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, August 18, 2011

Boxing Along I40

All day yesterday I had this feeling that I needed to get out and do a little letterboxing. But as things go I was busy all day with responsibilities (I hate when they get in the way). Then I realized that I had nothing pressing to do the next day so I looked at all the available clues that were within one day driving distance and made a decision. I was going to letterbox along I40 from Tucumcari to Tijeras.

I started the morning off pretty early, I wanted to be able to take my time and not be rushing and driving at riduculous speeds to try to get everywhere I wanted to visit. I arrived in Clines Corners around 6:3oam to begin my search for Wronghat's Worth W8ing 4. I pulled into the parking area and read the clues - I was on the east side of the building (which was pretty deserted) and I needed to be on the west side (which was packed with 18 wheelers). I found a place to park amidst all the trucks and began my search. It was a pretty easy find and I took the box back to the car to stamp in. I really liked this stamp and I was the first finder. After stamping in and returning the box back to its hiding spot I returned to my car and read the next clues - which were for Santa Rosa. Oh, and the whole time I was at Clines Corners I didn't see a single person. I assume they were sleeping in their trucks, eating in the restaurant or getting cleaned up in the bathrooms - but they sure weren't out and about. Even with all the trucks the place seemed deserted.

On the road again, I was headed east on I40 and thankfully there wasn't much traffic. I had a nice, pleasant drive to Santa Rosa and took the first exit that I came to. I followed this road into town until I came to the old, broken down and forgotten Club Cafe sign (it is ashame that so many of the beautiful neon signs of the Route 66 days have fallen into disrepair). This is where I needed to start my search for Wronghat's Club Cafe box. I parked in the lot and read the clues. I looked around until they clicked and I made my way to the box's hiding spot and viola - I found the box without any trouble. I stamped in sitting in the car and got my second first finder certificate of the day. This is a really neat stamp and a wonderful carve. Once I completed my stamping and hiding of the box I headed for the Blue Hole. Wronghat has a box here but I have found that one, this time I was searching for Twinville Trekkers' Beatles Series #19 "Fixing a Hole". When I arrived at the Blue Hole there were three people jumping in and out of the water and they paid no attention to me, so I walked around taking pictures while following the clues. Thankfully where the box was hidden they couldn't see me. So I grabbed the box and found a nice flat rock to sit on while stamping in. This is a very nice stamp and perfect for the area. I rehid the box and made my way back to the car to continue my drive east.

Back on I40 I made my way to Tucumcari. Once in town I found US Hwy 54 and headed northeast to Ute Lake State Park. The box I was going to look for was Ute Lake by Reading Rica. I have had these clues for a while so before leaving the house I checked them online. I found them in the LbNA basement and it was marked "Missing". But I decided to drive out there anyway since I had never been to the park. This box was hidden in the Mine Canyon area of the park, so I followed the directions and made my way to the parking and pay station. I read the clues and started searching - but nothing and I do mean nothing. The clues took me to a small scraggly bush and there were no rock piles anywhere around. So I did a quick systematic search working out from that bush and after 15 minutes I called it quits. I then drove down the road and went to the lake and I kind of wished I had brought my kayak - it seemed like a good spot to do a little rowing. Well time to head on back to Tucumcari and then on to my next stop - Conchas Lake State Park. From Tucumcari I took NM Hwy 104 to the park. I followed the clues driving over the dam and then turned toward the Visitors Center and the Bell Point Campground. I was looking for Somethings Fishy by Candyrae. This box is also in the LbNA basement but it is marked as adoptable and does not say it is missing. I parked and started my search. I followed each of the clues but was having trouble finding the box. I started over three times and each time came up empty handed. I then spent about 15 more minutes just seacrching all the rocks in the area but still didn't find the box. I kind of hope that someone else will go out and look for these two boxes if for no other reason but to see if I couldn't find them or if they really are missing. I have to say that I enjoyed Conchas Lake more than I enjoyed Ute Lake, not sure why - just did. Time to head back west. From the park I got back on 104 and then took NM Hwy 129 to Newkirk and I40.

Back on I40 I remembered that I hate driving that road (it is so busy and full of 18 wheelers), the traffic was pretty bad and it was slow at times (the speed of some of the trucks I got caught behind was between 60 and 65 mph). But I turned up the radio and continued my drive to Tijeras. My original plan was to head back to Santa Fe at Clines Corners but it was still early enough in the day to find two more boxes in Tijeras. The two boxes I wanted to find were both from the Twinville Trekkers - Beatles Series #22 "A Day in the Life" and Beatles Series #23 "I'll be on My Way". My first stop was for #22 - I found the location and went in search of the box. It took a little work but I found it and stamped in - and got my third first finder certificate of the day. I rehid the box and the drove to the location for #23. I was looking for a memorial on the side of the road and I was having some trouble, I passed it three times before I finally spotted it. I pulled over and parked and followed the clues to the box. Once I found it I took it back to the car to stamp in, another great stamp from the Trekkers. I think I may have stated this in another post but I really am enjoying this Beatles Series, I think there are about four or five that I still need to get. That will be another road trip. For today I was done. I decided to drive back to Santa Fe via NM Hwy 14. It is a bit slower than I25 but it is much more scenic and relaxing. I had a great day of letterboxing and enjoyed all the boxes and stamps.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Little Box Check

Today I had some errands and a meeting in the morning but my afternoon was free. And since I haven't had the chance to do any hiking in the mountains I decided to do a short hike and check on a couple of boxes at the Black Canyon Campground. After parking I walked through the campground and made my way to the trailhead. I was surprised to see quite a few campers - most of the times I have been there the place is pretty empty. I walked the trail and and enjoyed the peace and quiet (even though there were a bunch of campers, none of them were on the trail). When I reached the area where ev∙o∙lu∙tion is hidden I made my way to the box. Now, this box was found just a few days ago but I had been wanting to check on it and change it from a camo bag to a Lock & Lock. I had gotten a message that one of the finders a while back said the logbook was a little damp. So I grabbed the bag and found a log to sit on and I opened the bag to check the stamp and the logbook. Both were in great shape - if the logbook had been damp it didn't do any damage - all the entries were in good shape and so were all the pages. So I moved the contents to the Lock & Lock and put the box back in place and made sure it was hidden well. Once all that was done I made my way back to the entrance of the campground.

One more box here to check on - Pin Up Stamp Swap 2: Tess. Again, this box was found a few days ago but I still wanted to check on it and review the clues. So I made my way down the trail and to the box. Everything was good except for a log that was across the trail - it is gone now, but you can still find the box with the clues. The stamp and logbook and box were all in good shape. So I placed the box back in its hiding spot and made sure it was hidden well and returned to my car. I had a nice walk and enjoyed being in the mountains. Hopefully I can find a little more time to do some more hiking before summer ends.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Letterboxing and Celebrating

Astro D, rubberpeace and I had a great day in Albuquerque letterboxing and celebrating. You see today was rubberpeace's birthday and also her AQ anniversary (5 years of letterboxing). They arrive at my house at around 9:00am and then it was south to Albuquerque. We had lots to talk about . . . Astro D's house remodel, rubberpeace's upcoming trip to Colorado Springs and my recent trip to Alaska, so the trip down to Albuquerque went quick.

We had decided to head to the Old Town area first to find a few boxes and then have lunch and after that we would decide what we wanted to do. So we drove to and parked near the New Mexico Museum of Natural History. The first box we looked for was one that I had already found, so I just tagged along as Astro D and rubberpeace followed the clues to find Wronghat's Spike letterbox. They sat on a nearby bench and stamped in while I walked around taking pictures. Then we went in search for Twinville Trekkers' Beatles Series #21 "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" letterbox. ***Here is a confession - I used the computer and google maps street view to find the location of this box to minimize our walking.*** Anyways, we made our way to the spot and followed the last few clues to find the box. Once that box was in our hands we went to some nearby picnic tables to stamp in. When all three of us were done rubberpeace replaced the box while I took a few pictures and then we returned to the car and headed to Old Town. It wasn't too hard to find a parking spot but it was a little walk to the plaza. Upon arriving at the plaza rubberpeace and Astro D searched for and found Wronghat's Old Town letterbox (I already had this one) and we found a nice shady spot to sit while they stamped in. I ended up taking a picture for some tourist (they asked if I would take a picture of them at the gazebo there in Old Town). Once the letterbox was back in its hiding spot we all headed down the street to the 'Little by Little' plaza to find Flight of Fancy by Vegaspua'a. We had to take some pictures and look around to kill a little time because there was a little tour going on. After about 10 minutes they headed out and left us all by ourselves to search for the box. We had a little problem locating the box at first until Astro D noticed another rock and she found the box. We found a bench in the shade and stamped in. We got the box back under its rock and decided it was time for lunch.

For lunch rubberpeace had stated she wanted to go to Church Street Cafe, which was fine with Astro D and I since we had eaten there before and liked it. We had a great lunch and visit and a break from the heat outside. After a leisurely meal we headed for one last letterbox in Old Town and dessert. We walked a short distance to the next location and found all the landmarks but we were having trouble locating the box. We sat at a table (in the shade) and read the clues, checked the compass and tried again. Still no luck. Then as I was walking around I noticed something that I thought could be the answer to finding the box. I ended up moving a rock and digging a little and I found the box. Which turned out to be a wet and rusted tin. We took it back to a table and after a little work I got it open. The stamp was wet and sticky so Astro D took it and cleaned it off and dried it. Thankfully the logbook was dry. We all stamped in and made sure the stamp and logbook were clean and dry. Then we made a decision and we hoped the planter would be okay with it. We put the stamp in a small baggie, the logbook in another small baggie and then both of those into a larger baggie. And then just to be sure we put all of that into another baggie. When I went to rehide the box the area was swarming with muggles. So rubberpeace and I sat next to the hiding spot and Astro D took our picture and while this was going on I was reaching down and hiding the box. Now that we had taken care of Celestini by Celestini we went for some dessert. We ended up getting chocolate and then heading for the car. Let me tell you that the chocolate was melting before we reached the car.

Our next stop was in downtown at the New Mexico Holocaust and Intolerance Museum. None of us felt like actually visiting the museum so we just went in search of the box - Twinville Trekkers' Beatles Series #20 "Give Peace a Chance". It was a pretty easy find and we ended up stamping in the car because it was so hot. We put the box back in place and then headed to Roosevelt Park to find Wronghat's Jillion Gyrations. I love this park. It is so green and full of trees, there is a disc golf course and a playground - it is just a really nice place to hang out. We found the box and sat under a tree to stamp in. We got everything done and got the box back in its hiding spot and headed back to the car. We had time for one more box before heading back to Santa Fe. We opted for the closest box and that was All Quiet by Wronghat. I had already found this one but both rubberpeace and Astro D needed to find it. So we headed to Fairview Memorial Park Cemetery and followed the clues to the box. They used the car to stamp in and then rehid the box.

We made the drive back to Santa Fe and when we got to my house rubberpeace showed me how to do her 'map fold'. This is an origami type fold that is used to take a large piece of paper and make it into a more manageable size that can be open to view the whole picture. After that they left to go home. We had a great day of letterboxing and it was a nice way to celebrate rubberpeace's birthday and letterboxing anniversary and I hope she had a great day.
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