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.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

lionsmane goes to dartmoor

After years of thinking and dreaming about going to Dartmoor, it is finally going to happen. Back in September I received an email from Mark Pepe inviting Thomas and I to join them and a group they were putting together for a trip to Dartmoor in August 2014. The trip is another of their Pinecone Adventures. This one is Pinecone Adventures Returns to the Moor and I think it is going to be lots of fun. I have decided to create a blog just for this adventure so that I can keep a record of the entire trip. You can read about the research, planning and trip at lionsmane goes to dartmoor. I can't express how excited I am about this trip and I am sure it will be great fun just like the other Pinecone Adventures we have attended.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Making Our Way Back to Santa Fe

Today we head home, so we decided to get an early start. We were up at 5:00am and on the road by 5:30am. It was dark and the road was empty so we made good time. We did stop for coffee about an hour into the drive and at this time Thomas decided to take a nap in the back seat while I drove. It was actually a very relaxing drive along US54 for a few hours and then just before Plains we turned west onto US 160. We drove directly west on US 160 for a short time and then headed south and southwest on US 83 then took KS 51 west into Hugoton. We decided to stop here and use the restroom and get a little breakfast. Forty minutes later we were back on the road - I was still driving and Thomas was still resting in the back seat. From Hugoton we headed southwest on US 56 driving through the Cimarron National Grasslands and Elkhart before crossing the border into Oklahoma. We continued going southwest on US 56 until we arrived in Boise City.

We stopped in Boise City to find a couple of letterboxes and to take a little break. First we drove to the Cimarron Heritage Center to find jb kokopelli's North to Alaska: Bombing of Boise City. This was a pretty easy find and I stamped in while sitting in the car. I replaced the box and walked around to take a couple of pictues - one of a large tinman and one of a lifesize metal dinosaur. Then we drove to the Boise City Cemetery to find To OK From CO by Tai Chi and Chai Tea. This was another quick and easy find and again I stamped in while sitting in the car. Now that we were done with boxing in Boise City it was time to continue our drive. I continued to drive so that Thomas could read (I guess the book he is reading was getting good). We continued on US 56, crossed into New Mexico and made our way to Clayton. Since we were here I wanted to check on my Alphabetical New Mexico: K ("Black Jack" Ketchum) box and to find To NM From CO Purple Mountain Majestical Greetings by The Woodshed. We were successful on both counts - I found the To NM From CO without a problem and my box was safe and in good shape. We left the cemetery and drove into town to fill the car with gas and then make the last leg of our drive home. The rest of the trip was uneventful and we didn't make any stops until we arrived home. We had a great trip and found some nice boxes but as always we are glad to be home with our dogs. And now I have added Kansas to my letterboxing map.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Driving and Letterboxing

Today I was on my own for most of the day as Thomas had his conference and was busy. So I decided to do a little driving to look for a few boxes and see a little more of Kansas. I got all my things together and had a little breakfast before hitting the road.
I left Pratt and headed north on US 281, I drove by Iuka and eventually arrived at US 50. Here I turned west and drove through Mackville, Belpre and Lewis before arriving in Kinsley. I stopped at a small rest area/park at the edge of town to look for a letterbox.
Midway USA Sign
This area is suppose to be the midway point of the country. There is a sign here that states that San Francisco and New York or equidistance from this point. Not sure if it is true! Anyway I took a picture of the sign and the looked for RTRW's Midway USA letterbox. I followed the clues but came up empty handed. I tried two more times and then looked around the area but I didn't find the box. There is also the Edwards County Historical Museum and Sod House here - but they were closed. So I decided to continue on my trip. I was still on US 50 headed west and I drove through Offerle and Spearville (Home of Windmills and Royal Lancers - at least that is what the sign said) before arriving in Dodge City. Somehow I felt I needed to be on a horse and not in my car if I was heading in to Dodge City. My first stop was the Visitors Center where I got some information and maps.
Boot Hill Cemetery
Then I headed across the street to the Boot Hill Museum. I spent about 45 minutes walking around the area and looking at all the exhibits. I enjoyed the history and loved that they are keeping the legends alive here. When I was done here I drove a few blocks away to Wright Park to find Azroadie's Dodge City letterbox. This was a quick and easy find and I was glad to have another of Azroadie's boxes. I replaced the box, returned to my car and continued on my drive. From Dodge City I headed south on US 283 to Minneola and then turned east on US 54. I was on my last stretch back to Pratt but I had one more stop.
Sculpture at Big Well Museum
I drove through Bloom, Kingsdown and Bucklin before arriving in Greensburg. My destination here was the Big Well Museum. Here I found Wronghat's Big Whale Anomaly letterbox. I took this one to the car to stamp in because the wind had been getting progressively stronger as the day went on. I was glad to be in the car so that I could take my time stamping in and not have to chase baggies and clue sheets around in the wind. This was another great Wronghat stamp and I was the first finder as well - so I got an FF card. Thanks, Wronghat! After replacing the box I returned to Pratt on US 54 driving through Haviland and Cullison first. I returned to the hotel and figured out that I had found a total of 8 boxes in Kansas. I am happy to add this state to my map.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Wichita Letterboxing

The original plan for today was to drive from Pratt to Topeka and visit the Capitol but after our long day of driving we didn't think we would enjoy the seven hour round trip drive. So we decided to just drive to Wichita on US 54 and just letterbox. We ended up sleeping in and after breakfast we headed east - it was around 9:30am.
Friends University

The drive to Wichita took a little over an hour and was pleasant. When we arrived in town we headed over to Friends University to find LouietheRabbit's Mascot Series #2: Freddy Falcon. I found the location on campus we needed and we found a spot to park. The campus is beautiful and we enjoyed walking around. We spent a little time taking pictures and then went in search of the box - to tell the truth in wasn't much of a search. The clues were straight forward and I found the box without any problems. There was a bench right near the box and I sat there to stamp in. Luckily the area was pretty quiet and there weren't many people so it was easy to retrieve and rehide the box without being seen. Now on to the next box. In a short time we arrived at Maple Grove Cemetery. The cemetery was very nice and big. We were looking for three boxes here and after about 30 minutes here we had found all three boxes. At this location we found The Woodshed's To KS From CO Purple Mountain Majestical Greetings and two boxes by brown eyed starling - Gunfighter: Bat Masterson and Gunfighter: Buffalo Bill Cody. It was a pleasant morning in the cemetery. After all the boxes were back in place we left the cemetery and headed over to Swanson Park to find Foxy Grandma's box - Grandma's Tea Party. This was such an easy find. It was a short way down a paved trail from the parking area. I sat on the trail to stamp in and then we decided to walk a little further just to enjoy the place. We ended up only spending about 30 minutes walking around before returning to the car.
Fall Color in Swanson Park

We were done letterboxing around 1:00pm and we decided it was time for a little lunch and after eating we made our way back to Pratt. Thomas has a reception this evening for the conference and then he is there all day tomorrow and I will do a little letterboxing and driving around the area.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Letterboxing Along US 54

We are off again on another trip. Thomas is attending a conference in Pratt, Kansas and I am tagging along. The conference is S.P.I.R.I.T. (Southwest Passage Initiative for Regional and Interstate Transportation) and is focusing on trying to get funding and approval for the upgrade of US 54. They want to four lane the highway from Wichita, Kansas to El Paso, Texas. One of the main reasons I wanted to tag along on this trip was because I wanted to find letterboxes in Kansas so I could add that state to my map.
So we left Santa Fe early this morning and drove to Clines Corners and through Santa Rosa to Tucumcari. This is where we hit US 54 and headed northeast. There were no letterboxes for me to find along US 54 in New Mexico so we just drove. We made our first stop in Dalhart, Texas. Here we looked for three boxes (well we looked for one and kind of looked for two others). The first box we looked for was The Empty Saddle by Wag Time. This box is hidden in Memorial Park Cemetery and when we arrived there was a funeral going on but it was on the opposite side of the cemetery from where the box is hidden. I easily found the box and stamped in while sitting in the car. I replaced the box and then we headed out. Usually I like to walk around the cemetery and take some pictures but I didn't want to impose on the ceremony so we just decided to move on. Next we made a stop at the Dallam/Hartley Veterans Memorial. The box was marked as retired but I took the clue just to make a stop at the memorial. I quickly looked for the box but didn't find it. Then we drove to where the Mission Twin Theater was supposed to be. There was a comment left that said the theater had now been turned into a evangelical center.
Stratford Station
So we drove by but didn't even stop to look for the box. From here we took a detour off of US 54 and headed east on TX 297 and ended up in Cactus, Texas. We made our way to Tumbleweed Drive to look for a box by jb kokopelli. We needed to find a sign but we drove up and down the road twice and never found the sign we needed. We then noticed an area on the side of the road that had been torn up and they were doing some kind of water or gas main work and I got this strong feeling that that was where the box had been. As we looked around we found a pile of cross ties (which was mentioned in the clue) and decided that the box might be in the pile. But we didn't have any luck finding the box.  To get ourselves back on track we headed north on US 287 and rejoined US 54 in Stratford, Texas. Here we looked for two boxes by Wag Time. We didn't find Beauty Shop Bygones but we had more luck finding The Stratford Station. After stamping in and replacing the box we filled the car with gas and then headed out to continue our trip along US 54.

It wasn't long before we crossed into the panhandle of Oklahoma and then into Kansas.
Welcome to Kansas
We did make a stop in Oklahoma but it wasn't for any letterboxes so I am going to write about the trip from just a driving point of view without letterboxing and you can read about that at Driving US 54 . . . and get a little information about another road that was used to cross the United States before the building of our interstate system. Once in Kansas we made our first stop in Liberal, Kansas. We drove to New Hope Church and easily found my first box in Kansas - Holy Grail by SunStateStamper. I stamped in and was so happy to be able to add another state to my letterboxing map. After I replaced the box we headed over to "The Land of Oz" just for the fun of it and to kind of look for a letterbox (which had a few attempts). We didn't find the box because we didn't find the landmark we needed - so we made an assumption that the box was gone. Then we continued on US 54 and made our next stop at a rest area just past the Cimarron River to look for the Nightwatch Box by Aspen. I think I found the right place because I found some flagstone that was mentioned in the clue but I didn't find the box. Time to continue on because with all the little stops we made it was getting late. This was our last stop of the day for letterboxing because it wasn't long before it got dark (since the time change last weekend). So we just drove until we reached Pratt. It was an interesting day eye opening - this part of the country is quite different from anywhere else I have been. Anyway, we had a great day and found a few nice boxes along the way.
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