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National Park Mystery Spot 45 Revealed: An Impressive Name For An Impressive Park

Salt River Bay and Columbus expedition landing site. NPS photo from National Register of Historic Places.

To solve the Mystery Spot 45 puzzle you had to figure out which named place in which of America’s 397 national parks can be identified by interpreting the following clues:

What is the value of a productive man?

What can run into and out of a lake?

What can pursuing hounds bring a stag?

What can be walked around in many kitchens?

What kind of calamity can a tanker accident cause?

What fifth card can make you happy or sad?

Cooperstown spinster Emma Bearers
Was among the last of the petticoat wearers.
She was nobody’s wife
And stayed celibate for life.
No runs, no hits, no errors.

The answer is Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve.

Situated on St. Croix, the largest of the Virgin Islands, Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve is a fairly small (1,015 acres), relatively new (1992) national park that preserves important physical and cultural resources. The former include upland watersheds, some of the largest remaining mangrove forests in the Virgin Islands, beaches, coral reefs, and a submarine canyon. Among the latter are prehistoric and colonial era archeological sites (including all three South American/Caribbean pottery-making cultures), an earthworks fortification (Fort Salé) dating to the early 1600s, and the only known site where members of the Columbus expedition (second voyage, November 1493) set foot on what is now U.S. territory.

Here is how the clues lead you to the answer:

A productive man is “a man who is worth his salt."

A river can run into and out of a lake. For example, the Colorado River runs into and out of Lake Powell.

In the popular variant of poker called Texas hold em, the dealer gives each player two cards face down and then places five community cards face down on the table. The first three community cards are turned over together (“the flop”). The fourth card is revealed as “the turn” and the fifth card is revealed as “the “river”.) Betting can take place before the flop, on the flop, on the turn, and on the river.

Hounds pursuing a stag are supposed to bring the stag to bay – that is, make it stop running so hunters can catch up.

Many kitchens have unattached counters that are accessible from all sides. You can walk around these counters, which are called islands.

A tanker accident resulting in an oil spill can cause an ecological disaster, as when it befouls a tidal estuary or rookery.

The Cooperstown spinster was celibate all her life, so she was a virgin.

Congratulations to the Traveler readers who figured this one out: GeorgeS, Moon Pie, David Crowl, Ranger Dave, ILoveRoadTrips, ron erpelding, viewmtn, Eric, Eric Nelson, and Ranger Lady. All have qualified for our monthly prize drawing.


It's time to turn the tables: Here is a puzzler for Professor Puzzle!

Very busy day (storm cleanup), so here's just a quick guess: The photo shows an industrial port complex. There's a tank farm at the upper left in the photo and the water has an odd color suggestive of an oil spill.

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