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, 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.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

A SPOOKtacular Event Day!

Well, today was the day - the Santa Fe SPOOKtacular Letterboxing Event Resurrected has gone off without a hitch. I was up early to get my potluck dish complete and to get all my things together. Then I was off. Before getting to the event I made a quick stop to check on one of my boxes. Once that was done I headed to the event. When I arrived there were already people milling about. I brought in my dish, put my clues on the clue table, and hid a HIPS box.
Then I gathered any clues I needed and made a plan. I was a little concerned about the weather because it was overcast and a little windy. Thankfully, the rain held off except for a few drizzles at different times of the day. After saying hi to a few people Astro D, Bell Motel and I headed out to find one box just out the back gate on the trail. When we tried to find the box it wasn't there but as we turned to leave someone was walking up returning the box. So we sat and stamped in then replaced the box. At this point we all went our separate ways. I returned to the house to get a seven box series hidden around the outside of the house. When I finished this series I decided to sit at the event stamp table and stamp into those since there was no one there. I was about halfway through the boxes when I was joined by a few people. I had carved the event stamps for this event and our first SPOOKtacular event back in 2007 so that was three boxes I didn't need to stamp into. But I ended up getting the following event stamps . . . All Wrapped Up, Dobby the House Elf, and Mr. Pumpkin Head by ArnoldZiffel; Learning New Things That Might Be Helpful and Scary House by CorgiLover; Creepy Cryptex and Mr. Potato Head by Seekers Two; Booooo! and Spooktacular by C4; and Spooky Santa Fe by Kit. All great stamps. I then did some exchanges and personal travelers before finally taking a break and having a little lunch. After eating I headed out to the trails for one new box. I met up with Astro D and Bell Motel at the box and we all stamped in together. Then they headed off for more boxes and I returned to the house. I finished getting exchanges and personal travelers and then spent some time visiting. Then rubberpeace asked me to take her to my boxes on the furthest trails. So I drove her to those boxes and she stamped in while we talked. Then we returned to the house to finish off the day.

The event turned out great. It was a smallish gathering but extremely fun. The traditional boxes I found today were . . . Batter RIP, Posada's Calaveras, and Cozy Cone Motel by Bell Motel; Bob Bob Bobbin, A Halloween Carve, and Scary Monster & Super Freak by Astro D; Wild Things, Raven, Creepy Critters, Evil Eyes, and Devil's Tower by ArnoldZiffel; Dr. Frankenstein's Monster and Quoth the Raven by BirchMoon; Count Floyd by Wronghat; and La Llorona by Sunny Delight. The Exchanges I got were . . . Kit, ladyval, NMLeisa, CorgiLover, californiabluefrog, and sparkyNM. The Personal Travelers I received were . . . Corgis Were Here by CorgiLover; and Winter Solstice and Tiny Travelers by californiabluefrog. The attendees at the event were . . . Kit, NMLeisa, californiabluefrog, rubberpeace, CorgiLover, Sunny Delight, C4, Seekers Two, Wronghat, Semicolon, Wisconsin Hiker, Martini Man, ladyval, sparkyNM, Highwayman, The Great Wuga Wuga, Bell Motel, BirchMoon, Agent 86, ArnoldZiffel, Astro D, and lionsmane. It was a great group and a great event.

Friday, September 22, 2017

A Visit to Cochiti Lake and Tent Rocks

Today I had an incredible outing with a few fellow letterboxers. Astro D, Bell Motel, californiabluefrog and I headed south from Santa Fe and drove to Cochiti. Astro D and I had already found all the boxes in the area so we were just hanging out with Bell Motel and califoniabluefrog while they letterboxed. So our first stop was Cochiti Lake Visitor Center. We took the nature trail and they found Tent Rocks by Mim and Mim's Lagniappe by Wronghat. While they stamped in, I enjoyed the views of the lake. When they were finished we returned to the car and then drove a short distance up to the overlook. At this spot they found Pueblo de Cochiti by Wronghat. I walked to the overlook while they stamped in. Once they were finished we left the Visitor Center and made our way to Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument.

It was around noon when we arrived in the parking area for Tent Rocks so we decided to grab a picnic table and eat our lunch. We spent about 20 minutes relaxing and eating before we headed out on the trail. We decided to do the Canyon Trail first. Just beyond the junction for the Cave Trail we stopped and looked for Osiris' Secret. Unfortunately, we weren't able to find it. So then we just continued along the Canyon Trail. This is one of my favorite hikes. The trail and views are beautiful. You go through a couple of slots and pass some of the tent rocks. It is about a mile and a half trail that goes up to the top of the plateau for some awesome views. Most of the trail is easy but there are a couple of spots where you have to scramble over some rocks and then the ascent to the top is a little work as well. But the hike is so worth doing. Along this hike we looked for El Corredor but again we didn't find the box. After completing the Canyon Trail we took the Cave Trail so that they could look for El Ladron. We walked the trail and when we got to the cave Astro D and I sat and visited while Bell Motel and californiabluefrog went and searched for the box. When they returned to meet us we headed back to the car and left the monument heading back to Santa Fe.
Apache Tears
On NM16 we stopped at one of the Historical Markers for them to find New La Bajada Hill by ArnoldZiffel. This was a quick stop and we were on our way. We got on I25 and headed north up La Bajada Hill. Then we stopped at the rest area for them to find Harry Potter Horcrux Series #1 - Tom Riddle's Diary by ArnoldZiffel. Another quick and easy find and then we were back on the road. Last we made one more stop at Santa Fe Brewery for them to find Plant A Beer 2017: Santa Fe Brewing by ArnoldZiffel. Once they were done with this series of boxes they dropped me off at home.

It was a great day of hiking and letterboxing and we had a lot of fun. I really love Tent Rocks and it had been a while since I had been there so this was a perfect outing.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Planting Boxes for the Event

This morning I met with Astro D and ArnoldZiffel and Bell Motel joined us to plant boxes and get last minute things done for our Santa Fe SPOOKtacular Letterboxing Event Resurrected. We spent a little time talking about things and stamping in to some of the boxes. Then we all hit the trails and went our separate ways to plant the boxes. I hid three of my boxes around the outside of the house before we left for the trails and then I planted my next box just a short ways from the house on one of the closer trails. My last three boxes I walked to the furthest trail from the house and planted them there. Once I was finished and I had made notes I made my way back to the house. When all of us were back we spent some time putting together some goodie bags and then discussed what we needed for the event on Saturday. By the time I left everything was in place and we are now ready for a SPOOKtacular event.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Santa Fe, Sandia Crest, Cedar Crest and Edgewood

Last weekend we did some letterboxing in Albuquerque, Tijeras and Edgewood. We ran out of time to hit Cedar Crest and Sandia Crest. So we had a couple of clues remaining and we decided to head out today and get some more letterboxes.

We started in Santa Fe. There is a series of three boxes about a mile from my house and I somehow put off going out to get them.
So first thing we headed to Santa Fe Brewing to get Plant a Beer 2017: Santa Fe Brewing (series of three boxes) by ArnoldZiffel. The boxes are hidden along a dirt road next to the brewery. These were quick and easy and then we were on our way out of Santa Fe. So we headed south on NM 14 and made our next stop at Cerrillos Hills State Park. This was a quick stop - I just needed to check on my Felis concolor box. We made the short hike up the Jane Calvin Sanchez Trail and got to the ridge to check on the box. Everything is okay except three of the latches on the box have broken off. I made sure the baggies were zipped tight and the lid was secure on the box with the one latch and then put the box back in its hiding spot and covered it well with rocks. We then headed back to the car and back to NM 14.

We continued on NM 14 until we reached NM 536. This road is also known as Sandia Crest Scenic Byway and leads up to Sandia Peak. Once at the top we parked and looked for Where's George Series Box #293: Albuquerque Beam Me Up Scottie.
We followed the clues but couldn't find the box. So I texted Astro D to see if she had any insights for me. I looked in the spot she told me and still no box. Unforturnately, I think it is gone. So then we headed inside the Sandia Crest House to look for Sandia Crest Rosy Finch by cottonwoodlady. I had looked for this one before but didn't understand the clues. The placer changed her clues since then and this time I was able to find it. I stamped while sitting on a couch facing a wall of windows with some fantastic views. We put the box back in place and drove back down the mountain. Back on NM 14 we next headed for Ale Republic to find Hail to the Ale! by Kit. There is a parking area across the street from the brewery which is a parking area for the John A. Milne/Gutierrez Canyon Open Space area. The box is hidden across the road from the brewery by a post making it a quick and easy find. I took the box back to the car to stamp in and then went back to replace it.

From here we continued on NM 14 to I 40 and took the interstate east to Edgewood. We exited and then turned left onto NM 333. We drove a little over a mile to an abandoned Indian Curio shop with an horno, a railcar and a "STANDARD" sign. Here we looked for and found Retribution Road by Kit. Again, I stamped in while sitting in the car and then returned the box to its hiding spot. The story of Retribution Road is interesting and it is a story about Route 66 that I hadn't heard before.
Well, we had another great day of letterboxing and found some great and interesting boxes. Thanks to all who planted them.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Albuquerque, Tijeras and Edgewood

Thomas and I decided on another day out doing some letterboxing and today we decided to head to the Albuquerque area. Last night I got all the clues together and mapped things out. And this morning we packed some snacks, lunch and water and headed out.

Once we arrived in Albuquerque we headed to Marble Brewery to find Plant a Beer Day: Marble Brewery by Wronghat. We followed the directions, parked and then headed out to find the box. I was a little confused at first but then things fell into place and I found the box. I took it back to the car to stamp in and then when I was done I walked the box back to its hiding spot. Then we moved on to our next boxes. I had clues for two boxes in the same area - by the musuems. One was at the Natural History Museum and one at the Albuquerque Museum. One of the clues is titled GISHWHES 2017 Wayward AF Team - this is the one at the Natural History Museum. I followed the clues but couldn't find the box. I looked all around the museum but had no luck. So then we moved over to the Albuquerque Musuem and looked for Team Elefunky by TeamElefunky. I think this one is also a GISHWHES box. GISHWHES stands for Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen. I don't really understand it but it seems to involve creating art, solving riddles and meeting new people. I don't see how it relates to letterboxing and I am not sure if the people who logged in these plants are letterboxers or not. But after looking around the sculpture garden at the musuem we found the landmarks but didn't find any box. So we left and went to the next box - also a GISHWHES box. This one is GISHWHES 2017 TEAM VOODOO by Vecinos del Bosque. The clue description stated the location and then the clue was 'Huge Bike'. I found the bike but no box. After not finding three of these boxes I wonder if there was or is a box related to these clues. It was all just very confusing. I was almost ready to call it a day and head home but Thomas said lets just move on to the next box. So we did. We headed west on I40 to Route 66 Casino. We followed the directions and parked then followed the clues and easily found the box. I took it back to the car to sit and stamp in. It didn't take long and the box was back in place. So now it was time to leave Albuquerque and head to Tijeras.

We took I40 to Tijeras and then took NM337 south to Oak Flat Recreation Area. Here we went in search of Beatles Series #29 "Blackbird" by Twinville Trekkers. This box is suppose to be done at night and you follow fire tacks using a flashlight or headlamp. I had been our here once before but didn't have any luck so I hoped with Thomas' help we could find the box. On my previous visit I found a fire tack on a tree right near the start of the trail but then after that I couldn't find any more tacks. Today we decided to follow this one trail and we found two pyramid shaped fire tacks but then nothing. After walking for about twenty minutes and searching for tacks we decided that we had gone past where the clues had stated. So we turned around and headed back. On the way back we found a few more tacks but these were round and flat. But still nothing made sense and we didn't find the box. I guess you really have to go at night but I don't know about that - it seems a little too spooky. Once back at the car we decided to eat our lunch and sit and relax.Thirty minutes later we drove back to Tijeras. In Tijeras we turned onto NM333 and drove to the Musical Road. We approached it from the wrong direction to drive on it so we had to make a 'U' turn. Then we drove over the rumble strips (at 45mph) and listened to America the Beautiful. Just past the end of the song we followed the road until the guardrail ended then we pulled over to find a letterbox - America the Beautiful by 66gypsies. This was a quick and easy find and then we were on our way again.The next box we went in search of didn't have any clues. But there was a location - so I did a search and found where we needed to be. We arrived at the location and parked. Then I thought about it and figured out where the box was. So I ended up asking Thomas to go and check and it turned out we were in the right place. So we found Desert Dreams by Kit and I stamped in and returned the box. We decided to go for one more box before calling it a day and heading home. So we drove to Edgewood. I have never been to Edgewood and it turned out that it wasn't at all what I expected. I thought it was a small town like Tijeras but it was bigger and more spread out. We drove to the Church Street Market to find Deep Space Aerial by Kit. This was another quick and easy find and it didn't take long for me to stamp in and replace the box.

We had a good time today and enjoyed the letteboxes we found. It is always nice to explore New Mexico.
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