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.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Rock Creek Letterboxing

Thomas and I decided to take a weekend trip and head to Alamosa to spend time at Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve and at Zapata Falls. So we left Santa Fe sometime around 1:00pm and headed north. We just drove (no stopping) until we got about three miles outside of Alamosa. At this point we turned off of US 285 and onto CO 370 and drove west about 14 miles to CO 15. Here we turned north and headed toward Monte Vista. Two and a half miles before we reached Monte Vista we turned west onto W Co Rd 2 S which turns into Co Rd 28. After about four or five miles the road turned from asphalt to gravel. But the gravel part was really well maintained and the there was no washboard surface. We drove about 15 miles before reaching the campground. the drive turned from flat farmland to rocky, hilly and forested. It was absolutely beautiful. I am glad we made the drive out to the campground. I almost decided to skip it since it was far off the main road and it was on a gravel road but it turned out fine. When we arrived at the campground we followed the clues to the last camp site and then easily found the next landmark and then the box. I grabbed Jo Z Ro Z's Rock Creek Rocks and took it back to the car to stamp in. When I was done I replaced the box and then walked over to Rock Creek and took a few pictures.
On the return drive back to CO 15 we made quite a few stops to take pictures and enjoy the views. I am glad we decided to make the trip out to find this box. It was an absolutely incredible. Beautiful views, incredible rock formations and lovely scenery. It was well worth the drive - thanks Jo Z Ro Z for getting us out there, it was a fantastic drive.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Back Home After the Evergreen Event


I am now home from the Share the Love in the Heart of Evergeen event. I really had a great time on this trip. The event was incredibly fun and there were so many letterboxes planted for the event. The event hosts - Front Range Hiker and Seekers Two - did a great job. They had stamp donations from people all over the country and there were some really good carves. The area around Evergreen is beautiful and there are so many parks and trails in the area I am definitely going to have to go back. You can read all about the trip at Share the Love Letterboxing Trip and read about the places I visited. I ended up finding 201 boxes and had a fantastic time on this trip. Even though I had a great time I am really glad to be home. Now I have to plan my next letterboxing trip.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Headed to Another Event in Colorado

I have been planning and gathering clues to attend the Share the Love in the Heart of Evergreen event. The event is being held in Evergreen, CO and hosted by Front Range Hiker and Seekers Two. So I have spent the day today getting packed and ready so that I can leave in the morning and make my way to the event. I plan on letterboxing along the way and I also want to stop at Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve while I am in the area. So it will take me two days to get to Evergreen, I have reservations in Poncha Springs for tomorrow night and then the rest of the time I am staying in Lakewood. That is about 30 minutes from the event but it was the best place I could find a good hotel. I am looking forward to this trip. It has been a while since I have been in that area and from what I remember it is beautiful. If you want to follow my adventures on this trip go to Share the Love Letterboxing Trip.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Playing Catch Up in the Santa Fe Area

It has been a while since I got out and found letterboxes in the Santa Fe area and I noticed I had clues for boxes that were planted last Fall. So last night I got those clues together and mapped them out so that this morning I could head out catch up on the boxes in the area.

This morning I left the house a little after 8:00am so that I could get an early start and finish before the temperatures got too hot. First I stopped at Cities of Gold Casino Hotel in Pojoaque to look for Tewa Yiya. I couldn't find the box and I am pretty sure I was in the right place because the clues were very clear. So next I headed up towards Chimayo for two boxes by Sunny Delight. I drove on NM 503 for a little over six miles to a pull out with a wooden crossover. Here I found Good Friday and Cross & Nails placed near a metal cross on a hill. These were easy finds and I was soon back on the road. On the way back to Santa Fe I made a stop at the Camel Rock Monument to find Camel Rock - another box by Sunny Delight. Again this was a quick and easy find. I did take the box back to the car to stamp in which was more comfortable. After replacing the box I continued on my way back to Santa Fe and headed to Hyde Park Road.

I arrived at Hyde Memorial State Park and drove to the Main Campground area and parked near the playground. Children of the Forest have three boxes in this area and these have been there since last Fall and I thought is was about time I found them - I couldn't believe they had been there that long and I hadn't gotten out to look for them. So I found All Waters Lead to the Ocean and the two boxes in the Lightning Strikes series (Pichu & Pikachu). All three of these are planted on or near the Piggyback Trail. I love this trail because it follows a stream and is very relaxing. Once I was done with these boxes I headed back down Hyde Park Road and made my next stop at Ten Thousand Waves. Here I found Sashaburi Da Ne . . . by Stellanor. This was another quick and easy find in another beautiful and peaceful area. I sat under a tree and stamped in and enjoyed the peace and quiet.

Now on to my last box. For this one I headed over to Museum Hill to find ArnoldZiffel's The Morris Miniature Circus. I followed the path, found the box and took it to a nearby bench to sit and stamp in. I love this stamp, a very nice carve. After replacing the box I returned to the car and was ready for home - well almost ready.

Last week I noticed that rubberpeace had reached her 10 year letterboxing anniversary. So I decided to carve her a stamp and plant it on a trail near her house. So I drove to the Sun Mountain Trailhead on Old Santa Fe Trail and went in search of a good spot that wasn't too far up the trail so that she could have an easy find. I planted rubberpeace ~ 10 Years and I sent her the clues. Once she finds the box I will post the clues on Atlas Quest and the box will be available for anyone to find.

I had a great day catching up on letterboxes in Santa Fe. There are still four boxes on major hikes that I need to get but until my broken foot is totally healed they will have to wait.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Back in Cheyenne for More Boxes

Today is our last day in Wyoming and Thomas is busy most of the day and this evening with the conference. I decided to get up and drive to Cheyenne to do a little letterboxing. I wasn't sure how long I would stay out letterboxing, it all depended on my foot. So I left Laramie around 8:15am and had a nice drive to Cheyenne. I haven't encountered any traffic at all since we have been here. I arrived in Cheyenne and made my way to a little park on the corner of Yellowstone Rd. and Dell Range Blvd. and tried to find a parking spot. There is a very narrow alley next to the park and I was going to park there but my car blocked the entire alley and I didn't think that was a good idea. So I drove around the block and parked on the next street over and walked. I took a couple of pictures of a statue of an elk and then looked for the box. It took me a couple of tries to find The Hunter by Seattle Bound because it was hidden really well. I found a spot to sit and stamp in and then replaced the box. I always like it when I find the first box that I looked for that day - it makes the day feel better. Back at the car I headed over to Lions Park. I had clues for three boxes.
No. 1242 - Old Sadie
First I looked for B&O RR by Celestini. I had to be careful because just around the bend in the sidewalk (slightly hidden by bushes) were six volunteers doing some clean-up. This box is hidden in the area of an old train engine. Once I found the engine I easily found the hiding spot and of course at that same time a guy came up and hung around taking pictures. I ended up waiting a good 15 minutes until he left and then I quickly snatched the box. I took it to a nearby bench and stamped in. Thankfully when I went to put the box back the coast was clear and it was easy to rehide. Next I went to look for 8 Seconds by Seattle Bound. Unfortunately as I followed the clues I ended up exactly where the volunteers were working - so I had to nix this box. I went back to my car and then drove to the back of the park to the Cheyenne Botanical Garden.
Koi Pod - Botanic Garden
Here I looked for Irish Lullaby by Seattle Bound. I followed the clues but at some point I got confused and lost. So I started over and still no luck. So I found one landmark toward the end of the clue and thankfully I found the spot. Then of course the area got busy - so I sat on a bench and waited. Finally there was a break and I dashed for the box. It took me a couple of minutes to find the box because it was really hidden well. I took it back to a bench to stamp in and then had to wait a few minutes for a women who was walking the labyrinth to finish. Once I got the box back into its great hiding spot I returned to the car to decide what to do next. From here I drove to Lakeview Cemetery to find I Left My Heart in Wyoming by Traveling Queen of Hearts. I had a little problem finding the gravesite I needed and I spent quite a bit of time searching in one area but still couldn't find the grave. After checking every head stone in that area I moved on to the adjacent area. I found the grave just past the marker for the next section. The clue said the box was in a tree and there was a small bush next to the head stone and the box was sitting at the base of the bush and not covered. I brought the box back to the car to stamp in. When I went to put the box back in place I tried to hide it better but the branches were really dense and I couldn't push it further under the tree. So I placed it as best as I could and then went to see if I could find a rock or some sticks or something to conceal it. I wasn't able to find anything. So I left it the way it was and planned to send the placer a note. I left the cemetery and made my way to the next box - Yummy Honey by The Woodshed. The clues were spot on and I easily found the box and stamped in quickly and then put it back in place. I worked quickly with this box because the area was really busy and I had to move between cars and people passing by.

I went back to my car and looked at the list of boxes I hadn't looked for yet and nothing appealed to me so I decided to head back west and stop at Vedauwoo Recreation Area to look for a few boxes.
Vedauwoo Recreation Area
Thomas and I had wanted to go to this area yesterday but it was raining so we changed our plans. So today I took the exit and made my way to the entrance of the recreation area. There was a parking area and fee station as soon as I turned in so I parked there, paid my fee and then read the clues to see where I needed to go. One of the clues sounded like it was where I was parked but one thing seemed off. I still went in search of it and ended up looking under every rock I could find. But I didn't find the box. And while I was walking around the sky darkened and thunder rolled and by the time I got back to the car it was raining. For some reason I felt that this was just a quick little downpour and it would stop soon. So I drove into the recreation area trying to find a parking area for the Box Canyon Trail. It was like a maze and with the rain I was getting confused but with pure luck I ended up in the right parking lot. I waited about 5 minutes and sure enough the rain stopped, the clouds moved on and the sun came out. So I gathered my things and headed down the trail. For the first part of the clue I was on a paved trail and needed to get to a gravel trail.
She Almost Made Me Pee in My Pants
So I am walking along and enjoying the scenery and not too far up ahead I could see the gravel. I was focusing on the gravel trail and all of a sudden I was brought back to where I was because of some loud noise and movement in the bushes to my right. I froze in place and turned to my right to look and a mama moose and her baby came from around a gigantic boulder through the bushes about ten feet from me. The mama looked at me but didn't seem concerned but I didn't want to take any chances. So I went off the trail on the other side and squeezed between about 25 trees all standing close together. I felt that if she did want to charge to protect her baby she probably couldn't get through. (Please don't tell me I was wrong about that because thinking I was safe in the trees is the only thing that kept me from peeing in my pants. At this point I decided I didn't want to continue looking for the box alone and was going to return to my car. But guess what - both the mama and baby were actually standing right in the middle of the trail blocking my path to the car. A few minutes later a couple came from the gravel trail and they stopped and talked to me. They had seen another moose on the trail where they had just come. That sealed the deal - there was no way I was going on that trail by myself. We ended up waiting almost ten minutes for the moose to move far enough away that we could pass safely. Once I got back to the car I decided it was time to call it a day. I partly used the excuse that I had been walking too much on my foot without my boot and I needed to get to the hotel and put it on.

The first thing I did when I got back to the hotel was to take a shower and then I got the boot on and finally felt relaxed. Then I got some things packed and ready so I don't have too much to do in the morning and we can get an early start. I had fun letterboxing in Wyoming and found some great boxes - thanks to all who placed boxes in Laramie and Cheyenne.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mosquitoes and Wind and Rain . . . Oh, My!

This morning I woke up with some pain in my right foot (for more info you can read my post from yesterday about my right foot) so I decided to take it easy this morning and wear my boot. I ended up hanging out at the hotel and did some reading which was fine because I was going to meet Thomas after lunch anyway since he didn't have any meetings at the conference this afternoon. He had a lunch meeting so I ended up eating some leftover pizza we had from dinner last night (we ate at a place called Roxie's on Grand - they have really tasty brick oven-fired pizza) and then he returned to the room around 1:00pm. We then headed out to do some letterboxing,
View overlooking I80.
We drove east on I80 from Laramie to Exit 323 for Happy Jack Road. I was at this exit yesterday because this is the same exit for the Summit Rest Area. Today we traveled on Happy Jack Road to find three boxes - Only in Wyoming (RAC) & State of Equality by preboxed and Happy Jack by team tiger pride. We were fortunate because we found all three. We found Only in Wyoming first and from the hiding spot we had some terrific views and also lots of mosquitoes. And as soon as I took my logbook out the wind got crazy and I had to sit on the clues, baggies and logbook from the box so they didn't blow away. It all worked out and nothing got lost. After putting this box back in place we continued along Happy Jack Road and stopped at the Happy Jack Recreation Area for Happy Jack. I got out of the car and left the door open while I got a pay envelope and I heard Thomas close the door. When I got back to the car he told me that in a few seconds the car was infested with mosquitoes. So I took out some bug spray and we coated our arms, necks, faces and ears - I also had Thomas put some on my back (I seem to attract more mosquitoes than Thomas). As we were getting ready to head down the trail a man and his two daughters were going for a bike ride, he told us about the trail and he asked if we had some spray for the mosquitoes - we said yes and asked if he needed some.
A Mean Little Blood Sucker
He said no, he was going to give us some if we needed it because he said at this time of year this area gets tons of the little blood suckers. So anyway we walked to the Happy Jack Trailhead and headed down the trail following the clues for the box and just as we left the parking lot we started hearing lots of thunder. I hoped that any rain would hold out until we found the box and returned to the car. We weren't so lucky but it wasn't too bad - a very fine drizzle for only a few minutes was all we got. As we made our way up the trail I used the clues to wave about to try and hold off the mosquitoes. Thomas used his baseball cap to do the same and every now and then he wouldhit me on the back with it- he said that the mosquitoes were gathering on my back in herds (the term he used). When we finally found the box it was about 20 feet off the trail in a dense stand of spruce trees and for some reason the mosquitoes weren't as bad. Thomas stood near me while I stamped in and used his cap to shoo away the bugs when they did come around and it turned out not to be so bad. On the way back to the car we had to fight them off again, but thanks to the spray we got only a few bites and thankfully the rain wasn't bad at all. We got back in the car and when we closed the door there were quite a few mosquitoes in the car with us. We couldn't open the window to get them out so we had to commit mass murder - there was blood and dead bugs all over. Thankfully I had some hand wipes and we were able to clean the mess up. Once that was taken care of we continued up Happy Jack Road. Not far along we turned onto Telephone Road and traveled just shy of a mile and parked at a cattle guard. The box we were looking for (State of Equality) was about 50 yards up a small hill hidden near a tree with about a dozen small boulders around it. I easily found the box and took my things out to stamp in and all of a sudden the wind picked up and blew a baggy and the box's logbook away. Luckily they went in the direction of the car and Thomas was standing just down the hill and he was able to retrieve both of them. He brought back to me and this time I sat on them because the wind wasn't letting up. And to make things harder it started to rain. Not a down pour but more than a drizzle with large droplets. The tree helped to protect us a bit and I was relieved that there was only thunder and no lightning. I got the box back in place and we headed back to the car. I am moving slow because of my foot and I ended up getting pretty wet before reaching the car. Our plan was to head back to I80 and drive further east to Exit 329 to the Vedauwoo Recreation Area but the rain continued and we decided to head back to Laramie.

As we took the exit back to our hotel we decided to get something for dinner while we were out. I was hungry for a burger so I googled burgers in Laramie and the first place on the list was The Crowbar and Grill (they used two plays on the name of the place - a crow and a crowbar).
Nice Logo
As with any reviews there were both good and bad but for me the good outweighed the bad and we headed there. The guy who greeted and sat us was also our waiter and he couldn't have been friendlier or more helpful (some of the reviews talked about poor and slow service). They have six burgers on the menu and they are all named after birds - Thomas had the Sparrow (regular burger with cheddar cheese) and I had the Crowburger (burger and Italian sausage blend with mozzarella and basil) - my burger was incredible - the Italian sausage gave it a kick. By the time we finished eating the rain had stopped and we still had plenty of daylight so we went in search of two boxes.

First we went to look for Slumdwellaz by Half Empty. This box has an audio clue and when I was putting clues together for this trip I listened to the clue and followed them on google maps which gave me the spot we needed to park and then I made a few notes of the actual hiding spot. It worked out great - we parked right in front of the spot and the car helped to hide me while I retrieved the box. I stamped in while sitting in the car and then made sure to hide it well when I finished. Not too far from this area was the second box I wanted to get - Are We There Yet? How Far Does I-80 Go? by sunflower8 and Kokopelli Krazy. We arrived at the landmark we needed and Thomas parked (again the car helped to give me cover). I got out of the car and only needed to take about 15 steps to the rock where the box was hidden, but I only had to take about 8 steps because the box was sitting out in the open about a foot and a half from the rock. I couldn't believe it survived that. I used the back seat of the car to stamp in and when I returned the box I made sure it was more secure.

It was time to call it a day because I could feel my foot feeling a little stressed (I wasn't wearing my boot because it is too hard to walk on a smooth, level surface much less on a trail or uneven sidewalk). As soon as I got back to the room I took a shower and got my boot on. It is feeling better now and it should be okay. So tomorrow is our last day in Wyoming and Thomas is pretty much busy the entire day and into the evening so I am on my own. Not positive what I am doing but I may head back to Cheyenne for part of the day - we will seen how I am feeling in the morning.

Monday, June 27, 2016

A Little Letterboxing in Cheyenne

My plan for today was to drive to Cheyenne and letterbox there for the day. I didn't get out of bed until 8:00am and it was 9:00am before I left Laramie. When I arrived in Cheyenne I took I25 south and then took Exit 2.
Rock Formations
This took me to Terry Bison Ranch Road which then turned into the Frontage Road. I was looking for Seattle Bound's Roaming Wyoming letterbox which was on the Frontage Road near some large rock outcrops. I parked and then followed the clues. I believed I was in the right spot but I didn't find the box. So I decided to start again and see if it led me to the same spot - it did. So I returned to my car and headed back the way I came. On the way back to I25 I stopped at the Welcome to Wyoming sign (not on I25 but on the Frontage Road) and looked for VIENNA's Snow Much Fun box. There really wasn't anywhere to park so I just parked on the road (there was no traffic at all) ant easily grabbed the box. I took it to the car and then drove a little ways up the road to a gated road. I stamped in here so that I was out of the way in case anyone drove by (no one did). When I was done I drove back to the hiding spot and replaced the box - This was a store bought stamp which isn't my favorite but is was an easy drive by and I was there already. Also this box is in a small (maybe 2 inches square) little tupperware container and it was all brittle and broken. Unfortunately I didn't have any baggies or boxes to replace it. Once the box was back in place I got back on I25 and headed north and took Exit 4 to the Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center. Here I looked for and found flat tire's I-25 Wyoming: Roadkill box and The Woodshed's To WY From CO Purple Mountain Majestical Greetings box.
Welcome Center Sign
One was outside the center and the other was inside the center. This is a really nice Welcome Center - they have lots of space, quite a few covered picnic tables and a walking path outside and inside they have a wonderful exhibit featuring dinosaur bones, information on the territorial prison and other things related to Wyoming. I spent about 40 minutes here and then continued on. I was back on I25 and took Exit 7. I was looking for Celestini's Gotta Go, Gotta Go box. The clue stated to go to the Welcome Center and look for "The Greeting and the Gift" which is a statue. I think that since this box was planted that things have changed. The Welcome Center is at Exit 4 and that is where the statue is. At the place the clue said to go to it is now the Department of Motor Vehicles. But I tried to follow the clues anyway but had no luck finding the box. I think these clues really need an update.

Next I went into Cheyenne and stopped at the library. I looked for Her Alligator's Picnic Perfect: Lunch Break box. Thc clue started off good and I was finding all the landmarks until I got to the last 2 things I was looking for - I couldn't find them at all and after three passes I decided to call it quits. It was a little after noon and I decided to head back to Laramie and make one more stop at a Rest Area on the way. The reason I decided to cut the day short is that about two weeks ago during my morning walk I all of a sudden had a sharp shooting pain in my right foot. I still had about a mile to go to get back to my car so I just slowed down so the pain wouldn't get worse. When I got home I elevated my foot and put some ice on it. At first I thought I had strained a ligament but after a week the pain was the same and it didn't feel like it was getting any better. So after procrastinating for that week I decided to go to Urgent Care. By this time I was pretty sure it was muscle or ligament related and I was pretty confident that I had a stress fracture and that is what I told the doctor at Urgent Care. After three x-rays it was confirmed - I had a hairline stress fracture of the 2nd metatarsal. The doctor gave me a walking boot and told me not to put wait on my foot - any time I was up walking I had to have the boot on. The first day or two I was a good patient and used the boot at all times. But then I needed to run errands and I couldn't drive with the boot on my right foot. So when I went out I wasn't wearing it.
Lincoln at Summit Rest Area
Also, yesterday and today while I was out letterboxing I wasn't wearing it. So by noon today my foot and ankle were beginning to hurt and I decided to return to the hotel and put the boot on and rest. But first I stopped at the Summit Rest Area about 10 miles east of Laramie. They have a nice information center and a very large bust of Abraham Lincoln.I looked for Grumpy Grinch's Western Work box and TaiChi and ChaiTea's Maybe We CAN all get along box. I didn't have any luck finding either of these boxes and now I was really ready to get back to the hotel.

When I got back I got some ice and elevated my foot and iced it. Then I sat and read until Thomas was done with his conference. He got back about 4:00pm and then we decided to go out for dinner. Since Thomas was driving I kept my boot on to protect my foot. As I am writing this I still have the boot on and my foot feels much better. I will have to see what I can do tomorrow.
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