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.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Diablo Canyon

Woke up this morning to a little snow on the ground, not much, just enough to make the ground sparkle in the sunrise. I decided I wanted to go for a hike but thought any where near the mountain would be too cold and maybe too snowy - so I choose Diablo Canyon. This would give me a chance to check on my Devil With A Blue Dress On Letterbox. So I headed out and kind of got lost. They paved some roads that were dirt just last summer. So now I have to rewrite the clues or else people reading my directions will never find the place. So keep posted and I will let you know when the clues have been updated.

I had a great walk in the canyon - there were no other cars in the parking lot when I arrived - so I had the place to myself. I found a nice place near the letterbox to sit and enjoy the peace and quiet. I took some pictures and just relaxed. The letterbox is in good shape and has had four visitors. It was really a nice way to start the weekend.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Checking on Boxes

I decided last night that I wanted to get out and do some hiking today. Little did I know that it would be cold and overcast. But did that stop me? No way! I headed to Cerrillos to hike in the Cerrillos Hills Historic Park. I figured I could get a good 4 or 5 mile hike and check on one of my boxes.

It was a nice quiet day for a hike - I did not see another human being during my entire hike. I did not even see any animals - no birds, rabbits, coyotes, mountain lions, rattlesnakes or scorpions - hmmmmmmmm - maybe I wasn't really there - it seemed a little strange!

I got to my Felis concolor box and checked it - everything looked good - it has had seven visitors. I then continued my hike making a big loop to check in on Astro D's Miner at the Mirador - it is in good shape and waiting for more visitors - hey people - get out there and box.

I really enjoyed my quiet hike, even if it was a little cold. And I did find this one little sign of Spring near Astro D's box.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Thomas and I decided to do a little hiking on Sunday - it was an absolutely gorgeous day. We headed up Canyon Road and parked at the Santa Fe Canyon Preserve. From here we hiked the Dale Ball South Trail up to Astro D's Pine Borer letterbox (the box is still there and in good shape), made the loop, checked on Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and headed back down. Once we were back at the Preserve we headed to the Nature Conservancy Loop Trail. Peeked in on Vincent's Postcard Box and El Indio - both were fine. Along the way I took pictures of things with all kinds of texture. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Albuquerque All Day (and all types of weather)

Astro D and I decided to spend Friday in Albuquerque and do nothing but letterbox. The day started out as a usual day. The mountains in Santa Fe were gorgeous. But, there was a little moisture in the air and we feared our day might be a bust! Trying to be optimistic we ventured forth. As we entered Albuquerque we had to change the order of finding our boxes because the first box we were going to look for was in the foothills and there was a tremendous amount of cloud cover - so we headed west away from the Sandias and toward Mariposa Ranch. This box was at the entrance to the subdivision of the same name. The box is hidden very near the sculpture that graces the entrance. After a quick find and stamp in we rehid the box. We noticed that the monutain area had cleared and the sun was out - so we headed to Sandia Man Cave off of Hwy 165. A short drive past the town of Placitas we found the parking area and the trail. After a short 1/2 mile hike we were at the base of a spiral staircase. The clues for the box were to return the way you came and from the spiral staircase but before the first set of concrete steps you would encounter a lone pine in a stone grotto. We found the pine and followed the rest of the clues to find Sandia Man. We found all kinds of little fossils in the rocks while searching for the letterbox. After stamping in and rehiding the box we decided to climb the spiral stairs and look at the cave. It wasn't very big and in some places you couldn't even stand upright. We went in a little ways and used a flashlight to see past a small window sized opening - but that is where we stopped. The clouds were returning to the foothills so we made our way back to the car and headed to our next destination - lunch. Thanks to Twinville_Trekkers5 for planting boxes in the Albuquerque area.

After a quick lunch and a quick errand we headed for the Albuquerque Sunport Aircraft Viewing Area. After a short walk from the parking area we found the box - did the usual stamping in and rehiding and then we were off again. Our next destination was to a neighborhood park so that Astro D could find one of my boxes - Urban Forest. This was going to be her 200th find and I was very happy she chose it to be one of my boxes. As she read the clues and hunted for the box I snapped pictures. Of course she found the box without problems, stamped in and celebrated her 200th find.


The only bad thing about this - we found geocache junk in the box - but thankfully the stamp and logbook were intact. As we headed for the car we saw two roadrunners - I think they must live in this park because one of the finders of the box made a comment in the journal about roadrunners they saw.

Now off to the Veterans' Memorial on Louisiana Avenue near the military base. This is a place that neither Astro D nor I had visited. Very interesting and we enjoyed walking around (the sun was out again and it was a perfect spring day). We found the box, went to a picnic table and stamped in and enjoyed the sunshine and the peacefulness of the Memorial. After rehiding the box we wanted to see the periscope but it was past 3pm and the museum was closed - maybe another time. Thanks to 6jumpingbeans for adding letterboxes to the Albuquerque area.

Okay, one last box - for Astro D - it was my Los Vaqueros box. Now you have to realize that we had rain, sun, a little wind, cold and warmth throught out the day. At this point the sun is shining and it is relatively warm. So we head for Elena Gallegos Picnic Area off of Tramway. We find a parking spot and get our things ready for the short hike to the box. Well, the weather changed again! On went the coats. As we started down the trail the clouds rolled in over the mountains and the wind picked up. We just wanted a few more minutes before the rain to get this box. We made it - Astro D found the box and began stamping in. And the clouds got worse. I took some pictures and then raindrops! Only a few ones but they were big. Astro D hurried along and we got the box back in its hiding spot and headed back to the car. About halfway there the hail started - it was small but when it hit you in the face - OUCH!!!!! As we got in the car the downpour came. We finished our letterbox search just in time.

It was an interesting day (letterboxing and weather) and I had a great time - I hope Astro D did as well and I hope she had a good time celebrating her 200th find.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Los Alamos Letterboxing

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
I looked at the Atlas Quest event list today and boy are the letterboxers busy – there were five events listed for today. I hope everyone had a great time.

Astro D and The Great Wuga Wuga returned home from their trip to Thailand earlier this week. Astro D and I were able to get together yesterday for coffee and talk about the trip and letterboxing. The trip sounded like a whole lot of fun and they got to relax as well.

Eventually the topic turned to letterboxing. First, Astro D and I are involved in a postal letterboxing ring called Friends Carving Friends. You had to carve a signature stamp for your friend interpreting their trail name. The ring started March 15th. So we got to exchange the stamps we carved for each other. She did a totally different lion than I had been doing – and of course I love it (but then again I always love her carvings). Now we mail these off and wait for other stamps to arrive in the mail. I also showed her the State Insects that I carved for that postal ring. And I showed her the stamp that I carved and sent to the Hoosier Heart Gathering (which incidentally happened today) – I hope they all liked the stamp.

We also talked about the new boxes that have been placed in the Albuquerque area. I placed three! And there seems to be a couple of new boxers in the area . . . 6jumpingbeans and Twinville_Trekkers5. I hope they continue to be involved – they have each planted two new boxes in Albuquerque. Maybe Astro D and I can go next Friday and get some of these new boxes.

After talking for a while we decided to go for a hike. But first we replanted artTrekker’s SF Trail box. The place where it was hidden had been manicured and the box was completely exposed. We found a better hiding place and sent the new clues to artTrekker – we wouldn’t want this box to go missing – it has an incredible stamp. We then headed to the Dorothy Stewart Trail. Astro D and I had a great walk and talk. Such an enjoyable and relaxing time. The weather was also great – my only worry of the day was the Junipers. They are full of pollen and I couldn’t keep myself from worrying about my allergies – so far I’m okay. I’m not sure how long we were out on the trail, since we found a couple of benches and sat and talked for a while. I always have a great time visiting with Astro D. And sometimes we get carried away talking and the entire day slips by – sorry John and Thomas.

I returned home yesterday afternoon after my visit with Astro D and I got to play with my new stamp image that Astro D had carved for me – then I boxed it up to mail it to the next person. Thomas and I then talked and decided that this morning we would head out to Los Alamos to look for a couple of Astro D’s boxes.

We awoke to a spectacular sunrise and I just knew the day would be fantastic – and I wasn’t disappointed. After a short and uneventful drive to Los Alamos we arrived at the Mitchell Trail. There were a few cars but it didn’t seem too crowded. We ended up only seeing two people during our hike. Our goal – a natural arch and Astro D’s Crackle Pop Rattle Hiss letterbox. Not long into the hike Thomas was jumping a stream crossing and twisted his knee (it was already a little injured). It was a little sore but he wanted to continue so we kept on going. The first part of the hike wasn’t bad but eventually there was some rock scrambling. This didn’t hurt his knee but he did have to take things a little slow. Finally we made it to the arch. Thomas found a place to sit and rest his knee while I climbed up under the arch and began my search for the box. Pretty easy to find – Astro D always gives great clues!!!

Let me tell everyone – if you are in the Santa Fe area make time to go and get this box. The hike is incredible (you go through an area that was burned in the Cerro Grande Fire in 2000), you get spectacular views of Los Alamos and the surrounding area and you get a beautifully carved stamp image. I have found most of Astro D’s boxes and I am pretty certain that this one is my all time favorite. She will have to work hard to beat it – all aspects of the box work great – the hike, the views, the image, the carving and the experience. THANKS ASTRO D! We made it back to the car without problems and figured out where we need to go for the next box. I read the clues for the next box and Thomas drove. Once we parked, we headed for the trail to Deer Trap Mesa so we could find Astro D’s Deer Trap letterbox. This was an easy and leisurely hike with terrific views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains in Santa Fe. Thomas found this box and then we found a nice spot to sit and stamp in. Another great stamp and experience! We ended up sitting atop the mesa for about a half hour or more. The sun was shining, it was warm with a gentle breeze – if we had stayed a little longer I may have been able to fall asleep and take a little siesta.

We decided to call it a day and wanted to get something to eat for lunch. We stopped at The Hill Diner. We had a great lunch following our perfect day of hiking. Tonight we are taking it easy and will probably do the same tomorrow. I just love letterboxing!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Replanting Missing Boxes

Recently Astro D and I have been talking about some of the letterboxes that are missing in New Mexico. I started emailing some of the placers and I also talked with LbNA about whether the placers have been logging on to the site. There were a couple that hadn't logged in for a couple of years. I ended up adopting some of these missing boxes so that I could replace them. And eventually I was able to get in contact with the placers. One box that isn't missing (but the placer has been out of touch) is staying with that placer. Two boxes from this same placer were missing and he agreed to let me adopt the clues and replace the boxes. Today I planted these two boxes. They have new handcarved stamps and new clues - they are Koi Fish and Urban Forest.

I also replaced Los Vaqueros with a new handcarved stamp and new clues. This box was only found in the letterboxing basement. It took me lots of searching to be able to reach the placer - she agreed to let me adopt and replace this box. There are still a couple of boxes that we know are missing that haven't been replaced as of yet. I got in touch with the placers and they wanted to recarve the stamps and then send me the boxes to replant - I'll keep you posted on these two boxes.

I have also been carving stamps for other reasons. I sent a box to JBBK2006 for the Hoosier Heart (& Luck o' the Irish) Gathering to be held March 17, 2007. I also carved a stamp for a postal ring called Friends Carving Friends. I am now working on three other postal stamps for the State Insect Ring. I am getting better at carving and have been enjoying developing my skills. I was having trouble transferring the image to the rubber but have since found a method that is working well for me. I get a much sharper image that is easier to carve.

Today was a great day spent wandering around Albuquerque and replanting boxes. Our weather recently has been cold and did not encourage you to spend time outside - today was a little warmer and provided for pleasant conditions for a few short hikes.
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