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In Search of
Nessie

Placed: 3-17-03
Placed By: WWW (Formerly known as Chuck Straub and Molly)
Location: Mansfield Connecticut, Tolland County
Rated: Easy

10/1/10 - Box is confirmed as missing by WWW.

Coming east on route 6, from Willimantic, turn left at the traffic light, at the intersection of route 6 and route 203 A sign points to Mansfield Hollow. Cross the bridge over the Natchaug River from North Windham into Mansfield and immediately take a left on North Windham Rd. This road is not marked by a street sign. This is a dead end road. Go about 3 tenths of a mile to find a yellow bar across the road and a gravel parking area on the right. This is a large parking area and you will have no problem parking here.

This area is the Field Trail and Wildlife Management Area. It is open to hunting, and is used by the Field Trail people teaching their dogs hunting and retrieval. The area is used on many weekends for dog field trials. When this happens, it is closed to other use. There will be signs at the parking area if it is for field trials only that day. This is the same starting point as In Search of Caddy Letterbox.

Go to the entrance of the parking lot and proceed down the old paved road passing the metal gate that stops vehicles. This road is left over from before the federal government took over the woods, farms, fields and old roads in the hollow for construction of a dam. This road has been closed since 1949, and makes a very pleasant walk, passing large old maple trees, old foundations, retaining walls built long ago and other views. The road is on top of a ridge which is known as an esker. An esker is a ridge of sedimentary material, usually gravel or sand, deposited by streams that cut channels under or through glacier ice. Kettle holes can also be seen to the west and another esker that runs parallel to the road. The kettle holes were formed when a chunk of ice left over from the ancient glacier and surrounded by gravel, melted and left a hole. Follow this old road to itís end. The road actually ends by going into the lake and continues under water. Walk back the way you came, in 2 minutes you come to an intersection. At this intersection, the left just goes to the water. Walk right, off the paved road. This is also the first right that you can take. You will travel 185 steps down this trail. You will be passing the lake on your right and be able to get a good view of the Mansfield Hollow Dam at 300 degrees. The 185 steps ends part way up a small hill. You will see an evergreen, 15 feet off the trail on the left. The Tree has 7 or more trunks growing from a large trunk which is 14 feet in circumference. From here, depending on the time of year, the dam can be seen at 290 degrees. Walk to the northeast side of the tree and look 5 Ĺ feet up the tree. Nestled in the tree, under needles and sticks is the In Search of Nessie Letterbox.

Estimated round trip is 1.5 miles. To get back to your car, go back to the paved road and take a right.

Nessie

When the Romans first came to northern Scotland in the first century A.D., they found the Highlands occupied by the fierce tribes they called the Picts. From the carved, standing stones still found in the region around Loch Ness, it is clear the Picts were fascinated by animals, and cautious to render them with great care. All but one of the animals depicted on the Pictish stones are lifelike and easily recognizable. The exception is a strange beast with an elongated beak or muzzle, a head locket or spout, and flippers instead of feet. This Pict beast is the earliest known evidence for an idea that has held sway in the Scottish Highlands for at least 1,500 years -- that Loch Ness is home to a mysterious aquatic animal.

The earliest written document referring to a creature in Loch Ness is in the biography of Saint Columba. He is the man credited with introducing Christianity to Scotland in A.D. 565. According to this account, St. Columba was on his way to visit a Pictish king when he stopped along the shore of Loch Ness. Seeing a large beast about to attack a man who was swimming in the lake, Columba raised his hand, invoking the name of God and commanding the monster to "go back with all speed." The beast complied, and the swimmer was saved.

The Lochís amazing depth (over 800 feet) is deeper than that of the North Sea. The body of water is 23 miles long and 1 mile wide. It is approximately 10,000 years old and was formed at the end of the last Ice Age. Along its shores in several places there are mountains, rising hundreds of feet into the sky. It is the largest freshwater lake in the Britain. Because the waters are very cold, and also very cloudy it is difficult to see underwater more than a few feet.

Accounts of the beast commonly describe a long neck, humped body and an amazing ability to rapidly sink and hide in the murky depths or subterranean caves of this remote waterway. Descriptions of this creature vary in size and color, from 10-12 feet in length all the way up to 45 feet in length. Color range is from green to grey and grey/black. There have been plenty of eye witnesses and even photographs of the monster but all have been disputed and there has not been any undisputed evidence.

The modern history of the legend of Loch Ness monster dates from 1933, when a new road was completed along the shore, offering the first clear views of the loch from the northern side. One April afternoon, a local couple was driving home along this road when they spotted "an enormous animal rolling and plunging on the surface." Their account was written up by a correspondent for the Inverness Courier, whose editor used the word "monster" to describe the animal. The Loch Ness Monster has been a media phenomenon ever since. The scientific community refers to her as ''Nessiteras Rhombopetryx'', some call her just ''Lockness'' but most people know her affectionately as "Nessie" Visit the following websites for more information about the Loch Ness monster.

http://www.crystalinks.com/loch_ness.html
http://www.nessie.co.uk/
http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/fortean/nessie2.html
http://www.historynet.com/bh/blthelochnessmonster/

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