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, December 05, 2015

It's Event Day!

Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer

Today is the event - the 4th Annual Kick Off the Holidays: Mystery Carols event hosted by The Woodshed. Astro D and I decided to meet for breakfast around 7:45am and then we would head out for a couple of boxes before heading to the event. When we left the hotel it was pretty cold and cloudy. It seemed like we were in for a day of winter letterboxing. We first stopped at Riva Ridge Park and took the Sulfur Gulch Trail to look for Gone With the Wind. Walking the short distance to the box was rather chilling and unfortunately we found the logs where the box was hidden but there was no box. So we turned around and headed back to the car. Along the way we came across four deer just lying off to the right of the trail - they were beautiful. Once back at the car we continued on to the next box. This one was off of Tallman Court. We parked on the side of the road and walked a few feet to the box. We found Horse of Another Carver: Cheval Volant quickly and we stamped in standing at a wall that we used as a surface to stamp on. After replacing the box it was time to head to the event.
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
We drove up and parked and before we entered the house we looked for three boxes hidden in the yard. We found Practice Makes Perfect, Slippin' & Sliden' to the Woodshed and This Is My Life. Since it was a little chilly we were invited to bring the boxes inside to do our stamping. Once that was done we replaced the boxes and officially started the event. First we got the event stamp and while we were stamping in we were given name tags and a clue booklet. After getting the event stamp and visiting for a while we decide it was time to find some boxes. About a week ago we received a list of eight questions about the song The Twelve Days of Christmas - we were told we needed those answers to find some of the boxes. The clue booklets had five sheets of paper . . . gold, pink, green, red and blue. The first four were the clues which were at four different locations in Parker and Castle Rock. The last page (the blue one) was a list of Christmas carols.
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
There were 66 boxes planted for the event and also nine bonus boxes. A few of the regular boxes held the clues for the bonus boxes - so we needed to write those down for later. Each of the regular boxes contained only a stamp which represented a Christmas carol. Once you had the stamp you were suppose to name the carol it represented - at the end of the event we went over the answers and the six people with the most correct answers won prizes. I was only able to get 59 of 66 correct. And I have to say that even though I now know the answers I still don't get some of them - they make absolutely no sense to me. But others were very clever and I loved seeing the way the carvers interpreted the carols. Astro D and I started at the event headquarters looking for boxes. We found most of the ones hidden inside and then we decided to head out and hit the locations in Castle Rock. At each of the location there were these three wire boxes that looked like gifts. A red, blue and purple one - these were the ones we need the answers to the Twelve Days of Christmas questions. The answers were numbers and we needed a three digit number to open the locks to the boxes to get the three stamps inside. Then there were camo bags with other stamps hidden around the location. Each stamp was numbered so that you could put down which carol the stamp represented. There were nine stamps at the gold location, 18 at the pink location, 18 at the green location and 21 at the red location (which was the event headquarters) - the nine bonus boxes where at the red location also. I was glad to have the cheat sheet list of carols to help name the stamps, otherwise I probably would have only gotten about 10 correct. We found all the boxes in Castle Rock and then returned to Parker and found the boxes at one location and then returned to event headquarters to finish finding the ones there.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Once all the boxes were found I grabbed some snacks and then got a few exchanges. Also we worked on one of the bonus box clues where you had to look at a picture of the Twelve Days of Christmas and count all the legs and once you had the answer you could get the box. Then there was a gift exchange at the end of the event if you wanted to participate. And that concluded a marathon of boxing and visiting. We found a total of 80 boxes today and got some really incredible stamps. Astro D and I left the event and returned to the hotel to rest a bit and get cleaned up. Then we met in the lobby to go and get some dinner. It was a wonderful event and a great day even though it was cold and cloudy. I now need to get packed so I can get up early and hit the road. I would like to be back in Santa Fe by mid afternoon. Thanks to The Woodshed for being incredible hosts and for a fantastic event.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Castle Pines, Franktown and Parker

This morning I slept in - I had a long day yesterday and I was exhausted by the time I got to sleep last night. So I decided that I wouldn't set the alarm and I would just get started when I woke up. And since the mornings have been freezing I wasn't in a hurry to get out in the cold to letterbox. I was awake by 7:30am and after getting dressed and gathering my things I headed down to breakfast. I ended up leaving the hotel around 8:15am. My plan was to head to Castle Pines and letterbox at Daniels Park. I had clues for nine boxes and they were hidden at different parking areas in the park. The parking areas weren't far apart but I decided to start at the first lot and work my way down the road. I parked at the first lot and wondered what I was doing. There was a lot of snow all over I wasn't sure I could find any of the boxes. So while I was sitting in the car I read the clues for the boxes at this parking area. The clues all started with a bird house.
View of the Front Range from Daniels Park
So I looked around but didn't see a bird house. So I got out of the car and walked around looking for it - I did find one bird house. It was laying on the ground at the edge of the parking area. So I read the clues looking for other landmarks but no matter where I walked I couldn't find anything. I decided to go to the next parking area and try there. I drove over and parked and again read the clues for two boxes here. This time I found the first landmark and headed there. I then followed the rest of the clues and thankfully I found both boxes here - Bank of Gringotts and Hippo Plays the Harp. So after stamping in to these boxes and hiding them again I felt more confident. So I moved on the the next parking area. At this spot there were three boxes hidden. By this time it had warmed up a bit so I got out of the car and headed down a trail on the right side of the parking area. After some serious searching I had found two of the boxes - I missed the third one but I am sure I was in the right spot - it was just that the area was covered in snow and there was ice on the ground so I couldn't move some things and I eventually gave up on that box. So here I found Live, Love, Music! and Swirling Clefs. On to the next and last parking area. The lot is blocked by large rocks so you have to park in a pullout across the road. I get out of my car and checked both directions and saw a car coming from the right but it was pretty far away and the speed limit was only 25mph so I knew I could I make it across before the car even got close to me. So I headed across . . .  I had no sooner got to the other side and the car flew past me going about 60mph. I swear that when he saw me crossing he deliberately sped up. I'm not saying he was trying to run me over but it sure felt that way. When I first looked he didn't seem to be  going fast but when he flew past me I was scared - I had just gotten to the other side. So I stood there in the lot with my heart pounding for a few minutes before looking for the one box at this area. Eventually I started looking for the box and I found it quickly and without a problem. I stamped in to Tom & Jerry and then replaced the box and then carefully returned to my car. I looked at the time and decided I still had plenty of time so I returned to the first parking area. I took the clues for the three boxes and started walking around. I wasn't even following the clues I was just kind of looking for any landmark from the clues. A couple of the clues mentioned evergreens and I happen to be standing in front of three tall pine trees - so I walked over to them and started looking around and I accidentally found Kokopelli - Spirit of Music. I sat on a rock nearby to stamp in and after replacing the box I went back to the rock and sat and read the clues for the other two boxes. One of the other two boxes talked about an evergreen so I looked around and went to the closest one and looked but found no box. I then looked around all the evergreens I could see but didn't find either of the boxes. After another 15 minutes I decided to call it quits and leave the park and go to another area.

From Daniels Park I made my way to I25 and headed south a few miles to Castle Rock. I took Founder's Parkway which eventually becomes CO86. I was going to see if the mud situation at Gateway Mesa Open Space was any better. It wasn't - so I continued east on CO86 and then turned onto Castlewood Canyon Road and made my way to the parking area for Castlewood Canyon Homestead Trail. I was here yesterday and found two boxes but I missed the third one. So I was here to remedy that. I parked and headed for the trail and I immediately knew what I had done wrong. Well not exactly wrong - it was just that the trail I needed was covered completely with snow that I didn't even know there was a trail there. Today however, the trail was more visible. Still covered in snow but at least I could make it out. So I followed the trail and quickly found Celtic Z. I stamped in standing up since there was no where to sit with all the snow and then replaced the box. I returned to the car and then back to CO86. I drove to the corner of CO86 and CO83 in Franktown. At this corner is the Franktown Cemetery. The clues stated you could open the gate and drive in or park at the entrance and walk in. There was quite a bit of mud on the road so I decided walking wouldn't be good. So I opened the gate, drove in a short ways and stopped, then shut the gate and then drove up to the cemetery. I found a place to park out of the way and started looking for boxes. I first found Grams Bear and sat on a nearby bench to stamp in. When I was done there I walked a little further into the cemetery and found Lion Plays the Violin. Thankfully there was another bench nearby that I could use. So I sat there to stamp in. This area of the cemetery has a lot of trees and is a little secluded. It was nice and peaceful - so after stamping in I just sat there for a few minutes before replacing the box and returning to the car. From here I headed north on CO83 towards Parker. I stopped about a mile north of Franktown at Whispering Pines Park. Here I looked for and found Douglas County Open Space: Box 2 Foxy Fox box. I took it to some nearby picnic tables to stamp in. After stamping in and getting my things put away I returned the box to its hiding spot and then walked back to the car. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do so while I drove back to Parker I thought about what other clues I had. I noticed a street sign for North Pinery Parkway. I had clues for boxes here so I turned there and made my way to a parking area for some Open Space. I started on the trail following the clues but I had trouble finding boxes - there was just a lot of snow and the boxes were buried and I couldn't find them. I tried for 5 boxes but didn't find any, so I returned to the car and headed into Parker. I then made my way to Cottonwood Park. I followed the clues for one box and when I got to the area I tried to look for the box. This time it wasn't snow that hindered me, it was people. The trail here is busy, busy, busy. I eventually gave up and returned to the car. I then decided to head to the hotel and wait for Astro D to call. She was driving up from Santa Fe today and we had talked about doing a little boxing when she got here. So as I was driving back to the hotel I got a call from her and she had checked in to the hotel and was ready to get out and box. So when I got to the hotel I called her and we met in the lobby.

We decided to head to Preservation Park to look for a few boxes.
Preservation Park
I think we had clues for around 12 boxes. We parked in the lot and tried for the first box. Unfortunately when they cleared the lot of snow they pushed the pile right on top of the box. We tried to see if we could get to it but it was like a block of ice and we couldn't get through. So we started on the trail and tried for the next box. We had better luck here - we found Hood House. We sat on the trail and stamped in and then rehid the box. Then we headed down the trail to the next box. We got a little confused and stopped to soon and we couldn't find the box so we continued and finally got to the actual place where the box was hidden. We easily found J. Hadyn and took it to some nearby rocks to sit and stamp in. After replacing the box we continued on to the next box. Here we had more problems - there was snow and we couldn't find the little trail we needed and we called it quits. We returned to the main trail and looked for a box right at the intersection. We had better luck and found Keep Calm and Soak. After stamping in and replacing the box we continued on. It was getting a little colder as the sun started to set so we got our gloves and went in search of the next box. We were actually following the clues for two boxes but one of them we couldn't figure out the landmarks so we gave up on that one and then continued to the other box. We had good luck and quickly found the box - G.F. Handel. We stamped in at a nearby picnic table. Then we replaced the box and headed back the way we came. Next we tried for a series of four boxes but didn't have any luck with finding the correct location and by this time it was getting darker so we returned to the car. We went back to the hotel and got cleaned up a bit and then we headed out for dinner. We ended up eating at Casa Mariachi.  I really enjoyed this place - the food was great and the staff was excellent.

It was another long day of letterboxing and it was a good day of letterboxing. I am sufficiently tired and ready for a good night's sleep. Tomorrow is the event and there are a lot of boxes to be had so I need my rest.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Heading to Another Event

Well I am off on another road trip to another event. This time I am heading north to Colorado. This trip is to attend the 4th Annual Kick Off the Holidays - Mystery Carols hosted by The Woodshed in Parker, Colorado. As per my usual M.O. I was up and on the road early this morning - I left Santa Fe just before 5:00am while it was still dark and a freezing 28° - I really love getting started early. There is no traffic and it is kind of peaceful. While driving I listened to an audio book - Janet Evanovich's Eleven on Top.
View of Trinidad Lake from Carpios Ridge
This made the trip go by quickly. I was also privy to a beautiful sunrise over Wagon Mound. A little after 7:30am I arrived at Trinidad Lake State Park for my first stop and letterbox. I made my way to the Carpios Ridge Campground and parked at the picnic area. I bundled up with a fleece, jacket, scarf, cap and gloves since here in Trinidad, Colorado it was only 26° and I was cold. I was really hoping this would be a quick and easy find so I wouldn't be out for too long. Thankfully the box was only a short distance from the parking lot and it was hidden near some junipers and there wasn't any snow covering the box. Oh, I forgot to mention that there was snow on the ground - nothing too deep but enough that I would have to dig for boxes if they weren't sheltered by trees or bushes. I found it quickly and there was a bench nearby that I used to stamp in. The bench faces the lake and there was a great view from where I sat. I was the first finder on Trinidad Lake Bunny placed by Aunt Sparky. After stamping in I replaced the box making sure it was covered well and then I took pictures before returning to the car. When I arrived back at I25 I decided to fill the car with gas before continuing on.

Once back on the interstate I drove to Colorado Springs (secretly hoping that I wouldn't get caught in any morning traffic).
View from Lake Gulch Trail in Castlewood Canyon State Park
Luckily it was later than rush hour when I arrived and I had no problems going through the town. At the northern end of town I exited onto Interquest Parkway and headed east. This road changes into CO83 and turns north. My next stop was Castlewood Canyon State Park. As I got close to the entrance of the park I began wondering if I would be able to letterbox because there was snow everywhere. So when I arrived at the pay window I talked with the Ranger and he said that the trails were pretty good and that there wasn't any deep snow. He cautioned me about the Inner Canyon Trail since you have to either descend by a set of stairs or take another trail down into the canyon and he said that since the canyon is shaded and there was still snow and ice it could make it a difficult descent. I decided to at least try the upper trails and see what I could get done. So I paid my fee and made my way to the Canyon Point Parking Area. I first took the Canyon View Nature Trail to look for Moose Plays the Marimba. I followed the clues and made my way to the landmark I needed. I then started to search for the box but unfortunately there was a lot of snow in the area and it was deep in places. I had a hard time finding the spot where the box was hidden and I got tired of digging in the snow. So I called it quits on this box and made my way back to the parking area and then continued on the Lake Gulch Trail. This time I had more luck. This trail is more in the open and the snow wasn't as bad. A short distance up the trail I found my landmark and with no problem I found the box. Thankfully there was a rock clear of any snow or ice where I could sit and stamp into Mushu Protects His "Castle". As I was stamping in I looked up and was rewarded with a spectacular view. After getting the box hidden again I took a few pictures, gathered my things and went back to the main trail. I decided to continue on the Lake Gulch Trail which goes down into the canyon and connects with the Inner Canyon Trail. The ranger I talked with earlier was right - the trail became more icy as I went down and I decided not to chance it and turned around and made my way back to the car. I left the park and continued north on CO83 to the intersection with CO86. I turned west on CO86 and drive a few miles to Gateway Mesa Open Space. I turned onto the short dirt road that lead to the parking lot. Halfway up the road the dirt turned to mud. There were deep ruts filled with water so I stopped and looked ahead to the parking lot and noticed that it was also muddy with ruts and water all over. I decided I didn't want to get stuck in all that mud so I backed out and got onto CO86 heading back toward the intersection I had come from. A little before the intersection I turned onto Castlewood Canyon Road. This is the West entrance to Castlewood Canyon State Park. I parked at the Homestead Trailhead. While in the car I read the three clues I had with me just to be familiar with them. I followed the clues and found Dolphins by The Woodshed. I had noticed a picnic table nearby so I took the box there and put it with my letterboxing stuff on the table and then found Origami Glider also by The Woodshed. Now I had two boxes and I stamped while comfortably sitting at the table. After stamping in I replaced both boxes and then returned to the parking area and tried to orient myself with the clues for a third box. For some reason I wasn't able to do that.

So I decided to leave and head for Parker. It had been a long day of driving and I was done with digging in the snow. Once I arrived in Parker I headed to the library to find some indoor boxes. The library was pretty busy so I was skeptical if I would be able to find the boxes. I casually went to one area and sat on the floor in front of the shelves and took a book off the shelf - as I absently thumbed through the book I glanced around to make sure no one was around and then I reached in and grabbed the box. I put the book back and made my way to the next area. This was a little easier to get even with someone around because it looked like I was taking a book off the shelf. Now that I had both boxes (Cephalopod - Inkfish and A Cappella No Longer both by The Woodshed) I found a study desk with sides that blocked what I was doing. It was nice to stamp in a warm place and on a flat surface. After replacing the boxes I left the library and punched the hotel address into the Garmin. I hadn't had any meals all day (just snacks in the car) so I was hungry. I stopped and grabbed a quick bite on the way to the hotel. Now that I had something substantial in my stomach I made my way to the hotel.

It was a good day (just really cold) and I enjoyed myself. I have all day tomorrow to letterbox in the area and then the event is on Saturday. I think I will sleep in and wake up whenever and not worry about setting an alarm.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Home From the Arizona Journey

After seven day on the road we are back home. Our journey into Arizona took us all around that state. We visited the following cities . . . Springerville, Show Low, Flagstaff, Sedona, Prescott, Florence, Phoenix, Dateland, Yuma, Ehrenberg, Quartzsite, Lake Havasu City, Topock, Kingman, Hoover Dam, Hackberry, Valentine, Seligman, Williams and Lupton. I was able to complete my Azroadie Arizona 15 Award by finding an Azroadie letterbox in each of the 15 counties in Arizona. I also was able to get all the Arizona Counties series by Squatchis except for Maricopa County (due to the road to the box is indefinitely closed). We visited Lyman Lake, tasted date shakes, saw the Bridge to Nowhere, walked across the London Bridge, drove a good portion of Route 66 in Arizona and found a whopping 67 letterboxes - two of which were in the dark. We both really enjoyed the trip as we got to see quite a few things we had never seen and it was quite relaxing. I had planned things for us to do but nothing was written in stone - we played it all by ear. If time was running short we would eliminate things so that we could get to our final destination each night. It all worked out well and you can read about the entire trip at Searching Counties & London Bridge.

Monday, November 09, 2015

A Road Trip Through the Grand Canyon State

Tomorrow morning Thomas and I are leaving for an eight day road trip through Arizona. I have been working on finding boxes for two series in that state. One isn't really a series but a challenge/award by Azroadie. He has a link on his website for Arizona 15 Letterboxing Award. For this, you need to print out a form and then find one of his boxes in each of the 15 counties. You stamp the image on the form and when you complete the form you send it in to him and he sends you a certificate and a stamp image. The other series is by Squatchis (Arizona Counties) - he planted a box in each of the 15 counties. You stamp the image into an outline of the map of Arizona and its counties. The images are the names of the county. When you stamp the image it fits the exact shape of the county. He also has an overlay with asterisks that mark one of the letters. When you have all the letters you have to figure out where a bonus box is hidden for The Lost County (Pah-Ute County).

London Bridge, Lake Havasu City, Arizona
When I started planning the trip and looking for clues I noticed that there was an event in Lake Havasu. So I tweaked the trip so that we would be there for the event - 2nd Annual Home of the London Bridge and UK Fictional. This will be our first trip to this part of Arizona and I am looking forward to this part of the trip. I have checked the weather and it looks like it is going to be perfect for the entire trip. By the time we return home we will have put about 2000 miles on the car. It should be a fantastic trip and you can read about the adventure at Searching Counties & London Bridge.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Letterboxing at Cochiti Lake

When I woke this morning I realized it is actually winter now in New Mexico. Yesterday we woke up to snow (a lot in the mountains and a little in town) and then this morning the temperature was 25° and there was a layer of ice on the windshields of the car. After I got dressed I started the car and defrosted the ice on the windshield and then headed out for my morning walk. My plan was to do my walk and then head out to find a couple of letterboxes at Cochiti Lake. I have been walking every morning on the Spur Trail in Rancho Viejo. This morning I did a ten mile walk and when I returned to the car (the temperature was now 44°) I made my way to I25 and drove the 20+ miles to the Cochiti Recreation Area. The area was very quiet and I was the only one there. First I went to the overlook area and parked. I walked up to the pavilion at the overlook and took a few pictures and then headed out to find Wronghat's Pueblo de Cochiti box. It was a short walk to the box and I found it easily. I found a spot to sit and stamp in and enjoy the view of the lake. I noticed that across the lake there was still a bit of Fall color. Once I was done stamping in I got the box back into its hiding spot and then walked a little further down the trail to take a few more pictures.
I returned to the car and then headed over to the Visitor Center (which has never been open when I am there). I took the Nature Trail behind the building and went in search of a letterbox placed by Wronghat with a stamp carved by Mim. I like this trail because it is a pretty easy walk with some incredible views. I easily found the box and sat on the trail (completely blocking it - there was no one else around so I wasn't worried about being in the way) and stamped in. After stamping in and getting the box into its hiding spot I walked a little further down the trail for some more pictures. I then retraced my steps back to the car and made the short drive back to the house. It was a great day to letterbox. A beautiful sunny day at the lake with a bit of a chill in the air. Thanks to Wronghat and Mim for two great boxes.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Spring and a Crest

This morning I had to be in Albuquerque for an appointment which would only take me an hour. That left the rest of the day to do something. So last night I got together some clues for boxes I hadn't found yet so that I could go and find them when I was done with my meeting. I also gathered all my letterboxing supplies so that I would be ready in the morning. When I left home this morning I had everything I needed to enjoy my letterbox hunt - clues, logbook, signature stamp, compass, inks, water, hat and camera. After my appointment I headed out to do some letterboxing.
I headed east from Albuquerque on I40 and exited on Tramway and then turned onto Central which turns into NM333 (this is the old Route 66). I made sure to go 45 mph so that I could listen to the singing road and then turned onto Carlito Springs and made my way to the Carlito Springs Open Space. I did a little research about this open space and found that it is the newest open space area for Bernalillo County. I also read about its history which was fascinating. Here are some links about Carlito Springs . . .

Carlito Springs latest open space area to open just east of Albuquerque
Bernalillo County Exploring Open Space "Carlito Springs"
Oasis in the Desert: The Renewal of Carlito Springs
Carlito Springs Open Space Trail Map
Carlito Springs Open Space

When I arrived at the Open Space parking there were three cars in the lot. I gathered my things and hit the trail following the clues I had with me. I took the left fork of the trail from the trailhead and started my hike. It was about 11:00am and it was already getting hot - I was thankful I remembered to bring some water. The first part of the hike was uneventful and took me up along stone steps placed in the trail with switchbacks added in to help ease the steepness of the trail. I then crossed the first of two steel bridges. I passed a couple standing on the bridge, said hi and continued on. After the first bridge I started seeing lots of beautiful wildflowers on the side of the trail. I also started seeing some stone walls off to the sides. I then crossed the second bridge and continued my upwards journey. The stone walls and wildflowers became more plentiful here.
Carlito Springs
This hike was mostly uphill and steep in some places and I was really glad I had water - with the heat and the climbing I needed it. I assumed the stone wall were for terracing the steep landscape to support the landscape and orchards all around. Up above I noticed some greenish buildings and eventually arrived at an intersection marked with two wagon wheels. This was the landmark I needed to start looking for Wronghat's Carlito Ingress letterbox. I stopped to reread the clues and quickly found the box not too far from the wagon wheels. I took the box to a shaded spot to sit and stamp in. I always enjoy finding Wronghat's boxes and love his carvings. After I stamped in I returned the box back to its hiding spot and then continued on the trail to the springs.  There are quite a few cabin-like buildings and one stone house in the area. When I arrived at the springs there was a mom and her two young kids sitting on a wall by a small trickling pond and there were four teenagers sitting below at the spring soaking their feet. I took some stone steps down to the spring and took a few pictures and chatted a little with the teenagers. Two of which were out with very nice cameras taking pictures as well. After a short while everyone went on their way and I had the place to myself. It was incredible - so peaceful and quiet. I just sat next to the spring and relaxed for a few minutes - having a snack and some water. Then I started my hike back to the car. I decided to follow the same route I took up since it was the shortest way back to the car and since I was tired it had the most appeal. Next time I will hike the entire loop and maybe bring a picnic lunch. Thanks Wronghat for showing me this place - it was truly magical.

Dalmation Toadflax (Linaria dalmatica)
Wild Sweet Pea (Lathyrus latifolia)
Wild Sweet Pea (Lathyrus latifolia)
Wild Sunflower (Helianthus gianteus)
After this spectacular hike I made my way up to Sandia Crest via the Sandia Crest Highway way to the Sandia Crest House. Here I was looking for cottonwoodlady's Sandia Crest House and Sandia Crest Rosy Finch. I paid my fee and entered the building. I found a place to sit and read the clues looking for landmarks. For the Sandia Crest House box I was having good luck up to a certain point. I kept looking at one of the landmarks trying to find the next one but I wasn't seeing it. I tried to skip down in the clues to see if I could find the next part but still no luck. I gave up on that box and tried the Sandia Crest Rosy Finch box. Again I was good until a certain point and then I became confused and the clues made no sense to me. I kept going back and forth between the clues trying to understand them. Then a young boy over near the entrance started a tantrum.
Hummingbirds at Sandia Crest
When I looked over to see what was going on I noticed a landmark for the Sandia Crest House box. The parents took the young boy outside and I made my to the area and finally after 30 minutes of searching I had found a box. I took that box to some couches and stamped in there and then returned the box to the hiding spot. Now to try for the other box, again. The clues eventually lead you outside to a patio. This was great - the views of Albuquerque from here were fantastic. There were a few other people on the patio so I took a chair and sat and watched the hummingbirds and squirrels. While I did this I read the clues and tried to understand where the box was hidden. Unfortunately I didn't find the box - I gave up after 25 minutes of retracing my steps and looking around. I was also getting a bit nervous because I had been in there for almost an hour and I had seen a sign for surveillance and wondered if the staff was getting suspicious of me walking around. I also didn't know if the staff knew about the boxes or not so I was trying to be stealthy.

Finally after an hour I left the Crest and drove back down the mountain. I took NM14 back home. I love this back road drive, much nicer that I25. I had a good day letterboxing - I just wish I knew what I did wrong with that last box. Oh well, maybe another time.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

A Letterboxing Odyssey

Last week a group of us got together to celebrate Astro D's 10 year letterboxing anniversary. For that celebration myself, ArnoldZiffel and Wronghat created a letterbox series consisting of three boxes. To celebrate Astro D arranged a lunch for rubberpeace, Wronghat, Semicolon, ArnoldZiffel and myself. At the lunch we had the stamps and boxes so that everyone could stamp in and then I took the boxes with me so that I could get them planted somewhere. Over the weekend I thought about a few places where I could hide the boxes - I came up with the Randall Davey Audubon Center and Sanctuary and the Dorothy Stewart Trail. Astro D suggested the La Tierra Trails. This morning I went to her house to pick her up so we could get the boxes planted and we made the final decision on where we would plant them. The Great Wuga Wuga pointed out that the Dorothy Stewart Trail has very little parking (like three spots) and that might aggravate finders if they couldn't park to find the box. In the end we decided on the Randall Davey Audubon Center and Sanctuary. So we made our way over there and started walking the trails. We walked the El Temporal Trail and the Bear Canyon Trail. It took us a while to get the three boxes planted because we were both being pretty picky about the hiding spots. We don't want these to go missing any time soon so we chose our spots carefully. The boxes are now in place and are ready to be found. I hope everyone enjoys them as much as we enjoyed putting this series together. Once we had the boxes hidden we headed back to Astro D's house. I dropped her off and then I left to run some errands. It was a nice time this morning and I was happy to be a part of this series to congratulate Astro D.

Friday, July 31, 2015

A Celebration Lunch

Today I had lunch with Astro D, rubberpeace, Wronghat, semicolon and ArnoldZiffel at Harry's Roadhouse. We got together to celebrate Astro D's 10 year letterboxing anniversary. She found her first box on July 30, 2005 and that box was Santa Fe Trails by silvereagle. A few weeks ago Astro D emailed me and asked is I was available for lunch on Friday, July 31 and she said that she was inviting a few of the other boxers in the area to celebrate. I emailed her back with a 'yes'. Not long after this exchange I got an email from ArnoldZiffel and she had an idea to make a box for the occasion. She discussed this with Wronghat as well. After a little back and forth we came up with an idea. And this is what happened . . . me, ArnoldZiffel and Wronghat were going to carve a stamp based on images from a box or boxes of Astro D's that we liked. ArnoldZiffel then cut a circle from Speedy Carve (the pink stuff) and then she divided it into thirds. She mailed one of the thirds to Wronghat and one of the thirds to me.
Semicolon, ArnoldZiffel, Wronghat, lionsmane, Astro D & rubberpeace
We then designed our own image and carved the stamps. We decided that after the lunch we would plant this box somewhere in Santa Fe. ArnoldZiffel also made the logbook for the box and I made Astro D a little memento book. I included some pictures of Astro D with other boxers throughout her ten years of boxing and I even threw in some statistics . . . after 10 years she has found 1665 boxes, planted 94 boxes, has had 13 blue diamonds and 2 boxes of the week. With these statistics I included some scanned images of some of her boxes - highlighting some of my favorites of her carves. I put some blank pages in the book so that we could stamp in and wrtie her a note. We had a great time visiting and reminiscing about boxes we found and places we have been. Astro D and I are going to get together and plant the box on Tuesday of next week. Once that is done I will log the box in and it will be available for others to find.
Congrats Astro D and here is to 10 more years and lots of boxes!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Boise Boxing - Day 3

Well I still had a few clues for boxes in Boise so I decided that I would spend the morning letterboxing while Thomas was at his conference. I left the hotel around 9:00am and headed toward the first box. I walked about four blocks and arrived at the Boise Weekly offices. Here I was looking for The Big Kahuna by Ravenclaw. I walked in and asked for the box by name and the woman that I talked with seemed to be confused about the box. So I explained what I was talking about and then she started to remember. Then she said she wasn't sure what happened to it but she said she would go and ask around and look for it. Ten minutes later she came back without the box - she said she wasn't sure what happened to it. So I thanked her and continued on. I walked another four blocks to look for Date Night and the second box in the series Hit and Run Now Showing all by Blackvelvetrav near The Flicks. Following the clues I quickly found Date Night and I took it to a nearby bench to stamp in. But before stamping in I decided to see if I could find Godzilla of Snacks (Box #2 in the Hit and Run series). Thankfully the box was only about 20 feet from the bench I was sitting on - so I quickly grabbed it and used the bench to stamp in to both boxes. After getting these back in to place I walked another two blocks to lookk for Box #3 in the Hit and Run series. I followed the clues and found what I thought was the billboard mentioned and then found the electrical boxes but unfortunately I didn't find the box. Not sure if I was in the right place or not but didn't see any other billboards so I assumed the box was gone and decided to move on. I walked another eight blocks to look for Box #1 in the Hit and Run series. I found the hotel I needed and looked around for the hiding spot. I felt very conspicuous and uncomfortable but I quickly checked for the box but didn't see it. I decided it wasn't worth it since I was in plain view of some windows and I couldn't tell if anyone was behind them watching me. So I moved on to the next box. Another five blocks later I arrived at Ben & Jerry's and followed the clues to Box #4 in the Hit and Run series. This time I easily found the box and found a spot to sit and stamp in. Once this box was back in place I only had clues for one more box in the downtown area. Five blocks later I was at The Chocolat Bar to find Chocolate Covered Lover by Blackvelvetrav. I went in and asked for the box at the counter. They actually knew what I was talking about. So I took the box to a table and stamped. When I was done I returned the box and then bought some delicious pieces of chocolate. I walked another four blocks and arrived back at the hotel. I found four boxes out of seven - I guess that is okay.

Back at the hotel I decided to take a break and get out of the heat. Well it wasn't that hot (about 85 degrees) but with the humidity I was pretty wet and felt uncomfortable. The room was nice and cool so I drank a bunch of water and had a little lunch. I relaxed for about 50 minutes and then decided to go and look for one more letterbox.

For this I decided to drive - it was about three and a half miles from the hotel and I didn't think I could handle the heat and humidity for that distance. I drove to 13th and Shoreline and parked near the Greenbelt. With my letterboxing stuff and the clues I followed the trail looking for Ravenclaw's ID Boxing Event (a series of three boxes). A short 2/10ths of a mile later I arrived at the location for the first box but unfortunately there were two people  sitting on the bench right near where the box was suppose to be. I decided to continue on to the second box and come back to this one later. So I backtracked about 100 feet or so and crossed a foot bridge over the Boise River to Ann Morrison Park. I followed the clues to the second box and found the landmarks but unfortunately I didn't find the box. I am pretty sure I was in the right place but I checked again and still didn't find the box. Time to head to the third box. Not too far down the trail I found the bridge over the drainage  and located the other landmarks. But again I was foiled - no box. I searched all over the area and around the rocks but came up empty handed. So I headed back to the first box but I wasn't optimistic about finding it. Unfortunately I wasn't able to look for it because the same people were still there. I decided to call it a day and count my losses. Once in the car I thought about maybe going to look for a box I couldn't find the other day but decided I was too hot and tired so I just returned to the hotel.

Thinking about my time letterboxing in Boise I felt a little disappointed about my experience. I was able to go to a couple of nice parks and saw a couple of interesting things but unfortunately it doesn't seem to me that the boxes in the area have very good luck. I looked for 25 boxes but only found 10 of those. Maybe it was just me and I missed the boxes and they are there but I feel I followed the clues pretty well. The other thing was that I had written on the Idaho board and was hoping to meet up with some of the boxers in the area but no one responded. And when I logged in finds and sent notes no one replied back. It would have been nice to talk with boxers in the area to find out more about the area and boxes. Don't get me wrong I did enjoy my time letterboxing here and I did find some really nice boxes. Maybe next time I can meet up with some locals.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Boise Boxing - Day 2

My plan for this morning was to have some breakfast and then do some letterboxing. Then I would meet Thomas for lunch and then we would decide what we wanted to do for the afternoon since he was free from his conference.

So I started slow again today having coffee in the room and watching the news (Is Donald Trump completely bat crap crazy???). Then I walked some eight blocks to get some breakfast at Bacon - a place I read about in some travel brochure. It was just a simple place where you order at the counter. I ended up with a Scramble Burrito made with cheesy steamed eggs, salsa fresca, roasted potatoes and berryhill bacon (bacon with a chile-sugar dry rub) in a flour tortilla - very tasty.

After eating I walked back to the hotel and got into the rental car and headed out to do some letterboxing. I first headed to a portion of the Boise Greenbelt in town and took a short walk to find Let's Ride Bikes! by NeverEatSoggyWheat. This was a quick and easy find and I had the trail all to myself to stamp in. Once the back was back in place I continued on with my search for boxes. I wasn't so lucky at the next few stops - I didn't find any more boxes this morning. I searched for the following boxes and came up empty handed . . .
Skeleton is Co-Pilot by Blackvelvetrav at Morris Hill Cemetery
Best Friend in a Backpack by poison ivee at Riverside Park
Attack of the Gators! by FrogiNater at MK Nature Center
Art in the Park - What Zoo Boise Needs by the dragon_wi at Julia Davis Park
Now I am not sure if they are missing or if I was just off my game and missed finding them. But the morning was a bust when it came to finding boxes. But I did enjoy the places I went to. By this time it was getting pretty warm and it was close to noon and time for me to meet up with Thomas. I am going to try for a few more boxes tomorrow so wish me luck.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Boise Boxing - Day 1

Yesterday Thomas and I drove from Boise to Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve to visit that park (You can read about that trip at Visiting the Moon). On the way there and in the area we looked for three letterboxes - we had absolutely no luck in finding a box. So I was hoping beyond hope that today I could at least find a few boxes in Boise.

I headed out from the hotel about 9:00am and made my way to the foothills of Boise to the Lower Hull's Gulch Trail. I took the quarter mile walk to look for Ribit by Blackvelvetrav and followed the clues. I easily found the box but was disappointed when I opened it to only find the logbook - there was no stamp in site. So I replaced the box and returned to the car. Not a good way to start the day. But I continued on and made my way to the next box - another Blackvelvetrav box - Easter Bunny Pei. This was pretty much a drive-by and an easy find. I took the box back to the car and was happy that the stamp and logbook were both present. After stamping in and replacing the box I was off again to the next box. I made my way to Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve to look for TaiChi and ChaiTea's To ID From CO. This was another easy find but for the second time there was no stamp, only a logbook. So I put the box back and returned to the car. I was beginning to think that someone in Boise doesn't like letterboxes - well actually the stamps in letterboxes and they were taking them. It was weird because it didn't seem that either box had been geotrashed - there were no trinkets in the box and the box was hidden back in place and really well. Not sure what was going on but I was hoping that the next box would be okay. So I crossed my fingers and headed out to find Birds on a Wire's National Treasure letterbox. This box is a series of four boxes and it is a mystery/puzzle box. You have to figure out the starting location for the first box and then that stamp leads you to the next box and so on. I really loved searching for this box. The clues, the stamps and the story were really well done. I was able to find all four boxes and I was extremely happy that no stamps were missing. And it was a good way to end my letterboxing for the day.

This afternoon I had other plans so more letterboxing will have to wait until tomorrow. Lets hope that the letterbox stamp stealers haven't taken any more stamps.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Our Last Day in Massachusetts

Well today is our last day visiting Deanne and Dave in Massachusetts and I have to say that this trip has been fantastic.
Fishing at Rauscher Farm
This morning we all loaded into the car and headed out for one more letterboxing outing before we leave tomorrow. We drove to Clinton and more specifically Rauscher Farm. We were here to find justintim1999's Nature Adventure at Rauscher Farm - this is a series of 10 boxes placed on a two mile walk. So we all headed out and started looking for boxes. Thankfully we found all of the boxes and two bonus boxes. The walk was fantastic and this was a great place and I have to say that a couple of the hides were really clever. We enjoyed our time at the Farm and then we started our drive back to the house. On the way we pulled into a rest area - visitor center along MA2 and while here I found one more box. The box that I found is Basket of Apples by lazy letterboxer. This box was placed in honor of Johnny Appleseed and was placed for the Great Northern Tier Geocaching/Letterboxing Tournament. After getting this box we headed back to the house and began packing before we headed out to dinner. We had a great time visiting with Deanne and Dave and we found some great letterboxes while we were here. I look forward to our next visit to Leominster.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Lincoln Woods in Leominster

Most of today was spent relaxing and reading and visiting with Dave and Deanne. Then in the afternoon Deanne asked if I wanted to go and find a few letterboxes. I said I would love that and I asked Thomas if he wanted to go with us and he decided it would be nice to get out for a walk. So Deanne, Thomas and I headed out to Lincoln Woods Wildlife Sanctuary to find four boxes. We were only at the Sanctuary for a short time and we probably walked about two miles. During our walk we looked for and found all four boxes - Drunk-Box 2012 by Epicus Ratticus; Native Son Series: Thomas Pecorelli by lazy letterboxer, Lincoln at Lincoln by lazy letterboxer and Perry by JEM2013. All the boxes and stamps were fantastic and we enjoyed the afternoon outing. I am loving these quick letterboxing trips to find a few boxes and then taking some time to just relax. We are really enjoying our trip to Massachusetts - Deanne and Dave have been incredible host.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Dinner and a Letterbox

Tonight Deanne and Dave wanted to take Thomas and I out to dinner at one of their favorite restaurants. The restaurant is a wonderful little Italian place called The Gondola. When we arrived Dave and Deanne talked with their favorite waitress and we were shown to a booth. We ordered drinks and Deanne asked the waitress to bring the letterbox she planted here at the restaurant. So the waitress brought the box to the table and I opened and started stamping in. There were quite a few stamps in the Go, Go, Go to the Gondola letterbox and it took me a while to stamp in. Deanne has placed a few boxes in restaurants and pubs around the area and she modeled them after the boxes you find in pubs in Dartmoor. I was glad to get this box and the wonderful stamps that were in it. And we had a fantastic dinner with some great food. Thanks to Deanne and Dave for taking us to this great place.

Monday, June 08, 2015

We're Back in Leominster

Today we drove back to Leominster from Orange after having a fun few days at the camp. After getting settled at Dave and Deanne's I decided to take a walk a couple of blocks away to find a letterbox that Deanne has at a free little library close to her house. Thomas decided to stay at the house and read. When I mentioned to Deanne that I was going to walk to the library she decided to come along so she could check if it needed more books. So we took the short walk  and I found LFL 15314. While I stamped in on the adjacent bench Deanne reorganized the books and made a note about how many books she could put into it. Once we had the box back in place we walked back to the house and then she said she would take me out in Leominster to find a few more boxes.
A Guardian Angel
This time we got in the car and she drove us to a trail with two boxes that she planted as an honor to the letterboxingham's guardian angel. Let me give a little clarification here. Dave (the letterboxingham) was doing some volunteer work clearing the trail. He was working on the last tree of the day when he started cutting it and it fell on him. He was pretty banged up and was taken to the hospital. Thankfully he was alive but ended up needing surgery and has recovered nicely. So Deanne and I walked a short way up the trail to a snag - which is the scene of the accident. Near here I found the first box and stamped in. While I was sitting on a rock stamping in Deanne swatted something off my pants. She said it was a tick. Once the box was back in place I checked to see if there were any others on me. I didn't see any so we continued up the trail another 12 steps to the second box. Again it was an easy find and I sat on a rock and stamped in. These two boxes are a series called The Letterboxingham's Guardian Angel. Deanne carved two guardian angels but the letterboxingham only has one - the boxes represent 1) What Deanne wants Dave's guardian angel to look like and 2) What she thinks he really looks like. It was a nice series. When we got back to the car Deanne checked the back of my pants and I checked the front - I found one more tick. I was hoping that was all there was.

Lizzie Borden: The Original Girl Gone Mad
Back in the car we headed to another trail. Along this trail we first looked for The Borden Girls. A series about Lizzie Borden. This is a series of two boxes - one is called The Original Girl Gone Mad and one is called The Original Mad Cow. This is a great series and I enjoyed both of the stamps. They were both easy finds and I stamped in quickly so we could continue on for one more box. We walked the trail for a little while and the found Thomas' Toy Box. This is a box placed by the lazy letterboxer and it is one that people can add stamps to. So this box took me a little while to stamp in - there were 19 stamps in the box. When I finally finished stamping in and we got all the stamps back into the box we put the box back into its hiding spot. We made our way back to the car and then headed back to the house. After walking these two trails and finding ticks on me I decided that the first thing I wanted to do was take a shower. When I got undressed I had Thomas help me look for more ticks. We did a very thorough search and found two more - one on my right knee and one on my left thigh. After getting these off of me I felt that it was all clear so I jumped into the shower and by the time I got out of the shower I was all better and no longer worried about ticks. Even with the ticks I still had a great time and I really enjoyed all the stamps I found.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

A Few Doggies and A Mini Meet

This morning we decided to go out as a group to find a series of five boxes that the lazy letterboxer had in Royalston. We weren't sure if all the boxes were there because Deanne had a couple of notes that two of them were missing. This series is called Doggie Bag Denizens and was born from a doggie bag that she had gotten from a restaurant. The bag had pictures of five dogs and she decided to carve them and plant them as a series. So Dave, Deanne, Thomas and I drove from the camp to Jacobs Hill Reservation. We parked and started down the trail and we didn't have to go too far to find the first box - Laddie. I looked for it and found it without a problem.
View of Long Pond
After stamping in and replacing the box we continued along the trail. The next box - Duke, was placed near a scenic overlook. We arrived at the area and we were rewarded with an incredible view of Long Pond. We spent a few minutes here while I took some pictures and then we looked for the box. Once we found it I took it to a nearby rock to sit and stamp in. We got the box back in place and continued our hike to the next box. As we descended the trail we followed the clues and when we found the landmark we started searching for the box.
Spirit Falls
Unfortunately Rex apparently didn't like this spot because we couldn't find him. So we continued down the trail until we reached water. At this point we went in search of the fourth box - Sparky. Again we came up empty handed and that verified the notes that Deanne had gotten about two of the boxes being gone. But we still had one more box to find. So we got back on the trail and continued on to the fifth box - Scruffy. We had better luck this time and found him without any problems. I stamped in and then replaced the box and then we all headed back to the car.  I think we did about a two mile walk - it was pleasant and relatively easy and we all had a great time.

We returned to the camp and relaxed for a while and then took showers so we could go to the mini meet that the lazy letterboxer had arranged - Meet Lionsmane and Highwayman at Herrick's Tavern. We were the first to arrive and we found a table out on the patio. Soon everyone arrived and we had a great visit and some snacks. Here I found Luvvy's Pub Box and also got a few personal travelers. It was nice to see some old faces and meet some new people. We spent about an hour and a half at the tavern just talking and relaxing then we headed back to the camp - it was a nice day of letterboxing.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Bears, Beans and Lookout Below

We spent most of the day just hanging around the camp in Orange - relaxing, reading and visiting. Then in the afternoon Deanne asked if I wanted to go do a little letterboxing. Of course I said yes and off we went. She took me to one of her series in New Salem at Bear's Den to find her Bear's Den Quartet. I loved this place - it had lots of trees that created a wonderful shady area that took you down to a small river with a small waterfall. The hike wasn't long or hard and I found all four of the boxes in the series. It was a fantastic outing and I loved the series of stamps.

Once we returned to the car Deanne took me to another one of her boxes that she has hidden at a company where they get there coffee (not like Starbucks - they get roasted whole beans in a blend made just for them that they take home and grind then brew). The place and the box was called Dean's Beans. The box is hidden near the building and there was a picnic table near the box that I sat at to stamp in. Unfortunately the Dean's Beans was closed so I couldn't go in and get coffee but maybe next time.

Before we returned to the camp we made one last stop at the Orange airport where there is a skydiving place called Jumptown. The lazy letterboxer placed the box for the letterboxingham and GingerBlue who skydived from here on September, 19, 2009. This was another quick and easy find and once the box was back in place we called it a day and returned to the camp for more relaxation and some dinner.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Letterboxing in Wendell State Forest

After sleeping in and then a good breakfast Deanne, Dave, Thomas and I packed some sandwiches and snacks and then headed for Wendell State Forest. Deanne had planned for us to do some letterboxes near Ruggles Pond. After driving for about 30 minutes we arrived and parked near the pond and then decided where we were headed first. Thomas and Dave decided to stay near the pond while Deanne and I hit the trails. We headed for the trail head at the far end of the lot for the Metacomet Monadnock Trail. We started following the white blazes and started searching for boxes. We were going to look for a letterbox at a shelter we passed but there was a park employee working there so we just continued on. Not too far up the trail we stopped and here I searched for the very first letterbox planted in Massachusetts - El Corazon originally placed by Bonita and currently owned by BlackA. This box holds the only original carve done by Bonita. There are two other boxes on this trail originally placed by Bonita but at some point they had to be replaced and now hold new carves. But back to El Corazon - this box was presumed lost after a hurricane but thankfully the lazy letterboxer and the letterboxingham were able to find the box by digging through a large pile of branches, uprooted trees and brush. They replanted it and today I found the box hidden behind a large boulder on the side of the trail. It was exciting finding the first box placed in the state. After stamping in we replaced the box and continued down the trail. I am not sure how far we walked but along the way we found the second and third boxes placed in Massachusetts - Antoine de Saint Exuprey and Letterbox Vincent. After stamping in and replacing Vincent we turned around and headed back to the parking area. Along the trail we tried for a couple of other boxes in the It's A Myth-Story series. We only found the first box which was the one at the shelter we passed early on.

Back at the car we met Thomas and Dave and then took our sandwiches and snacks to a shelter and enjoyed a nice little lunch. Then we all decided to go in search of the next boxes. First we headed up the road and took a blue blazed trail to look for Dr. Ned by the lazy letterboxer. Unfortunately we didn't find the box and Deanne said she would have to replace it. So we returned the way we came and then took the trail that loops around Ruggles Pond. Along this trail we looked for and found Spring Peepers of Ruggles Pond and Oft She Goes placed by BlackA. This was a great walk and I enjoyed it immensely. When we finished the loop we went to the car and drove up the road deeper into the park and turned on to Jerusalem Road. We parked near a sign for lookouts and Deanne and I took the very short walk to find Oh the PUNishment! #5 by Epicus Ratticus. This was an easy find and we quickly stamped in and then returned to the car.

At this time we left the park and made the drive back to Orange and the camp - we needed to get ready for a dinner reservation. It was a great time at Wendell and I hope to get back there sometime to find more boxes.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Visiting Massachusetts

Thomas and I are in Massachusetts visiting letterboxing friends (the lazy letterboxer - Deanne and the letterboxingham - Dave) in Leominster.
the lazy letterboxer
They have a little camp in Orange and today we drove up there to spend a few days. Once we were settled at the camp I found a letterbox that is hidden in the front yard of the camp. I grabbed The Coffee box and took it to the porch to stamp in. Once that was done and I replaced the box Deanne said she would take me on a hike to find a series of five boxes. So we drove a short way to the Federated Women's Club State Forest in Petersham. The hike was wonderful - not too hard and not too far and it ended in a fantastic view of the Quabbin. On this hike I found all five boxes in the CherChez Les Femmes series that the lazy letterboxer had planted here. It was a perfect way to spend part of the afternoon and I loved all the carves of the boxes. After the hike we returned to the camp for an extremely relaxing evening. I am looking forward to finding more letterboxes in the area.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Four Corners Letterboxing Event

As usual I was up early and ready for the day - which was hours before the Letterboxing the Four Corners: Media of the Region event was to start. So I decided to head to Berg Park and find a couple of boxes before the event was to start. I went to the Tucker St. entrance to the park but the gate was still closed and locked. So I drove around the corner and parked on the side of the road. There was a place to enter the park here and I headed east on the trails.
Le Pew
As I was walking to the first box I turned a corner and about 50 feet away I spotted a skunk. I have to tell you that I think this park is infested with skunks because everywhere you go there is that distinctive odor that is undeniably skunk. When I spotted the little black and white 'stinker' I came to an immediate stop. I watched to see which way it was moving and thankfully it was headed in the opposite direction that I was headed. I waited a few minutes and then continued on my way to the box. I arrived at the area and looked for C4's Smile box. This was a quick and easy find and I found a nice spot to sit and stamp in. After rehiding the box I went to look for another box. This box was in the vicinity of where I had seen the skunk earlier. I slowly approached the area looking for anything black and white. I didn't see anything but the odor was really strong - so I decided to go back to the car and get some breakfast. I ended up at Dunkin Donuts and had a donut and coffee. When I was done I returned to the park and this time the Tucker St. gate was open and Astro D's car was parked there. As I entered the trail I didn't immediately see Astro D so I returned to my car where I had left my phone. As I was calling her to see where she was at I heard someone call out my name. So I walked toward the voice and quickly found her. She told me that she had also seen a skunk when she started on the trail. I walked along with her while she found some of the boxes I already had. Then we got to the area where I had seen my skunk and again we searched the area and when we were satisfied that there was no skunk we looked for the box. This box was Los Muertos Agradecidos: Trumpet Player. Astro D located the box and we found a place to sit and stamp in. After this box was in place we decided to head over to Animas Park and the event. We parked and headed to the event area and found that quite a few people were already there.

I spent some time visiting with people and getting a few exchanges. Then I stamped in to the event stamp and then visited with a few more people. The event stamp was fantastic - RNR did a great job carving it. There was plenty of food and some table top boxes - which I took advantage of. There were also a few boxes hidden around the event area. I found S. . . P. O. R., Tyfol Dragon Attacks Letterboxers, Table Top Food: Strawberry & Watermelon, Wildflower: Flower & Stem and 2-Lip: Flower & Stem. After a couple of hours I hit the trails with Astro D and AZJokester. I had found most of the boxes already and only needed to find a few new ones.
Astro D & AZJokester
So I mostly just walked and visited with them as they found boxes. We spent hours walking all over the park as they found boxes. As for me I found On Location: Route 66, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Bar Scene, Jump Into River, Blowing Up Train and Stained Rose. We followed the trails and kind of did a circle around the park ending up back at the event area. By this time the event was over, everyone was gone and the area was cleaned up. So Astro D and I headed for our cars while AZJokester decided to keep letterboxing. Both Astro D and I were hungry so we decided to go to a place AZJokester had recommended - Serious Texas Bar-B-Q. After a nice meal we called it a day and we left the restaurant and headed for our hotels. When I arrived at the hotel I gathered my things and went to my room. I took shower and put on my flannel pj bottoms and a t-shirt and started logging my finds and exchanges. While logging in I suddenly remembered that there was a box hidden outside of my hotel. So I put on some shoes and grabbed my letterboxing bag and headed out in my pj's to find Aspen's Red Lion box. There is a walking path behind the Red Lion Hotel that leads into Berg Park and the box was hidden on the trail near the hotel. So this was a quick and easy find and once I had stamped in and put the box back in place I returned to my room.

By this time I was starting to feel tired but I wanted to get this post done. I had a great day at the event and really enjoyed my time visiting and letterboxing with Astro D and AZJokester. The Farmington letterboxers did a fantastic job with this event and I am looking forward to the next one they host.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Out and About in Farmington

Well the Jeep is fixed and working fine so I had plans to get around Farmington today. This morning I got some things ready and then I went to the hotel lobby to use their computer to print things out. While at the computer I ended up seeing some other letterboxers - Children of the Forest and AZJokester are staying at the same hotel as I am. After visiting with them for a minute I returned to my room and gathered my things and set out for some letterboxes.

My first stop was at Hood Mesa & College in the north part of Farmington. Here I had clues for six boxes and I left with only 50% of those. I found West Virginia U Stained Glass, Hercules and Nala. I didn't find 2012 Annular Eclipse, Hercules' Muses and Na na Na na Na na Na na Batman. It was a nice walk on a very quiet trail - I didn't see anyone while I was out there. I hope that the boxes I didn't find were there and I just missed them. From here I drove to Sandalwood Park and easily found BirchMoon's Hunger Games: District 12 Seal. Again I was the only person out there. I was starting to feel like I was in the twilight zone. After stamping in and replacing the box I continued on my way. Soon after leaving the park I stopped on College Blvd to find huginn's Metals: Zinc box. This was a quick and easy find and thankfully there was no traffic and I could get the box without being seen. I stamped in while sitting in the car and then replaced the box when the road was clear. Next I drove to San Juan College and had no trouble finding C4's Santa's List. This was out away from the school at the end of one of the parking areas and it was pretty isolated so I felt that no one would see what I was doing. After I replaced the box I drove and parked closer to the buildings and went in search of another box - this one is a mystery and I wasn't able to figure it out. When I returned to the car I wasn't sure what I wanted to do next so I returned to the hotel. I went over some things and decided to walk over to Berg/Animas Park. The trail from the park comes by the back of the hotel I am at. I spent a couple of hours walking around the park and I found a few boxes - Los Muertos Agradecidos, Ben-Hur, Illegal Alien and At the Movies: A Self Portrait. After finding these boxes I decided to walk back to the hotel and rest a little. I was really hot and felt tired. I walked back to the hotel and saw ArnoldZiffel, Agent 86 and BirchMoon checking in. I really think we should have gotten a group rate for the letterboxers staying here. Back in my room I ended up just sitting and reading for a couple of hours. During this time I was texting with Astro D who was out at the park letterboxing. We decided to meet for dinner and do a little more letterboxing.

Around 5:15pm she picked me up at the hotel and we headed downtown. We wanted to eat at 3 Rivers Brewery and there were a few boxes in the area. We ended up looking for three boxes but only found two. One of the clues said to look for the black benches in the front of the building. There were only burgundy benches and we didn't see the box. But we found the other two boxes that are hidden on opposite ends of an alley behind the restaurant. They were both quick and easy finds. After getting these two boxes we had a great dinner at 3 Rivers and got to visit for a while. Once we were done eating Astro D wanted to go to Civitan Park to look for some boxes. So we made our way to the park and found three boxes - Walking with a Friend, First Love and Too Koi. All were quick and easy finds. From here Astro D brought me back to my hotel and we called it a day.

I am tired tonight and I am hoping I get a good nights sleep so I can be ready for the event tomorrow. I think it will be a fun day.
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