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, December 29, 2011

Lunch and a Letterbox

Today I had lunch with Astro D and rubberpeace - it was a great visit and lunch at Back Street Bistro. Before I left home to meet them I got an email from Astro D to bring my letterboxing things so that we could go and find a new letterbox (Song of Ice and Fire: House Stark) that was placed just before Christmas by BirchMoon. So after eating we headed to Pueblo del Sol Playground. We first went with rubberpeace to find a letterbox that both Astro D and I had already found - Pueblo del Sol Playground letterbox. Once she had stamped in and gotten the box rehidden we followed the clues to the Song of Ice and Fire box. It was a short walk on a snowy and icy path to the box. We found it quickly and backtracked to a bench to stamp in. After we all had gotten the image and left our 'sig stamp' image in the logbook I went back to get the box hidden again. We returned to the car and rubberpeace made a suggestion that we get together monthly to go letterboxing. She is planning an outing for January, I am working on an overnight jaunt for February and Astro D will plan something for March. We will see how this works - I think it will be fun and give us letterboxing fun to look forward to. We also talked about T.A.L.E. 9 - Get Wild. This is the annual Texas letterboxing event they hold every year the first weekend in March. Astro D is already signed up and rubberpeace and I are both seriously thinking about it - oh, who am I kidding - we are both going to be there as well. So now I am working on that trip. I always love attending these events - the Texas letterboxers are so friendly and I always have a good time and find some great boxes.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Snowy Letterboxing

Today I had lunch with Astro D and we had decided to go and look for a letterbox after eating. The box in question is a mystery box. We knew it was in Santa Fe but the rest was a bit of a problem. Well I should be a little more clear in this - I was having a big problem figuring this one out. When the clue was first published on AQ I printed it out and started to try and figure it out. I never got anywhere with the clue. Astro D emailed me a couple of days ago asking if I wanted to go look for this box and when I told her I hadn't figured it out she told me she had trouble as well but wrote the placer and she got a couple of hints back. She emailed me those hints and I tried to figure it out. I came up with some stuff but not everything and I wasn't even sure that what I had was right. So when we met for lunch we talked about it and I did have a small part right but not much and with out a little help from Astro D I am not sure I could have found the box. But we headed out to the place and followed the rest of the clues and found the box covered with about an inch of snow and a couple of rocks that were frozen in place. After I kicked the first rock loose the other rocks moved easily and there was the box. We took it to a large flat rock that was snow free and stamped in. It was a nice stamp and an interesting clue. So after stamping in we put Arkham City - Riddler back into its hiding spot and called it a day. I love letterboxing with friends and had a great time today - thanks Astro D.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Quick Letterbox Find

This past week has been very busy and I haven't had much time for any fun so today while out running errands I decided to take a little break and look for a box. This box was planted back in November and I didn't have time then to go and find it because Thomas and I were getting ready for our trip to Florida. The box is Tree Ornament Box placed by BirchMoon and ArnoldZiffel and was placed at the Santa Fe Community College. So I pulled into the parking area and then started following the clues. Right off the bat I had trouble - I couldn't find the sculpture that was in the picture in the clue. But in the end nothing mattered. Because I turned around and I saw the box just sitting on top of a retaining wall. When I walked over to it I noticed lots of cigarette butts all around and it looked like someone had moved the rocks that were suppose to be hiding it. So I grabbed the box and walked over to the next building and sat at a table to stamp in. This box had five small stamps in it and some round cardstock. The idea was to take a piece of cardstock and stamp the stamps on it to create an ornament. Then you take the cardstock home and put a string or hook on it to finish it off. The clues also stated that you could add a stamp to the collection if you wanted. So I stamped in and added a little stamp to the collection. Then I went to rehide the box. I moved all the rocks and tried to make the hole a little deeper to get the box to be less noticeable. I had a little trouble because the ground was frozen. I was able to make it a little deeper but not enough to really hide the box. It is better than when I found it but it isn't great - I really hope this box lasts. I did notify the placers and hopefully they will go and find a better spot. Anyway, it was a nice letterboxing outing and I enjoyed the box.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Letterboxing - Universal's Islands of Adventure - 2 for 2

Letterboxing in the theme parks has been a very hard test. There are so many people around and all coming from different directions as well as seeing you from up above or down below if there is a hill or ramp around. But today when Thomas and I visited Universal's Islands of Adventure we found two out of two letterboxes. Not sure why both were still there and in good shape but they were. And today wasn't very crowded (at least not when we were looking for the boxes) and we found both of them without any problems or without having to wait a long time for the area to clear. We found Boy Wizard by papertrail and Luna Lovegood by Roots and Shoots Redmond. Both of these are hidden in the newest area of IOA - The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And both are hidden in the same area - they are actually only about 20 steps from each other. The walkway where these are hidden could possibly be very busy at times as it is the exit area for one of the rollercoaster rides. Luckily for us today was a very quiet day in the park. I am glad I got these two stamps as Harry Potter is one of my favorite characters, books and movies. Thanks for the boxes guys.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Letterboxing - Hollywood Studios - 2 for 6

Very difficult to look for and find boxes at these Disney Theme Parks. Today I looked for a few boxes while walking around Disney's Hollywood Studios. In between rides and shows we would look for boxes. But with so many people around it was hard. Our first attempt went well. We went to see when the Indiana Jones Stunt Show was scheduled and found the area pretty empty of people. So we went in search of WDW's Hollywood Studios. It was an easy find and I sat and stamped in on a nearby bench where no one could see me - unless that is where there were hidden cameras. After this box was in place we went on visitng the park. After riding Twilight Zone's Tower of Terror and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster we searched for two boxes in this area. We didn't find either one of them. One was velcroed to the underside of a fence - I found the velcro but no stamp. The second one we didn't find any sign of the box and we ended up looking in three spots because I wasn't sure of the location from the clues but still came up empty handed. After this failed attempt we decided to see one of the shows and after that looked for another box in route to another ride. This one we found but it took a little while. I had to study the map of the park and look like I was trying to figure out where to go next because there were just too many people in the area. While I was doing this I kind of looked around the area and spotted the camo box. When the coast was clear I grabbed it and stamped in. When I went to put it back in place there was no one around so that was easy.

On to the last two boxes. The next one was hidden around the Animation area. We followed the clues but the end was a little sketchy and the area was busy but I still sat on the planter ledge and gave it a try. I came up empty handed so Thomas gave it a try and he also came up empty handed. Time to move on - lots to do. One more box near a car stunt show. The show was over but there were cast members picking up things. We waited until they left and then I ducked behind the bushes and searched around three trees but did not find the box. Oh well, I guess two for six isn't bad - at least I found two. I have decided I will not ever hide a box in a theme park - just too many people and too manicured for a box to stay put.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Letterboxing - Animal Kingdom - 0 for 4

We spent the day at Disney's Animal Kingdom today and I had clues for four boxes here. We started at the beginning - just as you entered the park you looked for some landmarks and followed clues to a box very near the entrance. We looked but didn't find. So we continued. The next box we looked for was in the vicinity of The Tree of Life. Not right near it but a little ways down the road. Again after searching we came up empty handed. We continued our visit of the park until we came to the next area where there was a box. So we followed the clues, found all of the landmarks but again no box. We still had one more but it was on the other side of the park and we said if we got there we would look for it but no special trip just for the box. We did make it to the area of the last box at the end of the day but again we didn't find it. For these four boxes I am sure we were in the right spot for each of them but they were gone. The clues were straight forward and the areas were easy to find but no boxes. So we found 0 of 4 boxes. So far on this trip we are 6 for 24 - pretty bad! We are not giving up though. I still have some clues and we are here until Friday morning, so who knows - maybe we will find a few more.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Letterboxing - Epcot - 6 for 15

Today we were at Epcot and I had clues for 15 boxes. One set of clues was for a series of 11 boxes, one was a series of two and the other two were single boxes. We started by looking for the series of 11 boxes which is called The World Showcase. Each of the boxes was placed in a different country. The other boxes were in various countries so I marked which ones were in which country and we headed out. In between seeing shows and looking around we searched for boxes.

We ended up going in the opposite direction than the clues only because we entered the World Showcase in that area. We entered into Canada first and looked for the box there - it took a little patience but in the end we found it - this was a box from the World Showcase series. And while I was stamping in Thomas noticed a woman reading a paper and looking around so he asked her if she was letterboxing and she responded with a hesitant "Maybe!". They introduced themselves as The Treasure Seekers from Ohio. We talked for a bit and then Thomas and I left them to stamp in and we moved on. In Great Britian there were two boxes to look for - one from the World Showcase and one from another series called A Christmas Carol. We didn't find either box. They were both in the same area which had a bandstand, a small hedge maze and some sitting areas. There weren't too many people but it wasn't empty either. Both boxes were placed near these large columns that were part of a decorative wrought iron fence. You had to reach in between the decorative wrought iron and find the box. Neither Thomas nor I could get our arms in enough to actually search for the Great Britian box for the World Showcase series and the box from A Christmas Carol series was in an area that was blocked off with Christmas decorations and a set up for Father Christmas - so no boxes found in Great Britian. Moving on we looked for two boxes in France. Both were in the same area - one from the World Showcase Series and a single one. We found the France box for the World Showcase Series and sat on a bench to stamp in - then I put the box back in place and read the clues for the second box. But I wasn't able to look for it because Cinderella showed up and the area was packed with people right where I needed to look. So we just skipped that box. Next stop in Morocco for another of the World Showcase boxes. I sat on a bench in the area where the box was suppose to be and read the clues and found the spot I needed to look in and just as I was heading to the spot a couple came and sat down in the area. I waited a little while but they didn't seem to be leaving so I took my things and went and sat right next to the area and casually reached in and searched for the box. I was looking in the opposite direction so I only had feel to go on. I didn't find the box and I didn't want to be too obvious so we just left and went on to the next one. We were now in Japan. We followed the clues and hit a road block - literally. They had blocked the path (in three places) with large wooden walls that were braced and held in place with cinder blocks so we couldn't even get close enough to look for the box.

So we continued on. The next stop was the United States. We found the first landmark and then from there just looked for the next landmarks. We spotted the what we thought was the right area but there was no way to get to it. There were strollers (two deep) lined up along the fence we needed to get to where the boulder was that hid the box. There was also a cast member who was dealing with the strollers so we had no chance at this one. Next was Italy. The area was really crowded because there was this little show going on - which in the end helped us because people were watching the show and not us. Fortunately for this box we were able to sit right near the spot and reach behind the fence and grab the box without being noticed. I stamped in right there and then replaced the box before moving on - this was one of the World Showcase series boxes. Now we were in Germany. There was one box for the World Showcase series, one for the A Christmas Carol series and a single one. The first one we looked for was the single box - I found a landmark that fitted the clues but there was no box there so we continued around the building looking for that same landmark and we found it but we weren't able to get to it because there was a large group of people waiting in line to take pictures with Snow White (too bad the evil queen didn't succeed with that poison apple) - so no box found there. Then we looked for and found the box from the A Christmas Carol series - thankfully this was in a quiet area with hardly anyone around and it was kind of hidden out of the way. After stamping in and replacing the box we went in search of the World Showcase box. We found that one as well even though it was in a more open area but it was also kind of hidden so I didn't have too much trouble retrieving and rehiding the box. Before we left Germany we checked to see if Snow White was gone but she wasn't so we decided it wasn't worth the wait so we made our way to China. There was an acrobatic show going on in the pavilion so we had to wait a few minutes before we could look for World Showcase box here. When we finally got the chance to look for the box we came up empty handed. We had two more boxes to look for from the World Showcase series. Now we were in Norway and we followed the clues and found the spot. I sat down next to the landmark and reached in (all the way to my elbow) but did not find the box. By this time it was dark and it did me no good to look into the spot - all I can say is thankfully nothing bit me. One last box in Mexico. We found the first landmark, then the second and then the third. I had to wait a few seconds for the area to clear and then I quickly reached in and found the box. I took it to some steps out of the way to stamp in and then replaced it.

So we only found six out of 15 boxes. It is really hard to be stealthy in Walt Disney World so we had to forgo looking for a few of the boxes and I am sure that some of the ones we looked for were missing due to the busyness of the area and the large amount of people present. Anyway, I can now saw that I have found letterboxes in Florida - the 34th state that I have found boxes in.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Letterboxing - Disney's Magic Kingdom - 0 for 5

Today we were at Disney's Magic Kingdom. I had clues for five boxes and I had marked them on the map when we first arrived at the park. So when we were in a area that had a mark for a box we took the time to look for it. The first ones we looked for were around the area where Pirates of the Caribbean ride is. One of the clues (which showed two boxes) had you look for the pressed penny machine in the gift shop that had a roof on it. We found a machine but it didn't have a roof and there was on box around it. We even asked a worker (oops! sorry - I mean a cast member) if there was another machine in the gift shop - and there wasn't - so no box or boxes. Next we went outside the gift shop and went around the side near some bathrooms and looked for another box. We followed the clues but had a little trouble looking for the box because it was such a busy area. Thomas and I took turns looking but people kept watching us so eventually we gave up looking for the box. So 0 for 3 at this point.

The next place we looked for a box was on Tom Sawyer's Island. We had to cross over Superstition Bridge and look in the middle of a multi-trunked tree. Again this was a very busy area and it was hard to look for the box without drawing attention. We sat and waited for times when no one was around but it was still difficult. We actually looked in two different places because I wasn't sure of the exact location for the clues and we found two multi-trunked trees kind of close to each other. Anyway we gave up after 15 minutes mainly because there were just too many people around. The last box we had clues for was at Cinderella's Castle. We didn't even attempt this one because there were just too many people in the area and it was awkward snooping around the place. So we ended up 0 for 5 boxes. It is really hard to be stealthy at Disney World - just way too many people.
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