The Abominable Snowman
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Coming from Mansfield Center at the intersection of routes 89 and 195, go down route 89, 4.7 miles to a stop light. This is the intersection of Mount Hope Road and route 89. You will see a bridge on the right going over the Mount Hope River. Continue on route 89 until you pass the Mansfield Ashford town line. A sign will be on the left side of the road. Take the first left past the town line off of route 89. This is Varga Road. At .5 mile you will pass Ashford Hills Apartments on the left. At .6 mile bear left. The road will become gravel just before the trail entrance at .9 miles. Coming from the intersection of routes 89 and 44 in Ashford, take route 89 south 1.7 miles towards Mansfield. Varga road will be on the right. The trail starts by going over a stone wall right at the edge of the road. Do not go down the drive on the left just before the trail. This is a private driveway. Parking is poor but there are spots along the side of the road. To park your car, you will have to turn the car around, and park on the side of the road. There is room for a few cars here. This preserve is not widely used and there is a good chance that during your hike, you will not see anyone else. Cross over the stone wall and follow the trail blazes.
In Search of
The trail to this box is the easiest and most level part of the series.
For a short distance the trail is in a wooded lot between some houses. There are short paths off the main path going to these houses. Just follow the yellow blazed trees. Hike for .2 miles until you come to an intersection where you can go either left or straight. There is an old foundation at this corner. The trail is wide like a dirt road. Go straight here. You will pass over a small stream. Along the trail you will come to a Y in the trail, go east with the yellow blazes. Keep walking until the trail passes over a stone wall. There are actually some stones right on the trail you have to step on. Go west along the south side of this wall for 11 steps. Look very low near the ground inside an opening in the wall. You need not move any stones. The box is visible and can be taken out without moving anything. Here is the In Search of a Unicorn letterbox.
Click here to continue on to In Search of the Abominable Snowman Letterbox.
The legendary and fabled unicorn is usually portrayed as a pure white horse with a long spiraling horn on its forehead. Itís appearance and behavior differs throughout the world. In the west the earliest account of a unicorn is found in the writings of Ctesias. Ctesias was a Greek that returned from Persia around 398 BC and wrote about the wonders of the Far East. He told about a wild donkey in India with a white body and a horn on the forehead. The dust filed from this horn, was said to be protection against deadly drugs and poisons. The unicorn in the west was pure white and represented purity and holiness. It was usually considered wild, very fast, untamable, and very hard to catch. The unicornís horn, known as an alicorn was spirally grooved, projecting from the center of its forehead, was white at the base, black in the middle, and red at the tip. It was believed that the horn possessed healing abilities, could detect or neutralize poisons, cure diseases and in some cases resurrect the dead. The royalty of the middle ages would often own a drinking cup made of a unicorn horn. An alicorn was still an essential item for British pharmacies until the mid 1700's. What type of horn they actually had used is questionable. The belief in the healing abilities of the unicorn horn is most likely based on a medieval story. In this tale, many animals gathered around a forest pool in the middle of night. The water was poisoned and they could not drink from it, until a unicorn appeared. He dipped his horn in the pool and the water became fresh and clean again. The Unicorn in Chinese myth, was called Qilin, Kilin, or Ch'ilin. The Chílin is an odd-looking, peaceful, meek, creature, and was regarded as a sign of good luck and justice. It was said to be able to see the evil in men's hearts and slay the wicked with its horn. It's body and head were similar to a deer's, it had hooves like a horse, a tail like an ox, and a single backward-curving, fleshy horn. Different accounts have the Chílin with a shiny, scaly-skin whose scales refracted the many colors around it or it had multi-colored hair. Some stories feature them as horses that could run as fast as the speed of light. The Japanese Ki-rin is strongly based on the Ch'lin. In the Orient it was also depicted as a goat-like creature, with cloven hooves and a beard. The legend of the Unicorn is probably based on exaggerated and retold accounts of the rhinoceros or the narwhal, a marine creature with one horn. The following sites will give you more information about Unicorns:http://www.angelfire.com/ar/callisto72/
http://www.delanohighschool.org/BillBaugher/stories/storyReader$1068 Before you set out, please read the waiver of responsibility and disclaimer.