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Geocaching Event Celebrates 70th Anniversary of the National Great River Road


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G R R
G R R
    The Edwardain
The Edwardain
       
 
Along the Great River Road 1
Along the Great River Road 1
    Along the Great River Road 2
Along the Great River Road 2
   
May 2, 2008

Kimberly J. Williams, travel writer
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

"The face of the river, in time, became a wonderful book . . . which told its mind to me without reserve, delivering its most cherished secrets as clearly as if it had uttered them with a voice. And it was not a book to be read once and thrown aside, for it had a new story to tell every day." Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi

It meanders through the heartland of America. It is deep and it is shallow – with levels ranging from three to 200 feet. It is the mighty Mississippi River. It has carved its way through 10 states, creating a scenic and natural border that has beckoned people to its banks for centuries. Songs and novels have been written about it; man has tried to control it and it has proven to be uncontrollable. It has played a significant part in all aspects of our country’s history.

The Great River Road and the Mississippi River Parkway Commission were established in 1938. Marked by the familiar green Pilot’s Wheel, the Great River Road runs from Minnesota to Louisiana for almost 3,000 miles. In The Natural State, 10 counties along the state’s eastern border lie along the Great River Road National Scenic Byway. The Great River Road marks its 70th anniversary in 2008 and the Mississippi River Parkway Commission has joined with those states to create a special geocaching program to celebrate the occasion.

The "National Great River Road 70th Anniversary Geocaching Event" will feature a series of geocaches created specifically for the 70th anniversary celebration. The historically themed caches will be located in each of the 10 states located along the Mississippi River. Ambitious cachers who find at least 10 caches along the route will be entered into a grand prize drawing for a vacation package that includes five weekend stays in five Great River Road states. Arkansas’s grand prize property is the Edwardian Inn Bed and Breakfast in Helena-West Helena. The 1904 Colonial Revival mansion is listed on the National Register and boasts a three-star rating by AAA and Mobil Travel Guide.

Geocaching is a fast-growing hobby with enthusiasts around the globe. It combines technology with nature to produce an exciting new form of entertainment for those who like to be adventurous during their leisure time. In this modern-day treasure hunt, individuals or groups hide caches all over the world. The location of each geocache is marked with Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates shared via the Internet. Enthusiasts use a hand-held GPS unit to hunt for the caches. Each hunt and the terrain around it vary in difficulty. Some caches contain only logbooks in small tins or film canisters, while others hold mini treasures inside containers such as ammo boxes. Standard geocaching protocol is to take something if you leave something.

In Arkansas, 10 counties in eastern Arkansas are located along the Great River Road National Scenic Byway: Mississippi, Crittenden, St. Francis, Lee, Phillips, Monroe, Arkansas, Desha, Chicot and Drew. Each county will harbor at least one cache, with additional stashes hidden sporadically through September 2008. The first 10 coordinates include:

Mississippi County – N 35° 34.196 W 090° 02.412
Crittenden County – N 34° 56.961. W 090° 20.284
St. Francis County – N 35° 00.546 W 090° 47.015
Lee County – N 34° 42.553 W 090° 41.836
Phillips County – N 34° 31.719 W 090° 35.322
Monroe County – N 34° 53.295 W 091° 11.501
Arkansas County – N 34° 22.478 W 091° 08.133
Desha County – N 33° 36.638 W 091° 12.096
Chicot County – N 33° 22.275 W 091° 11.623
Drew County – N 33° 24.711 W 091° 27.712

Anyone can participate in the "National Great River Road 70th Anniversary Geocaching Event." For serious geocachers, special drawings for prizes await those who find all the caches in one or more of the participating states along the scenic thoroughfare. The program is a wonderful opportunity for individuals and families to learn about the historic river and the rich culture of the region that lies along its banks.

The Mississippi River Parkway Commission (MRPC) is a multi-state organization created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938 to preserve, promote and enhance the scenic, historic and recreational resources of the Mississippi River; to foster economic growth in the corridor; and to develop the national, scenic and historic parkway known as the Great River Road.

Join the hunt and celebrate one of America’s treasures – the Mighty Mississippi River. For more information on the “National Great River Road 70th Anniversary Geocaching Event”, visit www.Arkansas.com/geocache.

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Submitted by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201, 501-682-7606
E-mail: info@arkansas.com

May be used without permission. Credit line is appreciated:
"Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism"



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