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.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Southwest Texas Letterboxing Trip

This trip is taking me to San Antonio to visit friends. I am traveling throughout Southwest Texas on my way there. I am hoping to find a few boxes in some out of the way places. Some of these places I may never get to again so I have planned this trip carefully. To read about my adventures click on the Texas sign.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Las Cruces and El Paso Letterboxing?!?!?

Thomas and I are on our way home now. We spent the last couple of days in Las Cruces and El Paso. Thomas had meetings for work and I did some letterboxing. I haven't ever spent much time in this area (only really passing through), so it was a new experience for me. I had a good time and enjoyed a couple of hikes but I'm not sure if this is an area I want to spend more time in or not. Maybe in the winter when it isn't so hot.

We left Santa Fe on Wednesday morning headed down I-25. We made our first stop in Truth or Consequences, NM. Astro D has her Spaceport boxes here. We found the location for the first box but we were unable to locate the box. I was really disappointed because I love her carvings and just knew this stamp would be great. So on to the second box. This box was found easily. She had made this a two box series with only a logbook in the second box. When I opened the logbook she had both images stamped in there. And I was right both carvings were great. Now I was really sad that box one was missing. I stamped in and looked to see who had been there before me. rubberpeace and rbrhorno were the first finders and were lucky enough to get both stamps. Then Twinville Trekkers found the second box just two days before I was there. They also couldn't find box #1. After rehiding the box Thomas and I headed for Deming where his first meeting was. We had lunch and then I dropped him off at the DOT office. From here he was getting a state car, so I left Deming and made my way to Las Cruces. We would meet up again El Paso.

It was a quick drive to Las Cruces on I-10 and I made my way to Dripping Springs Natural Area. This area is about 10 miles east of Las Cruces. I hiked a one and a half mile trail and found the Dripping Spring letterbox. This was early afternoon and it was a little hot. Also I noticed some clouds moving in and I hoped they would pass so I could get the other two boxes in Las Cruces without getting soaked. I had passed "A" mountain on my way to Dripping Springs, so I made my way back to the parking area at the base of "A" mountain. I contemplated the cloud situation and thought about whether I could make it to the top and back down again without getting wet. There was a letterbox up there so I took my chances. The hike to the top was a little harder than I expected but because of the clouds and some wind at least it wasn't too hot. I made it to the top and quickly found the box. I stamped in and rehid the box then headed back to the car. Luckily no rain yet. One last box in Las Cruces - Las Cruces Flood Control Dam. By this time the clouds had disappeared and the sun was out again and it was getting warmer. So I headed out to walk along the dam. After about two miles I arrived at the spot to look for the box and there it was - right where it was suppose to be. So I sat down and enjoyed the views of the Organ Mountains while I stamped in. Once the box was back in its hiding spot I returned to my car. Having found all the boxes in Las Cruces I found I-10 and headed to El Paso.

It had been a long day of driving and letterboxing, so when I arrived in El Paso I took a shower and got dressed so Thomas and I could go out to dinner. After a nice meal it was time to relax and get some sleep - you know I had to be rested to do more letterboxing the next day. I quickly logged in my finds and wrote some notes to the placers. Now off to bed

Thomas had early meetings on Thursday morning so we were up, dressed and having breakfast by 6:30am. After breakfast and coffee Thomas headed to his meeting and I headed for Franklin Mountains State Park. It was the first day of summer and I was glad I was getting an early start. Within the park there are six boxes that I knew about. I was only looking for five of them because one was about seven miles and it was too hot already to try that long of a hike. My first stop in the park was the Ron Coleman trail at the summit of Trans-Mountain Road. A short quarter mile hike took me to the first box - Franklin Mountains Letterbox by Sandibox. She placed this box in honor of her brother who passed away not too long ago. This little tidbit of information in the logbook gave a bigger meaning to the box. Thanks Sandibox!

I continued up this same trail in search of The Elephant's Trunk. After hiking about a mile and climbing to the top of a ridge I came to the landmarks I was looking for. From here I did the requisite compass reading and began my search. It took me about 15 minutes to finally locate the geocache-letterbox hybrid. It was hidden well and blended in with the rocks. The hike up to the box was a little difficult for me - rocky trail and the heat really tired me out. I sat up there for about 30 minutes enjoying the views and resting before heading back to the parking lot.

From here I headed back down Trans-Mountain Road to the entrance of the Tom Mays Unit of the Franklin Mountains State Park. Three more boxes on my list. I stopped at the ranger booth just past the entrance and parked on the side of the road. I was searching for Make the Ranger Smile. I found the box quickly and brought it back to the ranger booth where there was a picnic table with shade where I could sit and stamp in. Unfortunately there were no rangers around to make smile. So I rehid the box and headed for the Nature Walk. I walked the entire loop (about one mile) and found two letterboxes - The Nature Walk and Mogollon Mask Microbox. By this time it was noon and getting very hot. I had found all the boxes that I wanted to find so I decided to head back to the hotel and wait for Thomas. As I was driving in to El Paso the day before I saw a billboard advertising Bodies Human - Anatomy in Motion. Being a Physical Therapist and having a background in anatomy this really caught my attention. So when Thomas returned from his meeting we headed downtown to see this exhibit. I thought it was incredible and very well done. Thomas on the other hand was a little creeped out. By the time we finished the exhibit it was dinner time so we stopped and had a bite to eat. After a hot day and some hiking I wanted to get back to the hotel and rest. I logged in my finds, downloaded some photos from the camera and then went to bed early.

This morning we left El Paso early - Thomas had to drop the state car off in Las Cruces and he needs to be at work in Santa Fe this afternoon. So as we drive I am getting this blog written. Overall it was a nice trip - I found some nice boxes and saw some different places.

Friday, June 15, 2007

ABQ Letterboxing

When I woke up this morning I decided to skip the plans that I had for the day. I decided instead to head to Albuquerque. There were three letterboxes that I had yet to find and for some reason I had this urge to go letterboxing today. So I drove to Albuquerque on Hwy 14. I always love the back way - it is such a beautiful drive and avoids all the traffic on I-25. And the first box I wanted to look for was in that vicinity.

My first stop was Tunnel Canyon. What a nice spot. This was my first visit here. I was able to find the Tunnel Canyon box by 6jumpingbeans quickly and then I went on a short hike. I took some pictures of some wildflowers and cactus blooms. I enjoyed the box, the stamp was carved by a six year old. Now I was on my way to find Vikings - who would have guessed that we have Vikings here in New Mexico. I found their hiding spot and their ship but did not actually see any Vikings - maybe on another trip! I did find the box in a great location and safe from any prying eyes. I can't tell you where I was because it's a secret. My third and final stop of the day was Coronado State Monument - another place I have never visited. I took my time enjoying the museum, ruins and the views from the park before setting out to find the box. After taking in the culture I located the box and stamped in. The views of the Rio Grande and the Sandias from the box's hiding spot were terrific. Thanks to Twinville Trekkers5 for informing me about the Vikings and finally getting me to visit Coronado State Monument.

I had a great day in Albuquerque and enjoyed finding these three boxes. It is nice to have more letterboxers in the area.

Below are some pictures that I took today! Enjoy!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Mini Meet with beach buddies

beach buddies from Pennsylvania are visiting New Mexico. Today they were in Santa Fe to do a little letterboxing. We arranged a mini meet at Baskin Robbins to accommodate their sons and Astro D's nephews. Well truth be known - I would never turn down ice cream so I guess it wasn't to just accommodate the kids. We had a great time exchanging signature stamps and talking. It is always a pleasure to meet other letterboxers. beach buddies also got the image of ¡Bienvenidos!

rubberpeace, Astro D, ToToRo Boy and beach buddies
Surf the Waves, Shark Boy, Big Ollie, Monkey Man and Grandma

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Southern New Mexico Photos

Yesterday we made it back home after Thomas finished his work in Roswell. But, during the two days that Thomas was working I kept my self busy with a little letterboxing and some sightseeing.

One day I went in search of Holy Guacamole! - a mystery box by Astro D. Once I found it I wasn't disappointed, another great carve and logbook. I can't tell you too much about what I did that day because it might give the location away - and well, you need to solve it for yourself. I also looked for another letterbox that had reports of being missing - I like a good search and was in the area - so what the heck! Needless to say I didn't find the box - no problem.

I also took some time to get in a little exercise. There really isn't any places to hike in Roswell. So I found a walking trail that goes through town and connects Spring River Park and Zoo with Cahoon Park. It even goes a little past Cahoon Park. Each day I walked about 5 miles and then spent time reading in one of the parks. The weather was really nice both days. Not too hot and sunny during most of the day with some light rain showers in the afternoon.

The town of Roswell seems to have gone completely Alien. Almost everything has a little something about aliens on it. The lightpost, signs, display windows in stores, menus in restaurants, etcetera! So I made a visit to the International UFO Museum. There was so much information - I never realized the phenomenon was so widespread and popular. It was an interesting visit.

Well, it wasn't the most exciting time but it was very relaxing! I have some photos from the long weekend. Just click on the picture to see them. I hope you enjoy.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Continuation of Letterboxing in Southern New Mexico

After a night of amazing thunderstroms we were awakened by a beautiful sunrise. We got up, showered, got dressed, packed and put everything in the car. We had a good breakfast in Rebecca's Dining Room at The Lodge. Now that we had filled our bellies we were off to our first stop of the day. Leaving Cloudcroft we headed south to Sunspot, NM. Here we visited the Sunspot Astronomy & Visitors Center and Apache Point Observatory. We didn't get to go into anything - the visitor's center wasn't open until 10:00am. We took a walk around the property and read some informational signs and then left Sunspot to head to Capitan. Smokey was calling.

The drive from Sunspot to Capitan was great. Back roads through the mountains with very little traffic. What a way to spend a Sunday morning. Arriving in Capitan we visited the Smokey Bear Historical Park. I was a little skeptical about finding Silver Eagle's Smokey Bear Microbox as there was a note in the clues that it may be missing. After walking through the museum and looking at all the displays - Thomas and I talked with the ranger on duty. Thomas' grandmother (Ruth Bush Jones) played a part in the Smokey Bear story. She worked for the Forest Service in Albuquerque and gave lots of support to get the Smokey Museum going. Thomas has a few items from this time at home and you could tell he was excited about talking about his grandmother. The ranger showed us a book (Smokey Bear 20252: A Biography) and Thomas found his grandmother mentioned in it. Kind of neat! Out in back of the museum we found Smokey's grave and proceeded to look for the microbox. Not a difficult find - the box was exactly where it was supposed to be. It was covered in CamoTape and was hidden under pine needles and a rock. It was a great little stamp of Smokey's face. We stamped in and rehid the box. Now time for a little lunch - we ate at Smokey Bear Cafe - good food.

Following lunch we decided to search for another Smokey Bear box. I was in possession of the clues for a box not listed on Atlas Quest or LbNA. The box was mentioned in the letterboxing basement talklist but without the clues. Apparently I did some sleuthing on the internet and found the clues (don't ask me where - I can't remember - all I know is I had them with me). It's a mystery box so I can't tell you where we went but I can tell you I found the box, full of water with a wet logbook and stamp. I dried off the stamp and the inside of the box. I added a new logbook and triple bagged everything. I kept the wet logbook and decided I would try and contact the placer. After stamping in and cleaning up the box I rehid it in the exact same place. The area where the box is hidden is incredible - we had a nice little hike and we are looking forward to returning to this area in the near future.

From here we headed to Roswell. After checking in to the hotel and getting a bite to eat we headed out looking for Cold Front's newest box - The Roswell Crash: Random Weirdness Series #1. It took us a little work to figure out the clues, but it was worth it. There are two sides to the stamp - one image for each side of the controversy - you get to pick the side that you favor to stamp. I'm not telling which side I agree with! Once done with rehiding the box we took a little driving tour of Roswell. Thomas lived here for a while and he felt a little nostalgic and wanted to visit some of the places he remembered.

It has been another full and enjoyable day! Tomorrow promises to be the same. Thomas has work here in Roswell so I am on my own to letterbox and sightsee.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

A Little Letterboxing in Southern New Mexico

Well, Thomas and I finally left Santa Fe for our weekend in the southern part of the state. Our original plan was to leave on Friday - but alas, work intervened. It's all good - we still have a long weekend - it just now includes Monday instead of Friday. Anyway, we had a great drive today, the weather was perfect and the temperatures comfortable. We went to a couple of places we have never been before and really enjoyed our visits.

As we drove we saw a ton of antelope. From Clines Corners all the way to Carrizozo. We also had the most relaxing drive - hardly any traffic - it was so enjoyable. Our first stop was Three Rivers Petroglyphs. We have passed this place on numerous occasions and today we finally stopped. It was a most incredible one mile hike! There are over 21,000 petroglyphs at Three Rivers. We only saw a small sampling. They were amazing! If you are in the area it is definitely worth the stop.

From here we headed to Alamogordo. Here we stopped at Eagle Ranch to get some pistachios and then found somewhere to have a quick lunch. After lunch we headed to Desert Foothills Park and took another one mile walk. The day was nice, a little windy and a little warm. We finished our walk and then decided to head out to White Sands. We figured out that we hadn't visited there in about ten years. We walked the Dune Life Nature Trail and the Interdune Boardwalk. And then headed to the Heart of the Sands. In this area you can walk and climb all over the dunes. One thing we noticed was how bright everything was. Even with sunglasses on our eyes were burning from all the glare off of the sand.

Around 4:00pm we made our way from White Sands and headed for Cloudcroft. The drive into the Sacramento Mountains was beautiful. We had a pleasant 30 minute drive and ended up at The Lodge. Once we were checked in we took showers and changed. We ate dinner in Rebecca's Dining Room at The Lodge. It was a perfect meal. Once we finished dinner we decided to take a walk into town. We just walked along the main street and window shopped (everything was already closed). It was a nice way to end the day!

Oh, I almost forgot - we did do a little letterboxing. We found Atari E.T.-Random Weirdness Series-Box #3 and Windy Day. Both were pretty easy finds and nice boxes. We were 50/50 for today because there were two boxes we didn't find. It is possible they are missing - the clues have reports of attempted finds and the placer stated they may be missing. We enjoyed the searches anyway. I guess you can't win them all.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Denver/Memorial Day Weekend Photos

Thomas and I had a great time on our Memorial Day weekend trip. We spent time in Colorado Springs, Golden, Morrison, Evergreen and Denver. We also found quite a few letterboxes. There were some beautifully carved stamps (Buffalo Bill Cody) and some wonderful locations (Lookout Mountain, Red Rocks). I took quite a few pictures during the trip and I have picked a few and made a slide show. To see all the pictures click on the one to the right.

Friday, June 01, 2007

'Twas the Night Before Plant a Letterbox Day!

On May 23, 2007 Mama Cache posted the following message on Atlas Quest . . .

“'Twas the Night Before Plant a Letterbox Day and all through the house,

Now you all must finish it, one line at a time, please.
Who will add the next line?

In a mood,
Mama Cache"

What you read below is what resulted from this post!

’Twas the Night Before Plant a Letterbox Day

'Twas the Night Before Plant a Letterbox Day and all through the house, (1)
Not a boxer was carving, not even a louse. (2)
The backpacks were hung on the hook by the door, (3)
In the hopes that a record, soon we would score. (4)

The logbooks were nestled all snug in their ziplocs
While visions of dryness surrounded their lock 'n locks (5)
And I with my Mastercarve and Ryan with his Speedball,
Had just settled down to carve a great stamp! (6)

When out on the lawn there was plenty of chatter,
The neighbors had suddenly started to gather.
At turtleneck speed we sprang to the door,
With carving tools flinging pink stuff on the floor. (1)

And what to our wonder eyes did we see,
An abundance of boxes hidden near trees (7)
There were red ones, and blue ones, and camo and green
All planted and covered n'er more to be seen. (8)

On Mama Cache! On Speedsquare! On Lundy & Vickster!
On Mr. Yuk, Amanda, and every last trickster! (9)
To the hole in the tree, to the crack in the wall,
Now stash away, stash away, stash away y'all! (10)

We spoke not a word but went straight to our work
Hunting a spot in the leaves, rocks and dirt (11)
With dry leaves they hid, with rocks piled high,
Looking o'er their shoulders should muggles walk by... (12)

We found a great spot, we believe, this is true
Now back to the computer to type out the clue (13)
With the clues in their heads, they all knew what to do
To their homes they all raced, then they logged on AQ! (14)

Skipping the office to make a new record instead
Now poor Ryan’s AQ is overloaded and dead. (15)
And as those on the East coast were going to bed,
Those guys out in Cali were planting boxes instead. (16)

They planted and planted, in strange places did delve,
And posted those clues ‘til the cuckoo chirped twelve, (1)
Then I heard them proclaim as they left in full stride,
"Try to be discrete and do your best to re-hide." (17)

~The End~

Thanks to all who joined in the fun!
(1) Mama Cache
(2) speedsquare
(3) LundyandVickster
(4) Mr Yuk
(5) deniserows
(6) Amanda from Seattle
(7) chunna
(8) Artemis
(9) Murray7
(10) Warm Front
(11) hopeinnc
(12) Sprite and Highlander
(13) Shoafsters
(14) The Merry Pranksters
(15) Oread
(16) peas in a pod
(17) mstrwndl

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