The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

2007.06.13 Sips from the artesian well

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

I’ve written about geocaching from time to time, but I haven’t had a lot to write about recently.

When we attended a commencement ceremony last month at Berea College, I took along my GPS receiver for a climb to the top of the Pinnacle, a high point of rock just east of Berea.

I don’t know how tall it is. I just know it’s a mile and a half climb to the top that requires a few stops for the out-of-shape body.

The view from the top is beautiful. The geocache is puzzling. And a little frightening. It’s rated 4.5 stars out of 5 for terrain difficulty.

Here are the instructions from Geocaching.com:

The trail ends on top of a rock, but the cache is down a tricky climb. TAKE CAUTION it is possible to fall to get to this cache.

They aren’t kidding, and falling means a good 20 to 25-foot drop into rock on one side or a much greater distance on the other. Maybe you could bounce all the way to the bottom.

I spent a lot of time looking over the edge on this side, then over on the other side, then back to the first side. I just didn’t see how to do it.

What I mean is that I just didn’t see how to do it and still attend commencement the next day. I saw ways to do it and possibly end up in the hospital.

Geo-caching.com also adds this:

Fairly difficult manuvering, no climbing gear neaded, but a 100 ft rope or helping hand may be helpful.

A helping hand? I don’t think I read carefully enough when I was at the Pinnacle. I remember the 100-foot rope, but not the helping hand. That might have encouraged me.

Taylor, the guy who was graduating, measures 6-foot-8. He must have a long arm attached to his helping hand. But not a hundred feet of arm.

I wasn’t getting anywhere at the end of the Pinnacle so I started snooping around back a ways on the path. Maybe there was a gentler way down, somewhere down in the area where I spotted a fox.

Nothing was showing up except that chute over on the east side of the Pinnacle. It looked as though something came along and chiseled out a vertical tunnel down to the ledge below.

It seemed like a person could “walk” down it by pressing hard against the sides with feet and hands. I tried to interest Taylor in this route, noting that his size should make it easier to keep from falling on through. That may have been the case, but he was more concerned about getting back up once he disappeared below.

Actually, I was concerned about what was below. Maybe it only led to a disappearing ledge that wouldn’t allow any maneuvering to the other side where the cache was probably hidden. Maybe there was nowhere to go but down—hundreds of feet down.

There is an additional hint for those about to give up:

Go as far as the pinnacle will let you. You should come to an area with much better view than the rocks above.

Not much help. Not much at all. You go to the end, you look down below and you know it’s somewhere down there, just a few long arms away.

By now, I knew I wasn’t going to visit this geocache. Once again it would remain stored inside my receiver, telling me that it was 287.6 miles from home.

Maybe some other more foolish time.

It hasn’t been all geocache failure lately. I finally stopped by one on the way home from Fayette Saturday: the Artesian Aquifer.

Most everybody around here knows the well along U.S. 20 that just keeps on flowing year after year.

There was an actual cache there last year; something hidden in an old shoe or glove. That’s gone now, but there’s an EarthCache to take its place.

There’s really nothing to find at an EarthCache. It’s just a place to admire a geological feature.

To log this one, you have to measure the rate of flow coming out of the pipe or take the temperature of the water.

I did both, guessing the flow to be somewhere between eight and 10 gallons a minute and measuring the temperature at 56°.

For the first time ever, I actually paused for a drink. It was wonderful. So metallic. So full of iron, some of the other finders say.

But the strange thing is, it tasted like a childhood memory. I know that taste from somewhere, but I’ll probably never figure it out. It’s going to remain as elusive as the Pinnacle cache.

    – June 13, 2007 

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