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.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Let It Snow, and Snow, and Snow

We made it home from our Louisiana Christmas trip after getting stuck in Santa Rosa for the night due to I-40 being shut down. We had to take an alternate route to get back to Santa Fe. We were pleasantly surprised to see how much snow had fallen in Santa Fe. I have lived in Santa Fe for 17 years and this is the largest amount of snow I have seen fall at one time. Thomas and I measured 22 inches at our house. I have to say I am enjoying it very much. We got to go cross country skiing on the property - it was cold but fun. I put together a photo album and you can view it by clicking on the photo.I know this is a letterboxing blog and the snow has nothing to do with letterboxing (well it has to do with a lack of letterboxing - meaning I can't get out letterboxing due to the snow), but I wanted to document this amazing snowfall. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Headin' South for Christmas

Well, it's the holiday season and Thomas and I have decided to visit my family in Louisiana for Christmas. And of course we will have to letterbox along the way. I have my clues and maps ready. We will stop and find boxes as we can. Click on the picture to read about our adventures. We took off from Santa Fe early on Thursday morning with the roads a little icy - it was a slow start but eventually things cleared up and our first day on the road turned out great. I'll try and post about every other day. Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Winter Wonderland

I had big plans today - I was going to check on my Land of Enchantment Series and get the clues corrected. To my surprise, I arrived at the area to find the trail covered in snow. It wasn't so much that I couldn't find the trail, but it was enough to make it icy. I had come prepared for the cold but I wasn't ready for the ice - but I decided to venture forth. I made it to the first box but it took a lot of effort and careful footing - I did slip once but was able to hold on to a tree, so I didn't fall. The first box was fine and the clues were good. The next box wasn't that far away so I continued. Once I got to the area and checked the clues (measurements and degrees), I went to get the box to check on it. I slipped a little down the hill but was okay and so was the box (clues need a little tweaking though). At this point I was getting really cold and knew that I still had a lot of elevation to cover - I decided to head back down. I returned to the car and drove to a spot where I knew I could get to two or three other boxes without having to navigate too many hills with ice.

The landscape was incredible with the pristine snow cover. I quickly checked on the three boxes near here and found all to be good, the clues for only one of the boxes needed adjusting. I spent the next half hour walking and taking pictures - I loved it, peaceful, crisp, clean - but then I got cold. I headed to the warmth of my vehicle and then home. All in all - a nice visit to a winter wonderland.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Hiking and Letterboxing After the Snow

Last week we had our first big snow of the season in Santa Fe. I wanted to go hiking and get some pictures but the temperatures for the days following the snow did not get above the low 40's. So today when I saw the high temperature to be 48 degrees I decided to hike the Dale Ball South Trail to get a letterbox planted by kennamtn when she attended the Santa Fe Mini Meet.

As I started my hike it was still a little cold and I was bundled up pretty good. But the hike soon warmed me up. The snow had begun to melt and in places there was none. But parts of the trail were still covered and in places a little icy. It wasn't the snowy landscape that I had envisioned but there were areas still covered and very pretty. As I made my way up to the box I just enjoyed the solitude (mine was the only car in the lot when I started my hike). After a mile I located the box and stamped in. A nice box called Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star by kennamtn - I enjoyed the stamping in and then rehid the box. I decided to continue on this trail a little further and checked in on Astro D's Pine Borer box. As I continued up to the Pine Borer box I saw this dead tree and snapped the picture - don't know why, it just caught my eye. The views from here are incredible and if you make it to Santa Fe these two boxes and the views are worth the approximately 2.5 mile round trip hike.

As I made my way back down the trail I took my time and enjoyed the areas that still had snow. I took quite a few pictures and realized that it took me twice as long to descend as it did to ascend. Oh well, it was a great morning of hiking on Upper Canyon Road. As I was driving down Upper Canyon Road I spotted this gate - boy does it just scream Santa Fe - absolutely beautiful. I pulled over and got this picture and then continued to my next destination - Old Fort Marcy Park and another letterbox. This box was placed by KAT and called Lizard Goes South. A nice easy walk and I found the box. No one around and very peaceful. I stamped in, wrote a note and rehid the box. I still had one more box to find. So I made my way back to the car and headed for my next destination.

Museum Hill! Located off of Old Santa Fe Trail, with four museums, a cafe and shops, this is a great place to visit. There are also a few trails around the area. By this time it had warmed up a little and I needed to remove one of my jackets. I gathered my clue and letterboxing gear and started my search for Art Attack! (#1) by preboxed. After a short walk and little deciphering of the clues I found the box. What a great stamp! And I got a bonus - a hitchhiker. I found Snowshoe Dog '06 by KAT. Astro D left it in this box - I promise to find it a new home soon. I sat on a nice large rock and had a blast coloring the stamp and adding it to my journal. When I finally finished stamping in and rehiding the box I walked around the area and visited two of the museums.

I had a great morning letterboxing in Santa Fe. Thanks to kennamtn, KAT and preboxed for planting three great boxes on your visit to the Santa Fe Mini Meet.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Arizona Letterboxing Trip

Thomas and I decided to get away for the Thanksgiving holiday. And what better reason to plan a letterboxing trip. Thomas has a brother in Phoenix so we decided to head to Arizona for a few days. I decided to do a loop trip. We are headed to Flagstaff the first night. Then we would go to Phoenix for Thanksgiving. On our way home we would take I10 through Tucson and in to New Mexico and finally head up to Santa Fe on I25. When I get home I'll post a photo album. For now, read about the trip by clicking on the picture.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

My Coyote Friend

This coyote has been a frequent visitor in my backyard. On November 16, 2006 I was able to capture a little bit of video. The music is Coyote Animus by R. Carlos Nakai.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Santa Fe Mini Meet

Well, the Santa Fe Mini Meet is now history. It was a great night - at least I had a good time. We had a small group of 12 people and it was held at our home. Most of the group was from Santa Fe but we did have a few out-of-towners: thanks KAT and kennamtn for coming from Moab,UT; Lore drove in from Amarillo; preboxed made it down from Denver and Funhog was in town from Oregon on business and took time from her busy schedule to visit with us. Astro D, the Great Wuga Wuga, Highwayman, Lovely Rita Meter Maid, rubberpeace, rbrhorno and myself (lionsmane63) live here in Santa Fe - we were happy to have letterboxers from other areas in town to find our boxes. We ate, had a little wine, ate some more and stamped (exchanges and personal travelers as well as the incredible event stamp carved by Astro D). I really hope everyone enjoyed themselves as much as I did. Thanks to all who attended! I put a few photos in an album titled Santa Fe Mini Meet on Atlas Quest, I will try to add more photos later.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Land of Enchantment

Thomas and I headed out early this morning to get a series of letterboxes planted and to get in a nice hike. We were not disappointed! The morning was crisp and cold to start but then warmed up enough to make the hike incredibly pleasant. We completed a 4 mile hike with about a 1000 foot elevation gain, while at the same time we got nine letterboxes planted. They are my Land of Enchantment Series. Come and find them - I promise you won't be disappointed. We had a great morning and now we are getting ready for the Santa Fe Mini Meet which is tonight - I am so excited - it has already been a great day, I am sure the evening will be just as great!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Letterboxing Can Be Dangerous!

What a morning! I got up early to replant one letterbox and plant a new one. While walking around trying to find a good spot to replant The Crow Knows letterbox, two large elephants charged me. I swear I must have been really concentrating on finding a good hiding spot because I never saw that elephant's tail. Now I have a goose egg over my right eye. Luckily, no blood or loss of consciousness. And, the box has been replanted and I will update the clues in a few minutes. I was feeling okay, just a little embarassed and I had a red bump on my forehead - so I continued to my next destination to plant my new box - Going In Circles.

Getting both these boxes planted felt good - I wanted them in place before the Santa Fe Mini Meet on Saturday. So now I need to exercise - exercise my right to vote that is. So I headed to my polling place and made my voice count. I hope all of you did the same. If not, there is still plenty of time.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Can You Believe This Sunset

While working on things for the Mini Meet this incredible sunset appeared before my eyes. I don't need to say anything else!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Perfect Day!

What a great Sunday this turned out to be.

Thomas and I woke up at about 7:00 AM, we dressed and had a little breakfast and then headed out to White Rock and Los Alamos. We couldn't have planned better weather or a more perfect day. We arrived in Los Alamos and I was stamping in to
Joseph's Dream Letterbox a little before ten o'clock. After starting the day with a quick and easy letterbox find we headed out to White Rock to hike the Blue Dot Trail. Again, the weather was perfect - blue skies, cool temperatures and a gentle breeze.

As we made our way down the trail we stopped to check in on a favorite box of mine. Astro D's Blue Dot. It is a great box in an incredible setting. The view from the box's hiding place is spectacular. It is worth the time to drive to White Rock and take this hike, well worth the effort. After checking the box and making sure it was hidden well we continued on our way. We encountered a family of five making their way back to the top - we chatted for a minute and then started down again. The views of the Rio Grande from here are great and then there is all the volcanic rock everywhere - an absolutely great hike. We made our way to the river and found a nice rock to sit on and enjoy the views and watch the river rush on by. After a 30 minute rest we headed back up. We met another couple on their way down - they were hiking with their two Boston Terriers - the dogs seemed to be having a great time.

We made it back to the car and logged in a 2.5 mile roundtrip hike. Excellent way to spend a Sunday morning. Driving back to Santa Fe, Thomas and I talked about what we needed to get done this week - after all the
Santa Fe Mini Meet is on Saturday night. We stopped and completed a few errands and then returned home. As I was making a "To Do" list for the coming week it dawned on me that a new box had debuted in Santa Fe that day. After checking the clues I headed out to find my second box of the day. This was an easy drive-by box and I was not disappointed. Another box by rubberpeace and rbrhorno done spectacularly. The End is Near Letterbox - all I can say is WOW!

I then ran an errand and as I pulled in the parking lot I saw this beautiful bird sitting atop a bush just in front of the car. I grabbed my camera and got a candid shot. Just another great thing that happened today. I returned home to have supper with Thomas. After eating and cleaning the kitchen we sat out on the porch and watch the most incredible Full Moon rise over the mountains. Again I had the camera ready! What can I say - it was the perfect day! To see a photo album of a few pictures from today click on the blue dot picture above.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Tidying Things Up!

Well, I arrived home on Thursday (October 26) afternoon from my Texas adventure. After all the usual unpacking and laundry stuff, I had a ton of mail to deal with and shopping for groceries and necessities. In addition there were some letterboxing things to get done.

On the way home I planted
Billy the Kid 2 for Silver Eagle. And yesterday I took a drive up to Taos to plant Kit Carson 2 also by Silver Eagle. It was a wonderful weekend, the weather was absolutely gorgeous. So I also took a drive up to the Santa Fe Ski Area to plant Ski Bear - #2 for Baby Bear. All three of these boxes were replacements for boxes that had gone missing. The clues have been updated and you can get to them by clicking on the box name above.

I also finished putting together a photo album from my trip - you can link to it by clicking on the Texas flag. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Astro D and I also got together to discuss the
Santa Fe Mini Meet that is rapidly approaching. We decided to change the location. The event listing on Atlas Quest doesn't have the information yet - so if you signed up I will contact you directly with the new information and if you sign up in the next week or so I will also make sure you get the information.

Well, it is great to be home and nice to have taken care of a little housekeeping.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Texas Letterboxing Trip (aka Santa Fe to Santa Fe)

Well, I'm off! I'm headed to Tomball, Texas for the Great Book Adventure Letterboxing Event. This is my first event and I'm very excited. I've decided to take some extra time, I will do some letterboxing along the way and visit some good friends that I haven't seen in a while. To read about my adventures click on Texas to the left. Don't expect a daily log - I will write when I get the urge. I will post a couple of photo albums when I return home and can download the pictures - one of my trip and one of the event.

Monday, October 16, 2006


As I sit at my computer researching the multitude of Personal Travelers that will grace The Great Book Adventure in Tomball, TX, I look out my window and throughout the day I have had a couple of visitors.The first was a squirrel. He must believe himself to be a sentry – what is he doing up there. After watching him for a minute I returned to the computer. Just a thought – man there are a lot of Personal Travelers for the event this weekend. I need a break. I walk around the house and go out onto the porch and I see a coyote approaching. I went back into the house and got my camera. Back outside, I hid behind a tree until she was close enough and then “click” – I got the coolest picture – she was looking right at me.

Oh well, I need to finish getting ready, I leave early in the morning to head out to Texas. I will be going to Dallas first to visit a very good friend and then on to Tomball for the Great Book Adventure this weekend. I won’t be writing a day to day account of this trip but there will be postings and hopefully some good pictures. See you on the trails!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Rainy Day Letterboxing

Today was a wet and cold day in Santa Fe and Thomas and I didn't really have the energy to do much. But, we decided to get a letterbox that is only available on Sundays. You've Got Mail letterbox. We found the box without a problem but like I said - it was raining. Luckily the out of car time was minimal. WOW! What a box! rubberpeace and rbrhorno outdid themselves. Great stamp and logbook with all kinds of information and goodies. Thanks guys for brightening up a dull and dreary day.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Southern Colorado Letterboxing Trip

Thomas and I decided we needed a get away, and what better way than a letterboxing trip.
You can read about each day's adventures by going to
Southern Colorado and Letterboxes. I hope you enjoy our little get away.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Santa Fe Mini Meet 2006

Astro D and I are hosting a Dinner Mini Meet in the City Different. The event will be held Saturday, November 11th, 2006 from 6:00 - 10:00 pm. At the moment we plan to host the event at a local restaurant that specializes in New Mexican cuisine.

Maria's New Mexican Kitchen
555 W. Cordova Rd.
Santa Fe, NM

See their website for some more information about the restaurant at

We are planning for a very casual dinner event, with plenty of time for exchanges, story telling and sharing of ideas. We hope this is an opportunity to meet letterboxers from surrounding areas. No structured events are planned, although there are plenty of boxes in the nearby area to keep you busy for a few days.

The event has been posted on Atlas Quest - here is the link:
Please make sure to sign up if you plan to attend. We need to know how many people will be in attendance so we can make reservations.

We really hope to see all of you there!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Up, Up, Up, Up, Up and . . . Away!

This morning I drove my nephew down to Albuquerque to his new home - a dorm. Yes, he is a freshman, his first semester at college and away from home. I think he is excited but it is hard to tell with him. Anyway, he is now on his own.

Since I was in Albuquerque I decided to look for a letterbox that eluded me once before. Well, really I was just on the wrong trail. With a little help from a friend I learned the error of my ways and headed for the box.

One of my favorite things to do in Albuquerque is to ride the
Sandia Peak Tramway. There are such spectacular views during the ride and from the top of Sandia Peak. I especially love the view at night. The lights of Albuquerque just sparkle! Today was a beautiful and clear day so the views were fantastic. And the temperatures were perfect - it was such a great day for a hike. I decided to hike the Crest Trail #130 to the Kiwanis Cabin. With all the rain we have been having there were so many wildflowers, especially in the Kiwanis Meadow. For such a great day there weren't very many people on the trails - which I feel made my day more enjoyable. More peace and quiet. The views from the Kiwanis Cabin are fantastic and worth the pretty easy 1.5 mile one way hike. After enjoying the views and a little snack I headed back for the Tram. All in all I got in a 3 mile hike and a very relaxing Sunday.

Oh, and I did find that box during my hike, but that is all I will tell you. You have to figure out which box and where. Good Luck!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The High Road to Taos

After getting a slow start, we left the house at 8:30 am. Our goal today was a letterbox at Santa Barbara Campground near Penasco, NM. It looked like it was going to be a very nice day. The drive north from Santa Fe was good - not much traffic early on a Saturday morning. We headed out on Hwy 285 passing through Pojoaque and Espanola. Turning right onto Hwy 76 we drove through the Villages of Chimayo, Truchas and Las Trampas. Places we have visited before - but never grow tired of.

Arriving at the campground, we seemed to have the place to ourselves. As we got towards the back of the campground we noticed one group camping in the back corner - but that was it. Very peaceful, very excited about the hike.

What a great place, this was an easy 2 1/2 - 3 miles roundtrip trail. Heading out on the trail we immediately noticed that the trail was pretty muddy. Thanks to all the rain we have been having - what good fortune for an area that was pretty much in drought at the beginning of the summer. Passing through meadows filled with Shasta Daisies and Aspens, we literally strolled (yes folks, strolled - I told you this was an easy hike) along a pretty easy trail. We paralled the Rio Santa Barbara all the way and enjoyed listening to the babbling of the running water.

Oh, the letterbox, I almost forgot. Found the box without any problems. A nice place to sit and stamp. Got to listen to the river and enjoy the daisies and aspens. The box we found was the
Santa Barbara Campground letterbox. Taking into account the drive, hike, views and box - the effort to get this box is worth it.

Returning to the car we decided we were hungry - it was a little pass noon. We headed out on Hwy 75 (this time taking the High Road to Taos) to return home. We stopped at Alicia's Restaurant. After a bowl of Green Chile Stew we continued on Hwy 75 to its intersection with Hwy68. This brought us back to Espanola and Hwy 285. We returned home to a thunderstorm - a wonderful way to end our drive on the High Road to Taos.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Ravens Ridge to Deception Peak

On July 4, 2006 Thomas and I hiked to Ravens Ridge in the Santa Fe National Forest. What incredible views! Ever since then we have been talking about returning there and then continuing on up the trail to Deception Peak. Our hike on the Fourth of July was about two and a half miles round trip with an elevation gain of about 1100 feet. From the start the hike is all uphill – but the views are worth it.

View of Santa Fe Baldy from Ravens Ridge

We left home a little early and drove up to the Santa Fe Ski Basin. At 8:30 am we began our hike at the Winsor Trail #254. After about 30 minutes of moderate climbing we reached a fence line. If we had continued through the fence we would have continued on the Winsor Trail and eventually ended up at Nambe Lake (this is a hike we have planned for another time). Instead we turned right at the fence and headed up to Ravens Ridge - the trail is marked with a wooden sign. We continued our uphill climb for another 30 minutes. Along the way we encountered all kinds of wild mushrooms.

After about a mile and a quarter we reached the end of the fence line and encountered a precipitous drop. Here was a rocky ridge with the most incredible views of mountains and valleys.

How did we hear about this place – a letterbox, of course. We initially hiked here to find a wonderful letterbox placed by Astro D. You can get a beautiful carved stamp image while being surrounded by the Santa Fe National Forest. Make sure to check out Astro D’s Ravens Ridge letterbox and if you are in Santa Fe please take some time and hunt for this box. It is well worth it.

After a short break we continued on a small trail headed up Ravens Ridge. Another three quarters of a mile and we arrived at another overlook – this time with views overlooking Santa Fe.

We continued past this overlook and after a very intense climb (about 2 miles and an elevation gain of another 800 feet we reached Deception Peak. There were times along the way when I felt we had gotten off course. In some places the trail was sketchy – Thomas was confident that we were on the trail and headed in the right direction. All I can say is I should listen to him – we were doing fine.
Along the way we caught glimpses of Santa Fe Baldy, Pentitente Peak, Nambe Lake and Lake Peak.

View of Nambe Lake on the way to Deception Peak

From here we followed the saddle of Deception Peak and headed for the top of the Santa Fe Ski Runs. After a few minor ups and downs we reached a Forest Road and started downhill to the Ski Basin parking lot.

All in all today we hiked seven miles with a total elevation gain of about 1800 feet. To some this may be an easy or moderate hike but for us this was pretty challenging. It was our personal best. Now we know that we can attempt more challenging hikes and do just great.

What a great way to spend a Labor Day Holiday!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

You Have to Start Somewhere!

I'm lionsmane63! I have been letterboxing since February 16, 2006 when I found my first letterbox (Santa Fe Trails Microbox). I was hooked instantly. In the six months since I started letterboxing I have found letterboxes in six states and two countries. Letterboxing has added so much to my life - I won't get sappy or sentimental here - I just love the things that I am learning, the people I am meeting and the places I am visiting.

My intentions for this blog are to chronicle my letterboxing adventures. This is just an introductory post to get me started - you have to start somewhere! I'll hopefully be back frequently to keep a record of anything related to letterboxing.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Beginning of An Addiction

A few weeks ago I was surfing the net looking for information on personal journaling. Of course lots of things came up and I spent quite a bit of time reading up on the topic. But then I opened up one of the links and I found myself reading not about personal journaling but about using a personal journal. This wasn't about journaling your thoughts, it was about using a personal journal while letterboxing.
That is the question!
What is letterboxing you may ask? Well, that is exactly what I asked. But I was focused on personal journaling and I continued my original reading. I did managed to bookmark the link about letterboxing and I returned to it a few days later. I found lots of links to letterboxing but I found two that seemed to be the biggest sites and had the most information. Atlas Quest and Letterboxing North America not only had information on letterboxing they also held clues that lead you to the letterboxes. So I continued to research letterboxing and I became increasingly interested. If I was understanding what I was reading then there were literally thousands of tupperware-like containers hidden all over the country and in those containers there was a logbook and a stamp. And most of the time the stamp had been hand carved by the placer of that box. The premise was that you would carry a logbook (journal) and a stamp (something that related to you somehow) and you would venture out with the clues from AQ and LbNA to find these letterboxes. Once you found the box you would stamp your stamp in the box's journal and the box's stamp in your journal - this would validate that you had found the box. Besides going out on this little treasure hunt to find these stamps you would also be visiting some interesting places and you would be getting some exercise. These boxes are hidden in the woods, in parks, at museums, near historical sites and almost any other place of significance.
My first signature stamp.

So it didn't take me long to figure out that I would like this hobby. I began reading about stamp carving and gathered the materiasl necessary to carve with. I also searched for an image to carve and thought about what my trail name would be. I have always liked lions and my email address already contained lion related words. So I chose lionsmane for my trail name and a lion image for my stamp. I found lots of lions to carve but most of them were too detailed for me at this point. I finally found a simple line drawing with thick lines and no small details. So I spent about half a day carving and it was a flop - I had carved through lines that I needed and also gouged out important parts. So I started over and the second one came out much better. I already had a blank, unlined journal so I guess I was ready to go out and find my first letterbox. The only problem was that in January it is pretty cold in Santa Fe and there is usually some snow around. And there weren't a lot of letterboxes in the area. So I figured out that I could possibly get to and find about four or five boxes that probably were accessible and not covered with snow. So here it is the end of January and I haven't gotten out to find the letterboxes yet - I am waiting for a day that isn't freezing. I will write about my first letterboxing experience as soon as it happens.

Now all this started just after Thanksgiving and between the Christmas holidays and my wanting to plan things out to the last detail before doing anything here it is the end of January and I still haven't actually letterboxed. But I have learned a lot about this hobby and I feel confident that I will enjoy it. I plan to document all my letterboxing adventures on this blog.
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