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.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Letterboxing and Book Arts in Los Alamos

Today Astro D invited me for a day in Los Alamos. The plan was for a little letterboxing, some lunch and a book arts show at the libraray. I was looking forward for a day away from my normal routine.

Deer Trap at Deer Trap Mesa
I met Astro D at her house and we were on the road at about 9:30am. We had a nice drive up to Los Alamos and headed for our first stop. We decided that while it was cool out we would go on a little hike and look for a letterbox. So we made our way to the trail head for Deer Trap Mesa. We parked and took the trail passing the deer trap and climbing over some rocks with toe holds. After the rocks (which is the only hard part of the trail) the trail levels out and is an enjoyable hike with great views. We saw quite a few wildflowers including Yucca and Indian Paintbrush.
Indian Paintbrush
At about a half mile the trail splits and we took the south arm of the trail. In no time we had reached the end and the area of the letterbox. We stood at the end of the mesa and read the clues and looked at a picture to determine the location of the box. I followed some landmarks and did some searching but was having trouble finding the box. You know there are a lot of dead trees and live trees mixed together so I just had to search until I found the right group of trees. It only took about 10 minutes to find the box and then find a nice shady place to sit and stamp in. We stamped in to Second Saturday Seekers: Leave No Trace. It had gotten a little warm on top of the mesa without any trees to shade us but it was okay. After stamping in and replacing the box we made the trip back to the car.

View from Deer Trap Mesa
After our little hike and letterbox hunt we decided to head out for a little lunch. So Astro D drove us to Daniel's Cafe and we had some great sandwiches and a nice relaxing sit and visit.
Book Art
Once we were done with lunch we headed over to Mesa Public Library to see a book arts exhibit. The exhibit we went to see was Bound Under the Influence by Suzanne Vilmain. This was a wonderful exhibit and had some great pieces. We spent about an hour going through everything wishing that we could pick up some of the books and thumb through them. We finished going through the exhibit and then decided to head back to Santa Fe. On the way out of town Astro D stopped and a mini golf course and park so that I could find a box that she had already found. It was a quick and easy to find J Letterbox. We sat on a bench while I stamped in. Once this box was back in place we made our way back to Santa Fe. It was another enjoyable day letterboxing with Astro D.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Beginning of the End

Things in letterboxing have been strained for me lately. Too much negativity and I always seem to come out the bad guy. So I have made some changes. I no longer log any of my finds on Atlas Quest or Letterboxing North America. And I am keeping my blog private. Since some people think that they should have access to anything they want and go around restrictions I feel that I need to retire my boxes. I am tired of getting rude comments and being disrespected. I put a lot of effort into planting a box and I feel that I and my boxes deserve a lot more respect than they are getting. So today I took a drive and a walk around Santa Fe and picked up a few of my boxes and they are now retired. At a later date I may replant some of them but I am not making any plans for the near future. As of today the following boxes are no longer available.

A Sad Day
New Mexico Centennial
Goodbye Mom
Alphabetical New Mexico: Y (Yucca)
Dreams of Eames
Paws and Purrs: Puppy
Paws and Purrs: Kitten
Put a Little Love in Your Heart

I have also decided that when I go out letterboxing and find a box I will not be stamping in to the box's logbook. I was recently accused of stealing a box just because they saw that I stamped in before them. I won't let that happen again. So I will continue to letterbox but I will be mostly anonymous.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Potter, More

Today I was doing things around the house and I took a break to check emails. I noticed some new boxes placed in Santa Fe, these were two Harry Potter boxes. Well actually two series of three boxes each. These boxes were boxes for the fourth and fifth books in the Harry Potter series. So I gathered my things and printed out the clues and headed to Monica Lucero Park.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Once I parked I read the clues over again and then headed out. I headed east on the Arroyo Chamisa Trail and only after a few yards I found the first box - Hungarian Horntail. An easy find and I sat at the edge of an arroyo while stamping in. I hid the box and continued. It was only a short way down the trail where I found the Golden Egg. This was just off the trail and I sat on a low cement wall to stamp in. The next box - The Triwizard Cup was the last box in the series for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This box held the logbook for the series and my First Finder Certificate. I found a large piece of cement and sat and stamped in. After I hid the box I headed for the second series which continued on the same trail.
The next series is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. After crossing Camino Carlos Rey I walked about 200 steps and found The Phoenix. This box was near a fenced in area with a private property sign. The box was hidden on the outside of the fence and I nabbed it and found a nice place to sit and stamp in. Once the box was back in place I continued east on the trail. Not far along the trail I arrived at a turquoise railing and then a bench. Behind the bench was a juniper that hid the next box - Extendable Ears. I took the box back to the bench to stamp in. After stamping in I had to wait a little while because the trail suddenly got busy. After about five minutes I was able to hide the box and continue. The final box was another quarter mile up the trail and hidden near a coyote fence. I found The Hog's Head and I took the box over a cement landing and sat and stamped in - this was the third and final in the series which held the logbook and another First Finder Certificate. I rehid the box and got back on the trail headed back to my car.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
It was a beautiful afternoon and I really enjoyed the walk. Along with finding six boxes I also found two hitchhikers. And I left one hitchhiker in the last box. Thanks ArnoldZiffel for planting this great series.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Fury of Letterboxing Before a Graceful Exit

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift - that's why we call it the "present." 
Eleanor Roosevelt

This quote was a favoirte of Hi Desert and was on her profile page on Atlas Quest.

 On April 3, 2012 the Santa Fe and New Mexico letterboxing community lost one of our own. Hi Desert with all her enthusiasm for life and letterboxing passed gracefully from this world but not before making a big impression on all of us here in New Mexico. During her short letterboxing stint (about two years) she embraced the hobby with more gusto than I have ever seen. She planted 23 boxes in New Mexico, Texas and Colorado and she found 296 boxes in New Mexico, Texas, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Colorado, Georgia, South Carolina, California, North Carolina, Michigan and Italy. I know she met many letterboxers along the way and I am sure each has a great story about the meeting. I have a couple of stories myself.
Hi Desert (Jane Gaziano)

One of those was when she was in Savannah with her family and was having trouble finding a letterbox that I had found a short time before. She called Astro D to asked if she thought I might be able to help her. So Astro D called me and gave me Hi Desert's phone number and I called her to see if I could help. Now this box wasn't a mystery box or anything - there was just a little problem with the step count (well really the length). Hi Desert was a vertically challenged letterboxer and her steps took her no where near the letterbox. I told her what I had to do to find the box and in no time she had found it. I can't tell you how appreciative she was. She went on and on about me taking the time to call her and help out when I didn't think it was any big deal.

The other is of our one and only meeting. We met for lunch with Astro D and rubberpeace at Mucho's here in Santa Fe. Her enthusiam about this hobby was infectious and her energy (in the face of her health issues) was inspiring. She embarrassed me a little because she gushed about my boxes she had found and how much she enjoyed finding them and then she got up and came around the table and gave me a big hug. Thinking about it now makes my eyes water.

Here are some links related to Hi Desert.

Meeting Hi Desert
Another Dam Letterbox
Hi Desert AQ Profile Page
Hi Desert AQ Tribute Page
AQ New Mexico Board Thread from Astro D
AQ New Mexico Board Thread from Wronghat
New Mexican Obituary
Berardinelli Obituary
Berardinelli Tribute Wall

Friday, April 13, 2012

Farmington Letterboxing Trip - Part III

Today was our last day in Farmington and it wasn't a full day - we planned on doing some letterboxing and then heading back to Santa Fe by 11:30am. We all met for breakfast around 7:ooam and then we returned to our rooms to get our things and then we piled into the truck and it was time to letterbox.
Astro D and rubberpeace

Last night at dinner we planned out what we wanted to do today so we were ready to go this morning. Our first stop was Ricketts Park which is home to the Connie Mack World Series. There are two letterboxes here but only one available at this time. We looked for the one that is unavailable first - the box is Connie Mack World Series by Aspen. The clue states that the box is only available during the world series for a week in August but we noticed that there was a find logged in January of this year. So we thought maybe the box had been left in place but we didn't find it. Then we moved on to the next box - Baseball Reflections by RNR. This was an easy find and we took it to a picnic table to stamp in. I forgot to mention that it was a little cold this morning and the picnic table was aluminum so we got quite a little shock when our tushies hit the bench. Anyway we stamped in and enjoyed a great carve by RNR. We then rehid the box and headed for the next destination. We made our way to the Boys and Girls Club to find AAUGH! by BirchMoon. Another quick and easy find and we stamped in while sitting on a low wall. I love this stamp because it is from the comic strip Peanuts - one of my favorites. After we got the box back in place we got back to the truck and went to find the next box. This box is Arkham City Riddler: Box 2 by BirchMoon. I can't tell you where we went to find this one because it is a mystery. But is was a nice place, a nice stamp and a nice hide. Once the Riddler was back in place we made our way to Vietnam Veterans Park so that Astro D could find my Alphabetical New Mexico: F (Farmington) box and so rubberpeace could find The Lucky Box. Both boxes were found and they were stamped into and then we made our way to our last stop.
Shepard Girl
We arrived at San Juan College and began our hunt for three boxes. The first box we looked for was San Juan College. We read the clues and started looking where we thought the box might be but we came up empty handed and we also felt that the clues didn't really match the area we were looking in. So we moved on to the next box. Astro D found the box quickly and we sat at a table and stamped in to Kanji Series #2: To Study (appropriately hidden at a college). After getting this one back in place we wanted to find the Bookstore and look around. We entered into the Student Union and began our search for the Bookstore (and I used the word 'search' because that was what it turned out to be). We went upstairs and followed signs until we came to one that pointed for the Bookstore downstairs. We gave up on the Bookstore and went in search of Zodiac #1: Aries by BirchMoon. We had to find a statue in front of the Little Theatre and then follow the clues to the box. Once we finally located the Little Theatre and the statue it was a quick and easy find for the box. We stamped in while sitting on a low wall and then put the box back in place. Now we had to figure out how to get to the Bookstore and look for San Juan College again. We returned to the Student Union and followed signs again but no luck - we then asked three people for directions before we finally arrived at the Bookstore. And once we arrived there the clues to San Juan College got a little clearer. So we looked for the box. But we still didn't find it. So we decided to call it quits and go into the Bookstore. While Astro D and rubberpeace looked around I decided I wanted to try one more time for the box. So I left them in the Bookstore and went out to find the box - and I did just that. When they came out to meet me they found me sitting at a table stamping in. I found out that they had completely given up on the box and had just thrown away their clues.
Cuban Cafe
This same thing also happened yesterday when we searched for Desert Discs at Lions Wilderness Park. Anyway, after stamping in and laughing a bit we put the box back in place and headed for the truck.

It was time to say goodbye to Farmington and head back to Santa Fe. We made the drive to Cuba where we stopped for lunch at the Cuban Cafe. We had a great lunch which included the best homemade chips and salsa. We also had a great talk about the trip and all the great boxes we found. Then it was time to make the last bit of the drive home. Astro D and rubberpeace dropped me at home and our trip came to an end. We would like to thank BirchMoon, Wronghat, RNR, huginn and Aspen for all the wonderful boxes they have placed in the Farmington area. We would also like to thank Kaw and BirchMoon for meeting us for dinner - we had a great visit. You all made this a great trip to the Farmington area.

Oh, and today I hit another milestone. When we found the Kanji Series #2: To Study letterbox it marked my 500th letterbox I have found in the state of New Mexico. WooHoo!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Farmington Letterboxing Trip - Part II

So it is day two in Farmington and we had a lot planned. After breakfast at the hotel we gathered our things and piled into Moby (Astro D's Land Cruiser) and we headed out for a day of letterboxing. Our first destination - Crow Canyon.
Crow Canyon
We headed east from Farmington to a little past Blanco on US 64 and then turned south on Co Rd 4450. We drove a little over 20 miles to our destination at Main Petroglyph Panel in Crow Canyon. We walked the short distance from the parking area to the petroglyphs. There are two letterboxes here - Aspen's Crow Canyon and my Alphabetical New Mexico: C (Crow Canyon). Astro D and I found Crow Canyon on a previous trip but rubberpeace needed to find that one. And both Astro D and rubberpeace needed to find my box. We walked along the trail and we all took pictures with Astro D and rubberpeace taking a break to find the boxes and stamp in. I really love this place. It is a bit of a drive and out in the middle of nowhere but it is so beautiful and peaceful the drive is worth it. After all the pictures were taken and the boxes back in their hiding spot we made the trip back to civilization. We drove to Bloomfield and stopped for lunch. We ate at Triangle Cafe. It was a nice lunch and it gave us time to plan out our afternoon letterboxing.
Farmington Lake
The afternoon was busy and windy. One minute it was cloudy and the next the sun was out, one minute it was warm and the next we needed jackets. But no problem, we are letterboxers and we persevered. We really had a great day and a lot of fun. We letterboxed around a lake and in parks. We perused all four seasons, learned a little Japanese and studied local trees. We hunted horcruxes, spent time with frisbee golf and cheered for Women's basketball. We even found some Easter Eggs while letterboxing in Lions Wilderness Park - I guess they didn't count the eggs before they left.

We found the following boxes this afternoon - Le Quattro Stagioni Series, Kanji Series #1: Child, Juniper, Road Apple Rally, He Strikes, Harry Potter Horcrux Series #3 - Salazar Slytherin's Locket, Desert Discs, Sandalwood, Women's March Madness 2012 Series, Lion's Pool, Pinon and The Green Man. Some really great boxes were found today but we all agreed that Juniper was our favorite find. I can't really say why because it would give things away but it was worth hunting for. We took a break for dinner at Three Rivers Brewery (yes the same place we ate last night - it was really good) and after finding a few more boxes we headed back to the hotel. Tomorrow we will do a little letterboxing in the morning before heading back to Santa Fe.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Farmington Letterboxing Trip - Part I

We are at it again. Astro D, rubberpeace and I are off on another letterboxing trip. A couple of months ago we took a letterboxing trip to Gallup. You can read about that trip at To Gallup and Back (Part I) & (Part II). This time we have headed a bit further north and will be in Farmington. It has a been a couple of years since we have been here and there are quite of few boxes for us to find. We will see how we do over the next three days.

Astro D and rubberpeace picked me up at a little after 8:00am and we started our trip. We drove south on I25 to Bernalillo and then took US 550. This is where our letterboxing began. Our first stop was about 13 miles up US 550 at Big Chief. This is a defunct gas station/store. There is an historic marker there for the New Mexico Historic Women Marker Initiative - this one honors Trinidad Gachupin Medina. Near this marker we found Big Chief New Mexico by ArnoldZiffel. This was an easy find and a quick stamp in and then we were on our way. We drove only a short distance and then turned into the Ojito Wilderness and White Mesa Bike Trails so that rubberpeace could find Wronghat's Wind Down at White Mesa. It was a short but nice walk to the box. And while rubberpeace stamped in I took pictures of the area. From here we had a great view of Cabezon Peak. After this box was back in hiding we continued on our trip. The next stop was at the Perea Nature Trails, again for rubberpeace to find a box. This box is Black Mesa Inbound. Another quick stamp in and then it was time to hit the road again. [Astro D and I had found both these boxes on earlier trips.] Still on US 550 and just a short drive up we stopped for Stone Faced by RNR. This was placed near a mesa that has a profile resembling a rhinoceros. We all needed this one so we took the short walk and nabbed the box. We sat and stamped while the wind started getting worse. Once we were done and the box was back in place we continued our trip. We made it to Cuba a short time later and stopped at the Visitors Center to find another Wronghat box - Calder in Cuba. This was a quick and easy find and we stamped in at a picnic table near the box. By the time this box was back in place it was time for lunch. We had a really good meal and a nice visit at El Bruno's. Their sign said "Excellent Mexican Food" and I agree - we had an excellent lunch. Now that we were full and rested it was time to get back on the road.

Angel Peak
Our drive to the next box was a little longer than the ones we did this morning but soon enough we arrived at Angel Peak Scenic Area. At this stop it was Astro D that needed a box. We arrived at the Cliffs Picnic Area and she found my box - Angel Peak. The wind was still blowing pretty hard but she managed to stamp in while getting some cover from the juniper where the box was hidden. Once back at the car we returned to US 550 and drove up to Bloomfield. Here we stopped to find Wronghat's Promenade. We found the box at Verde De Rio San Juan Park. It was a short walk along the river to the box and we stamped in at a nearby picnic table. After stamping in and rehiding the box we made our way to the next one. We drove to the starting point for Juneau Alaska NW N.M. but then things got sketchy. We weren't sure where to go and we had some trouble understanding the clues. So we decided not to worry too much about this box and we headed out. We drove up to Aztec and stopped at Riverside Park. Here Astro D needed to find Maine Quarter (rubberpeace and I already had this one). Another quick and easy find and it was on to another box in the same park. That box was PAC-12. This was planted near a walking bridge by the river. We sat and stamped in and then rehid the box.

BirchMoon, Kaw, rubberpeace, Astro D
We decided to head to our hotel and get checked in. The hotel we are staying in is the Towne Place Suites by Marriott. This is a pretty new hotel and the rooms are really nice. We all went up to our rooms to get washed up and put our things away then we headed out again to find a couple of more boxes and then meet some other letterboxers for dinner. We stopped for Frolick in the Garden at Gateway Park. I was the only one that needed this box. I found it easy enough and stamped while sitting on the wall where it is hidden. Once done here we headed to the All Veterans Memorial to find Harry Potter Horcrux Series #6 - Harry Potter by BirchMoon and ArnoldZiffel. The area was quiet and it was a quick find - we grabbed the box and found a spot to sit and stamp in. Once that box was in place it was time to head to the restaurant for dinner.

We met Kaw and BirchMoon at Three Rivers Brewery. We did some exchanges and had a great visit and a wonderful meal. It was a perfect way to end the day. Tonight I need rest, tomorrow will be another full day that is going to start with a drive out to Crow Canyon.

Monday, April 09, 2012

I've #*@^&$ Up Again!

It seems I can't win. I keep getting these emails accusing me of things and when I try to defend myself I become the asshole.
I received an email accusing me of removing a box so that other letterboxers couldn't find it and when I wrote back defending myself I get an email saying I attack in an emotional outburst, I have insulting behavior and I don't know how to treat other letterboxers. Now I am the jerk and bad guy. All of this from an unsolicited email about someone else's box. I have very little self esteem and I chastise myself all the time and it is apparent I don't know how to deal with people and I keep making people hate me. I guess I need to just let people write me rude letters and accept them as fact and tell myself I am a horrible person. I guess these people are right. So I am sorry to everyone I have treated badly, and from the notes I get there are a lot of you. I will not be communicating with anyone from now on. I will go out and letterbox and do my own thing but I will not send notes when I log a find and I will not read or address any notes sent to me - hopefully that will keep me from insulting people with my responses. I really don't know what I have done to cause this and I truly don't know how to fix it and I am really sorry.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Bombs and 'Burque

Today we continued our little adventure to letterbox and attend the Trinity Site open house. We left our hotel in Socorro around 8:00am and drove to San Antonio and made our first stop at The Owl Bar & Cafe.
Owl Bar & Cafe
We were looking for Owl Burger by Kazam. I had noticed an attempt posted by Astor D less than a week ago but since we were right there I thought I would check. I followed the clues but did not find the box - I only found four small rocks. So I decided to check all the trees around and look in the general area, but I still came up empty handed. So we got back in the car and drove about twelve miles east on US Hwy 380 to the turn off for the Stallion Range Center entrance (about 5 miles from 380) to White Sands Missile Range and then another 17 miles to the Trinity Site. I enjoyed the visit there even though there isn't that much to see and you can read about the trip on my other blog - My Journal of Random Things at Visiting Ground Zero. After our visit to the Trinity Site we made our way back to US Hwy 380 and stopped at an Historic Marker for the Trinity Site to find a box by ArnoldZiffel called Trinity Site. This was probably not the best day to stop for this box since the area was pretty visit. You see the Trinity Site is only open two days per year and today was one of them. So there were a lot of people stopping at the Marker. I ended up walking around just taking random pictures until the coast was clear and then I nabbed the box and brought it back to the car to stamp in. Once I was done I had to wait about 15 minutes for the area to clear so I could rehide the box. I was glad I waited to find the box today - it went so well with our visit to the site and I loved the stamp since it had the perfect information on it.
Trinity Site Historic Marker
Now it was time to head back north. We weren't quite ready to return to Santa Fe because we had plans for the evening in Albuquerque. On our trip back up I25 we ended up stopping at the Walking Sands Rest Area to check on a couple of boxes. I first looked for Barbed Wire. There was a note on the clue that this box was unavailable but thought since we were near here we would check. So I followed the clues and when I spotted the area with a SPOR I walked to it and saw something under the rocks. I thought "Oh Great, the Box is There". But when I lifted the rocks I ended up finding a geocache - that was so disappointing. So I guess this box is really missing. I then went to check on Adobe Fort. I found this box way back on May 13, 2006. Now it is in the LbNA basement and is marked as adoptable. I followed the clues and ended up where I thought the box was but there was so much trash and debris I didn't want to dig around in the sand and end up getting cut or something. So I didn't find out if that box is still there or not. Maybe on another trip and if the area is cleaner I might look for it and I think a hand shovel would help - the sands move and the box could be buried quite a bit.

Artwork on the Rio Grande Central Bridge
Back on I25 we made our way to Los Lunas to gas up the car and get something to eat. Once that was done we headed to Albuquerque to find some boxes until it was time to meet a friend for dinner and a concert. Our first stop in Albuquerque was at Mariposa Basin Park to find Feed the Ducks by trilla_marion. This is a two box series. So I headed out while Thomas stayed at the car to contact our friend to get the time we were meeting up. The park was pretty busy as it was a gorgeous day and a holiday weekend in Albuquerque. So I was skeptical about finding the boxes without being seen. Luckily I didn't have a problem. The first one was hidden in the roots of a bush near a tree and it blocked me from the rest of the park and the second box was away from most of the crowd. So I found both boxes and loved the series - it was a little funny. I returned to the car and found out we had until 5:30pm to letterbox. So onward we went. The next stop was the Rio Grande Bridge on Central to find Wronghat's Nexus letterbox. To find this box you had to walk along both sides of the bridge looking at artwork and answering questions from information signs. Then you had to take your answers to make compass degrees to triangulate the spot the box was in. I have to admit that I had some trouble with the questions and answers and the compass degrees. But I made an educated guess and ended finding the box easily enough. I sat on the bench right near the hiding spot and stamped in. I was also the first finder and got a nice first finder card with a pressed penny.
[I am back with a note: Today (April 8, 2012) I received this email . . .
[AQ] Nexus
Mark Menard
Sunday, April 8, 2012 7:34 PM
Congrats on finding the box first - we were hoping to be first and went twice yesterday to find the box. It was not present yesterday where we found it today. We had to verify clues and placement with the owner because the box was definitely missing from the sign. If it was removed for the day, please know that letterboxers are out there searching.Thanks and Happy Trails!
From: JustCat
I know I am sensitive and take things personally but I really resent this person's implication that I took the box and left with it thus making it unfindable for her. And apparently she thinks that I think I am the only letterboxer on the planet and felt she needed to let me know that she was there and I shouldn't take the box. More and more lately I receive these types of rude emails about either a box I planted or one that I found. I keep thinking I need to get out of the hobby or just keep it to myself. But then again I really like this hobby and I won't quit. So I sent this person an email letting her know that I was insulted by her accusation and that I didn't remove the box. I also let her know my stats and assured her I know letterboxing protocol and more than that just plain common courtesy - I would never remove a box far from its hiding spot unless it was compromised or if the placer asked me to remove it. Please know that if you have any concerns that involve me feel free to contact me. But please do it in a manner that doesn't insinuate that I have done something intentional to sabotage or make things hard for you. I am always willing to help and I will give hints and help you find one of my boxes if you are having problems. I wish this letterboxer that sent the above email had written the note differently. If she had written and asked "By chance, when you found the box did you take it to a picnic table or somewhere to stamp in because I had trouble finding it?", then I wouldn't feel like I was being found guilty in her little case of 'The Missing Letterbox'. Okay - I have vented - time to move on.]

Triangle Park Police Substation
From the bridge we continued east on Central this time stopping at the Albuquerque Press Club to find What What's New Mexico 100. This was an easy find and the park was empty so I didn't have to worry about a bunch of people watching me. I was still careful because there are houses just opposite of where the box is hidden and just in case someone was looking out their window I didn't want to get caught. So I set up so I blocked the view and grabbed the box. I sat right there and stamped in - it was so peaceful, very quiet and relaxing. I got the box back in place and made my way back to the car. We still had time for one more box. The last box we looked for (and found) was Albuquerque Diner. This is hidden near the Triangle Park Police Substation (which is prefabricated diner - called a Valentine Diner- that has been converted into the substation) and was a quick and easy find since the area was pretty deserted. I guess it might be a challenge during busy week days but today was quiet. I stamped in and rehid the box and returned to the car. It was a great letterboxing day with beautiful weather.

We ended up meeting our friend at
O'Neill's Irish Pub for dinner and then we saw The Manhattan Transfer at Popejoy Hall. We had a great trip and some busy days but I enjoyed every minute of it. I will be posting again soon as Astro D, rubberpeace and I are going to Farmington next week for some major letterboxing - there are quite a few boxes up there in Northwest New Mexico.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Albuquerque and Socorro

Thomas and I are off again for another little trip. This one is taking us south to Socorro and then to the Trinity Site. I have been wanting to do this trip for a while now but the Trinity Site is only opened two days per year - the first Saturday in April and the first Saturday in October. Twice now we have had to cancel because something came up but this time it is working out.

Trinity Site Aerial View
We left Santa Fe around 8:30 this morning and decided we would have a leisurely drive to Socorro. By the time we reached Albuquerque the traffic from the morning commute was gone and it was clear sailing through the 'Big I'. We made our first stop just outside of Albuquerque. We took the Rio Bravo exit and headed for Astro D's Bombs Away letterbox. Astro D placed this box based on a true story of a "Broken Arrow" incident. I decided since we were passing right there we should stop and when she first planted the box is was gone within 24 hours and she had to replant it - I decided I didn't want any more time to pass before I went and got it so that it wouldn't disappear again before I found it. Luckily we had no problems and we found the box easily. There was no one around and I took my time stamping in. This is another great Astro D & Great Wuga Wuga box and you should make an effort to go and find it. We replaced the box and headed back to the car and then back to I25.

We headed south and decided to take a detour before driving in to Socorro. Before I tell you where we went on this detour let me preface it with a note - apparently, I am a glutton for punishment. Thomas and I exited I25 to US Hwy 60 and headed for a small, dark mountain around mile marker 174. We were going to look for The Dormant Dragon (this would be my fourth attempt at this box - see what I mean about the punishment). And Astro D don't you laugh - I just can't accept the idea that the box is missing and I keep getting this urge to go and look for this box any time I am passing the exit on I25. The box could very well be missing but no one that has found it (or the planters) has gone back and looked and said "YES" it is definitely missing. So we made an attempt again and tried a lot of different things with the clues. We were up there for an hour and still didn't find the box. And I keep thinking it is something I am doing wrong because I don't always find all the landmarks. Anyway we got some good exercise and had some great views while up on the little mountain - and we will see if I try another attempt later on. So it was back to I25 to continue on to Socorro.

Dream Snake by Evelyn Rosenberg

By the time we reached Socorro it was past lunch time and we had been snacking in the car but we were still a little hungry. We stopped for just a little lunch before continuing with our letterboxing. I had clues for five boxes (three active ones and two that were missing) all on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. So we went and looked for the three active ones. We found Harry Potter Horcrux Series #7: Nagini (appropriately placed near a large sculpture of a snake), The Inspector placed near the New Mexico Mineral Museum and Harry Potter Horcrux Series #2: Marvolo Gaunt's Ring. All three of these boxes were placed by ArnoldZiffel and BirchMoon. We enjoyed finding all of these boxes. The campus was pretty empty - either Spring Break or Good Friday - not sure, but was glad that there were not too many people around.
Duck at New Mexico Tech
It sure made it a lot easier to look for the boxes. Also it was a beautiful Spring day in Socorro so we decided to head to the duck pond and walk around a bit and check for those other two boxes (Joe Cool Goes to College and The Festival of the Cranes). We didn't find either box but then again we didn't put too much effort into it since they were both marked as missing, but we did have a nice walk and there were so many ducks and geese around - it was amazing.

We checked into the hotel around 3:30 and did a little reading and relaxing. Then about 6:30pm we walked over to Socorro Springs Brewing Company for dinner with friends. We had a great time and some good food. It was a very nice and busy day and we still have lots to do tomorrow. I'll be back to let you know how our day goes.
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