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.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Checking on a Couple of Boxes

Today the weather in Santa Fe was incredible. Sunshine, no wind, temperature in the 70s. So I decided to take a drive up Hyde Park Road to check on a couple of my boxes. I drove up to the Aspen Vista Picnic Area. This area has a picnic area and is the start of the Aspen Vista Trail and the Alamo Vista Trail.  I stopped here to check on my Trembling Poplar letterbox. It is approximately 300 steps up the Alamo Vista Trail. I walked slowly up the trail (and it is all uphill) to the area where the box is hidden. For me it is easy to find this spot because the trail levels out a bit and there is one large ponderosa pine tucked in with all the tall aspens. The box isn't hidden at the pine, it is to the left of the pine but using the pine as a landmark works well. I am happy to report that 'ALL' is well with this box. So I returned to my car and headed back down the mountain.

Next I stopped and parked on the side of the road for the Little Tesuque Trail. On this trail I have my Southwest Charm letterbox. I had a couple of reports about this box and wanted to check it out myself and see what needed to be done. So I walked along the trail and found the main box for the series. I was surprised and happy to find that the box was there and in good shape. When I opened the box I found the stamp and logbook but there was no ziplock bag. Thankfully, inside the box was completely dry and that means the logbook was also dry. Unfortunately, I didn't have a baggie so I will have to go back and fix that. From this box I went to check on the charms. I had a note that one of them was missing. I found five of the charms and one was missing. I found an empty film canister but couldn't find the stamp anywhere. I decided I wanted to hide these differently. So I have taken all the charms and marked the clues as unavailable. I need to recarve one of the charms and then decide how to rehide them. I am hoping to get this done in the next couple of days.

It was nice to get out and hit the trails. I need to do more of this and check on my boxes and get them up to date.

Friday, April 20, 2018

A Turquoise and Golden Afternoon

Thomas took the afternoon off and was home around 1:00pm. So we decided to take a drive and look for a letterbox. So we left home and headed south on NM14 - the Turquoise Trail. We drove past Cerrillos and through Madrid and ended up in Golden.
In Golden, we made our way to San Francisco de Asis Catholic Church.

We parked in front of the gates and wall surrounding the church and small cemetery. I then read the clues for a letterbox hidden near the church. Following the clues I easily found Golden by Kit. I brought the box back to the car to stamp in. I was happy to find that I was the first finder on this box. The carving is excellent and I really enjoyed finding this box - thanks Kit. After stamping in I got the box back into its hiding spot.

Then I wanted to see the church. But the gates into the cemetery and church were locked. So all I could do was take a few pictures through the gate. After that we decided to head back to Santa Fe. When we arrived in Madrid we decided to stop and walk around a bit. After about 30 minutes of strolling the area we stopped in at Jezebel's Soda Fountain/Deli which is located in Jezebel Studio, Gallery and Sculpture Garden. Here we got some ice cream and looked around the gallery. After another 30 minutes we decided to call it a day and head home.

We enjoyed our drive along the Turquoise Trail and enjoyed finding a wonderful letterbox.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

A Loop Around the Gila Wilderness

On Thursday, Thomas emailed me from work and said he wanted to take Friday off and asked if I wanted to take a road trip and do some letterboxing. No thinking about it needed - I was ready to go. We decided on a trip to the Gila Wilderness area. More specific - Mogollon, Reserve and Silver City. So I spent Thursday afternoon mapping things out and getting ready. We decided to spend the night in Silver City so I booked a hotel and packed everything. Yesterday morning we were up early and on the road by 6:00am. Leaving this early got us through Albuquerque before the morning commute. When we got to Socorro we stopped at El Camino Restaurant & Lounge for some breakfast and coffee. After a nice relaxing and delicious meal it was time to get serious about some letterboxes.

We continued our trip on US60 and drove west to Datil. In Datil we turned onto NM12 and headed southwest and made our first stop at a circle drive near the elementary school. I followed the clues for Datil Dog by Kit and easily found the box. It was a bit chilly so I took the box back to the car to stamp in. I was the first finder for the box and I got a nice patch. After stamping in and replacing the box we continued our drive down NM12. Somewhere in the vicinity of Old Horse Springs we stopped at the Continental Divide Trail kiosk and looked for Schism at Nag's Fonts by Wronghat. Another easy find and I again stamped in while sitting in the car. The wind out there was terrible. I was the first finder on this box and I got a First Finder card/LTC. I replaced the box and we continued our drive and eventually made it to Reserve. In Reserve we stopped and got a snack and some gas at Black Gold Emporium. Then we found the Elfego Baca statue and looked for Desperado by Wronghat. Finding this box took some time. First, there were two sheriff deputies standing near the statue. After they left I started my search. I had to really work hard to interpret the clues. After about fifteen minutes I had an 'Aha!' moment and found the box. I stamped in and then replaced the box. Happy to have found this one - and I was the first finder, again - three first finders today! We left Reserve still driving on NM12 and when we reached the junction of US180 we stopped at the historic marker for Reserve. Here I looked for and found Reserve by Sunny Delight. Another quick and easy find and before long we were back on the road. We continued our drive on US180 heading in a southernly direction to Alma. We turned off of US180 and onto Mineral Creek Road. We drove the well maintained gravel road for about five miles to the tomb of Army Sergeant James C. Cooney. There was a letterbox at the tomb but I had heard it was missing but I decided I wanted to see the tomb anyway so we made the drive and looked for the box just in case. We didn't find Cooney's Tomb by Sunny Delight but it was interesting seeing the tomb and other gravesites behind it. We also drove to the end of the road (just a short distance from the tomb) to the Mineral Creek Trailhead. It was a beautiful drive and we are glad we took the detour. After our visit we made our way back to US180 and continued to NM159. We followed NM159 to Mogollon. The first four miles of the road are good and two definite lanes. After mile four the road narrows to a little more that one lane and in spots is degrading. It is also a very winding road and it took us some time to reach Mogollon. Once in the [ghost] town we turned and traveled up Fanny Road. This road was extremely bumpy with lots of rocks. Glad we were in a high clearance vehicle. A short way up the road we encountered a fallen tree across the road. So we stopped and got out of the truck and moved it off to the side and then continued to our destination. We traveled about .8 miles up this road to a stone structure in ruins. Here we found SAGE (Save a Galgo Español) by Dawgdok - another first find for me. I stamped in and then replaced the box and we took our return trip back down Fanny Road. Once back in the town we parked and walked around a bit, not much to see but I am glad we made the trip - this was on my New Mexico bucket list. We left Mogollon and drove back to US180 and then made our way to Glenwood and NM174. We took NM174 for five miles to The Catwalk National Recreation Area. (Another place on my New Mexico bucket list.) We parked and paid our fee and then headed out to explore the area. First, we wanted to look for two letterboxes. I followed the clues for The Cat Who Came to Breakfast by Silver Eagle. This box was placed nine years ago and the area has had some problems (fire, flash floods) so it may have changed a bit and I had problems with the clues and didn't find this box. The second box we looked for was The Catwalk by Twinville Trekkers. We followed the clues and when we got to the end of the catwalk and went down the stairs we couldn't cross the creek. Too much water and we didn't have any other socks or shoes to change into if we got wet, so we didn't look for this box. We made our way back up the stairs to the catwalk and tooks some time to walk around and enjoy the area. Now, it was time to hide two boxes I had brought with us. So we started at the beginning of the trail and placed a two box series - Catwalk. Once these two boxes were in place and I had made notes so I could write the clues later we headed back to the car and made our way back to US180.
 We now headed for Silver City. We had about an hours drive and just before we got to town we stopped at the Continental Divide to find Continental Bisect by Wronghat. A quick drive-by box and once I had stamped in and replaced the box we continued on. We took the Truck Bypass Road to get to NM90. On NM90 we headed south to White Signal. A little south of White Signal we turned onto Chisom Trail and found the trail marker for the Jack's Peak Trailhead. Here we found Continental Divide Trail by Wronghat. I sat and stamped in and realized it was getting cold and the wind had picked up again. So I hurried along and got the box back in place and walked back to the car. We decided it was time to call it a day since it was 6:00pm and we were both getting hungry. We had only had breakfast and a snack all day. We drove back to Silver City and went to Vicki's Eatery. We shared spaghetti and meatballs and a small pizza. It was nice to sit and relax out of the wind. We had a delicious meal and talked about a great day of driving and boxing. We went to three places we had never been before - Cooney's Tomb, Mogollon and the Catwalk. An excellent day - we looked for ten boxes, found seven boxes and planted two boxes!

Now it was time to head for the hotel. First order of business was to take showers. After that was done I logged in my finds and my new plants. We were both tired so we turned off the lights and went to sleep.

This morning we were up early, again! There was one more box to find and then we needed to be in Albuquerque by 2:00pm. So we got our things packed and into the car, checked out of the hotel and headed out. A short distance from our hotel we stopped at the Dragonfly Trailhead to look for Dragonfly by Dawgdok. This was a quick and easy find and in a short time we were heading home. We drove back along NM152 through Emory Pass, Hillsboro and Kingston to I25. It was a beautiful morning drive. No traffic, peaceful and quiet. Once on I25 we stopped in Truth of Consequences to fill the truck with gas and then decided to have some breakfast. We ended up at Hodges Corner Restaurant in Elephant Butte. After eating and relaxing a bit we got back on the road to Albuquerque. Once in Albuquerque we headed to UNM and Popejoy Hall. We had tickets to see The Book of Mormon and we were going to the matinee at 2:00pm. We made it with an hour to spare.
We enjoyed the play (we have seen it before a few years ago), it is funny and entertaining. After the play and once we were back in the car we both realized we were tired and ready to be home. We had a great two days, saw some incredible places, found some nice boxes and had a wonderful time in the Gila area of New Mexico.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Just Jack in Arroyo Hondo Open Space

A week ago I made plans with Agent 86 to go on a hike. I asked him to pick the place, day and time. He decided on today at Arroyo Hondo Open Space.
There is one letterbox hidden there - Harry's Roadhouse by ArnoldZiffel. I decided to carve a stamp and make a box to plant in the area on the hike today. So I worked the last two days and came up with an image and box and now I was ready to plant the box.

I met Agent 86 at the Lower Trailhead Parking around 8:30am. We headed out on the trail and decided to hike in a clockwise direction following the outside loop. About three quarters of a mile along the trail we came to a three seciton wooden fence. We stopped here and I decided to hide Just Jack in this area. I easily found a nice hiding spot and took a little time to jot down some notes so that I could write up the clues when I got home. From here we continued our hike around the loop making our way back to the cars.

This is a great hike with some nice views and I enjoyed the morning solitude.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Finding Boxes Close to Home

Last night I was organizing things to run some errands this morning and I noticed a new box had been planted in Santa Fe. So I added letterboxing to my list of things to do. So after running all my errands this morning I headed over to the Spur Trail near the Community College. I parked and then read the clues and found where I needed to start to find the nine box series planted by ArnoldZiffel and Agent 86 called Dusty. I followed the clues to the first box and quickly found it. I sat on the edge of the trail to stamp in and who should show up - Agent 86. We visited for a bit and made plans to go hiking on Friday and then he continued on his bike ride and I finished stamping in to the first box. This box is the only one with a logbook, the rest of the boxes just have stamps. And, I was the first finder of the series. So I continued up the trail, following the clues and stamping the images into my logbook. Thankfully, the trail was quiet and I didn't have to worry about someone seeing me nabbing the boxes. I spent about half an hour gathering the images and enjoyed my walk along the trail. I really enjoyed the series, very clever - thanks ArnoldZiffel and Agent 86.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Abiquiu and the Chama Valley

Around 7:15am Thomas and I left Santa Fe and headed north for a day trip. We decided to take a drive to Abiquiu and up to Chama and do some letterboxing along the way. The drive through Pojoaque, Espanola and up to Abiquiu was peaceful and quiet. We stopped at Bode's General Store for some snacks and a quick break. Then we continued on and turned off US84 onto FR151 and drove 13 miles to Christ in the Desert Monastery. We parked near the guesthouse and then walked up the road toward the monastery. Just after passing the guesthouse we turned onto a dirt path and walked down to the Rio Chama. At this point we looked for Archangel Raphael at Monastery of Christ in the Desert by Kit. This was a quick and easy find and we sat near the river while stamping in. After the box was back in place we walked a little along the river and then headed back to the car and back towards US84. About five miles from the highway we stopped at the Big Eddy Boat Take-Out and took another walk along the river. After our walk it was time to get back onto US84 and continue our drive.

Our next stop was only about a mile and a half up the road at Echo Amphitheater. We turned in, paid our fee and parked. Then we went in search of War and Peace by RNR. This was a short walk and an easy find. I took the box to a picnic table to stamp in. When I finished stamping in and put the box back in its hiding spot Thomas and I walked the rest of the way to the amphitheater. We did the requisite echo-ing and just sat and relaxed for a bit. After about 15 minutes we headed back to the car and continued on. We didn't stop again until we reached Chama. Once in town we decided to stop for some lunch. We ended up eating at High Country Restaurant. Our lunch was delicious and we had a nice and relaxing time. An hour later it was time to complete our trip and start our drive home. The next box we looked for was Cumbres and Toltec by ArnoldZiffel and it was hidden just a short distance from the restaurant at the Visitor Center. We parked and I went around back, found the junipers and the box. I took it back to the car to stamp in. Once I had stamped in and replaced the box we drove on to the last box of the day. We took US64 west heading for Dulce. About eight miles or so from Chama we arrived at an historical marker for the Continental Divide. We parked here and I looked for and easily found Dulce Great Divide Alien Breeder Vats by Wronghat. Again, I stamped in at the car. When the box was back in place it was time to head home.


 We had a great day trip. It was an incredibly beautiful New Mexico day in Abiquiu and the Chama Valley and we thoroughly enjoyed our drive. The trip back home was uneventful and quick. Thanks to all who planted boxes in that area - we loved them all.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

A "Comic"-al Event Day

Well, today is event day! I am staying in Sierra Vista and the event is in Sonoita. Before heading to the 14th Annual Tucson Gathering: It's "Comic"-al event I wanted to get some letterboxes outside of the event area. So I decided to leave early so I had enough time to get those boxes and then make it to the event on time.

I had my things ready and was in the car by 6:30am. I left Sierra Vista on AZ92 and then turned onto AZ90 and followed this highway to Huachuca City. Once in the city I stopped at an historic marker to look for One For the Boys by Desert Flower. The box was located about 50 yards from the marker even with a mile marker sign. So I parked there instead of at the marker. I easily found the box and brought it back to the car to stamp in. While I was sitting there a cop pulled up along side of me and asked if I needed help. I told him I was okay and had just needed to stop to make a call and I held up my phone. That satisfied him and he headed off. I finished stamping in and then replaced the box and continued on my drive to Sonoita. I continued on AZ90 to Whetstone and then took AZ82 heading west. When I reached Sonoita I turned onto AZ83 and headed north to the turnoff for Las Cienegas National Conservation Area. I drove into the area and began my search for five boxes . . . D is for Deer, F is for Frog, M is for Mosquito, R is for Raven and P is for Prairie Dog - all by FamilyTreeShaker. While I was at the first box a car pulled up and stopped but didn't stay, they just stared for a bit. Then I headed to the second box and here I met up with that car again. Turned out to be Lee from leeandnancy and CherryOnTop. We visited for a short time and they headed out and I needed to finish the two boxes at this spot. Once I had stamped into these two and replaced them I headed out to find the last two. I had no problems finding them and I didn't run into anyone else. Now that I was finished with all the boxes in this area I headed for the event.

The event was being held at Kentucky Camp off of AZ83. The camp is about five or so miles from AZ83 on a well maintained dirt road. When I first turned off of AZ83 there was a pullout on the right, so I stopped and read the clues for a couple of boxes that I remembered to be located before the camp. The first box was at a pullout on the left. So I drove up the road a bit and parked. I tried following the clues but they didn't work, so I gave up thinking I could stop again after the event. I continued on the road until I came to a split and then pulled off again to look for a second box. I followed the clues but didn't find the box. Then I read the clues again and there was another clue at the parking area for the camp. I guess they moved the box but didn't remove the first spot. Anyway, when I arrived at the parking area I easily found Kentucky Camping by blacksheep 1&2. After stamping in and replacing the box I started gathering my things to walk down the road to the camp. At this time Lee and CherryOnTop showed up. They told me about two more boxes in the parking area. So the three of us searched for and found Kentucky Bird in Arizona by Azroadie and Arizona Wild Things: J by Desert Flower. Once we were done with these two boxes we all gathered our things and started down the road. The event planners placed a series of four boxes along the road as a treat for having to walk from the parking area. We found Veronica, Archie, Betty and Jughead from the Archie Series. At the camp there was one more box for the series - the logo. Now that this series was completed I could meet a few people and visit with old friends. I also got the event stamp and some clues of boxes that had just been placed that morning. Then I found a quiet spot to map things out. Boxes were hidden on the Arizona Trail that runs through the camp and on another trail at the camp and at various spots around the buildings. I decided to hike the Arizona Trail and get the boxes out there first and then return to the camp to finish things up. I followed the trail and found the six boxes in the Dick Tracy series. Sometime during this series I bumped into Wronghat, Kaw and RNR. When I finished this series I picked up the next series and continued on. This was the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? series. There were six boxes in this series with the last box being at the top of a hill where you were rewarded with some incredible views. When I finished this series I returned the way I came and when I reached a certain spot I began a third series of five boxes. This was the Peanuts Gang Visits Arizona series of five boxes. I was working backwards on this series so I found the last box first. And then when I went to look for the fourth box I bumped into ggghiker and EdieSoCal. They were stamping into Got a Quarter? by the man with no name. They invited me to join them and then when that box was replaced we all looked for the fourth box in the Peanuts series. I found the box and we all stamped in. They continued on to the fifth box and headed in the opposite direction for the third box. I then bumped into Dawgdok. After visiting for a few minutes I continued on and finished the Peanuts series.

I then returned to the camp and got something to eat and also got a couple of exchanges and personal travelers. I also found Celebrating Leprechaun, The Rose & Le Pew and Lil' Abners: Spiderman. After this Lee, CherryOnTop and I headed to the other trail and went in search of two series and a single box. We found five boxes in the Favorite Comic Series by Wisconsin Hiker, and eight boxes in the Guardian of the Galaxy Series by Trishee and Steve Canyon by Martini Man. It was a nice hike and some nice boxes. We then returned to the camp and visited for a little while. Then it was time for me to head out since I had about an hour's drive back to Sierra Vista.

On the way out I stopped again for the box at the beginning of the road - this time I realized my mistake and found the right pullout and easily found Ghost of the Forest by Waneta Wench. Now it was time to get back to the hotel, take a shower and relax. I had eaten before leaving the camp so I didn't need to stop for food. Once back at the hotel I showered and then decided to get some things packed. I am ready to head home. So after logging some finds and then packing most of my things I wanted to get this post done. Now I am ready for the morning to head home. I had a great time in southeastern Arizona and the event was so much fun!
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