This blog chronicles my letterboxing adventures. It includes posts that share my travels that are letterboxing related, the letterboxes I have found and planted as well as the people I have met along the way. There are also photos included to help give a complete picture of the fun I had.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

A Day of Boxing Along the Niagara River

Today we spent a lot of time letterboxing - well, walking actually, but boxing also. We started by taking the WEGO bus from Queen Victoria Park to the Floral Clock, about 10km away. Thankfully, when we arrived at the Floral Clock there were only three or four people here so I was able to get a a few pretty good pictures of the clock and I was able to look for the box without too many prying eyes. I followed the clues for Adinkra Symbols - Beauty (ON) by LCAB and at first I had a little trouble but then things fell into place and I found the box nicely hidden behind some trees. I took the box back to the clock where I could sit on a bench to stamp in. After stamping in I put the box back in place and then Thomas and I started our walk back toward Queen Victoria Park along Niagara Parkway using the Niagara River Recreation Trail.

The next box was just a short way down the road across from the Sir Adam Beck Generating Stations. We followed the clues, found all the landmarks and easily found Adinkra Symbols - Unity (ON) by LCAB. There really wasn't anywhere to sit so I just found a nice sunny spot in the grass where I could sit and stamped in. Once we put the box back in its hiding spot we continued our walk.

The next part of our walk wasn't too far away and we soon arrived in front of the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens and Butterfly Conservatory. The box is hidden across the road from the Gardens so we followed the clues and found Niagara Butterfly by Kenlaur. We sat on a low stone wall to stamp in and then put the box back where we found it. Once we completed this we decided to have a snack at the Butterfly Café at the Gardens. We sat, ate and relaxed for about 40 minutes and then decided to walk around the Gardens a bit and look for two more boxes (actually three - one box was a series of two). First, we looked for Queen of the Meadow Up the Garden Path by Fiddleheads. It took us a bit of searching to find this one. It was supposed to be in a tree but there was a note it was on the ground. So we weren't sure exactly where to look. We searched all around the area and finally found the box pushed back far under the tree. So we took the box to a nice spot under a nearby tree and stamped in. When we replaced the box we tried to put in in the vicinity of where the clue had it. We couldn't put it in the tree (by the way, the tree is a cedar and the branches go all the way to the ground) because there was netting all around the cedar tree. So we replaced it under one of the branches and covered it with mulch. Then we moved on to the series of two boxes. When we got to the area there was a couple sitting on a bench right under the tree we needed to get to, so we took a walk around this little pond and over to a walkway. By the time we returned the couple had left. Thomas saw one of the boxes in a hole in a tree - it wasn't covered with anything and completely visible. While he went to get that box I saw the second box in a nearby tree, also in a hole and also completely exposes. We took them both back to a bench and sat and stamped in. This series is Two Lovers and the Willow Tree by BCKramer. Once I was done stamping it we put the boxes back into the holes in the trees but this time we tried to cover them a bit so they weren't so easily seen by passers-by. We spent about two hours total in the Gardens and now it was time to move on.

Just a little ways down the road we arrived at Niagara Glen Nature Centre. There are hiking trails, picnic areas, a pavilion, and great views of the river. At this location we looked for and easily found The Totem by Kenlaur. It is hidden near the pavilion so we took it there to sit and stamp in and then got it back into its hiding spot. On to the next box. We continued our walk and soon ended up across the road from a golf course where there were more trails which was the start of the clues for Life is Good, in Canada by Mosaic Butterfly. We followed the clues and took a little hike into the woods to find this box. We didn't have any problem finding the box. I found a place I could sit and stamp in. It was nice back on these trails and after putting the box back in place we continued on. I do think that this area is also part of the Niagara Glen Nature Centre.

Back on the Niagara River Recreation Trail we continued our walk following the Niagara Parkway. Our next stop was at the Great Wolf Lodge. Here we looked for The Wolf - Niagara by Kenlaur. We made our way to the back parking lot and looked for landmarks and quickly found the spot we needed. We had to go under a wooden fence on to a little trail. The place was overgrown so my first thought was 'poison ivy'. So we looked around and didn't see any (or at least we hoped there wasn't any), I then found the spot where the box was hidden. I removed the rock and found the box, then I found a spot to sit and stamp in. After rehiding the box we retraced our steps back to the Recreation Trail.

There was one more box on this part of the Niagara Parkway so we crossed the road and made our way to the Whirlpool Aero Car parking area. Here we looked for Henri, Janyck, and Frank by Mim. This was a quick and easy find and there was a good spot to sit and stamp in nearby. Once we were done with this box we decided we had walked enough for today. At this point we had walked 5.9 kilometers (3.7 miles) along the Niagara River Recreation Trail from the Floral Clock to the Whirlpool Aero Car and we had been out here for about five hours.

So we waited and took the next WEGO bus back to Table Rock Welcome Centre and instead of walking up and around back to our hotel we decided to take the Falls Incline which took us to the back side of our hotel and just a short walk. I think there were two or three other boxes in the vicinity of the Welcome Centre but we didn't want to walk anymore. So we called it a day and headed up to our room. I did enjoy our way and we got some great views of the river and found some nice letterboxes. We did some other things today and you can read about that at A Walk Along Niagara Parkway.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Lucky Box in Niagara Falls

Today we spent the entire day in Niagara Falls and had a great time - you can read about our entire day at Niagara Falls - Wet, Wild and Wonderful.

We were so busy today that we didn't really have time to letterbox but there was one that we could get on our way back to the hotel. From all of our adventures today we had to walk along Murray St. to get to a promenade which took us back to our hotel. Along Murray St. is the Fallsview Casino Resort and there is a pedestrian walkway from the Resort over Murray St. to a walkway that takes you to the Skylon Tower. We walked down Murray St. until we were standing under the pedestrian walkway and even with a pvc pipe sticking out of the ground at the top of a stone wall along the street. The box was hidden behind a small 10" x 3" rectangular stone (easy to find as the wall is made up of much, much, much larger stones. We easily found Lucky 7's - Niagara Falls, Ontario by Kenlaur. I found a place to sit a few feet away so I could stamp in. When it was time to rehide the box we had to wait about 15 minutes for people walking by. Finally, the area cleared and I got the box back in place.

I am glad I got to find one box today. Maybe tomorrow we will have more time to letterbox but if not that is okay because this area is beautiful and there is so much to see and do. I could actually spend hours just watching the Falls.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Few Boxes in Canada

Today, in between sightseeing and traveling we managed to get in some letterboxing. This morning we spent time in Toronto and ended up in the Distillery District. While there we looked for That Old Tin Can by Bumble. The box wasn't a box - just a stamp with a magnetic backing. The clues were a bit cryptic but after a few minutes of walking around we found the starting point and from there things went pretty good until the end. We were to pass #11 & #12 and the enter into some place. Where we ended up was closed and we couldn't get in. So I did a little thinking and walked around a bit and I noticed another set of numbers - so I walked past a different #11 & #12 and then everything fell into place and I found the stamp. I took it back outside and found a nice place to sit and stamp in. This was quick since it was only a stamp and no logbook and then the stamp was replaced in its hiding spot. After finding the box we continued our sightseeing and then left Toronto to head toward Niagara Falls.

We drove from Toronto to Niagara Falls (Canadian side) and then continued on to Niagara-on-the-Lake. The town was very busy and parking was challenging so we continue past the town and drove about 10 more minutes to Queenston Heights Park. Once we found a place to park we began our search for the two boxes in the park. The first box we looked for was Connecticut Yankee in Ontario by Celtic Roots. The clue stated to start at a monument. There was one close to the parking area so we walked there but it wasn't the right monument --- but the views from here were spectacular. So we continued over to a much grander monument which turned out to be the right one. From there we followed the clues but we were stumped by the last landmark which was supposed to be just before a staircase, which it wasn't. So after a bit of searching I found the boulder in question which was 18 steps before the staircase and hidden by a bush. We did have a happy ending since I was able to find the box. After stamping in and replacing the box we continued on to the next one. This time we searched for Adinkra Symbols - Good Fortune (ON) by LCAB. This was a much easier and quicker find. After nabbing the box I found a place to sit and stamp in. We then replaced the box and then decided to call it a day for letterboxing and return to Niagara Falls.

Once we arrived in Niagara Falls and got checked in to the hotel we decided to take a walk to see the Falls and get oriented to the area around the hotel. You can read about that part of the trip at Arriving in Niagara Falls - WOW!!!.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Planting a Letterbox for PAL

Today is PAL (Plant a Letterbox) Day. This year's event was hosted by Wronghat and he logged it in as an event - Dozenth Annual International **PAL** (Plant a Letterbox) Day. I had noticed this a few weeks ago and I had been wanting to plant a box but kept putting things off and this event was just what I needed to get me moving.

I had already gathered an image and some information but I still had some things to do. First, I needed to carve the stamp. Second, I needed to find a place to plant this box. And third, I needed to make a logbook and put the box together. Then I would be ready to hide it. So I printed out the stamp image and gathered everything else I needed and got to work. Last week I went out and scouted two locations and then picked one. So now I knew where this box would be hidden.

I got the stamp carved and mounted, then cut the pages for the logbook. I made the covers for the logbook and then did the binding. Once I got started things just seemed to fall into place and before I knew it I had the box ready.

This morning I headed out to hide the box. I knew it would be quick and easy as I had already picked a spot and had it ready for the box. I planted this box on the Winsor Trail near Tesuque. This is the lower part of the Winsor Trail and is a beautiful area.
The trail is pretty easy compared to the sections at the end of Hyde Park Road. I like this trail because there are quite a lot of trees which makes for a shady and cool hike. It is also a gradual and easy climb. And the trail mostly follows Tesuque Creek and makes a few creek crossings. The hike from the parking area is a little over a mile and a half with an elevation gain of only 189 feet. I spent about an hour out on the trail. This included the hike, taking pictures, hiding the box and spending a little time sitting by the creek and enjoying the sound of flowing water.

The box I planted is Animal Crackers: Circus Wagon. I am actually very pleased with the way it turned out. I like the carve and I like the way I did the logbook but mostly I like where it is hidden. A relatively easy hike in a beautiful area with a relaxing flowing creek. I hope the finders enjoy getting the box as much as I enjoyed planting it.

Happy PAL Day to all the letterboxers out there!

Along the trail . . .

Monday, April 17, 2017

Grabbing a Beer

Over the past week or so a few new boxes have popped up in New Mexico. A couple of those have been here in Santa Fe. I had printed those out the day I got notice of them but haven't had the time to get out to find them until today.

I had an appointment and some errands to run so I grabbed the clues and my letterboxing things and headed out for the day. After my appointment I ran two errands which put me near one of the boxes. So I made my way to Second Street Brewery on 2nd Street. Here I followed the clues for Plant a Beer 2017: Santa Fe Brewing placed by ArnoldZiffel. The clues were straight forward and I had no problem finding the box. Also the area was very quiet and no one was around. I grabbed the box and took it back to the car to stamp in. When I was done I was able to get the box back in place without anyone around. The carve is wonderful and I was the first finder - YEAH!!! Thanks ArnoldZiffel for another great box.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get the other box because I had too many errands to run. I will get that box on another day.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Carved Line and Balloons

Yesterday Thomas and I decided that today we would drive down to Albuquerque to the Albuquerque Museum to see an exhibition called The Carved Line: Block Printmaking in New Mexico and to find a couple of letterboxes. This morning we left Santa Fe around 8:30am and made our way to the museum. When we arrived at the museum we headed inside, paid our entrance fee and then headed to the gallery for The Carved Line. We spent about 45 minutes enjoying the art. There were some amazing prints and we thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit. When we were done we visited a few more galleries and around 10:45am we left the museum. I went back to the car to get my letterboxing bag and then went in search of Wronghat's FENRIS box. We followed the clues and easily found the box. I took the box to a nearby bench to stamp in. After stamping in and replacing the box we walked around the museum grounds and took a few pictures of the sculptures. Then we returned my bag back to the car and then headed to Old Town to get some lunch. We ended up at Church Street Cafe. This is one of my favorite places in Albuquerque. After lunch it was time to head to the next box.

I had looked for this box a few weeks ago but had some trouble and wasn't able to find it. So I ended up emailing Astro D for some hints. Thankfully she emailed me back and her hints ending being extremely helpful. This box is a bit of a mystery - you have to find the location from a couple of sentences. I thought I had the right place but wasn't sure since I didn't find the box. But it turned out I had the right location but just look in the wrong spot. So this time I found We Came to See the Balloons by nm sun. I grabbed the box, took the box back to the car and stamped in. Then I replaced the box and we started our drive back to Santa Fe.

It was a nice day in Albuquerque. We saw a great exhibit and found two wonderful letterboxes. Thanks to Wronghat for a great box and letting me know about The Carved Line.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Dale Ball to Picacho Peak

Today I went on a hike with Agent 86. Our goal was Picacho Peak. I have to say I was worried about this hike because it has been a while since I have done it and I am not in the best shape. But I decided that somehow I would do it. I met Agent 86 at his house around 8:00am and we headed to Upper Canyon Road and parked at The Nature Conservancy's Santa Fe Canyon Preserve. We then crossed Upper Canyon Road and began our ascent up the Dale Ball Trails. It didn't take me long to figure out that this hike was going to kick my butt. So we continued along the trail (taking frequent breaks so I could catch my breath and give my legs a break) turning left at Marker 30. We then continued to climb to Marker 31 and took another left. From here we traveled through quite a few switchbacks until we arrived at Marker 34. Here we turned left again and took the final bit of trail up to Picacho Peak.

At Marker 34 I went ahead and looked for Dale Ball Trails by Agent 86 and ArnoldZiffel. For this box I had to head all the way up to the peak. While I was doing this Agent 86 was going to look for my box - Waiting on the World to Change. I got to the top and followed the clues and easily found the box. I sat on a nearby rock and stamped in. When I was done and had replaced the box I started to head back down but Agent 86 had made his way to the top. He was unable to find my box. So we rested at the top for a bit before heading back down. As we went down we looked for my box again. At first I had trouble remembering where the box was hidden. But after we went over the clues things came back to me. But still I wasn't able to find the box. Another one bites the dust! I am not sure if I will replace it or not (mainly because I am not sure I can handle the trail again) - but we will see.

So now it was time to head back down the trail to the car. This part was so much easier!!! I guess I should really try this trail again and get into shape since the views from Picacho Peak are incredible. It was a beautiful day and I was happy I was able to do the entire hike.
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