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, October 22, 2009

A Day in Albuquerque

A friend of mine from Dallas was driving in to Albuquerque with a friend of his. His friend was coming to participate in a rodeo at Tingley Coliseum and my friend came along for the ride to come and visit me. So after a few errands this morning I headed down to Albuquerque for the day. I decided to do a little letterboxing and visit some places that I have been meaning to get to. I arranged the boxes in the order of how I arrived at the places so I wouldn't have to backtrack and I would be done for when my friend arrived. So my first stop was at Sandia Casino which is on the north end of town. There was a box hidden in one of the parking lots. I found the lot quickly and parked and while sitting in the car I read the clue and figured out the hiding spot. I looked around and didn't see any security or maintenance people. But there were a couple of cars heading into the lot. So I waited until they passed and got out of my car with camera in hand - I walked around a bit and slowly made my way to the rock. I sat on the rock and pretended to take pictures while reaching in the spot to retrieve the box. I then took it back to the car to stamp in so I wouldn't draw attention to the area. When done I looked around again and the coast was clear so I went out and rehid the box. I then left the casino and headed over to The Anderson - Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum. There was a box hidden in this parking lot as well. It was easy to find and was at the far end of the lot. I didn't have to worry about anyone seeing me because it was away from any buildings and there was absolutely no one around. I also took this one back to the car to stamp in. Once it was back in place I decided to go into the museum and have a look around. I had been wanting to visit ever since it was built but never made the time. I spent about an hour enjoying learning about the history of ballooning and of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. I thought the museum was put together very well and I had a great time.

From here I drove to Corrales to look for The Climbing Tree. This is a box hidden by a huge old cottonwood tree. When I arrived at the tree there were two cars there and my first thought was are these people letterboxers. But I didn't see any sign that they were - they were just taking pictures of this grand tree in its glorious fall foliage.
I read the clues and looked around and wasn't quite sure where the box was. So I studied the clues and then set the paper down on the car seat, grabbed my camera and went out to take pictures and see if I could spot where the box was. So I took a couple of pictures and then the other two people left. That gave the chance to look for the box. I spotted the landmark and walked over and retrieved the box. I stamped into the box in the car again and then rehid the box. I took a few more pictures and then decided to climb the tree a little. It has been quite a long time since I have climbed a tree and I really had a great time. I needed to get a move on to find one last box and I wanted to walk around the area where this last box was hidden. So I headed over to The Albuquerque Museum. I had to find a specific sculpture and then find a plaque and then the box. The statue was La Jornada and is a very large sculpture with lots of pieces so it was easy to spot. I quickly found the plaque and the box and again headed back to the car to stamp in. After I was done I went right over to the hiding spot and replaced the box because there wasn't a person in site and I knew I could get it in place without being seen. I then took some time to walk around the sculpture garden and take some pictures. I was sitting on a bench taking some pictures of one of the statues and I looked at my watch and decided that I should head over to Tingley Coliseum because if I had timed things right I knew my friend would be arriving soon. And as soon as I got back in the car to drive away I got a text message that they were going through Tijeras Canyon. I arrived at the Fairgrounds but wasn't sure exactly where they would be so I just parked and waited for their call. It was a bit confusing where they had to enter and park but eventually we worked it out and I met my friend. So we got his luggage into my car and returned to Santa Fe. I had a great day in Albuquerque and found four great letterboxes - thanks to the boxers in Albuquerque for planting them.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Neither Snow nor Rain nor Heat nor Gloom of Night . . .

The full quote goes as follows and there is an explanation as well . . .
"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
This is commonly misidentified as the creed of our mail carriers, but actually it is just the inscription found on the General Post Office in New York City at 8th Avenue and 33rd Street. Here's how the official Web site of the U.S. Postal Service describes the origin of the inscription. This inscription was supplied by William Mitchell Kendall of the firm of McKim, Mead & White, the architects who designed the New York General Post Office. Kendall said the sentence appears in the works of Herodotus and describes the expedition of the Greeks against the Persians under Cyrus, about 500 B.C. The Persians operated a system of mounted postal couriers, and the sentence describes the fidelity with which their work was done. Professor George H. Palmer of Harvard University supplied the translation, which he considered the most poetical of about seven translations from the Greek.
I thought of this saying this morning as I was planning to go out letterboxing. The morning started out cold and rainy with just a touch of snow flurries thrown in. But it wasn't too bad - so I got all my letterboxing gear and some clues together. I had two errands to run first then I was off to find some boxes. Now some may say that the weather wasn't really that great for letterboxing, but let's be honest - I think all of us have letterboxed in at least one of the conditions listed above (maybe even more than one). So I took care of my errands and then headed for Cerrillos, NM. There were two boxes planted in the area - one at Garden of the Gods and one at Cerrillos Hills Historic Park. As I drove down the Turquoise Trail I wondered if this was a mistake - the sky looked as though it was about to let loose quite a bit of rain. But I decided to press on and made a stop and the Garden of the Gods pullout. Most of this is on private property but you can still appreciate the rock formations. I parked and walked the short distance to a gate that was the landmark for the clues. Once there I read the rest of the clue and easily found the box. I sat up on some of the rocks to stamp in and had a great view of Hwy14 and the surrounding mountains and it didn't even drizzle on me. Once I finished stamping in and got the box back in place I headed back to the car and that's when the rain started. Very light but still rain. So I continued my drive to Cerrillos and made my way to the park. I parked near the entrance to the Escalante Trail and gathered my stuff. It was still drizzling so I zipped up my jacket and pulled the hood over my head. I headed up the trail and the rain eased until it had stopped altogether. I made it to the intersection mentioned in the clues and followed the rest of the directions until I had the box in my hands. I found a bench and stamped in - while stamping in it started to drizzle again so I used my jacket to cover the logbooks so they wouldn't get wet. I rehid the box and got all my things back together, zipped up my jacket and put the hood back over my head. It rained a little harder as I made my way down the muddy trail. I took my time because I didn't want to take another slide on my butt like I did in Oregon. By the time I reached the car I was pretty wet and cold. First things first I put the heater and then headed out. No sooner had I started to drive the rain stopped. So I went to the petting zoo area in Cerrillos and watched the animals for a minute and looked at the views of the changing leaves. It was really pretty and even though it rained I still enjoyed my trip but it was time to head home and take care of some things there. I am hoping to get a little letterboxing in tomorrow - I am going to Albuquerque to pick up a friend who is coming to visit.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

We've Returned from the Oregon Coast

Well we made it home safe and sound and with loads of great memories. I posted everyday that we were on the trip so I have a great journal of everything we did. It was a fantastic trip and I think I have found a place that I would love to visit again. I took so many pictures that it took me hours to go through them so that I could pick out some for a slide show. You can read about the trip and look at the slide show by clicking on the picture. There was so much to see and do as well as beaches that just called to you to take long leisurely walks. And I think we lucked out with the weather. We mostly had sunshine, with one day of a light rain (that didn't stop us) and a couple of days of clouds and fog. It was all good and we really enjoyed ourselves. But now it is back to our routine until our next letterboxing adventure.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Oregon Coast Letterboxing Trip

Tomorrow Thomas and I leave for an eleven day trip to the Oregon Coast. We will be doing a lot of letterboxing and sightseeing. This is our first trip to the Oregon Coast but we have heard great things about the area from rubberpeace and rbrhorno and we are very excited. We will fly into Portland and then drive to Astoria where we will start our coastal adventure. Our trip will take us down Hwy 101 from Astoria to Florence. We will have to plan another trip to get to the South Coast. We will also take a day to travel up into Washington to the Long Beach Peninsula, specifically Cape Disappointment. If you'd like to read about the trip you can click on the picture to be taken to that blog. I feel like this is going to be a great trip and Thomas and I could use a little break from the day to day stuff - so here we go!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

This Letterbox brought to you by the Letter 'K'

Two years ago I decided to embark on a letterboxing challenge. I wanted to do a series of New Mexico boxes related to the alphabet. I started researching and picking things related to New Mexico for each letter. So far I have eleven boxes planted in the series: B, E, G, M, Q, R, S, U, V, W and the newest box - K. This newest box in the series is about Thomas Edward "Black Jack" Ketchum. A train robbing outlaw who spent quite a bit of time in New Mexico. He was eventually caught and hanged in Clayton, NM. A very colorful character in New Mexico history and I thought he would be a great addition to this series. I haven't had the time to get out to Clayton to hide the box so the stamp has been sitting on my work table for quite a while. Recently Astro D told me that she and The Great Wuga Wuga were taking a road trip to Kansas and they would be going through Clayton. She offered to plant the box for me on their way. So I put together a logbook and box and gave it to Astro D. This morning I got a note that the box was planted and she had included the clues. I have logged the box into Atlas Quest and Letterboxing North America and it is waiting to be found. So make your way to the northeast part of New Mexico to add this letter to your logbook.

I still have quite a few letters to do and I am working on it - slowly but surely. So stay posted as each of these comes to fruition. Most of the letters have been decided but I have four that I can't seem to make up my mind about. I am adding another level to this challenge - I want to be done with the remaining boxes by next October.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Looking for Art

This morning after exercising, showering and eating breakfast I sat at the computer drinking my coffee and reading emails. Once I was done with that I logged on to Atlas Quest. And on the list of Newest Traditional Letterboxes I noticed a new box placed in Santa Fe. I clicked on Art is Everywhere and found out that Front Range Hiker left a little gift on her recent visit to Santa Fe for the El Rancho de los Letterboxes event.

So I gathered my things and headed out. This morning was a bit cold (probably in the high 30s or low 40s), so I ended upgoing back in the house for a jacket. Then I made my way to Cerro Gordo Park (aka Adam Gabriel Armijo Park). This is the first time I have ever been in this park and was very surprised to find that there were trails from this park. So I parked, read the clues then grabbed my letterbox stuff and headed out. It was a pretty short walk to the box but it was a very nice walk. I followed the clues but ended up missing one of the landmarks and ended up getting in a nice walk. I eventually realized that I had probably gone too far and made my way back to the landmark that I missed and easily found the box. I took the box to a side trail to stamp in. I found a spot in the sun so I could stay warm and enjoyed the beautiful stamp that Front Range Hiker carved for us. I really enjoyed the box and the morning walk and finding some art. The area was so quiet and peaceful and it was a great way to start the day. Thanks Front Range Hiker!
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