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.

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.


hal said...

The hike sounds wonderful and the pictures of the wildflowers are so beautiful. We'd do it but Semicolon's got something called Bakers Cyst so we're stuck with drive-bys for a while.

John and Diane said...

Thanks for getting me up there, Mark! John and I were up there yesterday and he thinks you're right, they took that giant boulder and smashed it up into smaller boulders to use on the side of the trail. He pointed out that they had widened the trail there, it used to be very narrow, I hadn't noticed that but he was right.

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