Lakeland’s Leaning Tree


This weekend, while geocaching in the snow, I found out this Jack Pine tree out on Highway 55 was designated a Heritage Tree by the Heritage Tree Foundation. It has a label on it which dates it to 1906. The cache is not on or near the tree, but the cache coordinates take you to the fence that surrounds it. The log book is located inside a tiny green bison tube. Those tubes, and the logs scrolled up tightly inside, are hard to deal with in the winter because you have to take your mitts off to get at everything. As I was driving to location two, I passed a dozen ravens and a black dog eating a dead deer.

Location two hadn’t been found since 2016. I didn’t think I would find it either. But after a quick trip down the Iron Horse Trail on foot, I found it. It looked like a combination of a bird house and a tree stump, covered with snow. It was frozen into the ground. As I was crouching down trying to turn it over, I realized all the people driving by were probably wondering what I was doing because I was really struggling with this tree stump cache. After I flipped it over, and brushed clumps of cobwebs away, I signed the log and carried on to stop 3.

Stop 3 was in the town of Ardmore. I had to wait in my vehicle for quite awhile because of all the non-geocachers going into the two stores in town. Then I quickly ran to the coordinates (the hint had something to do with ice) and I took the magnetic cache back to my car and signed everything in my vehicle where no one could see. This magnetic cache has brought 79 geocachers to this small rural store. Inside the cache was a minion, some other trinkets, and a small log book with a beaver on it.

Finding three small caches on a winter day feels like a big accomplishment.