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.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Letterboxing - Maintaining and Finding

I have been wanting to get out and do some hiking all summer but for different reasons I never made it. But finally this morning I had the opportunity to get out into the mountains and hike, letterbox and maintain some boxes. I was out today with Agent 86. I met him at his house at 8:00am and we each drove our cars up into the mountains. I parked at the Chamisa Trail and Agent 86 picked me up and we drove up to the Borrego/Bear Wallow Trail. Our plan was to hike down the Borrego Trail to the Winsor Trail and then down to the Chamisa Trail. Then I would bring him back to his car when we were done.
It was a bit chilly when we started on the trail. I had layered my clothes so that as it warmed up I wouldn't be too hot. When we got near the creek we stopped so I could check on my Bad, Bad Black Sheep box. I also needed to do some maintenance here as well. Once I had checked on everything and changed the baggies I made sure the box was hidden well since it will be all alone for the winter buried under snow. From here we continued on the Borrego Trail to the Winsor Trail and headed downhill. In the area of the Winsor Trail and Bear Wallow Trail junction, we stopped so I could do some maintenance on my Ribbit! box. Here I changed out the logbook and baggies and again made sure that the box was hidden well for the winter. I am glad this particular box is doing well as it is one of my favorites.  While I was maintaining this box, Agent 86 went ahead to look for Hummer by PI Joe. When I was done I went and met up with Agent 86 and we stamped into this box. Once we had this box back in place we continued along the Winsor Trail headed for the Chamisa Trail. When we arrived at the meadow just before the Chamisa Trail  junction we stopped so I could check on my Western Blue Flag box. Unfortunately, we could do that since there were two men having lunch right where the box is hidden. So we just continued on. When we got to the saddle of the Chamisa Trail I went in search of Letter Boxer by PI Joe. Agent 86 had already found this box so he just waited near the trail sign. When I finished with this box I met Agent 86 at the trail sign and we continued on to the parking lot. From here I drove Agent 86 up to his car and then I headed home.
It was a beautiful Fall day to be up in the mountains and hiking the trails. I am happy to report that the boxes out here are doing well. Being out in nature today was great. I am glad Agent 86 had the time to hike with me.
Hiking Stats:
Steps . . . . . . . . . . 17,987
Miles . . . . . . . . . . 8.26
Calories . . . . . . . . 3084
Stairs . . . . . . . . . . 72

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Aspens and an Aspen Box

October seems to be passing by quickly. It has already been a week since we got back from France. We wanted to drive up Hyde Park Road (aka The Santa Fe National Forest Scenic Byway) to see the aspens last weekend, but with just getting back from our trip we didn't have the time. So this morning we decided to take the drive hoping that there would still be plenty of color with the aspens. Also, I wanted to get a letterbox that had been planted up there while we were on vacation.
So we left home and headed up the mountain. We took our time as there was an inordinate amount of traffic. We didn't make any stops until we got up to the top at the Santa Fe Ski Basin. Here we got out and walked around a bit and then returned to the car and headed back down the mountain. We made our next stop at the overlook at MM15. Here we took some pictures and enjoyed the views. Continuing on our way down we drove past Aspen Vista since there was nowhere to park - the area was packed and cars were parked all along the road. We next stopped at a pull out and took more pictures. Then we passed Big Tesuque and we started watching the odometer. About a half from Big Tesuque we stopped at another pullout. This is where Mosaic Butterfly planted Quaking Aspen, the box we were looking for. We followed the clues and easily found the box. I found a nice log to sit on to stamp in. When I was done I replaced the box and walked around a bit and took some more pictures. The stamp and box were perfect for this weekend. Thanks, Mosaic Butterfly.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

D-Day Letterboxing

We are still on our Viking River Cruise and the ship is docked in Rouen. Today we took a bus from the dock to visit the beaches of Normandy. This is the site of the June 6, 1944 D-Day Invasion. When planning the trip I found a clue for a letterbox planted at the American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, France. I was hoping we would have time to look for the box and I also hoped that it wouldn't be too far away since on most of our excursions we don't have a whole lot of free time.
After attending a ceremony and walking around the cemetery we had about 30 minutes to go in search of the box. {You can read about our entire day at D-Day: June 6, 1944 [A Visit to the Beaches of Normandy].} Thankfully the letterbox was hidden outside the cemetery between the parking area and the entrance to the cemetery. It was still a large area but definitely doable in the time we had. When we had entered the area from the parking lot I noticed a couple of four foot high, white, square posts. So when I read the clues I immediately thought that we needed to start there. But you know what they say about assuming. So after some searching around we found another set of posts exactly like the ones I saw when we entered except that the second set I found wasn't in plain site. You had to go past a building and around a slight curve. The good news was that I found the box and with time to spare - except that I also wanted to plant a box. A small detail that I had forgotten until Thomas reminded me. Time now was getting short so Thomas and Dave went and hid my box while Deanne and I stamped into Normandy by AFD 13. We were the first finders of this box as it had only been planted at the beginning of September. When we completed stamping in we got the box back into its hiding spot and then Thomas and Dave returned from hiding my box. It wasn't too far from where we were so I went and looked at where it was hidden and then jotted down some clues and took pictures. So if you are in Colleville-sur-Mer, France and are visiting the American Cemetery please take time to look for Battlefield Cross. Once all of this was done we headed back to the bus with only minutes to spare. I am glad I found the box today and now I can say I letterboxed and found a box in France.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Giverny Letterboxing

Today we were in Giveny visiting Monet's House and Gardens. Before we left for our trip (Viking Cruise - Paris & the Heart of Normandy) I looked for some clues for boxes in the areas we are visiting. While looking for clues I came across two boxes in Giverny, both hidden at the local church and cemetery (Eglise Sainte-Radegonde). One of the boxes had two attempts but I felt since we were there I could look for it anyway. First, we looked for the box that was still marked as active. The clues started with us finding Monet's grave and then walking up a small hill, turning right and then searching in some box hedges. Well, Dave and I spent quite a few minutes searching every inch of the hedges and came up empty handed. As the picture shows we really did a good search. So we decided to head to the next box. We weren't hopeful about finding it but the cemetery is small so we gave it a try. We didn't find that box either. We still had a great time walking the cemetery and hopefully at one of our other stops we can find a box. I would love to find at least one box in France so I will keep my fingers crossed that this will happen. You can read about the rest of the day at Giverny, Claude Monet and Vernon.
I think we did a thorough search!!!
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