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, February 16, 2018

Celebrating 12 Years of Letterboxing

It was 12 years ago today when I found my first letterbox and I am still thoroughly enjoying this hobby. Every year since then I go out on this date and letterbox to celebrate. And today was no exception. This morning Thomas and I headed out to find some letterboxes in Moriarty, Edgewood and Albuquerque. We left our house around 9:00am and headed out on this overcast and chilly morning and headed for Moriarty.

We took I25 north to US285 and then turned onto NM41. Here we began looking for our first letterbox. We were searching for Antelope Playground by Kit. We needed to find mile marker 46. There was a short time when we worried that the box might be missing because they are doing construction along NM41 and the sides of the road were all torn up. But the construction ended about a mile before '46'. So we pulled over and parked, I crossed the road and easily found the box magnetized to the post. I took it back to the car to stamp in. Once done I returned the box to its hiding spot and then looked around to see if I could see any antelope - no luck. So we continued on our drive. About a mile up the road we spotted seven antelope off to our right. So we stopped and I got a few pictures. Then we made our way to Moriarty. Once in Moriarty we made our way to the Veterans Memorial which is near the Civic Center. Here we looked for and found Soldier's Cross by Kit. This was an easy find and I sat on a nearby bench to stamp in. In hindsight, I should have taken the box back to the car to stamp in. It turned out to be quite cold while sitting there stamping in. So I worked quickly to finish stamping in and then put the box back in place. I returned to the car and Thomas had decided he wanted some breakfast. So we headed to the restaurant we usually go to when we are in Moriarty - El Comedor. I guess it has been a while since we have been there because the restaurant is now closed and the place is an antique mall. The woman there suggested a couple of other places and we ended up eating at Chili Hills. After some delicious breakfast burritos we continued on our letterbox hunt. We made our way to McCall's Pumpkin Patch. We parked on the frontage road in front of a large pumpkin house. Then we followed the clues for Pumpkin Patch and Harvest Moon by Kit. Our landmark was a tree/bush just south of McCall's on the frontage road. When I walked to the area I found that the tree had been cut down and there were only stumps remaining. I looked around but did not find the box. So we continued on. Driving west on I40 we exited at Edgewood and drove toward Wildlife West Nature Park. We went a bit further up the road to the Edgewood Open Space. Here I went in search of Red Top Diner by reporter at large & Seeker of Flags. I only had to follow the trail for a short distance and was easily able to find the box. I found a nice spot to sit so that I could stamp in. When I was done I replaced the box and then made my way back to the car. Now we could head to Albuquerque to continue letterboxing.

We drove west on I40 through Tijeras Canyon and into Albuquerque. We then exited at Louisiana Blvd. and made our way to ABQ Uptown and more specifically to Trader Joe's. Here we looked for and found Two Buck Chuck by Kit. This was a more difficult find since the box is hidden at a light post and in the parking area where there is a lot of traffic. I had to wait a bit and then sneak the box out from under the skirt of the post. I took it back to the car to stamp in and when I was done I went to return it to its hiding spot. I had to use a bit of distraction to get it back in place. From here we made our way to Woodward Road and found Hello from Las Vegas by Always on Call. Another difficult find again hidden under the skirt of a lamp post. The only good thing was it wasn't as busy here as at Trader Joe's. Once we were done with this box we headed over to the Barelas Senior Center. I was looking for Mercedes y Angel, mis abuelos by Kit. Again, we had to be extremely stealthy as the box is hidden out in front of the building. But we prevailed and I took the box back to the car to stamp in. When I was done, Thomas took the box back to the hiding spot so that it didn't look suspicious with me hanging around the spot a second time. With that done we headed to our last destination for the day - Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm. We looked for and found Llama at Los Poblanos. There is a nice bench near where the box is hidden where we sat and stamped in. the area was beautiful and peaceful. There were geese and llamas near us and this was a great spot to end our celebration of my 12 year of letterboxing.

I had a great time letterboxing today and found some nice boxes and stamps. There was only one box we couldn't find. I did have clues for three other boxes that we opted to skip for today. Those boxes were at businesses and I didn't feel like dealing with that today. But I did get to letterbox on my anniversary and as long as I find one box I am happy. So today was a good day and I found seven boxes.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Creating a Halloween Letterboxing Adventure

Here in Santa Fe we have hosted two Halloween themed events . . . Santa Fe SPOOKtacular Letterboxing Event (October 6, 20017) and Santa Fe SPOOKtacular Letterboxing Event Resurrected (September 23, 2017). Because of these two event we have quite a few Halloween themed boxes. So after this year's event we decided to take all those boxes and find a place to plant them all. I have to say that the idea came from a similar thing in Texas. They have Telge Park in Cypress that is host to lots of Halloween themed boxes (many of the boxes may be missing now after hurricanes have flooded the area).

Anyway, today four of us set out to plant boxes all in one area where letterboxers can spend a day "Trick or Treating" for letterboxes. Astro D, The Great Wuga Wuga, Highwayman and myself got together and headed to ǝʌɹǝsǝɹd uısɐq oǝʇsılɐƃ to plant all these boxes. We ended up planting 22 boxes. We all went our separate ways so they are spread out on different trails and to get them all you may have to walk between five and six miles. That sounds daunting but the hikes are more moderate and the inclines are gentle. One thing to remember is that the area is open and exposed so in hotter weather remember to bring sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and plenty of water. A trail map would also be helpful and I suggest downloading one from the internet and then printing it out. We tried to use trail intersection markers for most of the boxes so the map would definitely help to keep you oriented and on track.

Another thing is that we ended piggy-backing the clues. So you will need to read all the clues to see where to start and then where to continue. This will help you to sequence the clues and that way you can just go from one box to the next.

We had a great time planting all the boxes and we now have updated the clues and they are ready to be found. Listed below are all the boxes by owner (meaning they are not in the order to be found) and a link to a trail map. We hope everyone enjoys our new Halloween Park.

Special Notes:

It would be extremely helpful to print out a Trail Map before you head out.  

***Here is a list of all the boxes planted at Halloween Park.

Bell Motel: Batter RIP; Posada's Calavera (3)  

Astro D: Scary Monster and Super Freak series (2); Bob Bob Bobbin; Day of the Dead: Cancion de Amor; Halloween Carve; I wnt 2 suk yor bl%d  

lionsmane: Halloween Icons; Creature Feature (3); It’s Haunted . . .; Roosting; A Little Scare; Double, Double Toil and Trouble; The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow; Araneae; Something Wicked (2)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Homeward Bound

Well, today I headed home. I was up early, got packed, loaded the car and headed out. It was still dark when I left the hotel so I just enjoyed the lack of traffic and drove. I made my first stop at the New Mexico border at the 'Welcome' sign. Here I found Hello New Mexico by Jolly Mon. It was quick and easy and the box was back in place in no time and I continued on my way. My next stop was at the Manuelito Visitor Information Center. It was a bit chilly when I arrived so I sat in the car and read the clues and scoped the area out. When I felt I had found the right spot I got out of the car and headed to the tree in question. I searched for LBCA/New Mexico but didn't have any luck finding the box. So I returned to the car and got back on I40 and headed for Gallup. When I arrived in Gallup I drove to Red Rock Park. On the way I stopped and filled the car with gas before getting to the park. When I arrived at the park I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a few hot air balloons floating above the red rocks. I don't think there was any special event or anything because there wasn't any signs or admission fee or anything. I made my way to the Church Rock Trailhead to look for The Outlaw by Sunny Delight. Before I started looking for the box I took quite a few pictures of the balloons. Then I followed the clues and easily found the box. I found a great spot to sit and stamp in and I also got to enjoy the balloons at the same time. After replacing that box I drove to another area of the park to look for Red Rock Park Series: Rodeo! by CoVicars. Again, the box was easy to find and this time I took it back to the car to stamp in and again I got great views of the balloons. Then after I replaced the box I walked around a bit taking more pictures and after 15 minutes I left the park to continue my drive home.

I got on I40 and continued eastward. It wasn't long before I was making my next stop. This time at the Continental Divide. At this exit there is an abandoned and derelict gas station and Stuckey's. I stopped here to find It's All Downhill From Here by fleetwood7. I followed the clues which lead me to a pile of broken concrete and other debris. So I looked for the box where the clue stated but didn't find the box. So I decided to just search the area working away from where I started and eventually I found the box. I took it back to the car to stamp in. Once I was done I replaced the box exactly where I found it and the headed back to the interstate. After driving about another 30 miles I took exit 72 for Bluewater Village. I followed the clues for Bluewater Farms by ArnoldZiffel. The box is hidden near a historic marker for Bluewater Village. It was a quick and easy find and didn't take long to stamp in and then I was on my way.

When I got to Exit 81B I left the interstate and headed south on NM53. Along this road I had a few things to take care of. My first order of business was near the Continental Divide. I turned off of NM53 onto Zuni Canyon Road and almost immediately pulled off into a pullout and parked. Then I followed the clues and found Continental Divide - NM by Azroadie. The box was hidden near a large rock and that rock provided a great seat for me to sit and stamp in. Once I had the box in place I got back on NM53 and then drove to El Morro. I didn't actually go to El Morro but I stopped at the entrance sign and historic marker. I stopped here and I found a spot to hide my Alphabetical New Mexico: I (Inscription Rock). I spent some time making notes for the clues and then I continued on NM53 for one more box. My next stop was Candy Kitchen, NM at the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. I left NM53 and turned onto Indian Service Route 125 and then veered onto Indian Service Route 120 and parked in a parking area. Here I found Wolf's Paradise by Rookie Traveler. I have to say I was pretty disappointed with the box. The stamp was a little plastic bubble gum machine felt stamp of a paw print. Oh well, it is what it is. Once this box was back in place. I retraced my drive back to I40.

Instead of getting onto I40 I ended up crossing over it. I then took Santa Fe Ave. (Route 66), then First St. and made my way to NM547. Then I droveabout five miles to the Continental Divide Trail parking area. Following the clues I walked a short distance on the CDT to find Wanda's Wanda-rings: Continental Divide Trail - #2 The Logo by wandaandpete. The stamp in this box is a stamp I carved and sent to Wanda for an event she had in Rhode Island. She originally planted the box in Rhode Island and not all that long ago she relocated it to Grants. I enjoyed the area and sat for a while and stamped in. When I finally got the box back in its hiding spot I returned to my car. At this point I was done letterboxing for the day and I made my way back to I40 and continued my drive back home.

I had a great trip and found some great boxes. I always have fun when I visit Arizona and get some letterboxing done.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

One More Day in Prescott and Flagstaff

This morning I slept in until around 7:30am. Then I got up and got things ready and loaded my car. Once everything was loaded I checked out of the hotel and headed out to find a few more letterboxes in Prescott before heading up to Flagstaff.

I left the hotel and headed out of Prescott on Iron Springs Road (which is also AZ10) toward Skull Valley. I didn't drive all the way to Skull Valley. I ended up stopping at Tonto Road a few miles shy of the town. Here I found Valley of Skulls by Flyin Free. This was a quick and easy find and I stamped in whle sitting in the car. Once I had the box back in its hiding spot I headed back to Prescott. My next stop was at Prescott Brewing Company. Here I was looking for Plant a Beer Day: Prescott Brewing Company by 66gypsies. I parked and went looking for a number but had trouble finding it. Then I heard my name and looked up to see Seekers Two and The Woodshed.
They were in their car stamping in. So I got the box from them and they showed me where it was hidden. So I took it back to my car and stamped in. When I was done I went to return the box to its hiding spot and was surprised to find Seekers Two and The Woodshed still there. And they weren't alone. 66gypsies and shutterbug2012 were also there. So I gave the box to 66gypsies because she wanted to find a better hiding spot. I visited for a few minutes then said my goodbyes and headed out. I took Senator Hwy. to the trailhead for Trail 307. I didn't have to go on a hike to find the box - it was hidden near the kiosk for the trail. I easily found Enjoy the Pines by blacksheep1&2.  I took it back to the car to stamp in. When I was done I had to wait about five minutes for a couple of people to head out to the trail. Once that box was in place I got back in the car and headed out to my next box.  So while I was on Senator Hwy. I decided to look for Bradshaw Mountians. I followed the clues and got to mile marker 10. But after that I didn't fnd any of the landmarks so I turned around and headed back into Prescott. Next I headed up White Spar Road to Ponderosa Road where I parked in a pullout on the right just after making the turn. Here I looked for and found Where's Rocky? by blacksheep1&2. I stamped in while sitting in the car and then put the box back in place.  Now it was time to leave Prescott and begin my drive back to Flagstaff.

So I headed back into Prescott and then took AZ69 then AZ169 and then to I17. I made one stop to gas up the car before getting onto AZ169. Other than that the drive was uneventful and pretty quick. When I arrived in Flagstaff I decided to look for one box before I headed to my hotel. So I set my navigation for the Galaxy Diner. Once there I followed the clues for Galaxy Diner by RIclimber. Another quick and easy find. I found a great spot to sit and stamp in and then replaced the box. By this time I was tired and I wanted a shower. Once I checked in, I took my shower and then relaxed for a bit. Then I made plans for letterboxes along the way when I drive home tomorrow.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

It's Event Day!

Today is event day - Growing Up On Westerns hosted by SnakeDoctor. And I ended up being awake at 4:00am. I kind of expected it since I was in bed by 8:30pm last night. Yesterday was a long and fun day but I was wiped out by the time I got to my hotel room. So I tried to go back to sleep but that didn't happen. Then I decided to read for a while and by 6:00am I just couldn't take it anymore so I got up and got ready for the day. Finally, around 7:00am I left the hotel and headed out to find a couple of letterboxes before heading to the event. I drove to the downtown area and found a place to park near where the box was hidden. The area around the courthouse was blocked off for some event and that left me parking down the road about a block away from the box. The box I was looking for was Courthouse Conundrum by cezannie. The clues had you start at the courthouse and then follow around looking at statues. But I did some work on the computer at home before heading out on my trip and I knew where to go for the box. After parking I walked to the place where I had figured the box was hidden and easily found the box. I found a spot to sit and stamp in that was hidden from the workers setting up for the event at the courthouse. After replacing the box I headed to Cuppers. This is where we were meeting up for the first part of the event. When I arrived at Cuppers I put my things on a chair by an outside table and went around the side of the building to find Where's My Coffee? by Tepee-AZ. I took the box back to the table and stamped in. When I was done I put the box back in place and then went back to the car to get my things for the event.

When I got back to Cuppers there were a couple of people there, so I joined them. Eventutally, more people showed up and I got some exchanges. I finally got to meet the CoVicars - an extremely nice couple. The clues for the boxes hidden for the event were given out here as well. After visiting for a bit I was ready to head out to the trails and find some boxes. So Lee suggested that he and I along with Jolly Mon, Wisconsin Hiker and Martini Man all head out together. So we drove to the Peavine Trail off of Sundog Ranch Road and parked. We got our things organized and were ready to hit the trail. We had three list of clues - two of them went to the left and one went to the right. We started with one to the left. We set out to find Growing Up On Westerns To The Left (Part 1). This series consisted of seven boxes - Conagher, The Violent Men, Bonanza, The High Chaparrel, Zorro, A Fist Full of Dollars, and The Magnificent 7. We found all of these with just one minor hiccup along the way. We used an assembly line method for stamping in. One person got the box and opened it. Then another person inked the stamp and handed it around to stamp in and then the person who found the box put it back in place when we were done. If there was a logbook then someone started with that and then we passed it around. It was a very smooth operation. Once that series was done we started the next series in that area - Growing Up On Westerns To The Left (Part 2). This series consisted of six boxes - Maverick, Two Mules for Sister Sara, Man With No Name, An American Tail-Fievel Goes West, The Outlaw Josie Wales, and Tombstone. We did the same with this series as we did with the first and when we had found all the boxes it was almost 1:00pm so we decided to head to the pavilion for some lunch.

There were a few people at the pavilion when we arrived and all the fixings for sandwiches were there and other snacks. So I made a sandwich, grabbed some chips and a banana and sat down to enjoy lunch and visit. I also drank a lot of water - it had gotten hot out on the trail. After about a 40 minute rest we decided it was time to head out and get the third and final series for the day. So we hit the trail again in search of Growing Up On Westerns To The Right. This series consisted of seven boxes - Tonto, The Lone Ranger, The Rifleman, Dances With Wolves, Have Gun Will Travel, True Grit, and Westerns. While looking for this series we also looked for Watson Lake View. We bumped in to a few people along the way and none of them had any luck finding this box but we were determined. So we found boxes from the series and between The Rifleman and Dances With Wolves we went in search of Watson Lake View. We followed the clues and looked in one area but soon decided that we were in the wrong place. So we continued a little further up the trail and tried again. We all kind of spread out and searched. But it was Lee who actually found the box. The box was a mess - they had put a pink inkpad in with the stamp and logbook and it had leaked everywhere. So Lee wiped it out with water and a few napkins, we replaced the baggies and logbook and we got a trash bag to put the ink pad and inky baggies in to throw away later. After stamping in and cleaning up the box we continued on our way to complete the series. After the last box was replaced we walked back to the pavilion, had some snacks and visited for a bit. Around 4:45pm everyone left the park. I decided to head back to the hotel and take a shower before meeting everyone for dinner. It was nice to get cleaned up after a hot day of hiking and letterboxing.

At 6:00pm I drove to Gurley Street Grill to meet everyone for dinner. It was a great place - I had a baja chicken wrap and onion rings - delicious. At 8:00pm I headed back to the hotel. I was tired and ready for some rest. It was a wonderful event and I had a great time - thanks SnakeDoctor.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Flagstaff and Prescott

Yesterday I had trouble finding some boxes and a little trouble with the trail. So I had decided last night I would go back out to the trail this morning and complete the series. I packed all my stuff and loaded the car, checked out of the hotel and drove out to the trailhead. It was 7:15am when I hit the trail. Today I decided to go backwards to find the boxes. So I followed Fatman's Loop in a clockwise direction. For some reason I didn't have any problems with the clues or following the trail. I found all the landmarks easily and in turn found all the boxes. I finished the Kachinas of the San Francisco Peaks #2 series by connecticut croaker. When I got to the area where I had problems yesterday I figured out what I did wrong. It was a great morning and I truly enjoyed the hike and the views from the trail. It was so peaceful walking in the early morning - I only saw one other person on the trail. It was a great way to start the day. Once I had found all the boxes and enjoyed the views I continued on the trail back to my car. I left the trailhead and stopped at a gas station to fill up the car before heading out to Prescott.

I took I40 to I17 and headed south. The drive was good, not much traffic and great weather. I took AZ169 and headed west for a while and then took AZ69 heading north and then west into Prescott. When I arrived in Prescott I headed to Goldwater Lake to look for some boxes there. The first box I tried for was Where Eagles Fly 2 by blacksheep1&2. This was a two box series with one box being at a pullout just before the lake. So I stopped there and took the trail from the parking lot following the clues. The first thing I noticed was that there had been a fire. So I wasn't optimistic about finding the box. When I arrived at the landmark area there was no landmark. It was supposed to be a log. All I found were ashes and some rocks. So I looked under a couple of rocks and found a small Altoid tin all black and covered with soot. I opened it and all the contents were ashes. So I put it back under the rock and headed into the park. After paying my fee I parked and began my search for the second box of the series. I had trouble with the clues and looked all around the area and never found the box so I called it quits on that one and headed to the trail that goes around the lake to find Arizona Sunshine by mcfarland family. I followed the clues and took the trail around the lake. I arrived at the location for the box and started looking for it. The box was hidden in a crevice in some rocks. Well, there are rocks everywhere. But eventually I found the box and took it back to a bench to sit and stamp in. When done I had to wait about 15 minutes before replacing it because a group of people where standing right where I needed to put the box. Finally they left and I got the box in place. Then I continued on the trail looking for The Lost Backpack by TLCs. I worked on this one for a while but never could find the last two landmarks and eventually gave up on that one and returned to my car. By this time I was hot and tired so I headed for the hotel to check in and rest for a bit.

At 4:45pm I left the hotel and headed for Lynx Lake Campground to meet Desert Flower and Azroadie at their campsite to hang out for a bit. It turned out to be Desert Flower, Azroadie, FamilyTreeShaker, Lee and Jolly Mon. We had pizza and snacks and sat around the campfire visiting. It was a nice evening and a good way to end the day. Around 6:45pm I left the campsite and returned to the hotel. And now after a shower I feel tired and need to get some sleep for the event tomorrow.

I did hit two milestones today. I reached 4800 finds and I reached 500 find in Arizona. So far the trip has been wonderful and I am looking forward to the event tomorrow.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Headed to an Event in Prescott

I am off on another trip to another event. This time I am headed to Prescott, AZ to attend the Growing Up On Westerns event hosted by SnakeDoctor. I headed out early this morning and planned to letterbox along the way. But the drive through most of New Mexico was dark so I didn't stop for any boxes. But by the time I crossed into Arizona it was light and I could start looking for boxes. The drive in the early morning was great. Little traffic and relaxing. I did make one stop in New Mexico at a Flying J just outside of Gallup to use the bathroom and take a break.

I made my first stop off of Meteor Crater Road. I stopped at the Mobil station and easily found Blast from the Past by Creeping Death. I stamped in while sitting in the car and then replaced the box and headed back to the interstate to continue my drive. I drove for a little while and took the exit for Two Guns. I didn't go to Two Guns, instead I turned in the opposite direction and followed the frontage road. Not too far down the road I stopped at an electric pole and found Daenery's - Queen of Dragons by RIClimber. This was a quick and easy find and I stamped while sitting in the car. After I replaced the box I continued driving down the road for another three miles. It was a rocky and bumpy drive. Eventually I arrived at the lone gravesite of Herman Wolf. Here I found Canyon Diablo by RIClimber. Another easy find. So I sat on a rock and stamped in. It was so isolated and serene - I enjoyed the peace and quiet. Afterwards I made the return drive to the interstate and continued my drive.

When I arrived in Flagstaff I headed to the parking area for Fatman's Loop Trail on US89. I parked and grabbed my letterboxing stuff and hit the trails. The trail goes up from the parking area for a short way and then splits. I took the left hand trail and began looking for Kachinas of the San Francisco Peaks by connecticut croaker. I found the first box - Rain Maker - and after stamping in and replacing the box I continued up the trail. After passing a wood and barbed wire fence I took a connector trail and found a single box - Dreamcatcher by connecticut croaker. I found a good spot to sit and stamp in. After replacing the box I continued on the connector trail and got on the other leg of the Fatman's Loop and continued up that trail. Soon I found Mountain God - the second box in the Kachina series. After stamping in and replacing the box I read the clues for the third and final box. I needed to head back the way I came and back toward the parking area. So instead of doing that I decided to start another series since I was headed in that direction. So I started looking for Kachinas of the San Francisco Peaks #2. After a good ways up the trail I found the landmarks and found the first box - Ogre Kachina. I stamped in and the replaced the box. I then read the clue for the next box and continued up the trail. Somewhere along the way my brain developed a decrease in synaptic firing. I had trouble figuring out where the trail went and I was confused by the clues and couldn't find any landmarks. So after backtracking and continuing a couple of times I decided to call it a day. So I retraced my steps and went back to the connector trail and then headed toward the parking area. Along the way I stopped and found the third box of the first series - Corn Maiden.  Once I had stamped in and replaced the box I headed for my car. Back at the car I called the hotel to find out if my room was ready. I was tired after the long drive and the hike and all I wanted to do was take a shower and rest.

The hotel was only a couple of miles from the trailhead so it didn't take me long to get there. Check-in was quick and in not time I was in my room. And true to my plan I jumped in the shower first thing. Now that everything is logged in and I am caught up with blogging I can now read and rest for a bit before getting a good night's sleep for my day tomorrow heading to Prescott.
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