Hickory "O" Run

LOCATION:  Hickory Run State Park, Carbon County, PA

CHALLENGE:  2 stars

DATE/NUMBER:  19-Jun-1999/10

MAP:  Finding this letterbox involves running the advanced permanent (trim) orienteering course at Hickory Run State Park. See the notes below.

One way to to get to the park is: From exit 35 of the PA Turnpike (I-476), turn right directly after passing through the tolls (onto PA-940 west). After about 2 miles, turn left onto PA-534 east. From there, it is about 5.5 miles to the park office where you will have to ask a ranger for the Hickory Run Permanent Orienteering Course Map.

Review the entire pamphlet. When ready, navigate to the start triangle of the advanced course. It is marked by a very faded trim orienteering control marker (similar looking to the illustration in the pamphlet). You can confirm you are at the right place as there is the start of a concrete dam 41 paces from the marker, on a bearing of 204 degrees.

Run the course and record the two letter code at each control. When you get to control #20, you can begin to hunt for the box. The control codes noted are a key into a formula to determine the number of paces and bearing from control #20 to the hiding place, which is under a rock (the box is concealed by a second rock as well, and can be retrieved by moving the second rock, and sliding it out).

Here's how it works: the first letter in each two letter control code is used in the pace formula, and the second letter in each two letter control code is used in the bearing formula (e.g., when calculating the pace count, totally ignore the second letter in the control code). Count the number of times each letter occurred as the first letter (pace), and as the second letter (bearing), and plug into the formulae below (remembering to wrap the bearing calculation at 360, if necessary):

pace = 29*A + 10*B + 5*C + 83*D + 13*E + 3*G + 25*H + 8*O + 19*M + 57*S + 12*T + 40*V

bearing = 201*A + 8*B + 81*C + 5*D + 52*E + 27*G + 72*H + 3*O + 61*M + 45*S + 36*T + 13*V

Example: If the control codes were AA, AB, AC, and BA, the box would be 97 paces (29*3 + 10) at bearing 131 (201 + 8 + 81 + 201 = 491 (- 360)) from control #20.

NOTE 1:  Click here for another Hickory Run letterbox.

NOTE 2:  Do not attempt to find this letterbox unless you are an experienced orienteer who can and has confidently completed several advanced (USOF green or better) orienteering courses on technical maps. The challenge rating of this box assumes this experience. This course is about 4.5K or so. Keep in mind that with trim orienteering you will be alone in the woods, the controls are harder to see than traditional O bags, and there are no water controls :-)

NOTE 3:  There are also beginner and intermediate trim courses on the pamphlet. If the park is out of pamphlets (they had lots of them when I was there), write to the Pocono Orienteering Club (POC) at PO Box 245, Pocono Lake, PA, 18347, or Delaware Valley Orienteering Association (DVOA) at 14 Lake Drive, Spring City, PA, 19475, and ask if they have any.

NOTE 4:  To learn more about orienteering in general, contact one of the clubs above, or start with the USOF or IOF web page to find a club in your area.

NOTE 5:  Be wary of snakes and other wildlife when reaching into dark places. No need to dig for this box. All bearings magnetic unless otherwise noted. A pace is a long stride counted on a footfall of either foot, i.e. two paces are counted each time the right foot hits the ground. Be aware of if or when there is game hunting in the area.

NOTE 6:  Please re-hide the thing well just as you found it and replace the rocks as you found them.

DISCLAIMER & COPYRIGHT:  PERSONS USING THIS CLUE OR HUNTING THIS LETTERBOX DO SO AT THEIR OWN RISK. Do not hunt this letterbox without reading and agreeing to the waiver first. Children, do not hunt this letterbox without the supervision of an adult who has read and agreed to the waiver. Possession of this clue does not imply rights of access to particular lands and route choices, or the safety thereof, including the location of the box itself. Always observe current local regulations, signs, property rights, and customs; you are responsible for your actions. Clue not indended to be taken literally or to suggest route choices; route choices (and the choice to proceed at all), are your choice.
This clue and associated stamp art are copyright © 1999, by Randy Hall. Permission to reproduce for personal use granted; all other rights reserved.