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, April 29, 2009

A Dragonfly and A Pug

I have been planning quite a few letterboxes lately. I have carved around seven stamps in the last week. Today I decided to plant one of those stamps. This morning I backed the stamp with foam and made a logbook and got the box put together. This afternoon I headed down NM 599 to Caja del Rio and found myself at the Municipal Recreation Complex. About eight months ago I was out at the complex doing some walking after my eye surgery. I was also taking pictures for my As I See It 2008 blog and I came across quite a few dragonflies. That day I decided I wanted to place a box out here related to that. Well, I finally got a round to it and I placed Anisoptera near the pond at the complex. This area is great for walking although when soccer season is in full swing there are quite a few people in the area. It is still enjoyable just not very quiet. I hope you enjoy this box, I really like the way the stamp turned out and I hope my dragonfly isn't the only one you see.

After I finished hiding the letterbox and writing down the clues (I have to write them down right there or by the time I get home I forget what I did) I decided to go and find a letterbox. Astro D placed a box a few days ago that was sent to her by pugnasties. They want to have boxes planted in every state and Astro D offered to plant one in New Mexico. So I guess pugnasties carved a stamp, made a logbook and put the box together. They then mailed it to Astro D and she hid it and wrote the clues. Stamp in Every State: New Mexico Pug just happens to be hidden near where I had just placed my new box. So I drove about five miles to the parking area for La Cieneguilla Petroglyph Site and got my letterboxing bag and headed down the trail. It wasn't a far walk and it wasn't a hard walk - it was just perfect. It was late afternoon, the sun was getting lower in the sky and there was a cool breeze. I had the entire place to myself. I followed the clues and easily found the box. I had planned on placing a hitchhiker here that I have been carrying around since my trip to Oklahoma but alas the box was too small. So anyway, I stamped in and put the box back in its hiding place. I decided to take Astro D's advice to hike up the trail a little further and look for some petroglyphs. I wasn't disappointed either - there are quite a few up there. I spent about forty minutes walking around and taking pictures and eventually headed back to the car - it was time to head home.

I had a great afternoon - I always love hiding boxes and I also got to see a new spot in Santa Fe. I have lived here almost 20 years now and I had never been down that section of Airport Road - thanks Astro D for taking me to a new and interesting location.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Coffee with Visiting Letterboxers

Back in February I received an email from Time2Retire inquiring about clues to letterboxes in Santa Fe. When I wrote him back I offered for a get together with the Santa Fe Letterboxers. He emailed me back about a week ago (once they had finalized their plans) and we set up a meeting for this morning at Downtown Subscription at 9:30.

So Astro D, rubberpeace and I met up with BlindSmiley at Downtown Subscription and we talked and visited for a little while. Then the visitors arrived - Time2Retire and lookin4moose joined us and we jumped in to exchanges and letterboxing stories. We also shared the event stamp that we have for when letterboxers meet up with us in Santa Fe. That box is ¡Bienvenidos! 2009. We started this back in 2007 (I carved that stamp and made the logbook) and in 2008 Astro D carved the stamp and made the logbook. This year's stamp was carved by me and I made the logbook as well. So if anyone plans on visiting Santa Fe contact us for a get together and we will share the stamp with you.

Anyway, we had a great visit with Time and Lookin - they are a really nice couple and it seemed that they enjoyed their time in Santa Fe. Time2Retire also let me know that they couldn't find one of my boxes - The Crow Knows. Not too long ago I noticed that they were remodeling the building where the box is hidden so it wasn't a complete surprise to hear that it wasn't in its hiding spot. So after the visitors left rubberpeace needed to run errands and Astro D and I walked up the road a little ways to help BlindSmiley find a box that quite a few people have trouble finding. Once that was done Astro D and I left BlindSmiley and we walked to check on my missing box. We arrived at the spot and it looks like the remodeling is over (or at least close to being done). So we went to the hiding spot and checked - sure enough it was gone. We looked at the building and sure enough they had done work right around that area. And just as we were leaving Astro D said "Wait" and I stopped and she pointed to something right in front of our faces. There was the box. It is a magnetic key holder and instead of being under the metal box it was actually on the front of the box in plain site. I was really excited that it wasn't missing. So Astro D continued on her walk home and I walked back to my car. I took pictures along the way and then headed home.

Oh, and here is a little rumor. There seems to be some planning going on for an event in Santa Fe sometime around the end of summer. Keep your eyes on this blog for more news from the rumor mill.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Peace and Quiet with Great Views

Thomas got this afternoon off so we decided on an impromptu letterboxing trip to Albuquerque. I looked through the clues and decided on three boxes that we could look for. So we loaded up the car and headed out. Our first stop was in Placitas. We exited I25 and headed east on NM165 toward Placitas. Then we turned onto Tunnel Springs Rd. (FR231) - this road is dirt and in some places a little bumpy and rocky and narrow. After traveling 1.5 miles and enjoying great views we arrived at the trailhead. The letterbox isn't hidden on the Tunnel Spring Trail but on a small little unmarked trail near the restrooms. We followed the clues and easily found the box. We also found some more great views and a tree with a swing hanging from it. So the fact that this in a store bought stamp didn't matter to me because this is a beautiful spot and Thomas and I had it all to ourselves for almost an hour. After stamping in, rehiding the box and taking some pictures we left this area to make our way to the next box.

The next stop was in Corrales. So we made our way back to NM165 and on to I25. Here we crossed I25 and headed to Rio Rancho Blvd. (NM528). We drove a little ways to Corrales Rd. (NM448) and then drove until we found the dirt road mentioned in the clues. The clues stated that the gate is usually open unless there is a fire or emergency in the bosque. We didn't see any emergency vehicles but the gate was locked and the fire danger sign said 'High'. We decided to park across the street and walk into the bosque in Corrales. We made our way to the Rio Grande and followed the clues to the box. Once we found the box we brought it back to the river so we could sit and stamp in and enjoy the views. I was the first finder of this box and the Twinville Trekkers left a little prize in the box for the first finder - thanks! We walked a little ways along the trail enjoying the river and bosque. I took a few pictures and then headed back to the car.

Now we were heading into Albuquerque. And specifically to This park is not easily found unless you know where you are going. It is completely surrounded by houses on all four sides. There are gravel paths between a few of the houses that lead you into the park. Once in the park you don't feel like you are in the city. It is peaceful and quiet with tall trees throughout the park. Each house has a fence or wall with a gate into the park. We only saw one person walking his dog, other than that we had the place to ourselves. The box was found easily enough and we just sat under a tree in the grass and stamped in. This park reminded us of the film 'Notting Hill'. (The two main characters jump a fence to explore a hidden park.) This was a perfect place to end our afternoon of letterboxing.

From here we decided to have an early dinner before heading back to Santa Fe. I was really in the mood for some food from back home so we headed to Pappadeaux's. I know it is a chain but the food is really good and take it from this Cajun Boy it really does taste like food from Louisiana. Thomas and I shared an appetizer of boudin which had just the right amount of spice and for our main dishes - Thomas had a chopped salad with chicken but I decided to indulge myself. I had a Crawfish Combination Plate (crawfish étouffée with rice and fried crawfish ). It was all so good. I couldn't eat it all so I will have more tomorrow for lunch. So with full bellies and some great memories of beautiful areas we headed for home. Thanks to all who placed the boxes we foun today (Queenbee, WossamottaU and Twinville Trekkers) - we had a great time.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

An Evening in Albuquerque

This afternoon Thomas and I decided to take a drive to Albuquerque. We wanted to do a little shopping, have dinner and look for a couple of letterboxes.
We left Santa Fe a little after five and headed for the UNM Campus. We were actually headed for an area across the street from the UNM Hospital. We followed the directions for a letterbox by Wossamotta U called UNM Dreams. The box is hidden near a sculpture titled Dreams and Nightmares: Journey of a Broken Weave by Dennis Oppenheim. We found the area easy enough and I quickly found the box. After stamping in and rehiding the box I spent a few minutes taking pictures of the art piece. It is an interesting piece and I had never seen it - even though I have passed this way numerous times.

So we headed to our next letterbox destination. This one is called Bataan Memorial Park and is hidden in Bataan Memorial Park and was placed by Whatsamatta U (same person - different spelling?!?!?). This box is literally just down the street from the first one. We arrived at the park and headed to the Memorial. There were quite a few people out and about. There were two families and a couple just sitting and enjoying the park and evening. There was also a group of guys playing frisbee and one homeless person sitting two benches down from where the box was hidden. We walked around the Memorial waiting to see if anyone was going to leave. Finally I decided that no one was going to leave I read through the clues and figured out the spot I needed to be at to find the box. I walked over there and sat down. I took my camera out and started taking pictures while Thomas stood facing the homeless person and he reached behind his back and retrieved the box. He then handed it to me and no one was the wiser. I stamped in while Thomas walked around the monument and when I was done we repeated our actions in reverse to put the box back in place.

Once we left the park we found a place to eat dinner. We had a relaxing time and discussed what we needed to shop for. After we finished eating we did our shopping and returned home to Santa Fe. It was a nice evening in Albuquerque and we found two nice boxes and saw two new places in Albuquerque. And I reached another milestone - Bataan Memorial Park letterbox was my 200th find in New Mexico.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Casual Drive and Letterboxing in Northern NM

This morning Thomas and I decided we needed to get out and explore. What better way to do that than by letterboxing. So I went through some clues I had and planned out a route. I had clues to five letterboxes that would take us up I25 to Wagon Mound and then along the eastern side of the Sangre de Cristos and finally around the Enchanted Circle. So with clues, maps and snacks in hand we left Santa Fe for a day out.

We left the house about 8:00am and headed north on I25. We drove until we reached Wagon Mound. Stormcrow had planted a box about 11 months ago and I was ready to find it. Once we arrived in Wagon Mound we found the cemetery and followed the clues which lead us up a hill where there were the initials "W" and "M" made out of white rocks. We found a place to park and the hiked the short distance up to the letters. We found the box quickly and I stamped in. After rehiding the box I took some pictures and enjoyed the view from above Wagon Mound. As we drove down the hill we noticed that there was something in the center of the cemetery so we pulled up to the gate and parked. We walked up to the structure in the center and realized it was a giant rosary made up of volcanic rocks. It was amazing - I took some pictures and we walked around the cemetery before leaving for our next destination.

We backtracked a little ways down I25 and exited at Hwy 161. We decided to detour a short distance and visit Fort Union National Monument. It was a very interesting place with its history of serving the Santa Fe Trail and its part in the Civil War. The ruins are interesting and the trail around them makes for a peaceful and educational walk. When we finished our tour we headed back down 161 and followed it to Watrous (and within seconds we were through Watrous) and on to Golondrinas and finally to Buena Vista. The drive was beautiful and we got to see an area we hadn't yet visited. Our destination was Salman Ranch. We were in search of a box hidden in their gardens. We attempted to find the box but we had some trouble with the clues and were uncomfortable digging around in their flagstone wall. So we took it as a not found and continued on our way. During our drive we snacked and talked. It was a very pleasant morning and we enjoyed the relaxing drive on back roads. From Salman Ranch we continued on NM518 to Mora and then turned onto NM434. Along the way we saw a bunch of alpacas and we also encountered a lot of people walking along the road (we assumed it was some sort of pilgramage for Good Friday). We eventually made our way to Coyote Creek State Park. We didn't actually go into the park - the box was hidden in a way that you didn't actually have to enter the park. We decided to just find the box and continue on our way. We found the box quickly and stamped in, after rehiding it we continued on our way along NM434. It was a beautiful drive although the road was very narrow and very curvy. We eventually came to the intersection of NM64 which would take us to the Enchanted Circle. We drove through Angel Fire and on to Eagle Nest to find Humming Hummingbird and then drove to Red River to find Scenic Playground at Mallette Canyon Park. Both of these boxes were easy finds and now it was time to head back to Santa Fe. We continued on the Enchanted Circle to Questa and on to Taos. The drive from Taos along the Rio Grande Gorge was wonderful. It was relaxing and beautiful. We had a great time today letterboxing and enjoying some wonderful parts of Northeast New Mexico.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Lights, Cameras, Action

On Saturday we were both up early - so we showered, dressed and grabbed some breakfast. Today was the Movies at Murray! event. By 7:30am we were out on the trails looking for letterboxes. The event didn't start until 10:30am so we had quite a bit of time to do some hiking and letterboxing. We first stopped at a rock shelter that is on the main road of the park and we quickly found Out of Sight. After rehiding the box we drove over to the Pecan Grove area and hiked the trail that goes from Pecan Grove to North Boat Ramp. We were in search for six boxes in the 80's Movie Series - these boxes had stamps carved by different boxers from around the country. We found The Naked Gun, Teen Wolf, Movie Time, Overboard and Steel Magnolias. We didn't find Princess Bride - I think we were in the right place because all the landmarks made sense but there was no box. At this point since we were at the North Boat Ramp we decided we had time to do the For The Kids Series. So we crossed the parking area and headed down the trail. There were six boxes in this series. We had a great hike and found Movie Tickets, Harry Potter's Whomping Willow, Scooby Doo, Yakko, Mini Remy and Dumbo. It was time for the event to start so we made our way back to the car.
We drove to the Elephant Rock/Cedar Cove/Tipp's Point Area and paid the entrance fee and found the Cisco Pavillion. There were already a few people there. We said hi to some familiar faces - Viewfinder, Puddle Splasher, Gryzzled Gryphon and Batty Girl. We talked with Penguin Patrol for a bit and she gave me some information on a good spot to hide my boxes. So we decided to head out and plant the boxes to get that over with. There are two trails at the entrance to this area and they start just before the spot where you pay (so to find these boxes you don't have to pay an entrance fee). My two boxes are hidden on the trail on the right of the road. Thomas and I hiked and quickly found two good spots to hide the boxes - so Harry James Potter and Movie Treat! were ready to be found. I wrote out the clues and double checked them and then we returned to the pavillion. The first thing I did was to recopy the clues and make sure they were correct and then put them out for everyone to get. Then I started to get some exchanges and personal travelers. I met shiloh and got his personal travelers and I exchanged with Penguin Patrol and got her personal travelers. Batty Girl also had two new travelers that I got. Once all that was done we just sat, visited, ate and stamped the event stamp as well as some traveling event stamps. I also got a few pictures (the last event I attended I got so busy that I forgot to take any). Now I was ready to get back out on the trails to find more boxes. We headed out to the Duke's Forest area to find boxes that were in two Temporary Series. We found four boxes in Temporary Series 1 - The Nightmare Before Christmas, Tim Burton, Cry Baby and Chocolat - all excellent carvings. Then we crossed the road and headed down the opposite trail and found the boxes in the Temporary Series 2. This series had 11 boxes - The Green Mile, Vertigo (one of my favorites of the day), James Dean, Phantasm, Shag, Schindler's List, Belle, Flounder, Spongebob Squarepants, Frosty the Snowman and Aladdin's Rajah. During the hike for this series we bumped into Puddle Splasher and Viewfinder. And at some point Thomas got tired of letterboxing and retreated to the car to read while I finished the series. When I returned to the car there were three letterboxers waiting for me - losin some fat, Raven Queen and The Monkey Bunch. I missed them at the pavillion and they wanted to do an exchange. So we made the exchanges and they got my personal travelers. Once that was completed they headed down the trail to get the boxes I had just finished and we decided it was probably time to head out.

So Thomas and I drove back to the pavillion and said our goodbyes. Then we headed out. We wanted to at least get to Oklahoma City for the night so that our drive home on Sunday wouldn't be as long. We made one stop at a rest area as we headed north on I35 to find Penguin Patrol's Just Married!!! letterbox. The drive up was pretty uneventful and when we reached Yukon we decided to find something for dinner. We ate a good dinner and then as we were leaving the restaurant we sas a Hampton Inn and decided to call it a night. It had been a long day (a very good day but a long day) so we took showers, read a little and were asleep by 9:00pm.

This morning we woke up early again, got packed, loaded the car and then had some breakfast at the hotel. We had originally planned to go to Red Rock Canyon State Park this morning but as we were loading things into the car we both agreed that it was too cold and way to windy to actually enjoy the park so we opted to just head home. We stopped briefly to fill the car with gas and we were on our way. We made a quick stop at the Beckham County Courthouse (which made a brief appearance in the movie The Grapes of Wrath) and then headed out to Sayre City Park to find the Grapes of Wrath letterbox hidden there by rabbitrabbit. It was a quick and easy find and then we were back on I40 headed to Texas. We stopped again at a rest area near Alanreed. We looked for one box and didn't find it and I had forgotten the clues for a second box (and was unable to get internet connection to get the clue from AQ) so we didn't get any finds here. It was also incredibly windy and uncomfortable walking around looking for boxes. We were only there for a short time before heading out. By the time we reached Amarillo we were both hungry and it was time for lunch. We stopped and ate a quick lunch before heading out - there are a few letterboxes in Amarillo but we decided they would have to wait for another time - the wind was just too uncomfortable to be walking outside looking for boxes and I think we were ready to get home. I did want to stop in Tucumcari for one thing. I wanted to visit the Blue Swallow Motel. We stopped and talked to the owner and I took some pictures. Who knows a letterbox may pop up there sometime soon. After our visit we headed home - no more stops until we pulled up at the house. We had a great weekend trip to Oklahoma and enjoyed the movie themed letterboxing event.

Friday, April 03, 2009


After work on Thursday Thomas and I hopped into the car and started our trip to Ardmore, Oklahoma to attend the Movies at Murray! event. We decided to leave today so that we wouldn't have as long to drive in just one day. We had an uneventful drive and decided to stop in Santa Rosa for a quick drive-by letterbox by flat tire - Out of Gas. We quickly found this box and once it was rehidden we decided to get some dinner. We stopped at the Route 66 Restaurant. It was an interesting place. The decor was really outdated and not like you would expect to find in a 50's era diner. And there was a mixture of Native American, Religious and Route 66 art all over the walls. But the food was pretty good. I had an incredible hamburger (one that you would expect at a greasy spoon) and Thomas had tacos that were pretty good as well. After eating we continued on our way - we decided that it was getting late and we were going to stop and sleep in Amarillo. So at 11:00pm we found a hotel and took showers and went straight to sleep.

On Friday morning we were up early, had some breakfast and we were on the road again. We made a few stops in Texas to find letterboxes - Conway, Groom, Jericho and McLean. Most of the boxes we found were recently planted by jb kokopelli when she and WagTime made their circle trip through the panhandle. They did an excellent job of populating the panhandle. We stopped and saw some interesting things because of these new letterboxes - the 2nd Largest Cross in the western hemisphere, the VW Slug Bug Ranch, the Leaning Water Tower and the first Phillips 66 Station in Texas. We also took some time to visit the Devil's Rope/Route 66 Museum. It was very interesting and who knew there were that many kinds of barbed wire. Not long after visiting the museum we stopped in Shamrock, TX to get some lunch before crossing over into Oklahoma. Nothing exciting - just a quick bite to eat before continuing on our journey. I had planned to try and make it to Ardmore by 3:30pm so we didn't make any stops after eating until we reached Davis. We stopped at a rest area and found a quick drive-by and then exited at Davis to find a box near Arbuckle Wilderness and another one near Turner Falls. After these last two boxes we filled the car with gas and stopped at Original Fried Pies. Now I have heard of them but had never had one. Thomas got a chocolate and I got a pecan. Interesting little things! Now I have tried them and I don't think either of us will need to have them in the future.

From this point we didn't stop until we reached Lake Murray. The first order of business was to find Penguin Patrol at her campsite and pick up my event package with clues and park map. We drove through the park and found the campsites and quickly found Peguin Patrol. She was visiting with shiloh and Batty Girl & her LSS. We said our hellos, visited for a minute, picked up the packet of clues and then said goodbye until tomorrow. We headed over to the Lake Murray Lodge where we had reservations for the night. We checked into the lodge, unloaded the car and relaxed for a bit. Thomas decided he wanted to take a shower and relax and I wanted to go out and look for some letterboxes. I headed out and found a trail with three letterboxes - I hiked and found all three boxes. It was a nice hike, at times I was close to the lake and other times I was just in the woods. It was so peaceful. When I was done I returned to the lodge and met Thomas and we went for another hike that started near the lodge. We found two more boxes and just enjoyed the evening walk. It was close to dark when we returned to the room. After I took a shower I started to log things in and write a blog but I was too tired. After driving all day and letterboxing I just couldn't keep my eyes open. I also wanted a good night's sleep for the event tomorrow.
Related Posts with Thumbnails