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Great Plains Sublime

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Hi Folks

I'm planning a trip across the country this summer, eventually reaching Maine before I return to

California. While this is somewhat a vacation, my real purpose is to explore our notions of the

sublime, using GPS technology and your explorations to assist me.


My course across the country will be determined by the GPS coordinates for sublime sites that

fellow geocachers submit. If you have come across such sites yourselves and you have the coordinates for them, I would really appreciate your letting me see what you discovered. If you'll send me the coordinates, I'll attempt to incorporate the sites into my trip.


The sublime has a long history with regards to landscape and images of landscape. I am interested in our collective notions of it and how we explore it through using GIS systems. This may present interesting ideas in relationship to 18th and 19th century exploration and ideas about sublime written about by such philosophers as Kant and Burke.


I hope you'll find this somewhat interesting yourself and help me out by submitting coordnates of

sublime sites you've visited in your area or in other parts of the country. It'll make my trip that much more fun.




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The sublime has a long history with regards to landscape and images of landscape

It was at this point that I decided that not only did I no longer understand what you meant by sublime, but that understanding was necessary in order to help you.


[reflecting on memories so old that they may be completely fried]

Kant seems to often see the sublime in areas where man and his surroundings are in perfect harmony while Burke often seens the sublime in areas where man and his surroundings are in complete dischord, noting that this is only viewable when you are removed from the danger or suffering. Burke often finds it in situations beyond comprehension while Kant seems to prefer those moments when we comprehend everything in a flash of insight.



What is it that you're looking for? Can you provide an example?


P.S And if you're the creator of "Oh My Goth", dinner is on us.

Edited by bons

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I am in agreement w/ Bons. I am not clear on your definition of sublime. I started to dig through my memory of philosophy only to find that becoming a lawyer replaced certain memory areas of my brain with the need for exact dictionary type definitions! So philosophical definitions were overwritten with concrete denfinitions or left with a general void. :blink:


I was thinking that Carhenge near Alliance, Nebraska might fit the definition under certain circumstances. I don't have the coords for it though. I thought there was a cache there, but now can't find it. An interesting side story is that a restaurant in Lincoln, Nebraska called Crane River brewed a very good orange wheat beer named Carhenge. Unfortunately, the restaurant was replaced by Misty's and changed the name (and the quality) of the beer. The beer is now called Stonhenge.


The area of the Platte River Run cache might fit other definitions of sublime.

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Good to get your responses.


Ummm, interesting reflections, bons. I wouldn't have characterized the differences

between Burke and Kant as incomprehensible and instantly comprehensible, but

I have a lot to learn about those guys myself.

Here is a site with some brief background info regarding Burke and Kant:



I decided to mention them in my post because I have previously been given

suggestions that were off the mark - I hope that introducing that 18th century

thinking initiates conversations like this one.


This trip is a kind of reflection on the era of exploration and art making that came

out of the Enlightenment. I am hoping that it will provide some new ideas about

what is beautiful, awesome, etc. This could be isolated areas (though I won't be

able to do much hiking), or more urban areas, the latter showing how much

the landscape has really changed over time, and possibly how our notion of the

sublime has changed along with it.


I hope that clarifies a bit,


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If you pass through Omaha on I-80, I would reccomend One specific place. It's just barely off a highway with a large apartment complex and a mall nearby. The entire area is an urban suburbia. And yet somehow, in the middle of all of this, is this tiny, almost unnoticeable wetlands area.


You can see the cache location from the road and yet somehow, once you're there, you can't see the road a bit. Your brain just edits it all out.


If you want to lose 200 years of humanity changing it's enviroment in 200 seconds, this is the place to go.

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Wow Bons, I love that last line about 200 years of change....intriguing.

I can't wait to check it out.



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Hi Folks

voltaire here just checking in to encourage more sublime site coordinate submissions.

At this point I have about 22 total. Most of them are in the Northwest. If you know of sites

that inspire awe, and they can be rural or urban, I'd sure appreciate hearing about them

so that I can incorporate them into my cross-country trek this summer.



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"in what we usually call sublime in nature there is ... an utter lack of anything leading to particular objective principles... the theory of the sublime [is thus] a mere appendix to our aesthetic judging of the purposiveness of nature." (Critique..., p.100)


I don't have any particular caches to recommend, because I haven't visited

them yet, but the above statement certainly speaks to me of the Sandhill region

of Nebraska.


Travel just a little north from I-80, almost anywhere from the Colorado border to

the middle of the state, Kearney,NE.


Treeless, rolling hills of sand covered by fine grass.


Have a good journey. I have no doubt that you will have many sublime experiences in your future.

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Hi, voltaire here, refreshing my request for

sublime sites, or as pjmorse said, places

that make you say "wow!"


I'm looking for the coordinates of sites, rural or uban, that

have left you in awe, due to the site's topography (?).

The reason I've used the term sublime is because I'm

interested in the history and conception of that term, but

you probably don't want to hear about that too much.


I'll be leaving for a cross-country motorcycle trip in late June

to check out the sites you recommend, document them, and consider

how our current thoughts about sublime may, or may not,

relate to ideas from the past.


Anyway, I appreciate your suggestions.




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I am the son of a professor with a master's degree in philosophy, although he is really more of a theologian, having taught religious studies at a small college for 35 years.


Anyway, I am not coming from a state of cluelessness here, but I am choosing to ignore all other definitions of sublime, and submit my own candidate with this qualification: A site (and sight) which had the ability to stop me in my tracks for a moment and just stand there and say, "Hey, maybe life doesn't suck that bad after all."


Alas, I don't have a waypoint, but the place is on the way to a cache called "The Norseman's Ford" just north of Ames, Iowa, waypoint GCH5M4. The cache site isn't all that sublime, but when approached from the north, via I-35, exit 123, county road E18, first driveway to the west of I-35, which is a parking lot for a river trail, you won't have to walk south very far (maybe 1/4 mile) until you find the place along the river.


It was probably just me, at that point in my life, but this seemed very special to me at the time. Good luck with your quest.

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The Cheyenne navigated across the great plains using the river ladder. Each river was given a name based on some characteristic. I like to think that these rivers teach me lessons. The Republican teaches me the importance of subtlety. The Niobrara teaches me that strange mixtures of things sometimes make truly beautiful things. The Platte teaches me about time and how little things can make big changes if you give it enough time. I am fond of the Platte River Overlook where I can sit and watch the braided current of the Platte up close.

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Thanks balboagirl and bigredmed!

I'll check those out. If you come across sites in the future,

I'd sure appreciate getting their coordinates.


Thanks for not grilling me on the philosophical subtlties of

the sublime, balboagirl, I certainly am no expert.



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Platte teaches me about time and how little things can make big changes if you give it enough time.  I am fond of the Platte River Overlook where I can sit and watch the braided current of the Platte up close.


Nice. Very nice.


I've spent many an hour at a place where the platte is nothing but a stream that you can jump across (N39 24.974 W105 14.670 more or less). I've soaked my ankles in its' 50 degree waters in July and I've heard it thunder in the middle of a snowstorm. I wouldn't trade the experience for a bar of gold.


My sublime picks in the Plains, I'm afraid to admit, include one of my own...

  • The view from above. I grew up 5 miles from this place and I still find myself amazed by the beauty of it. Twenty thousand vehicles pass within three miles every day--most of them are in a hurry to get from here to there. Few will ever know what they've missed. I'm happy to have shared this place with a hundred or so of my best friends whom I've never met.
  • Geocache. Simply named and simply stated. The most beautiful view from a geocache I've experienced yet.




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For those of you who have been so generous to contribute your thoughts

and site suggestions (and for anyone who is interested), I thought you might

like to see the collection of "sublime sites" that I have received over the past

couple of months. As I've said previously, it's surprising how few sites (none in

many cases) came in from the South, the West and the Southwest. I

definitely have a lot to check out in any case.


Here's the list:



waterfall 3 Mississippi: Wilkinson Cnty

by katie, josh, and shane [profile]


N 31° 04.382 W 091° 31.466 (WGS84)

UTM: 15R E 640766 N 3438632


GQ's Headcase Texas: Fort Bend Cnty

by Geek-Qualizer [profile]


N 29° 38.450 W 095° 39.703 (WGS84)

UTM: 15R E 242317 N 3281949


Cat Tails Falls - Big Bend Texas: Brewster Cnty

by gowerd [profile]


N 29° 16.386 W 103° 20.154 (WGS84)

UTM: 13R E 661667 N 3239392


Buck Trail Kentucky: Menifee Cnty

by Weedhopper [profile]


N 37° 48.096 W 083° 37.998 (WGS84)

UTM: 17S E 268161 N 4187069


Our Favorite Li'l Bridge Kentucky: Menifee Cnty

by The Li'l Bears [profile]

User's Web Page


N 37° 49.130 W 083° 34.750 (WGS84)

UTM: 17S E 272981 N 4188849


Janus' Li'l Vacation Home Kentucky: Powell County

by The Li'l Bears [profile]

User's Web Page


N 37° 49.621 W 083° 50.455 (WGS84)

UTM: 17S E 249965 N 4190426


Pinch 'Em Tight Kentucky: Menifee/Powell Cnties

by Weedhopper [profile]


N 37° 48.630 W 083° 38.684 (WGS84)

UTM: 17S E 267183 N 4188085


St. Louis Arch Virtual Cache

by bjbest and Big Jimmy [profile]


N 38° 37.501 W 090° 11.085 (WGS84)

UTM: 15S E 745081 N 4278926


Horse-Shoe Hill Michigan: Manistee Cnty

by SomeThingAboutMary [profile]


N 44° 19.858 W 085° 50.847 (WGS84)

UTM: 16T E 591890 N 4909280


Natural George Missouri: near Kansas City ? Cnty?

by Recre8 [profile]


N 39° 05.254 W 094° 21.525 (WGS84)

UTM: 15S E 382486 N 4327373


Platte River Run Nebraska: Buffalo Cnty

by Rocknroll [profile]


N 40° 39.648 W 098° 59.333 (WGS84)

UTM: 14T E 500940 N 4501104


One Specific Place Nebraska: Douglas Cnty

by redd [profile]

User's Web Page


N 41° 14.717 W 096° 04.212 (WGS84)

UTM: 14T E 745499 N 4570127


The NWern most cache in the continental US! Washington: Clallam Cnty This is literally on the West Coast and may be difficult to find.

by fooshfoosh and family [profile]


N 48° 23.154 W 124° 43.603 (WGS84)

UTM: 10U E 372160 N 5360633


Strange Waters Oregon: Marion Cnty.

by 7Bicks [profile]


N 44° 45.935 W 121° 47.771 (WGS84)

UTM: 10T E 595265 N 4957615


Walker Hole California: Del Norte Cnty ? near the coast ? may be difficult

by Seesthewind & Redwoodmama [profile]


N 41° 49.995 W 124° 06.974 (WGS84)

UTM: 10T E 407315 N 4631865


Have Fun Storming the Castle! Oregon: Jefferson Cnty

by Zzzoey, illDRIVEuNav & DrNOitall [profile]


N 44° 38.710 W 121° 34.342 (WGS84)

UTM: 10T E 613212 N 4944525


Mosier Tunnels Re-Revisited Oregon: Hood River Cnty

by Two Geo Sisters [profile]


N 45° 41.284 W 121° 26.432 (WGS84)

UTM: 10T E 621430 N 5060573


Some Gave All Massachusetts: Berkshire Cnty ? close to the coast ? maybe


by Planet/the Bryno [profile]


N 42° 38.405 W 073° 09.846 (WGS84)

UTM: 18T E 650514 N 4722482


Swamp Thing New York: Putnam Cnty.

by Tree Frogs [profile]


N 41° 30.457 W 073° 35.967 (WGS84)

UTM: 18T E 616882 N 4596057


Bull Hill Junction New York: Putnam Cnty.

by eagleflyby [profile]


N 41° 26.598 W 073° 57.104 (WGS84)

UTM: 18T E 587568 N 4588500


Top Of Vermont Vermont: Bennington Cnty

by DX Hunter [profile]


N 43° 09.950 W 073° 06.964 (WGS84)

UTM: 18T E 653145 N 4780953


Mt Monadnock New Hampshire: Chesire Cnty.

by StripedMoose [profile]


N 42° 51.703 W 072° 06.552 (WGS84)

UTM: 18T E 736160 N 4749513


Dune Massachusetts: Barnstable Cnty Hard to find due to

being on the tip of Cape Cod

by hbruner [profile]


N 42° 04.564 W 070° 09.765 (WGS84)

UTM: 19T E 403818 N 4658876


Howard Creek Cache Montana: Missoula Cnty

by Gregg & Soren Schonbachler (Macduff) [profile]


N 46° 46.329 W 114° 26.550 (WGS84)

UTM: 11T E 695257 N 5183021


Virtual Asgaard New York: Essex Cnty

by Sirius Black of the Adirondacks [profile]

User's Web Page


N 44° 25.528 W 073° 40.109 (WGS84)

UTM: 18T E 605988 N 4919992


Mr. Whiteface New York: Essex Cnty

by Justin of Team Slacker and Trillian [profile]


N 44° 22.324 W 073° 53.463 (WGS84)

UTM: 18T E 588352 N 4913797



One for the Loafers Maine: Franklin Cnty

by geomaineiacs [profile]


N 45° 02.084 W 070° 19.126 (WGS84)

UTM: 19T E 396124 N 4987655



Monhegan Magic This is an island off the coast of Maine ? maybe un-mapable. Looks like fun, though.

by Anderson [profile]


N 43° 45.910 W 069° 18.977 (WGS84)

UTM: 19T E 474542 N 4845840



Look! Up in the Sky! It's a Bird! Rhode Island: Washington Cnty Near the coast ? maybe unmappable

by Planet [profile]

User's Web Page


N 41° 22.329 W 071° 35.214 (WGS84)

UTM: 19T E 283657 N 4583300


Secondary Importance


Fitchburg Furnace Virtual Cache

by KYtrex [profile]

User's Web Page


N 37° 43.987 W 083° 51.158 (WGS84)

UTM: 17S E 248615 N 4180036


Thanks again,




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Looks like you missed two I markwelled earlier:


These two caches lie close enough to each other that you might as well see them both on the same trip. I did. And within that day are two stories I'll never forget.


GCG6GH - bygone days

Legend says that a farmer was out plowing his field when a group of Union soldiers marched by headed to fight in the Civil War. Feeling patriotic, the farmer leaned his plow against a bur oak tree and joined the soldiers in battle.


The farmer never returned and nearly 130 years later we can still see this part of history marked inside the bur oak tree where the plow remains.


GCHJHQ - pulp fiction

This stately tree was planted accidentally by a surveyer as he established the line between Audubon and Cass counties. To mark the line he cut a branch from a cottonwood tree nearby.Being a wet spring,the branch rooted and grew. The century old tree still stands in the center of the crossroads today.


When you go over the crest of the hill and see this tree in front of you, your breath is taken away. Nothing really prepares you for this sight.




If you're going to be on I-80 between Des Moines and Omaha, make plans (and take a close look at the maps because there's no exist for the second one, just a lot of dirt roads) and give yourself and extra hour or two for these caches. They're worth the time and trip.

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That's different, Zzons. It's the first one from Oklahoma.

So, is that folk art? A warning about armed neighbors?

Interesting. Maybe I can swing through there on my way




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Hi Folks

Just an update: I'm on the road now for six days, right now hanging out at Java Joe's in Santa Fe, just before heading into Texas for my first sublime site sighting.


I couldn't help stopping in at Zion Nt'l Park and Monument Valley on the way - hope you can check these places out if you haven't.

Mostly the weather has been good, ranging from hot to very hot, but I have run into some thunderstorms here in New Mexico - the accompanying wind is havoc for me on my motorcycle.


That's it for now - I can't wait to see the Texas sites.


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Just a quick update:


I'm still here, in Maine, stuck cause I've been working on my bike. I've had to rebuild the top end(s) due to a bad part installation. I had intended to head out towards Michigan almost two weeks ago, but I ran into mechanical problems. Fortunately I was staying with my sister when the proverbial fan was splattered.


I'm hoping to get the bike running today, allowing me to leave tomorrow.

I've visited two sites up here in Maine. I highly recommend One For The

Loafers - strenuous summertime hike, but the view is a payoff.


I'm hoping the ride back to the west coast is a smooth, trouble-free one.



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