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.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hot Letterboxing

Today I had plans to pick up some friends from the airport so I decided to make a day of it and get some letterboxing in as well. Last night I got all my things together and all the clues I needed. I left Santa Fe early because I was hoping to get a hike in and I wanted to start early while it was cool. I drove to Carnuel and parked at the trail head for the Three Guns Trail. My car said it was 68 degrees. I grabbed my letterboxing bag and my clues and headed up the trail in pursuit of four boxes - Native Flora and Fauna series by trilla marion. The first box was only a short way up the trail and I tried to follow the clues (which were a mixture of words and pictures). I had a difficult time and I walked this part of the trail (from trail head to the forest land border) four times (about two miles) before I finally found the box. After stamping in I continued on my hunt for the remaining three boxes and by this time it was already getting warm and I had eaten up quite a bit of time.
View from Hawk Watch Trail
Once on forest service land I took the Hawk Watch Trail. Not far down this trail I came to a wash and followed the next part of the clues. This box I found easily. I stamped in and I did this quickly because there were a bunch of little gnat bugs flying around and the longer I sat the more of them that gathered around me. I got the box back in place and continued on the trail. From here I had a longer distance to travel and I was also gaining quite a bit of elevation at this time. I realized how out of shape I was and I had to take a bunch of rest breaks as I climbed higher. Finally I reached the third box and again I had no problems finding it. I stamped in and put it back in place. I took a few pictures before I continued upwards and while I did so a woman passed by and said hi. This woman was at least in her 70's and she was hoofing it up the trail. This made me feel really bad since I was huffing and puffing my was up the trail. Anyway I continued on and I had lost the woman from site. A little ways from the top of the trail and the last box the woman was on her way down - we had a short conversation and I complimented her on her health and energy. Then she continued down and I continued up. I finally reached the top and found the box. I stamped in and took a much needed rest and enjoyed the views. Now it was time to head down (and I was happy about that). I got down the trail past the third box and then had a little trouble finding the trail. I ended up off the trail and it took me about 10 minutes to reconnect and I am not sure I was on the right trail at this point, but I continued down. A second time I lost the trail and this time I couldn't find it. Luckily, I had located and a landmark close to the parking area and I was able to scramble over the landscape and eventually make my way back to my car. By this time I had drank about 32 ounces of water and I was still very hot and sweating profusely. I started my car for some air conditioning and noticed the temperature was at 99 degrees. I started my hike at 7:00am and it was now 10:50am. Almost four hours and a 31 degree temperature change during a five mile hike. All I can say is I am glad I found all the boxes and I really need to get into shape.
Statue at Rose Garden
Once I had cooled down and had more water and an apple I made my out of the parking area and back to Albuquerque. My next stop was the Albuquerque Rose Society Rose Garden at the Tony Hillerman Library. I let my Garmin do the work so I didn't have to navigate - I just followed the directions and hoped that Nimrag wouldn't get me lost. Fortunately I made it to my destination. I searched for and easily found Desert Rose. I sat on the bench were it was hidden and stamped in. I made a quick job of this because it seemed to be getting hotter. I then put the box back in place and returned to my car and the cold air. I sat here debating on what to do next - there were still two boxes I wanted to look for but the heat was getting to me. After 15 minutes I decided I didn't want to do any more letterboxing in this weather so I opted to go to Baskin Robbins and have a vanilla shake and do a little reading until it was time to pick my friends up at the airport.
It was a nice day but way too hot. I will have to hold off for the other Albuquerque boxes until the weather cools down a little.
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