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, December 24, 2012

Letterboxing On Our Way Home

The phone rang at 5:30am for our wake up call so we could get on the road early and head home to Santa Fe. The car was loaded and we had take away breakfast from the hotel and we were on the road. It was still dark and there was no traffic which made it easy to get from Westminster through Denver. We didn't even have trouble getting through Colorado Springs - there was no traffic at all. I guess everyone was taking today as a holiday as well. We stopped in Pueblo to fill up the car with gas and to use the restroom. Then we were on our way again. I had clues for boxes in Raton, Folsom and Capulin so we had planned to take a detour and get these boxes.
Raton Sign on Goat Hill
When we arrived in Raton we made our way up to Goat Hill to find Texas Longhorn placed by Gryzzled Gryphon and Frost Maiden. We found the landmarks and in no time I had the box in hand. I stamped in at the car and then replaced the box. After that I took some pictures and enjoyed the views. Fifteen minutes later we were heading down Hwy72 toward Folsom. We drove to just before mile marker 10 and found TaiChi and ChaiTea's To NM from CO. It was covered with about a half inch of snow but easy to retrieve. I was surprised to find that I was the first finder - woohoo! Once that box was in place we continued our drive along Hwy72 heading east. We kept our eyes out for the landmark for the next box.
Rainbow Ranch
This was Rainbow Ranch by DennisonExplorer. Eventually we found the sign and the bike. We parked and I could see the box from the car. It was just under a bush, not covered or anything. When I went closer I could see that it was probably hidden that way to begin with. There were no rocks anywhere and no hole or anything to cover it. So I took it back to the car and stamped in. After I replaced it we drove through Folsom and continued on NM325 to Capulin. We drove past the volcano and made our way to the center of town to the Capulin Country Store. There was supposed to be two boxes here. So I went in search of the first box (which contains the clues for the second box) and Thomas went in to the store to get some snacks and distract anyone inside. I followed the clues and searched for the box but was having problems. I was feeling a little uncomfortable just walking around the building searching things and I was also right on the highway. After 15 minutes I decided to give up and returned to the car. A few minutes later Thomas came out of the store and got into the car. He said the man inside was a little suspicious and asked what I was doing. So I am thinking that this isn't a good spot for the box. And Thomas thought maybe the man found the box and removed it and was thinking I might be looking for it - but he didn't say that to Thomas. Anyway we decided to call it a day and head home. I hope I just missed the box and that it isn't missing but I would like more direct clues so that I wouldn't have to snoop around the store and make the man suspicious if I decide to go back and look for the box again. The rest ot the drive home was uneventful and we were glad to be home before the snow started. We had a great trip, a nice visit with Thomas' brother and found some wonderful letterboxes.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Louisville, Broomfield and Westminster

This morning we slept in and then met Chris and Karla for brunch around 10:00am at New Star Cafe in Broomfield. And after a great meal and a wonderful visit we said our goodbyes and Thomas and I set out for some letterboxing. Yesterday we had a little problem finding a box and last night I looked at the clues and realized the clues were a little different than the ones I had and I also realized that there was another box very near this box. So that is where we started letterboxing. We returned to the Coal Creek Trail in Louisville and made out way to the area mentioned in the clues to find The Pepperoni Pie and This Way 2011 Feet. We found both boxes without a problem but the This Way 2011 Feet box was out in the open and the stamp and baggies were all over. I could not find a logbook anywhere.
Harper Lake and the Rockies
After stamping in I put the box back together but I didn't have an extra logbook to leave in the box. So I let the placer know and hopefully they will be able to get it all fix soon. We left there and headed to one more box in the Louisville area. We arrived at Harper Lake (or Leon Wurl Wildlife Sanctuary) and parked. We followed the trail around the lake to the landmarks mentioned in the clues. I found the box and found a spot to sit and stamp in. I enjoyed the stamp and the area. There were so many birds around. We saw lots of geese, ducks and some white birds (sorry I am not that good at identifying birds). With the box back in place we continued on our journey. We made our way to Broomfield and did a quick drive by to find Grouron Jack's. I love this box. It is hidden near Rock Creek Farm off of some trail that I didn't get the name. I loved the stamps but I won't tell you anything else - you will just have to go and find the box yourself.

From here we made our way to Westminster for finish off our letterboxing. Our first stop here was at Big Dry Creek Park. The walk to the box (You Spin Me Round) was short and we found the box without any problems, especially since the box was in the open (well it was in the hole but not covered). Even though I could see the box I was a little worried about grabbing it because the clue stated that one of the finders saw a snake in the hole with the box. So I grabbed a stick and knocked the box out of the hole and found a spot to sit and stamp in. I replaced the box and it was on to the next location. We ended up in what looked to me like a very ritzy neighborhood. We parked on one of the streets and took an access down to a trail. Near where the access met the trail was a bench and across the trail from the bench was a group of bushes or small trees and under that was the Singing Daisy. I stamped in on the bench and then rehid the box. We returned to the car and then drove literally around the corner to Vogel Pond Open Space. As our afternoon progressed the temperature started dropping and the wind picked up a little. So Thomas decided to wait in the car and read while I walked around the trails and found boxes. I followed the clues and found all three boxes I looked for here. I found Nala Awaits Her Beau, Free Wheeling Timon and Loyal Pumbaa. By the time I found all three boxes and stamped in and then rehid them I was getting pretty cold. So when the last box was back in place I headed back to the car. I still had clues for three more boxes but it was almost 4:00pm. We decided to get one more box just a few blocks away and then call it a day. We made our way to Valley View Park and quickly found Singing Donald (so now Daisy won't have to do a solo). I stamped in and returned the box to its hiding spot. Back in the car we decided on an early dinner and for some reason we were both craving pizza. Old Chicago won out and we set the navigation and headed to the restaurant. We had a great meal and since it was our first time there the manager came out and talked to us and gave us each a $5 gift card for future visits. I thought that was incredible customer service and the next time we are in the area I will sure make a stop there again even without the gift cards. Now we are settled in for the night and have things ready for our trip home tomorrow. We hear that snow is in the forecast so we will have to see what we will be able to do as we head home. As of right now we have plans to try and find a few boxes around Raton, Folsom and Capulin areas.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Letterboxing in Louisville

Last night we stayed in a hotel in Pueblo and this morning we woke up and got things ready to complete our drive to visit Thomas' brother in Broomfield. We stopped for breakfast and by 9:00am we were on the road again. We made our way up to Louisville to do a little letterboxing before going to Chris' (that's Thomas' brother). Arriving in Louisville we made our way to the first letterbox, and actually we were going to get two from the same location even though the clues told you to park in different spots. So we parked and took the very short walk to the first box.
The Colorado Rockies from Coal Creek Trail
At first I didn't find the box because I looked under the wrong black rock. A minute later (after finding the right black rock) I had the box in hand. There was a nearby bench to sit on and stamp in. I opened the box (If it Smells Like a Rat, Give it Cheese) and found a hitchhiker (that I will move on). The stamp was funny and I loved it - I won't say what it is so that it doesn't spoil the surprise when you find it. After stamping in we replaced the box. From this point we continued down the trail (which I think is part of the Coal Creek Trail that runs all over this area) to the next landmarks. We found the mile marker sign, crossed the private drive and then located the 7'6" sign. Here we had some problems. There is a fallen tree right next to the fence and 7'6" sign and we looked there for The Pepperoni Pie. We did found a kind of large hidey hole and two rocks but no letterbox. While I was searching the are around this tree Thomas saw another fallen tree just a few feet away so he went and searched that one. We both came up empty handed so we decided to call it quits and head to the next box. We drove to the parking area for the Aquarius Trail on Hwy42 which was really not far from where we just left. After parking we started our walk to find the next box - Celtic Hearts. We walked about 300 feet before I realized we were going the wrong way so we turned around and headed back to where we started. Then we took the right trail and walked the short distance to where the letterbox was hidden. We found it quickly and found a spot to sit and stamp in. Once the box was back in place we walked back to the car and then headed to Chris' house.

We visited with Chris, Karla and Ashley for a while and then Chris and I took a walk to the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Library to find Green Eggs and Ham. We had a pleasant walk along a beautiful trail in Broomfield. We arrived at the library and followed the clues and found the box without any problems. There is a table nearby that we sat at to stamp in. After replacing the box we walked around a wonderful 9/11 Memorial and then headed back to the house. For dinner we went to Waterloo in downtown Louisville. This place is owned by the same people that owned Waterloo Records in Austin. I had a great hamburger and sweet potato fries while Thomas had some incredible mac & cheese with chicken. After we all finished our meals we walked over to Sweet Cow for some ice cream. This place has some delicious homemade ice creams. Thomas had peppermint stick with chocolate sprinkles and I had espresso bean - it was a perfect way to end the night. We dropped Chris, Karla and Ashley back at their house and then we made our way to our hotel. Now that I am showered and done with this blog it is time to get some sleep. Tomorrow I am not sure what we are doing.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The World Was Supposed To End . . .

. . . so I went letterboxing.

Thomas and I made plans to visit his brother in Broomfield, CO for the weekend. So today after work we left Santa Fe and headed north. Of course I had also planned to do a little letterboxing during this trip as well. We left Santa Fe around 4:00pm and had a pretty uneventful drive along I25 to Raton. It was around 6:30pm when we arrived in Raton so we decide it would be a good time to stop and get a bite to eat. After a quick dinner we were back on the road so we could get to our destination for the night - Pueblo. But I wanted to stop and grab a letterbox before we actually arrived in Pueblo. We exited at Colorado City and made our way to a rest area. We parked and I read the clues in the warmth of the car. It took a little while to find the landmarks since it was 8:30pm and dark. Thomas found the sign we needed and he stayed at the car and I went in search of Iris Garden. From the sign I was able to see the area better due to a street lamp a few feet away. I read the clues again and quickly found the three junipers and the tall tree next to them. Once I was headed to the box the light was not helping much so I took out a flashlight for the last little part of the walk and to locate the box at the base of the tree. I found the box easily and jogged back to the warmth of the car to stamp in. After stamping in I quickly made my way back to the hiding spot to replace the box. Am I crazy or what - I found this box at 8:30 at night, trekking through an inch of snow with the temperature hovering at about 25° - while Thomas waited for me in the warm car.

Once the box was back in place and I was in the car we finished the short drive to Pueblo and found a hotel. Luckily the first one we stopped at had vacancies. Tomorrow we make our way to Broomfield to visit Thomas' brother and hopefully find a couple more letterboxes.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Day of Letterboxing in the Duke City

Another day off and I decided that letterboxing sounded more fun than cleaning the house and running errands. So I mapped out some boxes in Albuquerque and gathered my things and hit the road. We had about five and a half inches of snow on Monday in Santa Fe and it was pretty cold. So I was hoping that Albuquerque was a little warmer and I knew that they hadn't received any snow so I felt like it would be a good day to letterbox there.
Albuquerque Balloon Museum
I arrived in the Duke City a little after 9:00am and made my way to my first stop - The Anderson - Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum. I had clues for two boxes here. There were only about five cars in the parking lot and as I parked near where the first box was hidden I had to wait about five minutes because a security car pulled up and parked just in front of me. They eventually got out of the car and went into the museum. I took the opportunity to run and grab Flying New Mexico Blue Skies. I found it easily enough and took it back to my car to stamp in. So I stamped in and as I was getting everything packed away the security people returned to their car and left. That left the coast clear to put the box back in place. After rehiding the box I drove my car to the opposite end of the parking lot to find the next box - Follow Your Dreams. This was also an easy find hidden under a bush at the far end of the parking lot. I stamped in while sitting in the car and then replaced the box. Now I was on my way to the next location. From the museum I drove the short distance to Paseo del Norte and Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Here I was looking for Burgers & Fries, Oh Mies!! and thankfully the area was deserted since the place wasn't opened yet. I was able to find the box and sit at a table near the building and then replace the box without seeing any other person. I really liked this stamp - very cute. I returned to my car and headed south on I25 to Central and parked near the University of New Mexico. I ended up parking about two blocks away from where the next box was hidden. So I walked the short distance to the box and when the coast was clear I found Lion King Musical Nala. There was a wall nearby where I could sit and stamp in.
Mural in Frances Tinnin Park
This is a great stamp from BirchMoon and I enjoyed finding this box. After stamping in and rehiding the box I headed back to the car. The next box is in the downtown area so I made the short distance to Gold and 2nd St. to find Wronghat's New Mexico Women #3: Mary Colter. This box is hidden in a small pocket park called Frances Tinnin Park. I found the box's hiding spot but had to wait a minute because someone was sitting about five feet away. He finally left and I say next to the box and pulled it from its hidey hole. I stamped in and then quickly replaced it before someone else showed up.
I had clues for one more box that I wanted to find and since it was still early (not quite noon) I decided I would head out to find it. Back in August I was out at Petroglyph's National Monument and I found Wronghat's Plethora of Petroglyphs. Then in mid November I received an email from Wronghat that he had placed a bonus box associated with the Plethora box and since I had already found the original box he sent me the clues for the bonus.
***Now before anyone gets all bent out of shape, I am not giving away anything - just the other day I received a note from Wronghat giving me permission to mention it on this blog - here is what he said . . .
I'm glad you had a good time--If you want to mention Pteroid in your blog so you can write about your adventure--which I'd like to read about--you have my blessing. Maybe it'd get more people out to find the Plethora box.
So I followed the clues to the bonus box. I am not going to tell you where it is hidden - you will just have to find Plethora of Petroglyphs to get the clue. Lets just say that I decided to make an afternoon of visiting the Petroglyphs. I started my visit at the Visitors Center (where Plethora is hidden) and got a map of the park. I also shopped in their store and bought a couple of books. I then went to the Rinconada Canyon area of the park. I really liked this area. There is a loop trail that is just a little over 2 miles roundtrip. One part of the trail follows along the rocks where all the petroglyphs are. While taking pictures a young man (a volunteer with the park) showed up and he answered a few questions about the park and the petroglyphs. He turned out to be very knowledgeable and friendly. I finished my walk and returned to the car. I left this area and drove to the Boca Negra Canyon part of the park. While here I walked around the area and just enjoyed the absolutely beautiful day that Albuquerque was providing. I really enjoyed exploring this park and seeing all the petroglyphs.

Petroglyph at Rinconada Canyon

Monday, December 03, 2012

White Rock, Los Alamos and the Jemez Mountain Trail

I have been working a lot lately and I decided a couple of days ago that I needed a day away to drive and letterbox. So I looked up some clues and decided to hunt for boxes in White Rock, Los Alamos and along the Jemez Mountain Trail. I figured I could do all these in a day. I had clues for 15 boxes. Last night I got my letterbox stuff and my camera ready and I also packed some snacks. So this morning I just needed to load the car and get some water and coffee and I was ready to go.
White Rock Canyon

I left the house around 6:35am and headed for White Rock. I left the house early enough that I didn't meet any traffic. I arrived at my first stop around 7:20am. This was at Overlook Park. I parked at the back of the park near the overlook. The clues said to walk from your car to overlook point with the blue railing and just before entering turn left and follow the small trail that leads to the tip of the ridge. So I did just that scrambling over some rocks and making my way along the ridge in the direction of Black Mesa. Then the clues stated that when you got to the last rock outcropping that you had to look at the base of a large flat lava rock that sticks up in your path. At first I thought that the person who wrote the clues was crazy - there are rocks sticking up all over the place. So I just stood there for a minute and assessed the area.
Black Mesa
I then choose the most likely spot and looked there. Thankfully I found the box on the first try because I was seriously tired of climbing over rocks. I found a nice flat spot to sit and stamp in. I was the first finder of the Venom Overlook box placed by angel77ra. I replaced the box and retraced my steps back to the car. During my walk along the ridge I took quite a few pictures and enjoyed the wonderful views of Black Mesa and White Rock Canyon. It was a fantastic way to start the day, a quiet walk along a ridge with amazing views - I highly recommend it.

So I left Overlook Park and White Rock for the thriving metropolis of Los Alamos. As I drove into Los Alamos I stopped at Fuller Lodge to find Off With Their Head! by angel77ra. There were three people just hovering around the area so I took out my camera and walked around and took a few pictures until they all left. I had scoped out where the box was hidden and when the coast was clear I nabbed it and then took it to a bench to stamp in. I loved the stamp and enjoyed the area. After rehiding the box I returned to my car to continue my letterboxing. I drove around Pueblo Canyon on Diamond Dr. to N. Mesa Rd. and made my way to North Mesa Picnic Grounds. I found the last picnic table in the area and parked. I followed the clues and in no time I found Where There is Smoke There is . . . by angel77ra. The area was so quiet and I sat on a flat rock and stamped in and just enjoyed the morning. I then replaced the box and returned to my car. My next stop wasn't too far from the picnic area so I drove the short distance to the intersection of Arizona and 45th and parked at the Mitchell Trail Head.
View on the Mitchell Trail
I was on the hunt for a letterbox/geocache hybrid called Mitchell Trail OHV. I followed the clues (or hints) from the geocaching website and that got me close to the box. I didn't have a gps to use the coordinates so I read more of the hints and then did some searching and after about 15 minutes I found the box. I stamped in and then put the box back in place. Once back at the car I drove to the Quezamon Trail Head off of Trinity and 48th. I parked and followed the clues and in a short time I found Choose Your Poison. I sat and stamped in and enjoyed the quiet. For most of my time out letterboxing this morning I was pretty much alone - the only time I saw anyone was at Fuller Lodge - and I have to say I was enjoying the solitude. After putting the poison back I read the clues for another box in the area. This one being on a much longer hike. The box I was going to look for was Demise of Jabberwock. From Choose Your Poison I had to make my way to a water tower and a green gate. Once there I had to follow a faint trailto the right. This trail took me down into a small canyon and then up the other side. Once out of the canyon I was to turn left and follow the trail to another water tower. Unfortunately I never made it to another water tower. I was just walking along following a trail and going further up. Eventually I noticed a water tower down and to my right. So I figured I was way off from meeting up with the other landmarks of the clues. At tthis point I was feeling really confused and decided to scrap looking for this box. I turned around and retraced my steps back to my car. I will have to return another time for this box. Now I had one more box in Los Alamos to find before heading up NM4. I drove to Camp May Road and followed it up to the Pajarito Ski Area (well really a short distance from the area) and parked near a red gate. I followed the clues and in no time I found I'm Late, I'm Late For a Very Important Date! hidden just a little ways from the gate. I quickly stamped in and put the box back in its hiding spot. I was done with the list of boxes in Los Alamos and it was time for my drive to Jemez Springs.

I drove along NM4 just enjoying the views and a little past the Valles Cadera I pulled over into a small parking area for the East Fork Trail #121. Following the clues I walked the short distance up the trail until I came to a large, flat rock on my left. I found Lion on the Valles hidden under this rock. I used the rock to sit and stamp into the box and I noticed a great view of the Valles Caldera just in front of me. So after replacing the box I walked a little closer and took some pictures before heading back to the car. Moving on I drove along NM4 until I arrived at the junction of NM126. I turned here and drove past the San Antonio campground and parked in a pull out on the right side of the road. I got out of the car and went in search of the San Antonio letterbox. I followed the clues and searched all over the place but was having no luck. I kept returning to the starting point and trying again. After about 20 minutes I decided I was not going to find the box on this outing and called it quits. (As a side note, now that I am home I think I know where to look next time I am out there).
View along FR376
From here I decided to go to FR376 and look for the Porter Trio letterbox. I had to get to the third widest brigde near mile marker 11. I drove and counted bridges and I only saw one and that one was more closer to mile marker 13. I pulled over and looked around but the rest of the clues didn't make sense. So I continued my drive to mile marker 11 - there was no brigde around.  I drove a little further but didn't find a bridge. And since the day was getting away from me and I still had a few other boxes to look for I decided to turn around and head back to NM4. Even though this little side trip netted me no boxes I really enjoyed the drive - it was absolutely beautiful. (Another side note: I think I needed to go a little further than I did to reach the next bridge - I turned around too early). Back on NM4 I drove to the parking area for Soda Dam. The place was deserted. No other cars and no other people. I got out of the car and crossed the street to the dam and followed the clues to the top.
Soda Dam
I walked along the the top until I reached the landmark and then I made my way down to the river. I searched the area but never found the box. I am not sure if I was in the wrong place or if the box is missing since the clues to look for the box state "When you reach the great root, turn left and search within the rock wall before you, one of these things is not like the other." Well, the rock wall is pretty big and I was a little confused as to what wasn't like the other. So I didn't find Bread Box but I did get to explore around Soda Dam - this was my first visit here. Continuing on I made my way to the village of Jemez Springs and parked at the library. I walked to the back of the library and followed the clues to easily find Hot Water. There was no one around so it was easy to grab and I took it up to the deck at the back of the library and stamped in at a table. I then replaced the box and went in search of Slimy-Readers Choice. I was having a little trouble with the clues and I started searching different rocks but was not finding the box. I then noticed a man walking toward me with a fishing pole so I took out my camera and started taking pictures. We ended up talking for about 15 minuets - he told me about his son who also liked to take pictures and he told me how the two of them travel up and down NM4 stopping at different spots so his son can do his photography.
Jemez River in Jemez Springs
It was actually a nice visit. After he left I reread the clues and this time I found the box. I sat on a nice flat rock and stamped in. I got the box back under its rock and returned to my car. There was one more box to look for along NM4 just outside the village at The Bluffs fishing area. The box is called Stop and Rest. I parked in a pull out and had to step over a low fence to get in since the gate was closed. I followed the clues and walked down the path. Again I got a little confused - the clues stated that I was to look for a SPOR where the path starts to sharply turn to the right in a horseshoe shape. At first I thought I found the spot but when I searched amongst the rocks I came up empty handed. So I walked back and forth along the "horseshoe" but never found the box.
So during my drive today I searched for 14 boxes and found 9 - I came up empty handed for 5. Now it was time to make my way home. I drove the rest of NM4 to the intersection of US550. I took this south to Bernalillo. Then I remembered I had one more clue. So I made a quick stop to nab that box. It was a quick and easy find and before I knew it I was back on the road. So I found 10 boxes today and had a great time exploring the Jemez Mountain Trail National Scenic Byway. By the time I arrived back in Santa Fe it was about 6:00pm and I was relaxed and happy - thanks to everyone who populated the area and created a fantastic adventure.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Quick Drive-by After Work

When I left work today I had a notice on my phone that Box Radar had updated. So I opened the app and pressed on one of the icons.
Cute little Christmas Cracker
It just so happened to be a new box that was planted today. And it was very near my house. I didn't have any of my letterboxing stuff with me so I went home and printed out the clue and grabbed my letterboxing bag. It took me about five minutes to get to the box. From my car I was able to figure out the area where the box was but I had to wait. A truck had parked facing the box and someone was sitting in it. Luckily, the driver came out of the store in five minutes. Then I ran to the area and  found the box without a problem. I brought it back to my car to stamp in. It was a great stamp and the box is called Christmas Crackers. It was planted by ArnoldZiffel. After stamping in I quickly replaced the box while there was no one around. I had a great time getting this quick drive-by letterbox.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Driving and Letterboxing

For the past week or so I have been going through all the clues for boxes in New Mexico and then mapping them out and planning for some trips when I have time. I have gotten some boxes in and around the Santa Fe area but the ones I have left are further away and will take at least a full day to go and find them. So I had put the clues aside waiting for a free day. Well today was that day. I was scheduled for work but I got a call that they didn't need me today so I that meant I had a fee day.
Tucumcari Veterans Memorial

I quickly got my letterboxing stuff together and grabbed the clues and headed out for a day of driving and letterboxing. I got on I25 and headed north and then took US285 south to I40 east. Once on I40 I drove to exit 251 - a rest area a few miles west of Santa Rosa. I pulled in and parked where the clues directed me. There were no other cars in the area and I parked in such a way that my car blocked the view from the bathroom area and I was free to grab the box - Letterbox the States: New Mexico that was planted by 2-2 Wheelers. I stamped in while sitting in the car and then replaced the box. Now to continue onward. I got back on I40 headed east and made my way to Tucumcari. I took the first exit and drove to the intersection of 3rd and Main to a small Veterans Memorial Park. The entire area was deserted. The entire time I was there I didn't see one car or one person. I parked and followed the clues and quickly found the box - Veterans Memorial: Tucumcari placed by trilla marion. I took it to a picnic table to stamp in. When I was done I put the box back in place and returned to my car. I decided to find something for lunch before leaving town. I stopped at McDonald's and grabbed some fries and a drink and decided to eat while driving. I took NM209 south and the took NM268 south and ended up in Melrose. I turned onto US60 and headed west. Just before arriving in Fort Sumner I turned onto Billy the Kid Road and headed south. About three miles or so I entered the Bosque Redondo State Monument. I paid the fee and got an audio tour radio and headed out back to the trails. I followed the numbers on the path and listened to the tour. I took a break when I got to the number in the clue for Wronghat's box - Sojourn. I found the box easily and stamped in at a nearby picnic table. After replacing the box I finished the audio tour and when I was done with that I walked the nature trail along the Pecos River. Then I went back inside the building and walked through the exhibits (they are still working on the displays). I really enjoyed the tour and found all the information fascinating even though it was a pretty horrific account of our history. After about an hour here it was time to move on. I made my way back to US60 and continued west. I made a quick stop at Yeso (a ghost town) and took a few pictures. Then I continued on to US285 where I headed north in Vaughn. I stopped at Huntsinger park to find Wronghat's Canine Constable box. This box is based on this story. The park was empty but the highway is right there so when I located the hiding spot of the box I looked to see if there were any cars and when the coast was clear I grabbed the box.
Windmill off of US60 near Yeso
I walked to a picnic table and realized I was being followed by a cute little dog. I really hoped this wasn't the Canine Constable of Vaughn - I really didn't want to be arrested by a dog and spend time in a Vaughn jail. Anyway, the dog followed me to the table and ended up sitting on the bench next to me while I stamp in. I think he was hoping I had some food but I was empty handed - but he just sat there and watched me. He followed me back to the boxes hiding spot and watched while I hid it and then he followed me to the car. I petted him and thanked him for watching over me while I stamped and then I left the park.

Once back on US285 I continued north through Encino, Clines Corners and back to I25. I headed south on I25 and returned home. I had a great time driving and letterboxing today in New Mexico. The weather was beautiful and I got to see some new things and visit some new places. Thanks to all who placed boxes - it really made my day.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Letterboxing On and Near I25

This morning was a bit colder than we have been experiencing but that didn't change my mind to go out and do a little letterboxing. I had clues for two boxes - one planted back in early September and the other planted just yesterday. Both boxes are planted just off I25 - one a little further off than the other. I gathered my clues and supplies and drove off to find these boxes.
Old La Bajada Hill Postcard
First, I headed south on I25 from Santa Fe and once I was at the bottom of La Bajada Hill (the I25 hill) I exited at #264 to Highway 16 and headed toward Cochiti. A mere three and a half miles down the road I turned right on the road to Tetilla Peak. This road is closed in winter and there is a gate across the road. When I arrived at the gate I turned right onto a dirt road. I followed it for a short way and when it made a sharp right turn there was an old road headed off to the left and just a few yards more there was an area to park on the left. So I parked there and followed the clues to find Old La Bajada Hill. I walked up the road and hill looking for the landmarks. When I got to the spot I looked for the box but was having trouble. So I went back a few landmarks and tried again. I ended up in the same place and still no box. So I looked for another cholla close by and that is where I found the box. I guess my steps are a little bigger that Agent 86's. I found a good spot to sit and stamp in and then I replaced the box. After hiding the box I went ahead and walked a little further up the road and then returned to my car to go for the next box.
Map of La Bajada Hill
Once I was back on I25 I headed north passing Santa Fe and Pecos. I drove to mile marker 324 and just after that exited at a rest stop. Just a little area off the interstate with a few trees and nothing else. No tables, no bathrooms and no trash cans. When I parked there was one other car there and the occupants were walking their dogs. I waited until they were done and gone and then I got out of my car and followed the clues to the box. I found Las Vegas hidden in a tree - I grabbed it and then returned to my car to stamp in. This box was placed by Krickster and I now had found all seven boxes that she hid while on her visit to New Mexico. I stamped in and then rehid the box making sure it was well hidden. Then I returned to the car and headed back to Santa Fe. I had to go another three miles north to an exit where I could turn around to head south.

When I got to the Pecos/Glorieta exit I decided to stop and check on a box I have planted in the area. So I made my way to the pullout with the marker for the Battle of Glorieta and parked. I walked the short distance to where the box was hidden and found it right where it was supposed to be. Everything was in place and the logbook still has plenty of room for people to stamp in. I put the box back in place and then made my way home. It was a beautiful day to do a little letterboxing off I25.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Fantastic Day in Taos

For the past few months we have been really busy. Between work, out of town visitors, a big trip and getting ready for the holidays I haven't had much time for just taking a day to relax. I had clues for some letterboxes in Taos and wanted to take a road trip to find them but never could take that much time. On Saturday I was cleaning the house and found the clues sitting on my desk and I planned to take a drive today. I got my letterboxing stuff and other things together on Saturday and mapped out the clues - essentially I was ready by Saturday afternoon.

View from rest stop on US 68
So this morning I got up and got some things done around the house and around 7:30am I was on the road. It was a great drive (I always love this drive - well once I am past Espanola) and not much traffic. Along the way I stopped a couple of times just to look at the river and enjoy the views. Then I made a stop at the Rio Grande Gorge Visitors Center just to check it out. I got back in my car and read my clues and the first box I wanted to look for wasn't too far up the road. So I drove looking for the landmarks and turned into the Rio Grande Gorge Recreation Area/Taos Valley Overlook and parked. I then followed the clues and came up empty handed. I kept trying and spent about 25 minutes before I gave up, leaving the area empty handed. I finished my drive to Taos and stopped at the Visitors Center to get a map. I made my first stop in Taos at the Unicorn School Supply and Stationery. I went in to get the Taos Unicorn letterbox. When I entered I asked for the box and then remembered I was supposed to say "How's your sweet sis?" so that is what I did. The woman at the counter gave me the box and I stamped in while we had a great little conversation. I then looked around the store and bought a few things before thanking the woman and leaving. I then drove to the downtown area and I parked at the intersection of Quesnel Street and Kit Carson Road. Then I walked up Quesnel and made my way to Ledoux Street. At the beginning of the street I found my first box in a series. The series is Taos, NM . . . My Hometown by Krickster. Now this is the same series that the box I looked for on my drive into Taos is in. So I was actually finding the second box in the series. I nabbed the box and sat on a low wall to stamp in. This box is called Ledoux Street. After stamping in and returning the box to its hiding spot I continued to walk up Ledoux Street and about halfway up I found the third box in the series - Taos - hidden cleverly on a street sign. I took the box across the street and sat next to a wall and stamped in. I rehid the box and then headed to the Plaza area. I stopped into a few shops and then made my way to the corner of Kit Carson Road and Morada Lane.
Beautiful Turquoise Truck
Here I found Zia! - the fourth box in the series. I stamped in and put the box back in its hiding spot and then realized that I was parked just across the street. So I walked to the car and read the clue for the fifth box. I had to drive just north of town to a small cemetery that is set back a little from the road. I drove in and followed the clues and found the right landmark and parked. I then followed the rest of the clues and easily found the box. I returned to my car to stamp in. I was the first finder on this box (the other four boxes that I found in town had been found already by Astro D and the Great Wuga Wuga). I then rehid the box and then went to find some lunch.

Now that I was finished with finding all the boxes in town and my tummy was full I decided it was time to head back to Santa Fe. As I drove I kept thinking of the one box that eluded me. I just knew it had to be there. So I returned to the Rio Grande Gorge Recreation Area/Taos Valley Overlook and parked, again. I stood at the fence where the trail began and read the clues. I took out my compass and tried to figure out what I did wrong earlier. For some reason my compass and the compass directions didn't match (I need to test my compass - it may be wonky). But I read all of the clue and decided that I needed to take the trail to the right (there is a trail to the left and one that goes straight ahead). I counted my steps and when I stopped there were no trees on my right. There were a couple of trees about 25 steps ahead of me but they were on the left and there were two trees behind me about 10 steps. I decided those were the ones I needed. I read the clue again and looked around the two trees for a SPOR - nothing. I saw a couple of trees off the trail aways and decided that couldn't be them (and I did look around them earlier) so I decided that the small pine tree right next to the trail was where the box was supposed to be. Finally I noticed a couple of small rocks next to some dead branches (which turned out to be a dead tree or bush) and one loose piece of wood. I moved the wood and rocks and 'Violá!' there was the box - it was really hidden well. WooHoo! - I turned out to be the first finder on this box. I ended up sitting just off the trail to stamp in. I put the box back into place and made sure it was hidden just as well and then returned to my car.

The drive back to Santa Fe was really enjoyable and I was happy that I found all the boxes I set out to find. I had a great time in Taos and with the drive - it was a perfect way to spend the day. Thanks Krickster for planting these boxes during you visit to your hometown.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Walk on the Spur Trail

A few days ago a new letterbox by Agent 86 appeared in Santa Fe.This box is called Spur Trail and is hidden on the Spur Trail in the Rancho Viejo neighborhood.
View from the Spur Trail
This is a trail that I tend to frequent. It is a pretty level trail and isn't too difficult. I also like that it isn't that busy. In fact most of the time I don't see anyone else on the trail. So this morning I decided to go out for a walk to get the new letterbox and just to get out since it was a beautiful morning. I grabbed my letterboxing stuff and the clue and headed out. It was a quick 10 minute drive to the trailhead and when I arrived there was no one there. So I headed out for the walk to the box. In a pretty uneventful walk I arrived at the spot of the box in about 30 minutes. I found the box easily enough and found a spot to sit and stamp in. I was the first finder on this box and got a nice little first finder gift. After stamping in and then rehiding the box I decided I still wanted to do a little walking. So I continued on the Spur Trail to the Rail Trail and then backtracked to my car. I really loved my outing today and it was a peaceful way to spend a crisp, cool fall morning. Thanks to Agent 86 for the box and the walk.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Letterboxing in a Maze

Today we had a full day to explore Venice and of course I wanted to do some letterboxing. We started by looking for a box that was marked as unknown. We followed the clues and came across the road we needed (at least we think it was the right road) but we didn’t find the box. I had done some research to find the street and noticed that there was more than one street with that name so it is possible that we were in the wrong spot. So it was time to move on. We stopped to do a little window shopping and had some lunch and then we continued our letterboxing activity. 

Carnevale in Venice
I was looking in specific areas to hide boxes so that they kind of made sense. I had a box to hide that I called Masked in Venice. I wanted it to be close to St.Mark’s Square since that is where Carnevale is held but the place is way too busy. So we ended up in the Castello area (where there were lots of mask shops) where I found a great spot to hide the box. I found a Poste box with a lip on the bottom that worked well. After jotting down some notes for the clue we continued our walk. We headed to the Rialto Bridge for a box in the area. We had a little trouble finding the right street and the right Madonna in the wall. We found three streets with the same name and we found countless Madonnas in the area. Finally we found the right spot and found one of the boxes that were listed there. One was definitely missing because you could see right into the spot and there was nothing there. I stamped in and then we put the box back into the hiding spot and made our way to one of the main streets. Here we consulted our map and headed out to hide two more boxes.

As we zigged and zagged through the maze known as Venice we enjoyed finding tiny, narrow streets and wonderful shops. Each turn was a surprise and most of the time provided a photo opportunity. Eventually we made our way to the Dursoduro area. The next box I wanted to hide was of a gondola and gondolier - voga alla veneziana. I had read information that there is a boatyard in the San Trovaso Square area and I wanted the box hidden there.

We found the church and square and what we think was the boatyard (it isn’t open to the public). We looked around and found an old metal pipe partially embedded in a wall with pieces of brick missing. As I was looking for a good spot I encountered a geocache. I was disappointed because I wanted to hide the box there after searching around I found a spot lower than the geocache and hid the box nicely. I sat and wrote the clues out and then took a few pictures. And then we moved on. Now I wanted to go to San Samuel area to plant my next (and last) box – Giacomo Casanova. He lived in this area and I had first thought it would be nice to plant the box near his home but writing clues for Venice proves to be a bit challenging. So I choose a square that you could identify on a map. Then it took us a while to find a spot but then I located a pipe about half a block down that worked out well. I didn’t stop to write clues, I just took a few pictures of street names and landmarks to help me write them later.

It was starting to get dark and we were going to look for one more box but decided not to worry about it and just head to the Ferrovia. We looked for signs for the Ferrovia and headed that way. We had a great day of letterboxing in Venice and maneuvering our way through the tangle of streets really helped us to see the city. You can read about our day there at A City Built on Water or you can read about the whole trip at Viva Italia Letterboxing Tour.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Placing a Letterbox in Beautiful Country

We are in Tuscany and having a fantastic time. The countryside is so beautiful and I am enjoying every minute of it. Today we visited a winery – Castello di Verrazzano in Greve in Chianti. After that we drove over to San Gimignano for the afternoon. I had carved a stamp that is a collage of Italy (it has the outline of the country with a gondola, the colosseum, wine & grapes, the word Italy and the flag). When I was searching for a name for the box I looked at a lot of information about Italy and eventually came across the following phrase – “Bel Paese” – this means beautiful country.
View from San Gimignano
And since everything I had read about the Tuscan area of Italy suggested that this part of the country was so beautiful I decided this box had to be somewhere in Tuscany.

We had about one and a half hours to wander in San Gimignano but my priority was to find a place to hide my letterbox – Bel Paese. Thomas and I decided to head up to one of the highest points of town (the town is built on a hill). So we made our way to the Rocca di Montestaffoli and walked around the ruins and climbed an observation tower to get some incredible views of the Tuscan countryside around San Gimignano. We descended the tower and walked around the little park area and eventually found a nice spot for the box. So if you are ever in San Gimignano find my box and then climb the observation tower to see this ‘bel paese’. You can read more about the winery and San Gimignano at Wine and Towers or you can read about the entire trip at Viva Italia Letterboxing Tour.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hiding David

Well, how do you hide a 14 foot high marble statue of a giant slayer? I decided to carve him in rubber and put him in a camo bag. 
Michelangelo's David

During our trip to Florence I wanted to hide a box here but wasn’t sure what to do. I had noticed that Bell Motel had hidden a box with the David theme but also noticed it was retired. So I decided to find an image of David and carve that for Florence.

Today we visited Florence and we had some things planned out with our group but we also had lots of free time. So during our first free time period Thomas and I headed over to the Galleria dell’Accademia. First we decided to look for Bell Motel’s box just in case it was there. Unfortunately there were construction workers right across the street and they were watching what we were doing so we really couldn’t look very well. At that point we moved on to hiding my box. We returned to the corner of Via Cesare Battisti and Via Ricasoli and looked around. I noticed a bulletin board with a large metal frame against a building. We walked over to it and I put the box on it to see if it would hold a magnet and it did. So I was able to get the box attached to the back of the frame at the top left. We took some pictures and then found a place to sit and write out the clues.

Now David is hidden in Florence – but you can see him at the Accademia or you can find my Awaiting Goliath letterbox near there. And if you want to read about our time in Florence you can go to A Day in Firenze or you can read about the entire trip at Viva Italia Letterboxing Tour.
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