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, February 25, 2013

Going on another TALE Adventure

Well here it is again! Time for another TALE. That is the Texas Annual Letterbox Event. This is the 10th anniversary of the event, it is called TALE 10 - A Tale of TALES, and it is being held in Buescher State Park in Smithville, Texas.
Buescher State Park in Smithville, TX
I am really excited about this trip - I always enjoy the event, the Texas letterboxers and finding all the great boxes in Texas. During this trip I will also be visiting a couple of friends. When I travel to Texas I try to make a loop and not drive there and back on the same route. So this year I am heading south from Santa Fe to Roswell and the east to Brownfield. Then south again to Midland/Odessa. From there to Kerrville to visit a friend and then on to Austin, Bastrop and Smithville for the event. After the event I am going to San Antonio to visit friends and then on the way back home I want to visit Inks Lake and Longhorn Caverns State Parks in the Marble Falls/Burnet area. The last part of the trip takes me to Sweetwater, Lubbock, Clovis, Santa Rosa and back to Santa Fe. I have planned to find boxes along the way and that should take me to some interesting Texas towns. If you would like to tag along you can read about the trip at My Tale of my trip to TALE - A Tale of TALES.

Another Drive-by in Santa Fe

Another clue for Santa Fe popped up last night so I decided to head out this morning to grab the box. This is another letterbox by BirchMoon and is called Superboy and Red Robin.
Superhero Logos
The box isn't far from my home and since I am all packed and ready for my trip to Texas tomorrow I decided to get out and find the box. I headed out to the corner of Richards Ave. and Governor Miles Rd. and more specifically the corner of Montana Verde and Entrada Sonata. I took the quarter mile walk on a paved trail along Richards Ave. and eventually found the rock pile that was the first landmark. From there I easily found the box but finding a spot to stamp in was harder. Last night we had snow so there was no where to sit and stamp in. So I stood and was able to use a fence as a hard surface to stamp on. When I finished stamping in I replaced the box and took the short walk back to my car. After finding this box and the one two days ago I am really ready to head out to Texas for the TALE 10 Event in Bastrop.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Santa Fe Drive-by

I am leaving in a few days for Texas to attend TALE 10 in Bastrop and today I was running errands trying to get last minute things done.
The Mark of Zorro
Last night I noticed a new letterbox in Santa Fe and since I knew I would be out and about I decided to take my letterbox stuff and go and find it. This box is placed in Entrada Park off of Cerrillos Road. I thought it would be a quick and easy find. But it turned out to be a very busy area. I ended up sitting and texting for about 15 minutes before I could actually nab the box. I then decided to take it back to the car to stamp in since there was so much car and foot traffic in the area. The box I found was The Mark of Zorro: Don Diego and Lolita by BirchMoon. A very nice stamp and I was the First Finder. Fortunately when I was ready to replace the box the area was clear so I had no problems putting it back in its hiding spot. Now it was time to complete my errands.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Celebrating Seven Years of Letterboxing

Every year on my letterboxing anniversary I make it a point to get out and do a little letteboxing just to celebrate my addiction.
Amelia White Park
I joined Atlas Quest on February 11, 2006 so that is my AQ cake day but I didn't find my first letterbox until February 16, 2006, so this is what I consider my letterboxing anniversary. The first box I found was Santa Fe Trail Microbox by Silver Eagle. That box is in Santa Fe at Amelia White Park. This was also Astro D's first box and both of us tend to check on it when we are in the area - I think we want to keep it alive just because it is a special box to both of us. If I am honest with myself, I knew the minute I found that box that I was hooked. I guess I was right because here it is seven years later and I still love this hobby and even though there have been many ups and downs I still look forward to hunting for boxes and I still get a thrill when I find one.

So today marks my seventh anniversary and I went out letterboxing. I started planning this day on Monday and when I mentioned it to Thomas he decided he wanted to go with me. I searched for all possible clues for boxes in Albuquerque and mapped them out and put a backpack together with all my letterboxing supplies. By Wednesday night I was ready to celebrate my anniversary. Thomas and I decided to make it a day in Albuquerque since I wanted to letterbox during the day and then we had plans to meet some friends for dinner before attending a play (Dreamgirls).

We left Santa Fe sometime aroung 8:15am and headed south on I25. I was really looking forward to finding at least one letterbox today and that would satisfy my criteria of always letterboxing on my anniversary. Our first stop was to be in Rio Rancho (well really Corrales) at Trailhead Park to find a series of five boxes called Filmed in New Mexico. The series was planted by Kazam and I had noted that someone had already been out there and had found four of the five boxes. We had a little trouble interpreting the clues for the parking so we ended up parking on the street for the park access. We entered the park and then walked to the trail head.
Trailhead Trail
Here I read the clue for the first box and then we were on our way. It was only a short trip along the trail until I had the first box in my hand. Woohoo! I was now celebrating. I stamped in and then rehid the box and then we continued on to the next box. Again it was only a short walk along the trail until we encountered a large fallen cottonwood concealing the box. I grabbed it and used the cottonwood to sit on and stamp in. Once the box was back in place I decided to just sit there and read the next clue for the third box - the one that the previous finder didn't find. The clues seemed straight forward so we continued on following the clues to the next location. So we found what we thought was the right tree and checked for the box. We didn't find it. I think we looked around the tree for about 15 minutes then decided to move on. I decided we could stop again on the way back to the car and check again. So we moved on to the next box and found it quickly. I found a spot to sit and stamped in. One more box to go - up some steps and along a trail until we spotted the landmark. I grabbed the box and took it to a bench to stamp in and after getting the box back into its hiding spot I reread the clue for the third box we missed. We stopped at the tree we had been at earlier and started a systematic search of the area. Thomas went over to a neighboring tree that we thought could also meet the clue description. After a few minutes Thomas called me and he had found a camo bag on the ground past the tree away from the main trail on another smaller trail. So we continued searching and found a light blue felt piece that was just like the felt in the other bags. We felt optimistic so we continued looking around but after about 15 minutes we decide to call it quits. I still have a feeling that the stamp is out there, but anyway we put the felt and camo bag back into the tree where we thought it should be and made our way back to the car. Oh, I hit a landmark when I found the last box - it was my 600th find in New Mexico - WooHoo!!!!! There were probably only about 50 boxes in New Mexico when I started letterboxing back in 2006 so I think this is quite an amazing milestone. Thanks to all the letterboxers who have planted all these boxes. Oh, and another note - this series were about movies or series filmed in New Mexico and in the clues were numbers so that you could figure out the title of each box. As I was trying to decipher them using the stamp image and the numbers I ran into a problem. The answer to the first box seemed obvious but it didn't match the numbers in the clue for Box A but it did match the numbers for Box C. And there wasn't an image that matched the Box A numbers. I am just curious if the planter mixed up the stamps or boxes. Just a little conumdrum.

Now that we were back in the car we drove through Corrales and made our way to the intersection of Alameda Blvd. and Rio Grande Blvd. and the Bachechi Open Space.
The Bell Keepers
We were here to find the Bell of Bachechi by eudyptula. This was a short walk and an easy find. We were close to The Bell Keepers statue which had  benches all around, so we chose to sit there to stamp in. We then put the box back into place and decided to grab a little lunch. On the way to the next box location we saw a Jason's Deli and we decided to eat there. After lunch we continued to the Piedras Marcadas area of the Petroglyph National Monument. I had visited this area a few years ago looking for other boxes but Thomas had never been here. So we walked the trail and viewed all the incredible petroglyphs along the way.
We also collected some numbers so that we could complete the clue. In the end we found the box and stamped in - I also got a first finder card from the box - thanks Wronghat. Oh yes, this box is called Chimera and was placed by Wronghat. And so our hunt continues . . . we drove to the intersection of San Mateo and Osuna and made our way to the bike bridge that crosses over I25. We parked and made our way to the center of the bridge which pretty much lines up with the center median of the interstate. It was easy to find Above the Imbroglio by Wronghat. I have to say it was really interesting standing above all the traffic while stamping in. Luckily no one else walked the bridge while we were there but it was hard to ignore all the hundredes of eyes passing below us. We even got a few honks while we were up there. I stamped in, then replaced the box and returned to the car. The next box was across the city near the intersection of Tramway and Menual. We arrived at Piedra Lisa Park and followed the clues eventually peeking through the moon being split by a lightning bolt.
Elfego Baca
We grabbed the box (Buggs or Daffy by Kazam) and found a bench to sit while we stamped in. When we were done we returned the box to its hiding spot and headed out for our last box. We took Menaul all the way from Tramway back to I25 and entered the Sunset Memorial Park to look for Paladin by Wronghat. We followed the clues and found the box hanging in a tree near the grave of Elfego Baca. Once I had this box in hand I met another milestone today - this was my 2800th box. The cemetery was peaceful and beautiful and we only saw one other person while we were there. So we found a nice sunny spot to sit and stamp in. (By the way I should have mentioned what an incredibly beautiful day it was - sunny and in the mid to high 50's.) After we finished stamping in we just sat and enjoyed the wonderful weather for a while. Then I replaced the box and we looked at the time and realized we had a couple of hours to kill before dinner.

Satellite Coffee
We spent our time at Satellite Coffee reading and sipping on some caffiene. We choose the location near UNM since our play was at Popejoy Hall. Around 5:00pm Thomas and I called our friends and told them to go to dinner without us and we decided to have a quiet dinner just the two of us. We ended up eating at Light and Healthy Mirai Japanese Restaurant very near the coffee shop. We had a simple meal and just relaxed and talked about our day. After dinner we took a walk around the UNM campus and just talked still enjoying the weather. Eventually we made our way to Popejoy Hall to meet our friends for the show. We really enjoyed Dreamgirls - great music and lots of energy. We didn't get home until midnight and we were both exhausted - but we did enjoy our day. Thanks to all the letterboxers who placed boxes in Albuquerque, it really helped me to celebrate my seventh letterboxing anniversary.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Letterboxing Close to Home

When I had lunch with the other Santa Fe letterboxers on Monday ArnoldZiffel had asked if I had found her two new pig boxes.
Unfortunately I have been extremely busy since the beginning of the month and haven't had time. I did have the clues printed out and even though the boxes are really close to my home I just hadn't gone out to get them. So when I returned home after lunch I found the clues and looked at my calendar to schedule a time to go out and find them.
That time was today. After getting through my morning chores I grabbed the clues and my letterboxing things and headed out. It was a quick five minute drive to the area where the boxes are planted.

I arrived at the PERA building and parked in back. I then walked to some benches and sat down and read the clues and pretty much located the hiding spot for both boxes. So I went and collected both boxes and returned to the bench to stamp in. These are two great boxes and I was the first finder on both of them. I stamped into My Favorite Swine: Pumbaa (from The Lion King) and My Favorite Swine: Pig (from Pearls Before Swine). This series of 'Pig' boxes in really nice and I have enjoyed finding them. Thanks ArnoldZiffel for all the great boxes.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Mini Meet with ArnoldZiffel

When I started letterboxing back in February 2006 there was only one other letterboxer in Santa Fe and that was Astro D (who began letterboxing in July 2005). Then around August 2006 rubberpeace (and rbrhorno) appeared on the scene after taking a little class that Astro D presented. There were also a couple of other people that dabbled a little and then disappeared. Later (around August 2008) two other letterboxers appeared in Santa Fe - BlindSmiley (who still is involved a little) and High Desert Glider (who has fallen off the radar). For a while there were really no other new Santa Fe letterboxers, then in May 2010 a very enthusiastic letterboxer joined our ranks - Hi Desert. For almost two years (until she passed on in April 2012) Hi Desert reminded us why we all love this hobby. In April 2011 ArnoldZiffel appeared on the scene (and later her husband - Agent86 joined in). It has been so nice to have these two new boxers. They have added quite a few boxes in Santa Fe and I have enjoyed looking for their boxes.

ArnoldZiffel's Inspiration
Today, after almost two years I finally got to meet ArnoldZiffel. Astro D, rubberpeace, ArnoldZiffel and I met at The Ranch House for a great lunch and some letterboxing talk. It was such a pleasure to meet her and we all had a great visit. Since we have such a small community of letterboxers in Santa Fe it is easy for us to get together every now and then to talk shop. For almost a year now I have kind of laid low due to some pretty rude and obnoxious notes I have received complaining about some of my boxes and I was even accused to removing a box and returning it the next day. I had decided to just letterbox on my own and keep to myself. But after lunch today I realized how much I was missing. I hope to slowly get back and be more involved and add more new boxes to New Mexico. Thanks Astro D, rubberpeace and ArnoldZiffel for a great lunch and talk and for reigniting the letterboxing fire in me.
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