Okay, let's break this one down. I left two major hints in the puzzle. The first was the initial location: the Barre, VT Post Office. The second hint was the name of the cache. "My oh my what a wonderful day," is the chorus of a Disney song that most people probably know, "Zip-a-dee-do-da."
In the puzzle we have a string of numbers, single digits followed by a five digit string. Hopefully with the hints of a post office, and the word "zip" in your head you make the connection that the five digit strings are zip codes.
Then what? The rest is a modified Book Cipher. A Book Cipher is a type of cipher that passes information by pointing at either a letter or a word within a book or some other text. They are usually composes of numbers like "3-2-245" which could mean the third word in the second paragraph of the 245th page. Or the alternatively the third letter in the second word on page 245.
This version of the Book Cipher doesn't use an actual book, it uses zip codes. the first code on the list is 85201. If you look that up at Google, or at the US Post Office website you'd see that it belongs to Riverton, WY.
So, 7 82501 would be the seventh letter in Riverton, or "O." If you continue down the column you'd get ONEONENINEFOURNINE or 11949. We know that the puzzle coordinates start with 44°, so we can put all that information together and get 44° 11.949.
The second column yields 72° 30.209.
What do we find at that location?
The largest zipper in America! Barre, VT is known as a source of fine granite, so they've commissioned several granite sculptures around their town. The space set aside for this one was a small pocket park that is only about 6 feet wide! A challenge for a sculptor to be sure. Artist Chris Miller came up with the zipper as a single sculptural element that could fit in the narrow space and cover the entire 74' length of the park!
How did you do with the puzzle?
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