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.

Monday, April 26, 2010

From Café Olé to Bishop's Lodge

Things have been a little busy since just after Easter. Work, family things and just everyday responsibilites have kept me occupied all day long for a few weeks now. Astro D and I have been trying to get together for coffee and a chat - but she has been quite busy as well. We finally were able to meet up today and get caught up. We met at a coffee shop that neither of us had been to before - The Café Olé. It opened back in November, replacing PD Bean. The new place is pretty nice. Astro D and I enjoyed some coffee and tea while we talked. I guess we had a lot to catch up on because we met at 9:00am for coffee and tea and we were still talking when noon rolled around. So we decided to have some lunch. After eating lunch and talking some more we finally parted ways at around 2:00pm. It was nice to see her and catch up on things. Hopefully it won't be so long before we get together next time.

After leaving Astro D I headed out to Bishop's Lodge. Wronghat placed a letterbox there just two days ago and I had some time today so I decided to go and look for it. I headed up Bishop's Lodge Road and turned into the Resort. I made my way to the Visitor's Parking area and read the clues. I found the trail head and started my way up. The box was placed at the top of Pincushion Hill. The hike wasn't very long but it was pretty steep - at least the last half of it was. Once at the top I had a great view of the entire Resort. That view is the picture posted here. For anyone who has read Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop, which is based on the life of Bishop Lamy, you can see the steeple in the bottom right corner of the picture that is Bishop Lamy's private chapel.

Back to the box. Once at the top of the hill and after a few pictures I read the clues and located the hiding the spot of the box. The box is hidden on the down hill side under a small juniper covered with rocks. The hill is pretty steep and and I had a hard time keeping my footing. Finally I had to grab onto one of the branches of the juniper to hold myself up and reach for the box with my free hand. Once I had the box I carefully made my way back to the top of the hill. I sat and stamped in and enjoyed the views. When I was finished stamping in I put the box back together and proceeded to the front of the juniper. This time I knew to grab the branch and I didn't slide down the hill. Once back on top of the hill I took a few more pictures and the hiked back down to the trail and back to my car. It was a very nice day, relaxing and visiting with a friend and letterboxing - who could ask for more.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Raspberries, Christmas Trees and a Wonderful Drive

The forecast for today was for a beautiful and sunny day. So Thomas and I decided a day out was appropriate. So this morning we decided to go for a drive and do a little letterboxing. So we left Santa Fe and headed north on I25. Our first stop was in Glorieta. I have three boxes from our El Rancho de Los Letterboxes event that I wanted to replant but haven't had the chance. So the first box that we placed today was Battlefield New Mexico. I found a nice hiding spot and jotted down clues before we headed off for more of our adventure. From here we headed north again on I25 to Las Vegas. We drove through Las Vegas and then continued on NM 518 to La Cueva. The first order of business was to find Fantastyk Voyager's Salman Ranch - La Cueva box. The box is hidden near the Salman Raspberry Ranch and an old grist mill. It was an easy find and a nice stamp, and after stamping in and rehiding the box it was time for the second order of business. To hide another box from the event. That box was Water-powered Grist Mill and this was the perfect spot. I found a great hiding spot in no time and after writing down and rechecking the clues we were ready to continue on. I really like this old grist mill and the area so I think it is a nice place to visit and a great drive.

From the intersection of NM 518 and NM 442 we continued on NM 518 to Mora. Along the way we kept an eye out for a nice spot to hide my last box. We reached Mora but did not find a spot for my box. We then turned onto NM 434 so we could find another Fantastyk Voyager box. This one is called Christmas Trees in July and is hidden in Christmas Tree Canyon. We got to the spot and found the landmarks and pretty quickly found the box. It is such a peaceful area and we really enjoyed the box and stamping in. After getting the box back in its hiding spot we left the area and made our way back to NM 518. I still needed a spot for my last box and we had a choice . . . either return home the way we came or continue on 518 and make a loop. We decided on the loop. And we were glad we did - the drive was beautiful and relaxing. We drove through Mora, Cleveland, Holman and Tres Ritos and still hadn't found a spot for my box. But not far out of Tres Ritos Thomas spotted just what we were looking for. A descansos on the right side of the road a little ways up on some rocks. And just before the descansos was a pullout that we had already passed. So when he could Thomas turned the car around and we went back to the pullout. It was the perfect place. A nice serene and beautiful place. Across the road from the pullout is a stream and trees and hills. So I planted my Descansos letterbox at the pullout and you can walk a little ways along the road to see a real descansos.

Well, we were now done letterboxing and all we had to do was enjoy the ride home. We continued on NM 518 through Los Mochas and then turned onto NM 75 making our way through Rio Pueblo, Vadito and Penasco before turning onto NM 76. This passes through the towns of Chamisal, Trampas, Ojo Sarco, Truchas and Rio Chiquito. In Rio Chiquito we turned onto NM 503 and drove through Cundiyo and Nambe before getting to Pojoaque. Then we took US 285 to NM 599 and then to our house. We had a wonderful day, found two nice letterboxes and put three letterboxes back into action. Spring in New Mexico is pretty nice.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sealed with a Kiss

Today Thomas and I were in Albuquerque to visit his cousin. After our visit we took a little time to do some letterboxing. The first box that we searched for is a box by Wronghat. The name of this box really had us wondering if we should attempt it. The box is titled Stench. We had a nice walk along the Paseo del Bosque Bike Trail - it was a beautiful day in Albuquerque. Fortunately, we didn't encounter any stench except for the box. I am assuming the name came from where it was placed - right near a wastewater treatment plant. We only met up with about four people on our walk so it was easy retrieving the box and replanting the box. And thankfully there was a bench to sit on while stamping - all in all a nice walk along the Rio Grande.

From the bosque area we drove across town to the Elena Gallegos Picnic Area. We entered the park and made our way to the trailhead. We were looking for Domingo Baca's Kiss - this would be our second attempt - the first time we looked for the box it was missing and we were Kissed Off. PetroPunks replaced the box and we decided to look for it today. The walk to the rock outcropping where the box is hidden is pretty easy but getting up to the granite lips was a little challenging. We had to scramble over rocks and cacti to get there. We finally got to the lips and followed the new clues. We found the box right where it was suppose to be and boy were we thankful - the scramble up was a lot of work. So I stamped in and then rehid the box. We then leisurely made our way back to the car. It was time to head back to Santa Fe. We had a nice time in Albuquerque, enjoyed the Spring weather and found two great boxes.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Easter Trip to Louisiana (Part II)

Baton Rouge to Lafayette
Friday, April 2, 2010

We didn't set an alarm for this morning, we decided to just sleep until we were ready to get up - that happened to be 7:30am. We got ready and packed our things and got them into the car, then we had a little breakfast before heading out. There were a few boxes we wanted to find before leaving Baton Rouge. Our first stop was at Baton Rouge Community College and it was a great day to be there. The campus was deserted so it made it easy to look for boxes and not be seen. We found both boxes that we looked for here and once we had stamped in and had the boxes back in place it was time to head to another location. That location was the USS Kidd. It is docked near the River Center and is a museum now. Again, we found both boxes we looked for but this time it took a lot more stealth. This place was a lot busier that the last and it took us several tries and lots of waiting before we were able to retrieve both boxes - but eventually we got them, stamped in and then replaced them into their hiding spots.

At this point we decided to put letterboxing on hold and do a little sightseeing. We drove to the Capitol and made our way inside. Our intent was to go up to the observation deck but that wasn't to be. They have had in closed since last July and it isn't scheduled to be reopened until April 12th (and by that time we will be back home). So we walked around the main entry, saw the House and Senate chambers and read about Huey Long's assassination. We then returned to the car and were about to head out and make our way to Lafayette when my brother called me. He and his wife were not too far from Baton Rouge so we decided to meet up for lunch. Thomas and I had about 30 minutes to kill so we decided to look for one more letterbox until they arrived. We drove to LSU and found Mama Cache's Skiouros letterbox. It was right were it was suppose to be and it was a quick and easy retrieval. I stamped in and rehid the box. By this time my brother was almost to Baton Rouge - so we picked a restaurant and met there. After a nice lunch and getting to know my new sister-in-law we all headed for Lafayette. Thomas and I made a pit stop on the way to my sister's house. I had a box I wanted to plant at the Lafayette Welcome Center. I had a hard time finding a good spot but eventually found one that I think will work. After hiding the box we made our way to see the family.

We arrived at my sister's house and in no time the whole family was together (except for my oldest nephew who is in Iraq, but he was there in thought). Tonight we had a crawfish boil. I ate so much and my stomach is very happy. It was good to see the family and we all had a great evening.

Easter Weekend
Saturday, April 3, 2010 and Sunday, April 4, 2010

We didn't do any letterboxing this weekend except for planting one box on Saturday. I placed a box on the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Campus near Cypress Lake. I think this is one of the best spots on the campus and I found a pretty good hiding spot. The rest of Saturday was spent visiting with the family and doing lots of eating. We had boudin, crawfish etouffee, cracklin and lots of desserts. On Sunday Thomas and I spent a little bit of the morning at Lake Martin just walking around. It was beautiful. We saw a couple of gators, lots of egrets and some turtles. We also saw one water moccasin and thankfully we where in the car and just saw it slither across the road. We then went to my sister's house for Easter lunch. My sister and brother-in-law decided to do a barbecue since the weather was so nice. It was an absolutely perfect day. Tomorrow we need to return to New Orleans for a very early flight on Tuesday.

A Day in New Orleans and the End of the Trip
Monday, April 5 2010

This morning we told the family goodbye and headed for New Orleans. We were on the road by 7:15am and decided that we would have a relaxing day. We drove and made our first stop in Plaquemine at St. John's Cemetery. We stopped to find Blackberry Patch's Plaquemine Persimmon. We had a very nice time walking amongst all the old grave stones. I took a few pictures and then looked for the box. I found it right where it was supposed to be. I found a place to sit and stamped in and then rehid the box. From here we drove Hwy 1 to Donaldsonville and crossed the Sunshine Bridge. At this point we stopped for a little breakfast before taking I10 the short distance into New Orleans. We decided to make our first stop at City Park. We have never been to this park and we wanted to look for a few boxes and take some time to walk around. We looked for seven boxes and found five. The two we didn't find had notes in the clues that they may be missing. The park is beautiful and it is hard to tell that it was under water after Hurricane Katrina. We spent about three hours in the park before moving on. From City Park we head to the French Quarter. I wanted to walk around here because I always enjoy this area. We went in and out of quite a few shops, had some beignets and then an early dinner at a little restaurant on Chartres Street. We walked to Jackson Square and sat and rested for a little while. I was happy to see the City so alive again. There were quite a few people and New Orleans seems to be regaining its old character. We decided we wanted to get a hotel close to the airport since our flight in the morning is pretty early. So here we are relaxing in the hotel and ready for our return to Santa Fe.
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