.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)