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.

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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