Seek this cache and you’ll be sure to work up one hearty appetite. Luckily, there are a couple others along the way before you reach the top of this bluff, not to mention a whole host of caches within the boundaries of Perrot State Park near Trempealeau. Placed by the region’s most prolific hider, vtwinspin, this gold painted ammo can honors Trekkin’ and Birdin’s 5000th find, which happened in August 2009. Those who choose to look for this one should be prepared to follow a winding path starting across from the Trempealeau Cemetery on Park Road at about 725 feet above sea level, to over 1000 feet at the very top. Take a look at the topo map and you’ll see from the tightly packed lines that this climb in elevation does not happen gently.
On the way up, you can stop to find Der Tannenbaum and Midway to 5000, allowing you an excuse to catch your breath. The temptation may be to charge straight toward the cache once Midway is found, but resist that urge. Stay to the contours of the trails, which will be workout enough.
Why in the world should anyone punish themselves by seeking a cache like this? Two reasons come to mind.
1) Because you can!
2) Because of the view.
Hiking up this side of the bluff takes you to an area of Perrot rarely visited, thus allowing you better chances at observing wildlife. Each season will offer its own rewards. We visited it in winter, with the quiet beauty of the frozen landscape and clear views of the mountain and river. Spring will bring wildflowers and migrating birds, summer will bring lushness, and fall? Incredibly beautiful color, if you time it right.
The actual cache location is the site of old quarry operations, which has exposed more of the dolomite sandstone that caps these bluffs. Take time to climb a bit higher, to the top of this remnant, and catch your breath in more ways than one. The views out to the river valley are some of the most incredible around, with a nice look at Trempealeau Mountain, sitting out there in the bay.
Once you’ve had enough caching, stop in to a favorite area eatery, The Trempealeau Hotel. The restaurant is actually the site of a virtual cache of the same name, so take your photo before taking your seat alongside the windows that overlook the river at this more civilized elevation. The atmosphere is relaxed enough to show up post caching. The food, however, is excellent. The specialty items revolve around the walnut burgers, but anything on their menu will please your hungry palate. If you plan it right, you can find the nearby caches, have dinner, then relax with your lawn chair on the grounds during one of their music events under the stars. A climb to the top, then dinner under the stars sounds about as close to heaven as cachers can get!