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, 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.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Two Plants and a Find in Rome

While planning all of our activities for this trip I had put in time to carve a few stamps and get some letterboxes put together and then plant them during the trip.
Flavian Amphitheatre
For Rome I had two boxes to hide. The first one is called Flavian Amphitheatre. And as you can tell by the name I wanted it near the Colosseum (the name of the Colosseum is the Flavian Amphitheatre). So after our tour of the Colosseum we started looking for a place to hide the box. We walked all around the area and looked for something metal that would hide a small magnetic camo pouch. We had a lot of trouble but eventually we found a spot that we felt comfortable with. Although it wasn't magnetic the spot still worked. So Thomas sat at the spot and I backtracked so that I could write out the clues.Once I had everything I needed for that we moved on to doing other things and then headed for the next location.
Bocca della Verita
We finally arrived at Santa Maria in Cosmedin and started looking around to find the perfect spot for my Bocca della Verita box. Again this box was made to be magnetic and that was my first choice to hide it. But if that didn't work then I could find some other way. Luckily this time I found the perfect spot about a block down from the inspiration for this box. It didn't take us nearly as long to hide this box as it did the first one and I quickly jotted down information that I needed to write out the clues and then we continued with our sightseeing.

Later when we returned to the hotel we found a note on our door. Grumpy Grinch had placed a box on the hotel property and left clues for all us on our doors. So after dinner a group of us went in search of the box. We found mm Mocha and brought it into the lobby to stamp in. After we had all finished a couple of people returned it to its hiding spot. So it was a good day for letterboxing and I really hope that my boxes last because I don't know when or if I will be back to check on them. To read about the entire trip and not just about letterboxing yo can go to Viva Italia Letterboxing Tour!!! on my other blog - My Journal of Random Things.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Finding Boxes at Villa Borghese

Today we arrive in Rome and we didn’t want to waste any time getting started with letterboxing in Italy. So after getting settled in at the hotel. We made our way to Villa Borghese park. The we included Thomas and I, the lazy letterboxer, Mark & Sue Pepe, sewsewbizzy, ggghiker, EdieSoCal, The Seeker, Phyto, Daniele and Uvio. We entered the park and started looking for the first box – The Case of the Roamin’ Roman Ruins. We set out but had some trouble locating the lake we needed. After wandering around and asking directions we finally found the temple and lake that we needed to follow the rest of the clues. So after a good bit of time we found our first box in Italy. We all stamped in and then put the box back in place.
Goethe Statue

On to the next box – Villa Borghese. There were two boxes listed with this name but one was marked as retired. So we walked to the next landmark and followed the directions. I thought I had found the right spot but upon searching the area I didn’t find the box. Some of the others showed up and looked again but we still came up empty handed. So we left that area in search of the next box.

We made our way to Valle del Museo Borghese and started following the clues. We followed clues but we couldn’t find the last part – a tree with a certain number tagged on it. Eventually sewsewbizzy found the tree but didn’t find the box. So I made my way there and moved some bark and leaves and found the box. So another stamping frenzy ensued and once we all had the image the box was put back in place.

We didn’t find a lot of boxes but we did have a good time. You can read about all of our adventures for the day at On Roman Soil at my other blog – My Journal of RandomThings. You can also read about the entire trip at Viva Italia Letterboxing Tour.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Letterboxing at JFK

The twelve letterboxers from around the U.S. met at Gate 45 at JFK airport in New York to make our way to Italy for the Viva Italia Letterboxing Tour. The group of boxers consists of Mark & Sue Pepe from Connecticut (who organized this trip), the lazy letterboxer & the letterboxing ham from Massachusetts (Deanne & Dave), sewsewbizzzy from Virginia (Judy), ggghiker from Illinois & EdieSoCal from California (Toni and Edie), The Seeker from Alaska (Cheri, aka Nana C – from Nana C and the Seedlings), Grumpy Grinch from California (Frank & Susie) and lionsmane & highwayman from New Mexico (me and Thomas).
Deanne made everyone a journal that she made with the event stamp on the cover. She also provided each of us a signature stamp of our trail name in Italian – both were a nice surprise. So everyone wanted to get the Italian signature stamps in our journals – so the stamping ensued. We all got each others Italian signature stamps and then the lazy letterboxer brought out the stamp she carved for the front of the logbooks she made which she decided would be the event stamp - so we all stamped into that one as well. Once everyone had all these stamps we talked about some of the stamps people were going to hide while in Italy. I have seven boxes, sewsewbizzy has eleven, the Seeker has four and Mark Pepe has two. Some of the boxes were going to be planted right away so we stamped into a few of those so that we could have the images. It was a quick stamping in and once we were done we put all the ink away and just waited for our flight. Hopefully more boxing news to come. You can read about the entire trip and not just about letterboxing at Viva Italia Letterboxing Tour.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Letterboxing Event: Viva Italia Letterboxing Tour!!!

Way back in January I received a notice that Mark & Sue Pepe were planning a letterboxing trip to Italy - Viva Italia Letterboxing Tour!!!. We had attended one of their trips to Alaska last year and had a great time so we decided that we would join this trip to Italy as well. So I started planning. Little by little I gathered information, images, photos, etc. - thinking about boxes that I would like to plant. I also decided that I should start putting together a list of letterboxes I would like to look for while I was at it. I was able to put together my list of clues for Italy (mainly because there aren't that many in the areas we are visiting) pretty quickly. But making letterboxes was another story.
Colosseum - Rome, Italy
Even with all the planning and research I did I didn't actually start carving and making boxes until this weekend. I carved one stamp on Friday night and then six others on Saturday. Then on Sunday I made all the journals and put the boxes together. So I have seven letterboxes to hide throughout Italy - if I have the time. My priority is to enjoy Italy. I want to do a little letterboxing but it will have to be in between all the other things we have planned.

I plan to post on this blog when ever I do some letterboxing and I am planning on posting on one of my other blogs - My Journal of Random Things about the trip itself. You can read about the trip at Viva Italia Letterboxing Tour!!!. I plan to post each evening about that day's events but that all depends on internet connections. So check back often to see what letterboxes we find and plant on our trip to Italy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Letterboxing and a Beautiful Drive

For a while now I have been planning a trip to Heron Lake to look for a Twinville Trekker box but every time I got ready to make the drive something got in the way. I have to say that we have been very busy this past year with work, travel and chores around the house and we are leaving in a week for another trip. I am pretty much packed and only have a very short list of last minute things to do before we leave. Since things are pretty much done around the house and we are ready for the trip I decided that I needed a day to get away and do a little letterboxing. Last night I gathered up clues and mapped out a drive and got things ready for a day of driving and letterboxing.
El Santuario de Chimayo
This morning I got up early, made some coffee, loaded the car and headed out. When I left the house it was still dark and I enjoyed the early morning drive - especially since there was absolutely no traffic. My trip planning took me up NM 599 to US 285. Once on US 285 I drove through Pojoaque and turned onto NM 503. Most people in New Mexico would probably figure out that I was heading to Chimayo. There is a box there (that I tried for twice before) that I wanted to find. I parked in the lot and when I got out of the car I was ambushed by four chihuahuas. They were out for a walk with there owner. They all wanted attention so I petted them while talking to an older gentleman who lived all his life in this area. After a few minutes he and the dogs left for home and I made my way to the Santuario. This time I was determined to find the box. So I followed the clues to the letter and had no problem locating the box. I was happy that there was no one around because it made me more comfortable looking around for the box. I took El Santuario de Chimayo (originally planted by Hi Desert and now adopted by Astro D) to a picnic table and stamped in. When I was done I replaced the box and then headed back to the car.

The next stop on my map was in Espanola. So I returned to US 285 and headed north. When I got to Espanola I made my way to the Bond House. I parked and noticed that there weren't any cars around but I still felt conspicuous and wasn't sure if there was someone in the place. So I read the clues while sitting in the car but was having a hard time figuring things out. So I grabbed my camera and walked around trying to find landmarks. I stood by this railing and made some connections and eventually noticed a suspicious pile of rocks under a bush. Luckily where it was located I could grab it and be hidden from view of the house.
Rio Chama Bri
I was also able to sit on a wall (hidden from view of the house) and stamp in. When I was done I replaced the box and returned to the car without any problems.

Now it was time to get to Heron Lake to look for the box that launched this trip. So I sat back and enjoyed the drive through Abiquiu and on to Tierra Amarilla. That drive is one of the most beautiful in New Mexico and I absolutely love it. I arrived at the lake and made me way to the parking area for the Rio Chama Trail Head. I grabbed my letterboxing bag and started following the clues. I walked down some rickety old stairs and then down to the river. I then crossed the swinging bridge to the other side of the river. I found the sign in the clue and then counted off the steps. I found the rocks and the box. I sat on one of the rocks and stamped into Twinville Trekkers' Beatles Series #25 "Mother Nature's Son".
Friend 1
When I was done I replaced the box and then decided to walk a little further down the trail. This area is really beautiful and I enjoyed my time out here and I enjoyed the letterbox. Eventually I made my way back to the car. Once back at the car I looked at a map and decided to head back to Santa Fe through Tres Piedras and Taos.
Friend 2
I made this decision for a couple of reasons - one, I wanted to check on a box in Tres Piedras (even though it was marked as unavailable) and two, I wanted to check on one of my boxes out near Tres Ritos. I guess there was another reason - I really love this drive as much as the one through Abiquiu. So after a nice drive to Tres Piedras on US 64 I found the church in the clue and checked for the box - it isn't there. But I loved the church - I wanted to go inside but there was a padlock on the door so I just walked around the outside.
Friend 3
I didn't have to walk around alone because as soon as I got out of the car I was greeted by three very cute and friendly dogs. After about 15 minutes I jumped back into the car and headed to Taos. I continued through Taos and then took NM 518 towards Tres Ritos. A few months ago I received a note that someone couldn't find my Descansos box.  I brought the clues with me and followed them exactly as they were written - I found my box without any problems. The only thing that might be a problem was that the American flag painted on one of the rocks is pretty faded - but it is still noticeable - so I decided to leave the clues as is. After making sure the box was hidden well I continued my drive home. I took NM 518 to NM 76 to NM 503 which got me back to US 285 just north of Pojoaque where I was early this morning.I had a great time driving Northern New Mexico and it was a very relaxing day out. I found three great letterboxes and got to check on one of my boxes.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Early Morning Letterboxing in Albuquerque

This coming weekend starts the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and I have some friends coming in for a visit. Today I was picking them up at the airport and since I had to make a trip to Albuquerque I decided to make an early morning of it and grab some letterboxes. I left Santa Fe around 6:00am and made my way down to Albuquerque. Leaving early allowed me to miss all the traffic and I arrived a little before 7:00am at the Erna Ferguson Library to find Wronghat's New Mexico Women #1: Erna Ferguson. When I parked in the lot I noticed two police cars parked in the far corner facing in opposite directions. I figured they were chatting but I didn't want them to check up on me looking for the box. So I grabbed my camera and took pictures of the alphabet sculpture attached to the front of the building. Then I just slowly walked around the building until I got to the box. Luckily I was out of view of the police and easily retrieved the box. I then found a bench to sit on and stamp in. After that I returned the box to its hiding spot and then pretended to take more pictures before returning to my car. The police never bothered me and I felt thankful for that.

Alphabet Soup by Pete Beeman
My next stop was the New Life Church on Eubank. I parked in the very empty parking lot and made my way to a labyrinth behind the church. I followed the clues to find Jane Booth's Labyrinth letterbox. I found the box and was happy to see I was the first finder. I stamped in sitting on a huge chunk of concrete and then replaced the box. I was really enjoying this early morning letterboxing - it was so peaceful and quiet. I decided to put my letterboxing things in to my car and I returned to the labyrinth to take a relaxing walk. When I was done with my walk I got in my car and headed to my next location.

I arrived at an Open Space area off of Camino de la Sierra and parked on the side of the road at the entrance. I started on the trail following the clues to locate the next box - Jane Booth's Dark Crystal: Jim Henson Series #2. It was a short and easy walk that brought me near to I40 and a very large Aluminum Yucca sculpture by Gordon Huether. I took a few pictures of the sculpture and walked around it - I found I really liked this piece. And the fact that it is visible from the interstate fascinated me. After enjoying the art I found the box and found a good place to sit. I stamped in and then rehid the box. I then spent a little more time enjoying this piece before retracing my steps back to the car.

Aluminum Yucca by Gordon Huether
Back in the car I drove to the Old Town area and parked at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History. The clues started me at some dinosaur sculptures near the entrance to the museum. I continued following the clues until I found trilla marion's State Fossil 2. I found a nice spot to sit and stamp in and I was still enjoying the early morning quiet. After hiding this box I was done with letterboxing in Albuquerque but I still had time before I needed to be at the airport. So I decided to head a little further south to Los Lunas for one more box.

It was a pleasant drive to Los Lunas and I easily found the next location - the Los Lunas Public Library. I was here to find Wronghat's New Mexico Women #2: Nina Otero-Warren. I followed the directions and parked then walked to a bench and took a seat. I then read the rest of the clues and found the box's hiding spot from my spot on the bench. So I retrieved the box and brought it back to the bench to sit and stamp in. I then replaced the box and headed back to the car. I looked at the clock and realized that I would get back to Albuquerque and reach the airport at the perfect time to pick up my friends. I really had a great time letterboxing this morning and thanks to the letterboxers that placed all these wonderful boxes.
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