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.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Hyde Park Road Box Checking and Maintenance

This morning I made plans to go for a drive along Hyde Park Road to check on and do some maintnance on boxes hidden there. On Tuesday I did a hike and checked on two boxes - Southwest Speedster and What does it all mean Mr. N? - both of which are alive and well. Today I drove the entire 16 miles up to the Santa Fe Ski Basin to begin my work.

My first order of business was to plant a couple of boxes. Back in February of this year I received two boxes from PineTree in Connecticut that she wanted me to plant in New Mexico. So I walked a short distance up the Winsor Trail and found a nice place for the first box. I wrote out all the clues and when I get home I will email them to PineTree and she can log the box on Atlas Quest. Then I made my way to the Santa Fe Ski Basin sign to check on Ski Bear #2. Unfortunately I believe the box to be unavailable due to a large tree that has fallen over and I think is now covering the box. If anyone feels like digging you might be able to find it. Next I got back into my car and headed back down the mountain. I stopped at the parking area for the NorSki Trail to plant the second box that PineTree sent me. I did a short walk along the trail and found a good spot for the box. I again wrote out the clues so I can email them later. While here I checked on In Spite of all the Danger which is in good shape and waiting to be found. I returned to my car and drove about 200 feet to the observation deck to check on two boxes. First I looked for I'm a Lumberjack and I'm OK which I wasn't able to locate. Hopefully Astro D can check on it and maybe I just missed it and it is still there. I also checked on You're so vain you probably think . . . and wasn't able to find it. I am pretty sure this box is missing. My next stop was at Aspen Vista Picnic Area to scope out some hiding spots for boxes I am working on. I wasn't there long before I found what I needed and then I was on my way again. As I made my way down the mountain I stopped at a pullout to check on The Long and Winding Road. This box is still in place and doing well. Back on the road I made my next stop at Black Canyon Campground. I had received some notes that my clues for my Pin Up Stamp Swap2: Tess were a little off. So I stopped to retake some pictures so that I could update the clues. After getting the shots I needed I headed down the road again. My next and last stop of the day was across from the parking area for the Chamisa Trail. My The Art of Ebrû letterbox also needed updated photos for the clues - so I did a quick walk and got new pictures and then made my way back to the car.

I was really hoping to get more done but I will have to get back up there sometime next week and continue checking on boxes. It was a great day along Hyde Park Road and I had a nice time on my drive.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hiking, Letterboxing and Getting Wet

I woke up this morning and decided I wanted to get out and do something. I have been wanting to get up to the ski basin and hike the Winsor Trail to look for a few boxes. Since I am not in that great of shape I didn't make any real plans - I just decided I would hike until I felt I needed to turn around and head back to the car. So I got a few clues, my letterbox stuff and my backpack and headed for the mountains.

It was around 8:30am when I arrived at the ski basin and parked. The day was beautiful and I was really looking forward to this hike. There were four people at the trailhead that started hiking just before me and there were also about 12 cars in the parking lot, so I felt I would have plenty of company. The first part of this hike is pretty much all uphill via a bunch of switchbacks until you reach the Forest Service fence. So I took my time (and plenty of rest breaks) along the way. I did meet up with quite a few people during this part of the hike. Once I got to the fence I started looking for my first letterbox - Southwest Speedster. I followed the clues and I found the box pretty quickly and then I looked for a nice place to sit and stamp in. I was surprised to find that I was the first finder and there was a hitchhiker in the box that the placer had left there. Anyway, I stamped in and then replaced the box. Once back on the trail I was feeling good and decided I would hike to the junction with the trail to Nambe Lake and look for another letterbox. Along the way I met up with about 18 people - both coming and going. This was the first time I have taken this trail this far. I usually stop at the fence and go up to Raven's Ridge. The hike was beautiful and I was really enjoying myself. When I finally arrived at the turnoff for Nambe Lake I read the clue for the letterbox. I then crossed a wooden foot bridge and followed the rest of the clues to find What's It All About Mr. N? by BlindSmiley. Once I had the box in hand I found a nice flat rock near the water and stamped in. After about 20 minutes of just sitting there I replaced the box and then started thinking about how I felt and if I wanted to continue or head back or take the trail to Nambe Lake.

Assessing everything, I decided to continue on the trail and try and make it to Puerto Nambe and look for one more letterbox. Everything was fine and I was taking pictures, meeting up with other hikers and loving the hike . . . and then it started to thunder. Soon after the thunder started the clouds started turning dark. I am not sure exactly where I was and how much further it was to Puerto Nambe but I decided it was time to turn around. So I started heading back and just before I reached the turnoff for Nambe Lake it started to rain. It was only a few drops at first but in no time it evoled to a steady drizzle. Thankfully it only drizzled and thundered - there was no lightning. Heading back was mostly uphill and I was doing a steady walk just trying to get back to my car which was really getting to my legs. I did have to stop a few times and let my legs relax for a minute before continuing. Finally I made it back to the car and I was glad to be out of the rain. I ended up seeing around 25 people on the trail. Of those 9 were children under 10 years of age hiking with their parents. I also met up with five dogs.

My original plan included this hike and then I was going to check on a few boxes as I drove down the mountains but with the rain I decided to just call it a day and head home. I really enjoyed the hike and would have loved making it to Puerto Nambe - so I guess I will just have to make it out there soon and try again.
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