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, December 29, 2013

On Our Way Home From Farmington

After a great day yesterday and a good night's sleep we slept in this morning and it was 9:00am before we left the hotel and started our journey back to Santa Fe. We left Farmington and stopped to fill the car with gas in Bloomfield before hitting US550. We drove for a short distance and then turned into the Angel Peak Scenic Area. I had clues for three boxes in the area (later I found out that there was another box) at three different places. First we stopped at Sage Picnic Area and found C4's Angelic. A quick find, but I had to kick the rock loose since it was a little frozen. I sat in the car to stamp in because the temperature was in the teens. After replacing this box we continued up to Castle Overlook and found Sunny Delight's Castle Rock box. Again this one was frozen a little but I was able to loosen the rock and get the box. I sat in the warmth of the car to stamp in and then returned the box to its hiding spot. Then we drove all the way to the end to Angel Peak Campground and parked at the picnic area. We started following the clues but I got confused almost immediately. The clue says to go to the lookout tip and I figured either there would be a sign or the path would lead to only one spot. I was wrong on both accounts. There was no sign anywhere for a 'lootkout tip' and the path went in a couple of directions. We did try and look around at three areas that seemed to match some of the clues but we came up empty handed. We spent about 25 minutes looking for this box but gave up because we got too cold. We did spend a little time taking pictures and enjoying the peace and quiet - we were the only ones there on a cold Sunday morning.

From Angel Peak we got back on US550 and headed to CR7900. As we made the turn we noticed a woman selling bread and biscochitos.  We bought one loaf of bread and one package of biscochitos and then continued on CR7900 to look for three boxes. At the intersection of CR7900 and CR7950 we parked in a parking area near the first box and Thomas waited in the car while I went in search of Macao in Chaco. I made it to the spot only to find the box exposed and open. The logbook was laying next to it and there were three crayola markers in the box but no stamp. I picked everything up and looked around the area but I was unable to find the stamp. I put everything there back into the box, covered it and then put it back in its hiding spot. When I returned to the car I made a note on the clue sheet to contact the placer about the mess. We then continued on CR7900 for two more boxes. First we stopped at a windmill and found BFF - a quick and easy find, I stamped in the car and rehid the box and then we were on our way. The next box was a few miles down the road near a small hoodoo that the placer described as a turtle. I quickly found Chaco and took it back to the car to stamp in. After replacing the box we turned around and made our way back to US550. Along the way Thomas noticed some hoodoos off to our left so we pulled into the area and took a few pictures.

When we got to Cuba we made a stop to see if we could move the frozen rock to find the box we missed yesterday but it was still being obstinate and we called it quits ad moved on. We continued our drive and somewhere around San Ysidro we stopped at a pullout with a great view of Cabezon Peak and found ArnoldZiffel's New Mexico Centennial Stamp. After stamping in and getting a couple of pictures we were on our way again. In Bernallio we stopped for a late lunch and the completed our drive to Santa Fe. It was a great overnight trip and it was nice just to have a little getaway.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Spur of the Moment Trip to Farmington

Last night Thomas came home from work and announced that he wanted to do something this weekend. He said we could leave in the morning and come home Sunday and asked where I wanted to go. I asked him if he felt like letterboxing since I had quite of few clues for boxes in the Farmington area. He said that would be fine. So we got things together and packed overnight bags before going to bed.

This morning we got up at 6:00am and got a few last minute things ready and then we hit the road. We drove south on I25 to Bernalillo and then took US550 through Cuba and up to Bloomfield. As we drove we enjoyed the lack of traffic since it was early and it was a Saturday. We didn't make any stops until we reached Cuba. We decided to stop here and have some breakfast. We ate at the Cuban Café and took our time and talked and sipped our coffee. We really didn't have anything planned or needing to get anywhere at any certain time so we just relaxed. After about an hour we got in the car and decided to look for a few letterboxes before leaving Cuba. I read the clues and made a mental list of landmarks and we were on our way. The first stop was at the post office. I wasn't too keen about looking for a letterbox around a federal building but when we pulled into the parking lot it was empty. The box was easy to find and I don't think anyone could see me. I took the box back to the car to stamp in and when it was time to put the box back the coast was clear and I easily got the box rehidden. We then continued through town looking for landmarks. The next box was a series of four boxes and they were planted at different gas stations in town. We found three of the four boxes and I stamped in while sitting in the car. For the fourth box we found the right spot but the rock was frozen in place and we couldn't budge it. We decided we would continue on and we would have to look for it at another time. So we left Cuba and continued on our drive.

Not far out of Cuba we turned on to NM96 and drove to La Jara and stopped at the post office. The place was closed and no one was around so it was easy to grab the box and return to the car to stamp in. After replacing the box we returned to US550 and then stopped near the Apache Nugget Casino to look for another box. We were supposed to find an elephant doing a handstand. Well I never found an elephant but after some searching we did find the box. It was a little work to scramble up a snow and loose rock covered hill but I did it and grabbed the box. There was no where to sit and stamp in so I went back down the hill to the car and stamped in there. That meant when I was done I had to traverse the hill again. I did it and then we were able to continue on our way. Before arriving in Bloomfield we made one last stop at CR7500 to find Wronghat's Vicissitudes. This was a quick and easy find. I stamped in while sitting in the car and then returned the box to its hiding spot. I then walked around the abandoned house and took a few pictures. Next we made the last little bit of the drive to Farmington.

We arrived in Farmington and made our way to Lions Wilderness Park. There were quite a few boxes here and we felt it would be a good place to start. First we drove to the amphitheater area and searched for two boxes. Both were pretty easy to find and weren't far walks. The first one I found was right on the side of a road near a parking lot. So I went and retrieved the box and brought it back to the car to stamp and then after stamping I walked back and replaced it. The second box was a little walk down a road that was blocked from motorized vehicles so Thomas stayed in the car and I walked the short distance to the box. I found it easily and then took it back to a picnic table to stamp in. I was done in a short while and replaced the box and then returned to the car. From here we drove to the disc golf course area of the park. A while back I solved a puzzle clue by Sunny Delight called Charlie Brown Christmas Dance Scene. I was determined to look for this box since solving the puzzle took a little bit of time. This is actually a series of seven boxes hidden in and around the disc golf course. We started at the first one and had to wait a little while for a group of four to finish the hole. Once they left we followed the clues but didn't find the box. I am not sure if it was there and we missed it or if it is indeed missing. So after about 15 minutes of searching we decided to continue on for the other six boxes. After about 2 hours of walking all over the course and following clues we found the last six boxes without any problems - well maybe a couple of problems - at a couple of the boxes we had to wait for groups to play through with their frisbees. The boxes took us around the course and we started and ended up at the parking area. We got in the car and drove toward the exit of the park but before leaving we turned toward a picnic area to look for one last box in the park. I wasn't sure whether we would find the next box because there had been an attempt on it recently but since it wasn't on a long hike we decided to look for it. I followed the clues and easily found the box without any problems. I took the box back to the car to stamp in and then returned it to its hiding spot. Now we were ready to leave the park. I had clues for a box at Sandalwood Park just down the road from where we were. So we headed there. We parked and started following the clues. There was a comment that a finder had made on AQ that some of the landmarks were missing - mainly pink flags marking the trail. But we decided to try it anyway. We gave it a good try but never really located anything in the clue so we decided to call it quits and head to one last place before calling it a day. Our next stop was at San Juan College to look for a couple of boxes. There were two in particular that we searched for - RNR's Professor Stevens and BirchMoon's Numb3rs. We knew the area we needed for RNR's box but BirchMoon's box had very clever obscure clues. Instantly I found the first number in the clue for Numb3rs and we were on our way. These clues took us to the courtyard for the Little Theatre. This is where Professor Stevens is hidden. So we concentrated on those clues and quickly found the box. I sat on a bench and stamped in while Thomas looked for the next number for the other clue. After stamping in I replaced the box and joined Thomas. It took us a few minutes to locate the next number and we were now getting the hang of looking for the numbers. The next clue I figured out quickly and we continued on our walk to find the box. The last clue was a little difficult but we bumped into a security guy and he was able to give us some insight (we did not tell him we were letterboxing, we told him we were doing a scavenger hunt). A little while later we found the box. I stamped in at a nearby bench. After stamping in I copied the clues for the bonus box (I am not giving anything away here - she mentions the bonus box in the clues) and then we returned the box to its hiding spot. Thomas and I sat down again and tried to make some sense of the bonus box clues. I wasn't getting anywhere looking at the clues so we got up and walked around looking for something that made sense. By this time the sun was starting to go down and it was getting a little cold. But we kept trying but we found absolutely nothing - no sign of anything that made sense with the clues. We finally decided to give up since it was getting dark and hard to make out things - so we walked back to the car and headed out for something to eat. After dinner we checked in to the hotel and relaxed. We had a great day and tomorrow we start making our way home.

Friday, December 06, 2013

A Holiday Mini Meet in Santa Fe

Tonight we had a little mini meet in Santa Fe at Blue Corn Café. The meet was arranged by ArnoldZiffel and it was a way for all of us to meet the newest Santa Fe letterboxer - Speleo. We were scheduled to meet at 4:00pm and I arrived just a tad before because I had finished all my errands and didn't have anything to do. But I didn't have to wait long before ArnoldZiffel and Agent86 arrived. We got a table for 10 and waited for everyone else to arrive. So those that attended from Santa Fe were ArnoldZiffel, Agent86, Speleo, Astro D, The Great Wuga Wuga, rubberpeace, rbrhorno and myself (lionsmane). And it was a pleasure and a surprise to have Wronghat and SemicolonNM show up from Albuquerque. We had a great time visiting and making exchanges. It has been a while since we have had a good get together for all the boxers in the area. The food and company was great and I hope we can do this again soon. You can see some photos that Wronghat took at Speleo Meet in SF Photo Album.
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