Squished Pennies Letterbox

 
Terrain:
Asphalt, stone, and forest paths
Difficulty: Easy
Placed: November 30, 2003
By: The Dragon
Location: 
Milwaukee County, WI
Nearest town:
Wauwatosa, WI

Dragon's Home Page

 
CAMOUFLAGED BOX
 
This box is dedicated to the great past time of squishing pennies on railroad tracks!  One of the best places to squish pennies on railroad tracks is on the railroad tracks by Hart Park in Wauwatosa, WI. 

Be very careful when doing this box!  Cross the railroad tracks being very alert for trains.  If you choose to squish some pennies of your own, be sure to linger to the outside of the tracks - not between them - and only place the pennies on the track when you are sure there are no trains around.  Search for your squished pennies carefully - always looking and listening for trains coming.  Do this box with someone, so one person is always watching for trains (a designated train watcher).  These tracks are very busy (I saw 4 trains in the hour I was hiding the box on a Sunday!) and the trains move quickly through the valley (50-55 mph).  I have squished pennies here for years.  As long as you stay alert, and away from the track when you don't need to be near them, you should be ok.  Be very careful with kids around!

Clues:

If you're not coming from the Watery Grave box, I suggest that you park your car in the public lot under the Harmonee Ave. bridge.  You can access it by crossing the tracks at the end of Harwood Ave.  Park on the west end of the lot.  Walk next to the tracks heading west (NOT right next to them - off to the side a bit) to the 55/50 sign.

When squishing pennies, it is often a good idea to place them on the track so they are lined up with a noticeable object - like say a 55/50 sign!  You do this so when they get squished and fall off the track (or fly off the track!) you know the general area where you should start your search to recollect them.  If you desire to squish your own pennies, this should be a good spot.  Most likely by the time you finish retrieving the letterbox and return to the 55/50 sign your pennies will be squished!  (Or you can just wait a short while here to watch them get squished.)  This is also a less public place, and no one is likely to swipe your pennies while you're away.  If you're quick, you probably could place a few pennies on both the east and west bound tracks in a few seconds, then get safely away.  Do be aware that trains often pass each other around here, and that just because a train is on one track doesn't mean a train won't be coming on the other track!  Also, trains can go either way on either track!  (Just for your general knowledge, if you ever find yourself between train tracks with trains coming on both tracks (and no time to get away), lay down between the two sets of tracks so you are at track level and plug your ears.  There is not enough room to stand between two passing trains.  You should be safe until the trains pass.  I hope you never have to use this information!)

Anyway, on to the box!  Continue west walking on the stones next to the track (again - NOT right next to the track!).  After about 100 meters, you'll see a diamond shaped sign and a path that leads into the woods away from the tracks.  Check the other side of the diamond sign to see what it tells the engineers.  Then go down the small downhill into the woods on the trail.  About halfway down the small hill is a piece of asphalt sticking out.  Stop! To your right will be the Menomonee River. When I was there, I looking into the pool of water at the entry to the woods and it seemed that a lot of squished penny remains had found themselves into the river.  I don't know if you'll see what I saw.

Anyway, start walking along the main path through the woods counting paces from that asphalt slab.  (I discovered this path while running for cross country practice in high school.)  After 89 paces, you'll be under the arch of a bending tree.  Start counting paces again.  After many snakey turns and another 110 paces, you'll be at a right turn in the path with a very bare tree about 15 paces off the path in front of you to the left of the path.  Start counting paces from this turn.  After 92 more paces, you'll find a fallen tree on your right, or more specifically, the upheaved roots of the tree right next to the path.  Count off another 86 paces as you go up a small hill with concrete slabs - first to your left, then, as you go slightly downhill, on both sides as you finish the 86 paces.  Look at the concrete slabs on your left (towards the tracks).  The top slab has tar on it when viewed from this side.  Go to its other side (track side) and you'll see a cubby hole formed underneath it with another slab.  There is a smaller piece of concrete strategically placed in the hole that is hiding the letterbox.  Be sure to replace the concrete piece to re-hide the box well!

After stamping up, just head back the way you came.  Don't forget to collect your squished pennies!
 

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