When Janice Castorina died five years ago, her family dedicated an engraved rock to her on top of Badger Mountain.
She loved the mountain, climbing it even after rounds of chemotherapy “just because she could,” according to her son, Ryan Castorina-Rose.
It became important for the family too, with frequent visits to the memorial.
But when Janice’s widower recently took a trip up the mountain for their wedding anniversary, the rock was gone, Castorina-Rose said.
The family tried for about a week to find the rock on their own, but had no luck. The small boulder weighs about 250 to 300 pounds, so moving it would be a two person job at least, Castorina-Rose said.
So he went to Facebook to plead for help.
Cue the “Facebook Army,” as Castorina-Rose called it. About 175 shares later, Castorina-Rose said Benton County Parks Department workers found it near the base of the mountain.
The department confirmed Castorina-Rose’s post.
“It was found,” said Adam Fyall, Benton County’s sustainable development manager. “It was moved. It’s not damaged.”
But why was the big stone moved at all?
Fyall said he doesn’t know, but he’s sure that memorials are in general not allowed on Badger Mountain, especially without talking to the parks department first.
However, Fyall said the department isn’t going to keep the rock from going back up the mountain.
“It’s a rather sensitive thing,” Fyall said. “We’re going to work with them.”
That was a relief to Castorina-Rose.
“We’re just happy the rock is back,” Castorina-Rose said.