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, July 31, 2008

A Letterbox for A Milestone Birthday

For a few days now I have been working on a letterbox for my letterboxing friend - rubberpeace. She is celebrating a milestone birthday (you will have to ask her for the actual number), and I had a talk with Astro D and she suggested that we plant boxes for rubberpeace. I had a couple of ideas that I researched. One didn't pan out - the place was too noisy and didn't really have a good hiding spot - but the images I wanted to carve would have been great there. As it turned out I was able to use the same images in another place. This other place (the one I actually used) also had issues pertaining to hiding the boxes - but I worked it out - at least for now. I may go back and change the hiding spots once rubberpeace finds the boxes. I am not posting the clues until rubberpeace finds the boxes - as it is her birthday present of sorts. I ended up carving two boxes - the series is called Paws & Purrs - so you can probably guess the images and maybe even figure out where they are hidden - but you will have to wait to find out for sure. It was fun making these boxes for such a special person and I hope she enjoys them.

Monday, July 21, 2008

East Mountain Letterboxing

Today was a very full, long and incredible day. I had a doctor's appointment, spent the day letterboxing with my buddy Astro D and had a great meal and visit with some other letterboxing friends - the Twinville Trekkers. So lets talk about the day.

My doctor appointment was at 8:00am so I was up early to get everything ready for the day and still make it to my appointment on time. Everything went well and the doctor had good news for me. You can read everything about my detached retina starting at Detached Retina or you can just read the latest update at Update #3. Lets just say it was my best doctor appointment to date.

After I was finished with the doctor I had to call Thomas about the good news (he is in Portland at a conference) and thank him for all he has done for me over the last two months. Then I called Astro D and let her know I was on my way to her house to start our day of letterboxing. I brought her some leather for book making and she had some leather for me. After I put the leather back into my car we loaded her car with all our supplies and set off on our day of letterboxing. I thought we were searching for six boxes but then Astro D informed me that there was a surprise box - one hidden in honor of my eye situation by our letterboxing friends - the Twinville Trekkers. I will talk about that box later - but thanks Lisa for the box. So off we went.

Our first stop was in Lamy to check on my Santa Fe Southern letterbox. I had received a notice that it might be missing. After a quick search of the area I can confirm that it is missing. I will recarve and rehide the box soon. So not a good start to the day. But on we went. We drove to Moriarty and talked along the way. Once we arrived, we set out to find a rest area on I40 just to the east of Moriarty. At the rest stop we headed to the area that the clue noted and proceeded to look for the box. Astro D had read online that the box may be missing. And I think it very well may be. We found the spot and also found rocks but no box. We both think we were in the right spot since the clues were pretty straight forward, but who knows. Anyway, we came up empty handed - and our day wasn't starting off very good. Back on I40 heading west we stopped in Moriarty at the DWI Memorial of Perpetual Tears. The Memorial is beautiful! There are markers with lines of tears carved into them. There is also a statue of a mother sitting on a bench holding her daughter. They are putting in a building to house tributes and building walkways and benches around the Memorial. As we approached the Memorial we noticed a truck and two workers. They were working on framing out the path to pour walkways. And just our luck they were right at the area we were heading for. We were on the hunt for a letterbox and it was hidden less than five feet from the workers. It was almost noon and we thought the workers may take a break so we walked around and enjoyed the Memorial. After about 15 minutes we realized that these two guys were very hard workers and had no intention of taking a break. So we talked to them a little about the Memorial and what they were working on and then we headed out deciding to stop back on our way home. To recap - one of my letterboxes has gone missing and we are 0 for 2 in finding other letterboxes.

Since it was lunchtime we headed into Moriarty and had sandwiches for lunch. We enjoyed a nice lunch and some relaxation. And we were not to be dissuaded. Time to find our first letterbox of the day - we were determined. We got back on I40 and headed to Edgewood and the Wildlife West Nature Park. All the animals at the park are there because of injuries or they were raised by humans and are non-releasable. There are three boxes hidden at the park and while hunting for these boxes you get to see all the animals. The boxes recognize the raccoon, the javalina and the eagle. Astro D and I enjoyed our walk around the park but it was sad to read about why each animal was at the park. We found all three boxes and loved the stamps. From here we decided to head into Albuquerque. I wanted to find my surprise box. I was so excited that Twinville Trekkers took the time to plant a box for me that represented all that I have been through with my eye. [So now I have two special boxes - this one and the one Astro D placed for me near my home to help me with my recovery. These boxes are Rise and Shine! and The Big "I". Make sure if you are ever in Santa Fe or Albuquerque to make time to hunt for these two - they are very special - and you won't be disappointed.] So we followed the directions and found the location of the box. Then we read the clues and found the box. It is a wonderful carving of an eye and it is hidden in a spot where you over look the Big I - a very clever placement by the Twinville Trekkers indeed. After stamping into this special box and getting it rehidden we headed back to the east mountain area, more specific, Tijeras.

Once in Tijeras we headed to an Historical Marker to find another one of Twinville Trekkers boxes. This should have been an easy find but I wasn't doing such a hot job of navigating. By the time I read the directions and clues for the box Astro D was already past where we needed to turn. [It really wasn't my fault - after all, who allows a one-eyed man to navigate.] So we had to retrace out tire tracks and start over. Eventually we arrived at the Marker. The box was right where it was supposed to be. It was a great carving representing what Tijeras means. Unfortunately the logbook was wet - it seemed that the ziplock baggie wasn't closed properly - so we were unable to stamp in. And since we were graciously invited to dinner at Casa Twinville Trekkers (aka Laughing Orca Ranch) we brought the box with us so that they could do a little first aid and then rehide it. Now it was time for dinner. We followed our directions (well acutally Astro D's directions since it didn't even cross my mind to get directions) to Twinville Trekkers' house. We got to meet the entire family - mom, dad, twin sons and younger sister - and - well I will just insert a quote from the Laughing Orca Ranch blog regarding the rest of the family we met.

"On our ranch we have quite a menagerie of critters, including 1 horse, 1 dog, 2 indoor cats, 2 outdoor cats, 4 guinea pigs, 17 chickens, 5 koi fish, 3 angora goats, 1 nigerian goat, 1 mini-mancha, 1 Boer mix, 1 churro sheep, 1 karakul sheep, 2 llamas, and a 1 nesting pair of barn swallows."

We were given a tour of the property and we got to meet quite a few of the animals. Some a little friskier than others. Nothing like having a chicken peck at your shoe or a goat try to untie your shoelaces or having a llama give you a kiss on you neck from behind. The animals were great and we enjoyed feeding the horse some treats and feeling how soft the llama's coat was. So now it was time to eat and after washing our hands we sat down with the entire family and enjoyed a great meal of salad and spaghetti & meatballs. And for dessert - coffee and chocolate cake - yummy!
Thank you very much to the Twinville Trekker clan for being such wonderful hosts and making us feel like part of the family.

On our way home we stopped again at the DWI Memorial to get that box we weren't able to look for because of the workers. We thought it might be dark since they were still working on the area, but it wasn't. The gate was open and there were lights everywhere. We were able to take a few night pictures of the Memorial and find the box without problems. A great hide and a great box from the Twinville Trekkers and worth the stop on the way home. After an hour or so drive we made it to Astro D's house, said our goodbyes and I headed home. It was a fantastic day - although a little tiring - since this is probably the most I have done since my eye surgery. But I am not complaining since any day letterboxing is a good day.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

An LTC and a Mini Meet in Santa Fe

A few months ago another letterboxer suggested that I use my retired signature stamps and make a series of Letterbox Trading Cards (LTCs). [You can learn more about LTCs at Atlas Quest or Mama Cache's Website.] I had been thinking about it and playing around with a design. About a week ago I decided to start with my first signature stamp and design an LTC with a limited edition of 25 cards. I came up with a design and started making the LTCs yesterday and I finished all 25 today. I posted the LTC on Atlas Quest - lionsmane's Signature Stamp #1 LTC. Literally I received three requests withing a few minutes. And since I was meeting with Astro D, rubberpeace and dewberry for dinner tonight I decided to share one with each of them. I really enjoyed creating this card to showcase my first signature stamp. I will probably wait a month or two before I create the LTC for my second signature stamp - but stay tuned - there will be more.

Tonight we had a little Mini Meet in Santa Fe. Astro D, The Great Wuga Wuga, rubberpeace, rbrhorno, Highwayman and myself had dinner with dewberry, Asterix, Baby Turtle and Mushroom Hunter. They are on a road trip from Houston that took them through southern New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Coloradao and brought them to Santa Fe today. We met at one of my favorite restaurants - Maria's - they have good food and the best Margarita's. We all had a great time talking about their trip, letterboxing and learning new things about each other. I have met dewberry on a few occasions when I have been in Houston or in Texas for an event or just to letterbox. I have really enjoyed solving her puzzles and finding her boxes - especially the ones in Memorial Park. So it was a pleasure to have her in Santa Fe hunting for my boxes. I hope the dewberry clan enjoyed their trip to The City Different.
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