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 20, 2017

Creating a Halloween Letterboxing Adventure

Here in Santa Fe we have hosted two Halloween themed events . . . Santa Fe SPOOKtacular Letterboxing Event (October 6, 20017) and Santa Fe SPOOKtacular Letterboxing Event Resurrected (September 23, 2017). Because of these two event we have quite a few Halloween themed boxes. So after this year's event we decided to take all those boxes and find a place to plant them all. I have to say that the idea came from a similar thing in Texas. They have Telge Park in Cypress that is host to lots of Halloween themed boxes (many of the boxes may be missing now after hurricanes have flooded the area).

Anyway, today four of us set out to plant boxes all in one area where letterboxers can spend a day "Trick or Treating" for letterboxes. Astro D, The Great Wuga Wuga, Highwayman and myself got together and headed to ǝʌɹǝsǝɹd uısɐq oǝʇsılɐƃ to plant all these boxes. We ended up planting 22 boxes. We all went our separate ways so they are spread out on different trails and to get them all you may have to walk between five and six miles. That sounds daunting but the hikes are more moderate and the inclines are gentle. One thing to remember is that the area is open and exposed so in hotter weather remember to bring sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and plenty of water. A trail map would also be helpful and I suggest downloading one from the internet and then printing it out. We tried to use trail intersection markers for most of the boxes so the map would definitely help to keep you oriented and on track.

Another thing is that we ended piggy-backing the clues. So you will need to read all the clues to see where to start and then where to continue. This will help you to sequence the clues and that way you can just go from one box to the next.

We had a great time planting all the boxes and we now have updated the clues and they are ready to be found. Listed below are all the boxes by owner (meaning they are not in the order to be found) and a link to a trail map. We hope everyone enjoys our new Halloween Park.

Special Notes:

It would be extremely helpful to print out a Trail Map before you head out.  

***Here is a list of all the boxes planted at Halloween Park.

Bell Motel: Batter RIP; Posada's Calavera (3)  

Astro D: Scary Monster and Super Freak series (2); Bob Bob Bobbin; Day of the Dead: Cancion de Amor; Halloween Carve; I wnt 2 suk yor bl%d  

lionsmane: Halloween Icons; Creature Feature (3); It’s Haunted . . .; Roosting; A Little Scare; Double, Double Toil and Trouble; The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow; Araneae; Something Wicked (2)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Homeward Bound

Well, today I headed home. I was up early, got packed, loaded the car and headed out. It was still dark when I left the hotel so I just enjoyed the lack of traffic and drove. I made my first stop at the New Mexico border at the 'Welcome' sign. Here I found Hello New Mexico by Jolly Mon. It was quick and easy and the box was back in place in no time and I continued on my way. My next stop was at the Manuelito Visitor Information Center. It was a bit chilly when I arrived so I sat in the car and read the clues and scoped the area out. When I felt I had found the right spot I got out of the car and headed to the tree in question. I searched for LBCA/New Mexico but didn't have any luck finding the box. So I returned to the car and got back on I40 and headed for Gallup. When I arrived in Gallup I drove to Red Rock Park. On the way I stopped and filled the car with gas before getting to the park. When I arrived at the park I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a few hot air balloons floating above the red rocks. I don't think there was any special event or anything because there wasn't any signs or admission fee or anything. I made my way to the Church Rock Trailhead to look for The Outlaw by Sunny Delight. Before I started looking for the box I took quite a few pictures of the balloons. Then I followed the clues and easily found the box. I found a great spot to sit and stamp in and I also got to enjoy the balloons at the same time. After replacing that box I drove to another area of the park to look for Red Rock Park Series: Rodeo! by CoVicars. Again, the box was easy to find and this time I took it back to the car to stamp in and again I got great views of the balloons. Then after I replaced the box I walked around a bit taking more pictures and after 15 minutes I left the park to continue my drive home.

I got on I40 and continued eastward. It wasn't long before I was making my next stop. This time at the Continental Divide. At this exit there is an abandoned and derelict gas station and Stuckey's. I stopped here to find It's All Downhill From Here by fleetwood7. I followed the clues which lead me to a pile of broken concrete and other debris. So I looked for the box where the clue stated but didn't find the box. So I decided to just search the area working away from where I started and eventually I found the box. I took it back to the car to stamp in. Once I was done I replaced the box exactly where I found it and the headed back to the interstate. After driving about another 30 miles I took exit 72 for Bluewater Village. I followed the clues for Bluewater Farms by ArnoldZiffel. The box is hidden near a historic marker for Bluewater Village. It was a quick and easy find and didn't take long to stamp in and then I was on my way.

When I got to Exit 81B I left the interstate and headed south on NM53. Along this road I had a few things to take care of. My first order of business was near the Continental Divide. I turned off of NM53 onto Zuni Canyon Road and almost immediately pulled off into a pullout and parked. Then I followed the clues and found Continental Divide - NM by Azroadie. The box was hidden near a large rock and that rock provided a great seat for me to sit and stamp in. Once I had the box in place I got back on NM53 and then drove to El Morro. I didn't actually go to El Morro but I stopped at the entrance sign and historic marker. I stopped here and I found a spot to hide my Alphabetical New Mexico: I (Inscription Rock). I spent some time making notes for the clues and then I continued on NM53 for one more box. My next stop was Candy Kitchen, NM at the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. I left NM53 and turned onto Indian Service Route 125 and then veered onto Indian Service Route 120 and parked in a parking area. Here I found Wolf's Paradise by Rookie Traveler. I have to say I was pretty disappointed with the box. The stamp was a little plastic bubble gum machine felt stamp of a paw print. Oh well, it is what it is. Once this box was back in place. I retraced my drive back to I40.

Instead of getting onto I40 I ended up crossing over it. I then took Santa Fe Ave. (Route 66), then First St. and made my way to NM547. Then I droveabout five miles to the Continental Divide Trail parking area. Following the clues I walked a short distance on the CDT to find Wanda's Wanda-rings: Continental Divide Trail - #2 The Logo by wandaandpete. The stamp in this box is a stamp I carved and sent to Wanda for an event she had in Rhode Island. She originally planted the box in Rhode Island and not all that long ago she relocated it to Grants. I enjoyed the area and sat for a while and stamped in. When I finally got the box back in its hiding spot I returned to my car. At this point I was done letterboxing for the day and I made my way back to I40 and continued my drive back home.

I had a great trip and found some great boxes. I always have fun when I visit Arizona and get some letterboxing done.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

One More Day in Prescott and Flagstaff

This morning I slept in until around 7:30am. Then I got up and got things ready and loaded my car. Once everything was loaded I checked out of the hotel and headed out to find a few more letterboxes in Prescott before heading up to Flagstaff.

I left the hotel and headed out of Prescott on Iron Springs Road (which is also AZ10) toward Skull Valley. I didn't drive all the way to Skull Valley. I ended up stopping at Tonto Road a few miles shy of the town. Here I found Valley of Skulls by Flyin Free. This was a quick and easy find and I stamped in whle sitting in the car. Once I had the box back in its hiding spot I headed back to Prescott. My next stop was at Prescott Brewing Company. Here I was looking for Plant a Beer Day: Prescott Brewing Company by 66gypsies. I parked and went looking for a number but had trouble finding it. Then I heard my name and looked up to see Seekers Two and The Woodshed.
They were in their car stamping in. So I got the box from them and they showed me where it was hidden. So I took it back to my car and stamped in. When I was done I went to return the box to its hiding spot and was surprised to find Seekers Two and The Woodshed still there. And they weren't alone. 66gypsies and shutterbug2012 were also there. So I gave the box to 66gypsies because she wanted to find a better hiding spot. I visited for a few minutes then said my goodbyes and headed out. I took Senator Hwy. to the trailhead for Trail 307. I didn't have to go on a hike to find the box - it was hidden near the kiosk for the trail. I easily found Enjoy the Pines by blacksheep1&2.  I took it back to the car to stamp in. When I was done I had to wait about five minutes for a couple of people to head out to the trail. Once that box was in place I got back in the car and headed out to my next box.  So while I was on Senator Hwy. I decided to look for Bradshaw Mountians. I followed the clues and got to mile marker 10. But after that I didn't fnd any of the landmarks so I turned around and headed back into Prescott. Next I headed up White Spar Road to Ponderosa Road where I parked in a pullout on the right just after making the turn. Here I looked for and found Where's Rocky? by blacksheep1&2. I stamped in while sitting in the car and then put the box back in place.  Now it was time to leave Prescott and begin my drive back to Flagstaff.

So I headed back into Prescott and then took AZ69 then AZ169 and then to I17. I made one stop to gas up the car before getting onto AZ169. Other than that the drive was uneventful and pretty quick. When I arrived in Flagstaff I decided to look for one box before I headed to my hotel. So I set my navigation for the Galaxy Diner. Once there I followed the clues for Galaxy Diner by RIclimber. Another quick and easy find. I found a great spot to sit and stamp in and then replaced the box. By this time I was tired and I wanted a shower. Once I checked in, I took my shower and then relaxed for a bit. Then I made plans for letterboxes along the way when I drive home tomorrow.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

It's Event Day!

Today is event day - Growing Up On Westerns hosted by SnakeDoctor. And I ended up being awake at 4:00am. I kind of expected it since I was in bed by 8:30pm last night. Yesterday was a long and fun day but I was wiped out by the time I got to my hotel room. So I tried to go back to sleep but that didn't happen. Then I decided to read for a while and by 6:00am I just couldn't take it anymore so I got up and got ready for the day. Finally, around 7:00am I left the hotel and headed out to find a couple of letterboxes before heading to the event. I drove to the downtown area and found a place to park near where the box was hidden. The area around the courthouse was blocked off for some event and that left me parking down the road about a block away from the box. The box I was looking for was Courthouse Conundrum by cezannie. The clues had you start at the courthouse and then follow around looking at statues. But I did some work on the computer at home before heading out on my trip and I knew where to go for the box. After parking I walked to the place where I had figured the box was hidden and easily found the box. I found a spot to sit and stamp in that was hidden from the workers setting up for the event at the courthouse. After replacing the box I headed to Cuppers. This is where we were meeting up for the first part of the event. When I arrived at Cuppers I put my things on a chair by an outside table and went around the side of the building to find Where's My Coffee? by Tepee-AZ. I took the box back to the table and stamped in. When I was done I put the box back in place and then went back to the car to get my things for the event.

When I got back to Cuppers there were a couple of people there, so I joined them. Eventutally, more people showed up and I got some exchanges. I finally got to meet the CoVicars - an extremely nice couple. The clues for the boxes hidden for the event were given out here as well. After visiting for a bit I was ready to head out to the trails and find some boxes. So Lee suggested that he and I along with Jolly Mon, Wisconsin Hiker and Martini Man all head out together. So we drove to the Peavine Trail off of Sundog Ranch Road and parked. We got our things organized and were ready to hit the trail. We had three list of clues - two of them went to the left and one went to the right. We started with one to the left. We set out to find Growing Up On Westerns To The Left (Part 1). This series consisted of seven boxes - Conagher, The Violent Men, Bonanza, The High Chaparrel, Zorro, A Fist Full of Dollars, and The Magnificent 7. We found all of these with just one minor hiccup along the way. We used an assembly line method for stamping in. One person got the box and opened it. Then another person inked the stamp and handed it around to stamp in and then the person who found the box put it back in place when we were done. If there was a logbook then someone started with that and then we passed it around. It was a very smooth operation. Once that series was done we started the next series in that area - Growing Up On Westerns To The Left (Part 2). This series consisted of six boxes - Maverick, Two Mules for Sister Sara, Man With No Name, An American Tail-Fievel Goes West, The Outlaw Josie Wales, and Tombstone. We did the same with this series as we did with the first and when we had found all the boxes it was almost 1:00pm so we decided to head to the pavilion for some lunch.

There were a few people at the pavilion when we arrived and all the fixings for sandwiches were there and other snacks. So I made a sandwich, grabbed some chips and a banana and sat down to enjoy lunch and visit. I also drank a lot of water - it had gotten hot out on the trail. After about a 40 minute rest we decided it was time to head out and get the third and final series for the day. So we hit the trail again in search of Growing Up On Westerns To The Right. This series consisted of seven boxes - Tonto, The Lone Ranger, The Rifleman, Dances With Wolves, Have Gun Will Travel, True Grit, and Westerns. While looking for this series we also looked for Watson Lake View. We bumped in to a few people along the way and none of them had any luck finding this box but we were determined. So we found boxes from the series and between The Rifleman and Dances With Wolves we went in search of Watson Lake View. We followed the clues and looked in one area but soon decided that we were in the wrong place. So we continued a little further up the trail and tried again. We all kind of spread out and searched. But it was Lee who actually found the box. The box was a mess - they had put a pink inkpad in with the stamp and logbook and it had leaked everywhere. So Lee wiped it out with water and a few napkins, we replaced the baggies and logbook and we got a trash bag to put the ink pad and inky baggies in to throw away later. After stamping in and cleaning up the box we continued on our way to complete the series. After the last box was replaced we walked back to the pavilion, had some snacks and visited for a bit. Around 4:45pm everyone left the park. I decided to head back to the hotel and take a shower before meeting everyone for dinner. It was nice to get cleaned up after a hot day of hiking and letterboxing.

At 6:00pm I drove to Gurley Street Grill to meet everyone for dinner. It was a great place - I had a baja chicken wrap and onion rings - delicious. At 8:00pm I headed back to the hotel. I was tired and ready for some rest. It was a wonderful event and I had a great time - thanks SnakeDoctor.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Flagstaff and Prescott

Yesterday I had trouble finding some boxes and a little trouble with the trail. So I had decided last night I would go back out to the trail this morning and complete the series. I packed all my stuff and loaded the car, checked out of the hotel and drove out to the trailhead. It was 7:15am when I hit the trail. Today I decided to go backwards to find the boxes. So I followed Fatman's Loop in a clockwise direction. For some reason I didn't have any problems with the clues or following the trail. I found all the landmarks easily and in turn found all the boxes. I finished the Kachinas of the San Francisco Peaks #2 series by connecticut croaker. When I got to the area where I had problems yesterday I figured out what I did wrong. It was a great morning and I truly enjoyed the hike and the views from the trail. It was so peaceful walking in the early morning - I only saw one other person on the trail. It was a great way to start the day. Once I had found all the boxes and enjoyed the views I continued on the trail back to my car. I left the trailhead and stopped at a gas station to fill up the car before heading out to Prescott.

I took I40 to I17 and headed south. The drive was good, not much traffic and great weather. I took AZ169 and headed west for a while and then took AZ69 heading north and then west into Prescott. When I arrived in Prescott I headed to Goldwater Lake to look for some boxes there. The first box I tried for was Where Eagles Fly 2 by blacksheep1&2. This was a two box series with one box being at a pullout just before the lake. So I stopped there and took the trail from the parking lot following the clues. The first thing I noticed was that there had been a fire. So I wasn't optimistic about finding the box. When I arrived at the landmark area there was no landmark. It was supposed to be a log. All I found were ashes and some rocks. So I looked under a couple of rocks and found a small Altoid tin all black and covered with soot. I opened it and all the contents were ashes. So I put it back under the rock and headed into the park. After paying my fee I parked and began my search for the second box of the series. I had trouble with the clues and looked all around the area and never found the box so I called it quits on that one and headed to the trail that goes around the lake to find Arizona Sunshine by mcfarland family. I followed the clues and took the trail around the lake. I arrived at the location for the box and started looking for it. The box was hidden in a crevice in some rocks. Well, there are rocks everywhere. But eventually I found the box and took it back to a bench to sit and stamp in. When done I had to wait about 15 minutes before replacing it because a group of people where standing right where I needed to put the box. Finally they left and I got the box in place. Then I continued on the trail looking for The Lost Backpack by TLCs. I worked on this one for a while but never could find the last two landmarks and eventually gave up on that one and returned to my car. By this time I was hot and tired so I headed for the hotel to check in and rest for a bit.

At 4:45pm I left the hotel and headed for Lynx Lake Campground to meet Desert Flower and Azroadie at their campsite to hang out for a bit. It turned out to be Desert Flower, Azroadie, FamilyTreeShaker, Lee and Jolly Mon. We had pizza and snacks and sat around the campfire visiting. It was a nice evening and a good way to end the day. Around 6:45pm I left the campsite and returned to the hotel. And now after a shower I feel tired and need to get some sleep for the event tomorrow.

I did hit two milestones today. I reached 4800 finds and I reached 500 find in Arizona. So far the trip has been wonderful and I am looking forward to the event tomorrow.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Headed to an Event in Prescott

I am off on another trip to another event. This time I am headed to Prescott, AZ to attend the Growing Up On Westerns event hosted by SnakeDoctor. I headed out early this morning and planned to letterbox along the way. But the drive through most of New Mexico was dark so I didn't stop for any boxes. But by the time I crossed into Arizona it was light and I could start looking for boxes. The drive in the early morning was great. Little traffic and relaxing. I did make one stop in New Mexico at a Flying J just outside of Gallup to use the bathroom and take a break.

I made my first stop off of Meteor Crater Road. I stopped at the Mobil station and easily found Blast from the Past by Creeping Death. I stamped in while sitting in the car and then replaced the box and headed back to the interstate to continue my drive. I drove for a little while and took the exit for Two Guns. I didn't go to Two Guns, instead I turned in the opposite direction and followed the frontage road. Not too far down the road I stopped at an electric pole and found Daenery's - Queen of Dragons by RIClimber. This was a quick and easy find and I stamped while sitting in the car. After I replaced the box I continued driving down the road for another three miles. It was a rocky and bumpy drive. Eventually I arrived at the lone gravesite of Herman Wolf. Here I found Canyon Diablo by RIClimber. Another easy find. So I sat on a rock and stamped in. It was so isolated and serene - I enjoyed the peace and quiet. Afterwards I made the return drive to the interstate and continued my drive.

When I arrived in Flagstaff I headed to the parking area for Fatman's Loop Trail on US89. I parked and grabbed my letterboxing stuff and hit the trails. The trail goes up from the parking area for a short way and then splits. I took the left hand trail and began looking for Kachinas of the San Francisco Peaks by connecticut croaker. I found the first box - Rain Maker - and after stamping in and replacing the box I continued up the trail. After passing a wood and barbed wire fence I took a connector trail and found a single box - Dreamcatcher by connecticut croaker. I found a good spot to sit and stamp in. After replacing the box I continued on the connector trail and got on the other leg of the Fatman's Loop and continued up that trail. Soon I found Mountain God - the second box in the Kachina series. After stamping in and replacing the box I read the clues for the third and final box. I needed to head back the way I came and back toward the parking area. So instead of doing that I decided to start another series since I was headed in that direction. So I started looking for Kachinas of the San Francisco Peaks #2. After a good ways up the trail I found the landmarks and found the first box - Ogre Kachina. I stamped in and the replaced the box. I then read the clue for the next box and continued up the trail. Somewhere along the way my brain developed a decrease in synaptic firing. I had trouble figuring out where the trail went and I was confused by the clues and couldn't find any landmarks. So after backtracking and continuing a couple of times I decided to call it a day. So I retraced my steps and went back to the connector trail and then headed toward the parking area. Along the way I stopped and found the third box of the first series - Corn Maiden.  Once I had stamped in and replaced the box I headed for my car. Back at the car I called the hotel to find out if my room was ready. I was tired after the long drive and the hike and all I wanted to do was take a shower and rest.

The hotel was only a couple of miles from the trailhead so it didn't take me long to get there. Check-in was quick and in not time I was in my room. And true to my plan I jumped in the shower first thing. Now that everything is logged in and I am caught up with blogging I can now read and rest for a bit before getting a good night's sleep for my day tomorrow heading to Prescott.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

A SPOOKtacular Event Day!

Well, today was the day - the Santa Fe SPOOKtacular Letterboxing Event Resurrected has gone off without a hitch. I was up early to get my potluck dish complete and to get all my things together. Then I was off. Before getting to the event I made a quick stop to check on one of my boxes. Once that was done I headed to the event. When I arrived there were already people milling about. I brought in my dish, put my clues on the clue table, and hid a HIPS box.
Then I gathered any clues I needed and made a plan. I was a little concerned about the weather because it was overcast and a little windy. Thankfully, the rain held off except for a few drizzles at different times of the day. After saying hi to a few people Astro D, Bell Motel and I headed out to find one box just out the back gate on the trail. When we tried to find the box it wasn't there but as we turned to leave someone was walking up returning the box. So we sat and stamped in then replaced the box. At this point we all went our separate ways. I returned to the house to get a seven box series hidden around the outside of the house. When I finished this series I decided to sit at the event stamp table and stamp into those since there was no one there. I was about halfway through the boxes when I was joined by a few people. I had carved the event stamps for this event and our first SPOOKtacular event back in 2007 so that was three boxes I didn't need to stamp into. But I ended up getting the following event stamps . . . All Wrapped Up, Dobby the House Elf, and Mr. Pumpkin Head by ArnoldZiffel; Learning New Things That Might Be Helpful and Scary House by CorgiLover; Creepy Cryptex and Mr. Potato Head by Seekers Two; Booooo! and Spooktacular by C4; and Spooky Santa Fe by Kit. All great stamps. I then did some exchanges and personal travelers before finally taking a break and having a little lunch. After eating I headed out to the trails for one new box. I met up with Astro D and Bell Motel at the box and we all stamped in together. Then they headed off for more boxes and I returned to the house. I finished getting exchanges and personal travelers and then spent some time visiting. Then rubberpeace asked me to take her to my boxes on the furthest trails. So I drove her to those boxes and she stamped in while we talked. Then we returned to the house to finish off the day.

The event turned out great. It was a smallish gathering but extremely fun. The traditional boxes I found today were . . . Batter RIP, Posada's Calaveras, and Cozy Cone Motel by Bell Motel; Bob Bob Bobbin, A Halloween Carve, and Scary Monster & Super Freak by Astro D; Wild Things, Raven, Creepy Critters, Evil Eyes, and Devil's Tower by ArnoldZiffel; Dr. Frankenstein's Monster and Quoth the Raven by BirchMoon; Count Floyd by Wronghat; and La Llorona by Sunny Delight. The Exchanges I got were . . . Kit, ladyval, NMLeisa, CorgiLover, californiabluefrog, and sparkyNM. The Personal Travelers I received were . . . Corgis Were Here by CorgiLover; and Winter Solstice and Tiny Travelers by californiabluefrog. The attendees at the event were . . . Kit, NMLeisa, californiabluefrog, rubberpeace, CorgiLover, Sunny Delight, C4, Seekers Two, Wronghat, Semicolon, Wisconsin Hiker, Martini Man, ladyval, sparkyNM, Highwayman, The Great Wuga Wuga, Bell Motel, BirchMoon, Agent 86, ArnoldZiffel, Astro D, and lionsmane. It was a great group and a great event.

Friday, September 22, 2017

A Visit to Cochiti Lake and Tent Rocks

Today I had an incredible outing with a few fellow letterboxers. Astro D, Bell Motel, californiabluefrog and I headed south from Santa Fe and drove to Cochiti. Astro D and I had already found all the boxes in the area so we were just hanging out with Bell Motel and califoniabluefrog while they letterboxed. So our first stop was Cochiti Lake Visitor Center. We took the nature trail and they found Tent Rocks by Mim and Mim's Lagniappe by Wronghat. While they stamped in, I enjoyed the views of the lake. When they were finished we returned to the car and then drove a short distance up to the overlook. At this spot they found Pueblo de Cochiti by Wronghat. I walked to the overlook while they stamped in. Once they were finished we left the Visitor Center and made our way to Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument.

It was around noon when we arrived in the parking area for Tent Rocks so we decided to grab a picnic table and eat our lunch. We spent about 20 minutes relaxing and eating before we headed out on the trail. We decided to do the Canyon Trail first. Just beyond the junction for the Cave Trail we stopped and looked for Osiris' Secret. Unfortunately, we weren't able to find it. So then we just continued along the Canyon Trail. This is one of my favorite hikes. The trail and views are beautiful. You go through a couple of slots and pass some of the tent rocks. It is about a mile and a half trail that goes up to the top of the plateau for some awesome views. Most of the trail is easy but there are a couple of spots where you have to scramble over some rocks and then the ascent to the top is a little work as well. But the hike is so worth doing. Along this hike we looked for El Corredor but again we didn't find the box. After completing the Canyon Trail we took the Cave Trail so that they could look for El Ladron. We walked the trail and when we got to the cave Astro D and I sat and visited while Bell Motel and californiabluefrog went and searched for the box. When they returned to meet us we headed back to the car and left the monument heading back to Santa Fe.
Apache Tears
On NM16 we stopped at one of the Historical Markers for them to find New La Bajada Hill by ArnoldZiffel. This was a quick stop and we were on our way. We got on I25 and headed north up La Bajada Hill. Then we stopped at the rest area for them to find Harry Potter Horcrux Series #1 - Tom Riddle's Diary by ArnoldZiffel. Another quick and easy find and then we were back on the road. Last we made one more stop at Santa Fe Brewery for them to find Plant A Beer 2017: Santa Fe Brewing by ArnoldZiffel. Once they were done with this series of boxes they dropped me off at home.

It was a great day of hiking and letterboxing and we had a lot of fun. I really love Tent Rocks and it had been a while since I had been there so this was a perfect outing.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Planting Boxes for the Event

This morning I met with Astro D and ArnoldZiffel and Bell Motel joined us to plant boxes and get last minute things done for our Santa Fe SPOOKtacular Letterboxing Event Resurrected. We spent a little time talking about things and stamping in to some of the boxes. Then we all hit the trails and went our separate ways to plant the boxes. I hid three of my boxes around the outside of the house before we left for the trails and then I planted my next box just a short ways from the house on one of the closer trails. My last three boxes I walked to the furthest trail from the house and planted them there. Once I was finished and I had made notes I made my way back to the house. When all of us were back we spent some time putting together some goodie bags and then discussed what we needed for the event on Saturday. By the time I left everything was in place and we are now ready for a SPOOKtacular event.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Santa Fe, Sandia Crest, Cedar Crest and Edgewood

Last weekend we did some letterboxing in Albuquerque, Tijeras and Edgewood. We ran out of time to hit Cedar Crest and Sandia Crest. So we had a couple of clues remaining and we decided to head out today and get some more letterboxes.

We started in Santa Fe. There is a series of three boxes about a mile from my house and I somehow put off going out to get them.
So first thing we headed to Santa Fe Brewing to get Plant a Beer 2017: Santa Fe Brewing (series of three boxes) by ArnoldZiffel. The boxes are hidden along a dirt road next to the brewery. These were quick and easy and then we were on our way out of Santa Fe. So we headed south on NM 14 and made our next stop at Cerrillos Hills State Park. This was a quick stop - I just needed to check on my Felis concolor box. We made the short hike up the Jane Calvin Sanchez Trail and got to the ridge to check on the box. Everything is okay except three of the latches on the box have broken off. I made sure the baggies were zipped tight and the lid was secure on the box with the one latch and then put the box back in its hiding spot and covered it well with rocks. We then headed back to the car and back to NM 14.

We continued on NM 14 until we reached NM 536. This road is also known as Sandia Crest Scenic Byway and leads up to Sandia Peak. Once at the top we parked and looked for Where's George Series Box #293: Albuquerque Beam Me Up Scottie.
We followed the clues but couldn't find the box. So I texted Astro D to see if she had any insights for me. I looked in the spot she told me and still no box. Unforturnately, I think it is gone. So then we headed inside the Sandia Crest House to look for Sandia Crest Rosy Finch by cottonwoodlady. I had looked for this one before but didn't understand the clues. The placer changed her clues since then and this time I was able to find it. I stamped while sitting on a couch facing a wall of windows with some fantastic views. We put the box back in place and drove back down the mountain. Back on NM 14 we next headed for Ale Republic to find Hail to the Ale! by Kit. There is a parking area across the street from the brewery which is a parking area for the John A. Milne/Gutierrez Canyon Open Space area. The box is hidden across the road from the brewery by a post making it a quick and easy find. I took the box back to the car to stamp in and then went back to replace it.

From here we continued on NM 14 to I 40 and took the interstate east to Edgewood. We exited and then turned left onto NM 333. We drove a little over a mile to an abandoned Indian Curio shop with an horno, a railcar and a "STANDARD" sign. Here we looked for and found Retribution Road by Kit. Again, I stamped in while sitting in the car and then returned the box to its hiding spot. The story of Retribution Road is interesting and it is a story about Route 66 that I hadn't heard before.
Well, we had another great day of letterboxing and found some great and interesting boxes. Thanks to all who planted them.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Albuquerque, Tijeras and Edgewood

Thomas and I decided on another day out doing some letterboxing and today we decided to head to the Albuquerque area. Last night I got all the clues together and mapped things out. And this morning we packed some snacks, lunch and water and headed out.

Once we arrived in Albuquerque we headed to Marble Brewery to find Plant a Beer Day: Marble Brewery by Wronghat. We followed the directions, parked and then headed out to find the box. I was a little confused at first but then things fell into place and I found the box. I took it back to the car to stamp in and then when I was done I walked the box back to its hiding spot. Then we moved on to our next boxes. I had clues for two boxes in the same area - by the musuems. One was at the Natural History Museum and one at the Albuquerque Museum. One of the clues is titled GISHWHES 2017 Wayward AF Team - this is the one at the Natural History Museum. I followed the clues but couldn't find the box. I looked all around the museum but had no luck. So then we moved over to the Albuquerque Musuem and looked for Team Elefunky by TeamElefunky. I think this one is also a GISHWHES box. GISHWHES stands for Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen. I don't really understand it but it seems to involve creating art, solving riddles and meeting new people. I don't see how it relates to letterboxing and I am not sure if the people who logged in these plants are letterboxers or not. But after looking around the sculpture garden at the musuem we found the landmarks but didn't find any box. So we left and went to the next box - also a GISHWHES box. This one is GISHWHES 2017 TEAM VOODOO by Vecinos del Bosque. The clue description stated the location and then the clue was 'Huge Bike'. I found the bike but no box. After not finding three of these boxes I wonder if there was or is a box related to these clues. It was all just very confusing. I was almost ready to call it a day and head home but Thomas said lets just move on to the next box. So we did. We headed west on I40 to Route 66 Casino. We followed the directions and parked then followed the clues and easily found the box. I took it back to the car to sit and stamp in. It didn't take long and the box was back in place. So now it was time to leave Albuquerque and head to Tijeras.

We took I40 to Tijeras and then took NM337 south to Oak Flat Recreation Area. Here we went in search of Beatles Series #29 "Blackbird" by Twinville Trekkers. This box is suppose to be done at night and you follow fire tacks using a flashlight or headlamp. I had been our here once before but didn't have any luck so I hoped with Thomas' help we could find the box. On my previous visit I found a fire tack on a tree right near the start of the trail but then after that I couldn't find any more tacks. Today we decided to follow this one trail and we found two pyramid shaped fire tacks but then nothing. After walking for about twenty minutes and searching for tacks we decided that we had gone past where the clues had stated. So we turned around and headed back. On the way back we found a few more tacks but these were round and flat. But still nothing made sense and we didn't find the box. I guess you really have to go at night but I don't know about that - it seems a little too spooky. Once back at the car we decided to eat our lunch and sit and relax.Thirty minutes later we drove back to Tijeras. In Tijeras we turned onto NM333 and drove to the Musical Road. We approached it from the wrong direction to drive on it so we had to make a 'U' turn. Then we drove over the rumble strips (at 45mph) and listened to America the Beautiful. Just past the end of the song we followed the road until the guardrail ended then we pulled over to find a letterbox - America the Beautiful by 66gypsies. This was a quick and easy find and then we were on our way again.The next box we went in search of didn't have any clues. But there was a location - so I did a search and found where we needed to be. We arrived at the location and parked. Then I thought about it and figured out where the box was. So I ended up asking Thomas to go and check and it turned out we were in the right place. So we found Desert Dreams by Kit and I stamped in and returned the box. We decided to go for one more box before calling it a day and heading home. So we drove to Edgewood. I have never been to Edgewood and it turned out that it wasn't at all what I expected. I thought it was a small town like Tijeras but it was bigger and more spread out. We drove to the Church Street Market to find Deep Space Aerial by Kit. This was another quick and easy find and it didn't take long for me to stamp in and replace the box.

We had a good time today and enjoyed the letteboxes we found. It is always nice to explore New Mexico.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

A Wild and Enchanting Letterboxing Day

Last week I planned on taking a trip to the Taos area and do some letterboxing so I worked on getting boxes put together and on clues. And this morning Thomas and I left the house at around 7:00am and headed north. The drive was pleasant and relaxing. There was no traffic on this early Labor Day morning. We didn't stop in Taos, we continued our drive up to Questa and a little beyond. About three miles north of Quest we turned onto NM 378 which begins the Wild Rivers Back Country Scenic Byway and leads to the Wild Rivers Recreation Area which sits in the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument. I have wanted to visit this area for a while now and just never made the time. I was looking forward to this drive.
We drove along passing through the town of Cerro and made our first stop at Sheep Crossing Overlook.
View from Sheep Crossing
We took a short walk from the parking area and got some amazing views of the Rio Grande. After about 10 minutes and a few pictures, we returned to the car and continued our drive. We next stopped at Chiflo Trail. This is a short half mile walk and has great views. Then we drove to Bear Crossing Trail. From the parking area, we walked down a path and passed a picnic table and continued straight ahead to the edge of the canyon. The views at this spot are incredible and we ended up sitting and just enjoying the peace and quiet.
View from Bear Crossing
Twenty minutes later we headed back toward the parking area but decided to take the trail for a bit and see what was down there. While walking down the trail I decided to plant the first box of my NM Scenic Byways: Wild Rivers Back Country box. I found a good place and jotted down some notes and took pictures so I could write up clues when we returned home. Once the box was in place and I felt good about my notes we returned to the car and continued on. We next stopped at the Pay Station to pay our $3 fee and then continued on to the Visitor Center. They have two 3D maps of the area outside that you can get a bird's eye view of the area. We looked around the gift shop and talked to the attendant and got a map before heading out again. Our next stop was at the El Aguaje Campground.
Confluence of Red and Rio Grande Rivers
Here we took another short walk and got some wonderful views of the Red River. After a few pictures, we returned to the car and continued on to the La Junta Overlook, Campground, and Trail. Here they have a paved path that walks around the camping and picnic areas and leads to an overlook for the confluence of the Red and Rio Grande Rivers. Again there were incredible views. The La Junta Trail starts here and is a 1.2 mile one-way trail that leads down to the confluence. It is labeled as difficult and you have to traverse ladders and stairs during your 800 foot descent into the canyon. We didn't do that. I didn't think I could make it back up so we saved that trail for another time. We did take a short walk along the Rio Bravo Nature Trail and got some beautiful views of the Rio Grande. We left this area after about 30 minutes and decided to make one more stop before leaving this area and continuing on with our day. That stop was at the Chawaluna Overlook. From the parking area, we took the gravel trail to the overlook and walked along the rim (which is fenced off) a short ways to admire the views. Then we went in search of a spot for the second box of the NM Scenic Byways: Wild Rivers Back Country box. It took a bit of time to find a good spot but we managed to get it done. I took pictures and made notes and then we were ready to head out.
Note: This box is made of two stamps that are stamped over each other. When you find box one you will stamp the image and then when you find box two you will stamp that image over the first one - to get a good image line up the top and side edges.
From the Wild Rivers area, we drove out the way we came in and made our way back to Questa.
Eagle Rock Lake
Here we started our drive on the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway and hiding a series of five boxes related to the byway. We turned onto NM 38 and drove for about a mile and a half and stopped at Eagle Rock Lake. Here we planted the first box for the NM Scenic Byways: Enchanted Circle box. We walked around the lake and then crossed the bridge over the Red River and found a nice spot for the box - away from the people fishing the lake. Once I had pictures and notes we headed back to the car and continued our drive to Red River.

We didn't spend a lot of time at any of the stops we made along the way because we had a lot to do and wanted to make sure we had enough time.
Red River
Once in Red River we drove to the Convention Center and parked. From here we crossed the covered bridge and headed up the Red River Nature Trail. We walked the trail in one direction but couldn't find a spot for the second box because the landscape slope down toward the river and there wasn't any real safe place to plant the box. So we turned around and headed back the other way and thankfully the trail leveled out and we were able to find a nice spot to hide the box. I made notes and took a few pictures and then we returned to the car to continue on with our day.

Next, we continued along NM 38 to Eagle Nest. We turned onto US 64 and drove through town and headed for Cimarron Canyon State Park. We stopped at the office and talked to a ranger to find out about the trails and got a map of the park.
Eagle Nest Lake
My original thought was to place the third box here but once we were out on one of the trails we changed our minds The area was really overgrown and I was having trouble finding a good spot and there were so many bugs. Lots of flies and mosquitos and I didn't fancy getting eaten alive so we nixed that idea and headed back toward Eagle Nest. We stopped at a pullout that overlooks the lake and I decided to place the box here. I didn't want to put the box at Eagle Nest Lake because I already have my Alphabetical NM: E (Eagle Nest Lake) box there. The pullout isn't the nicest place but it does give you a great view of the lake while stamping in. After finding a good hiding spot, taking pictures, and making notes we were ready to continue on.

Our next stop was in Angel Fire. We turned off of US 64 and onto NM 434 and made our way to Monte Verde Lake.
Monte Verde Lake
The lake is located about two miles past the Visitor Center and I was a little confused about the area. It seems the lake is part of the Angel Fire Resort and could be a private area. But we didn't see any signs and when I was doing research I didn't see anything that said it wasn't open to the public. So we continued on with our mission. We drove around the lake because I wanted to place box four on the Lady Slipper Trail. We found the trailhead and walked a short ways up the trail and found a decent spot to hide the box. I took pictures and made notes and then we returned to the car. Before we left Angel Fire we stopped at the Visitor Center to find a letterbox. I followed the clues (which were a bit of a puzzle) and found Garden Tour 2016 by wadecat. I brought the box back to the car to stamp in and then replaced it without any problems. Now we could leave Angel Fire and continue our drive.

Back on US 64, we continued on our drive towards Taos. Our next task was to find Forest Walk by Brave Bonnie Bonsai and Miley Mystery Machine. The clue is a poem and I had spent some time researching before we left home and I hoped I had figured out the right spot. Once we arrived at the location and started looking I was relieved that we were in the right place and we easily found the box. I found a spot to sit and I stamped in. Then once the box was safely put away we walked back to the car and continued with our adventure. We drove to mile marker 264 and stopped at a pullout to find another box - this one being From Texas with LOVE to the Land of Enchantment by Texas Wanderers. This was a quick and easy find with straight forward clues. I stamped in while sitting in the car and then replaced the box. Now we had one more stop to make and then we were done. We continued along US 64 and drove through Shady Brook and then made our next stop at the El Nogal Picnic Area.
(Not sure if this is a picnic area or a campground or if it is a trailhead. I have found lots of things mentioned here from signs at the location and from things on the internet. There is a brown sign on the road that points to the are and mentions the South Boundary Trail #164 and an arrow pointing to the Devisadero Loop Trail #108 across the road. Google maps shows this as El Nogal Campground with both trails noted. When we pulled into the parking area we saw a sign for the El Nogal Trailhead, so I am not sure exactly what the area is called but you are safe to know that it is El Nogal and whatever else - picnic area, trailhead, campground, etc.)
Anyway, we stopped here and parked. We took a trail that crossed a bridge and walked a short distance before planting the last box in the NM Scenic Byways: Enchanted Circle box. Again, I took pictures and made notes so that I could write up clues when I got home.
Note: This box is a series of five boxes placed in five different towns along the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway. I know it is a lot of driving but the Byway is worth it. The five stamps are stamped together to form one image and I made a template for you to use. The lines are very faint because I didn't want them to interfere with the image but I think you will be able to see them well enough to stamp the images in the right spot. You can download and print the template at NM Scenic Byways: Enchanted Circle Stamp Template. There is only one logbook in the last box. The clues are written in a way that you can find the boxes in any order. I hope you enjoy these boxes.
Now we were done. It was time to head back home. We had a great time on the Wild Rivers and Enchanted Circle Scenic Byways. It was a full day of driving and stopping but it was wonderful as well. It was 7:00pm before we got home and we were both tired. But after showers and some dinner we feel good.
Our Drive Today

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Colorado Letterboxing Trip Comes to an End

Well, I am back from my letterboxing trip to Castle Rock for the Walk Like An Egyptian Colorado Style event. I had a great time, hiked some beautiful areas, found some wonderful boxes and visited with some incredible letterboxing friends. The trip was a little rough - I had low blood pressure during the entire trip and it caused me to be light headed and dizzy at times. That caused me to have to cut my letterboxing way down to rest and regain my bearings. I even took one day to rest, spending the day at the hotel reading and sleeping. But in the end, the trip was wonderful and I enjoyed all of it.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Heading To An Event In Colorado

On Wednesday I am leaving for a trip to Castle Rock, CO to attend the Walk Like An Egyptian Colorado Style event. I am making this a letterbox trip and I will be there for six days. There are plenty of boxes in the Castle Rock area so I should be able to keep myself busy. I am also looking forward to being outside and doing some hiking. As usual, I will keep a blog of my trip and you can read about it at Walking Like An Egyptian Colorado Style. I will try to write a post each day and keep up with the trip.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Cross Country Without Skis

This morning Astro D and I headed up Hyde Park Road for a little hike and some letterboxing. We had talked about doing this a week or so ago and made our plans for today.

I met her at her house at 9:30am and we headed up the mountain. Our first stop was at Hyde Memorial State Park to look for a box that was planted at the beginning of the month. This box is Fennboree 2017 by Brave Bonnie Bonsai and Miley Mystery Machine. We parked across the street from the entrance to Group Shelter 3 and walked over to the shelter. We followed the clues and made our way to the grill. This is where the clues started. Next we were to go down some stairs and then take 26 steps. But right away we encountered an obstacle. A very large tree had fallen and had landed across the stairs and over the bridge next to them. So we climbed over the tree and followed the rest of the clues. I was a little confused because there was a picture of a tree with a sign next to it and I assumed that that was where the box was hidden. But I was wrong, and Astro D continued along with the clues and found the box. We found a place to sit and stamp in. The box was nice but the stamp is double sided and by the time we finished I was covered in ink. After stamping in and replacing the box we made our way to the car. Once in the car I used two wet wipes to clean my hands and still ended up looking like I washed my hands with ink. Oh well, one of the hazards of letterboxing. We continued on . . .

We continued our drive up the mountain and made our way to the NorSki Trail parking area. This trail is for cross country skiing but makes for a great hike for the summer. As we were getting our things to head up the trail two vans parked next to us and then a gaggle of little kids climbed out. I was hoping upon hope we wouldn't have to be stuck with them on the entire hike. Our plan for this trail was to hike it (because I hadn't done that), check on a couple of letterboxes and plant one letterbox. Before we left the car Astro D stamped in to the box I was going to plant just to make things easier. So by the time we hit the trail the kids were gone. We took the trail from the kiosk and walked in a counterclockwise direction. Just a short ways down the trail we stopped to check on Inching Along One Letterboxer at a Time. I had originally planted this box for PineTree and had found a large squarish boulder a little off the trail. But the boulder is now gone. Astro D found the box back in November of last year and she realized the boulder was gone and she found the box just laying out in the open. So she found a new spot for the box and sent the new clues to PineTree. But the clues to the box haven't been updated so she is going to try sending another note. We didn't actually check on the box at this point, we just wanted to see what happened to the boulder. We hypothesized that they used it (they had to have broken it up) to line the edge of the trail. So we continued our walk. Now I needed to look for a place to hide my new box. So as Astro D help me to navigate the trails and point out things. We reached a point that I thought would work out well but decided to wait and see if what the rest of the trails held. The trail system is really just one big loop with smaller loops and crossovers. The back part of the trails seemed really confusing to me so I decided to hold onto the box until we arrived back at the first spot we encountered. The hike was really nice - large areas of aspens, lots of wildflowers and peace and quiet. There were trail maps and letters (alphabet) on trees at points were there are crossovers that take you from one side of the loop to the other. When we reached the crossover that is marked with 'D' and 'K' we stopped to look for a good hiding spot for my box. There are lots of aspen in this area so I thought it would make a nice and enjoyable spot for someone to find the box and sit and stamp in. So I planted the box, it is called sci di fondo. I think that the round trip hike to the box is about a mile (maybe more, maybe less). After getting the box planted we continued on to check on the other box already planted on this trail. We arrived at the landmark and checked on Twinville Trekkers' Beatles Series #6 "In Spite of All the Danger". Thankfully the box was there and in great shape - waiting for more finders. Now we continued on and returned to the first box and this time we actually checked to make sure the box was still where Astro D had placed it. We found it and she rewrote the clues so that she could send another note to Pine Tree. It was only a short distance to the car from here and then we were done.
It was a nice outing and I really like this trail. There are some uphill areas but nothing too strenuous, so it made for a pretty easy and incredibly enjoyable hike. Thanks Astro D for a great outing.
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