The first place I wanted to go was the Lake Valley Backcountry Scenic Byway and the ghost town of Lake Valley. So we drove from Silver City to Hillsboro and then took NM 27 south. This is part of the Lake Valley Backcountry Scenic Byway and I wanted to plant my first box in Lake Valley. this box is NM Scenic Byways: Lake Valley Backcountry. When we first arrived in Lake Valley we encountered a locked gate. There was a sign saying the town opened at 9:00am and my watch said 9:10am. So we assumed they were closed even though the sign said they were open Thursday through Monday. Just when we had decided to turn around and leave a man showed up to unlock the gate. So we drove in and went to the school house which serves as a museum and a visitor center. We spent a little time talking with the man who unlocked the gate. When we got ready to leave to do the walking tour I decided to ask the guy if I could plant a letterbox outside of the school house. But before I could even explain what I wanted to do he blurted out "NO!". Then he said "They wouldn't want that here because it would bring too many people to the town and they would damage the structures.". I again tried to explain that I just wanted to hide the box under a bush just off to the side of the school house and there weren't any buildings around that area. It quickly became obvious that he didn't want to talk about it anymore, so I just dropped and decided I would look for a place along the highway. So we went out to do the walking tour but we decided it was too hot to walk the town so we drove to a couple of the buildings and took some pictures. While we were looking around Thomas noticed something along the highway that had potential as a hiding spot. So we got in the car and headed in that direction. It turned out to be an information sign for the Lake Valley Backcountry Scenic Byway. So we parked at the sign and looked around. Thankfully, I was able to find a good spot for the box. So I got it hidden, took some pictures and made some notes for the clues. Now that this box was in place we could head out to plant the next box.
The next box - NM Scenic Byways: Geronimo Trail - had been planned to be hidden along the northern section of the Geronimo Trail National Scenic Byway. So we left Lake Valley and took NM 27 north back to NM 152. Then we took NM 152 to I 25 and then I 25 to Exit 83 for NM 52 and Cuchillo. From the exit the road is NM 181/52. But soon they split and we continued on NM 52 towards Cuchillo and Winston. As we drove I looked for a Geronimo Trail sign and hoped I could hide my box there. But we drove all the way to Winston and did not see one sign. So we decided to go to Chloride to find a box and maybe find a spot for my box. So we took Republic Rd. which turns into County Road CO06. Then we turned onto Wall St. and headed into Chloride. We passed the Hanging Tree as we entered the town and soon came upon a Geronimo Trail National Scenic Byway sign. I was overjoyed - now my box could be near a sign on the Geronimo Trail. But first I went to find flyfishercacher's Silver Chloride box. This box is hidden in the Monte Cristo Saloon and Dance Hall Gift Shop and Gallery. I entered the shop and found the woman working there busy with a customer. So I looked around and waited. Thomas eventually came in and we talked with the woman who had no idea what we were talking about. She said her daughter probably knew and that she was next door at the museum. Thomas walked over and talked to her and they both returned to the Gift Shop. She did know about the box and pulled it out from under the counter. While I stamped we talked about letterboxing and I told her I had plans to plant one somewhere in town. Sometime during our talk she offered to host the box in the Pioneer Store Museum. I was happy about this because I knew the box would be safe and available year round since it would be inside and out of any winter weather. I went back to the car and grabbed my box. I opened the box to show her my stamp and logbook. I explained to her that I had carved the stamp by hand and she was quite impressed with my work. The stamp I found here is a custom made stamp (like they have in Dartmoor) and I explained to her that most letterboxers carve their own stamps. She loved my image and asked if I minded if she used the stamp for promoting the museum.
|View as We Left Chloride|
So with all that done we were ready to head home. Once we left Chloride we didn't make any stops until we reached our house. It was a good letterboxing trip even though I didn't get everything done. I couldn't hide my boxes at the Catwalk since it was closed for the weekend and I wasn't able to update one of my boxes because we ran out of time. But that is okay - I will take care of these on another trip.