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Thread: Compasses and moss

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Machias, Maine
    Posts
    120

    Default Compasses and moss

    I have been placing some caches in the Machias area this spring and I am still working on a bunch more. I have been focusing on placing quaility caches in quaility areas. Last fall I heard about an area which I thought would be great. It is called Compass Rock in Cutler, ME. It is located on Maine Public Reserve Land.

    Compass Rock is a large ledge type area a few miles in the woods off a four wheeler trail. The ledge has a large compass carved into it. According to the old timers in the area, the early settlers of Cutler used this rock as a navigation tool while hunting. There are several other rocks similar to this all around Cutler, but this seems to be the only one on Public Land and easily accessable. Cool; Right! I thought so too. So I did some more research and went out to find Compass Rock.

    I found the area with no problem, but there was a problem! The ledge is completely covered by thick moss. I kind of feel that peeling the moss back off the ledge would go against all that Geocaching stands for. What do you all think?

    Also, do think the area would still be a good place for a cache without actually getting to see the compass? Is just the story enough? It is a nice area, but it's not really anything special; except for the rock.

    Thanks guys!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Brewer,ME
    Posts
    2,576

    Unhappy That's a shame

    Yes you're right. Everything we learn from caching and being in the woods says to practice Leave no trace. peeling back the moss would definitely go against that principle. Seeing the compass would be cool, but at what cost. Of course that is if it really exists at all. JMHO
    Happy Trails!
    Yeah it's a Jeep thing!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Brewer, Maine
    Posts
    1,808

    Default

    I agree with Mainiac. The moss takes so long to establish on a surface, that it would be very destructive to remove it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Canaan , Maine
    Posts
    498

    Default

    Moss is a living Thing. Peeling may kill it and everything that lives in it.So I say
    NO PEELING PLEASE !!!! If there is a compass, It hasn't been seen in YEARS!!!!!
    OPalsns

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Bangor, ME
    Posts
    3,961

    Default

    it's times like these that I just ask myself... WWWMD... What Would Wal Mart Do???


    just kidding... I would leave it be.
    Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Bangor, ME
    Posts
    6,061

    Default

    As a geocacher, I say leave it be.

    However, IMO it would not be so bad if someone in control of the land wanted to expose the compass (assuming it is there) to keep the story of it alive, perhaps placing a marker there.

    If it were my property and I was aware of the story and was sure the compass existed, I would probably expose it to preserve the history. If it was my property and someone else exposed it without consulting me, I would not be so happy.
    DNFTT! DNFTT! DNFTT!

    "The funniest thing about this particular signature is that by the time you realize it doesn't say anything it's to late to stop reading it..."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    abbot me
    Posts
    754

    Default

    I would think if the compass was actually there, that the locals would never have let it become over grown with moss. If indeed the compass is buried under a layer of moss, then that's where it should stay. Great story.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Machias, Maine
    Posts
    120

    Default

    I agree! I would not peel back the moss either, just wanted some opinions.

    I was thinking about placing a cache there, leaving the moss alone and just tell the story. However, I think I will not place a cache at all. I don't want other people to be temped to peel it up.

    It is there. My wife's grandfather (91) lives in cutler and was a wood cutter by profession. He has seen it many times, way back in the day. My MapSend Topo 3d software has it as a POI. Those cords took to the same location the old timers told me to go to. At one point I found mention of it on the web. Surpise, I can't locate it now. I remember searching a while for it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Augusta, Maine
    Posts
    499

    Default

    My wife Shotgun and I make a trip to the Machias area at least once every summer. We have been watching you place these caches and now have begun to drool! Every time you place another cache we get more excited! We can't wait to get "down east" again! We say leave the moss alone the cool story was enough. Thanks!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Litchfield, Maine
    Posts
    3,589

    Default

    I am at odds on this one. If you knew exactly where the compass was under the moss and you knew for sure it was there then I would contact whom ever you needed to for the Public Land and ask them if they were aware of this and see if you could get permission to uncover it but only if you know exactly where it is. It is a piece of history that should not be lost.
    Blazing Troll

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