Wanda and Pete's Letterboxes - Charlestown, RI


Index to Our Other Letterboxes


BEFORE YOU SET OUT, PLEASE READ THE WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER.


5 - 6. KIMBALL ARBUTUS WALK 2 letterboxes just outside of a lovely little Audubon Sanctuary in southwestern RI

Removed and retired on 28 February 2002


7. LITTLE RED SCHOOLHOUSE This flat and easy walk to the western shore of Schoolhouse Pond is on a bit of pine needle strewn land protected from development by the town of Charlestown, RI

CHECKED - OK on 18 April 2011
The small pine trees are crowding the trail.

From the junction of routes 1 and 2 in Charlestown, follow route 1 west one mile and turn right onto King's Factory Road. After 2.3 miles traveling north, park at the new parking lot on the right, which is marked by a large stone sign for Schoolhouse Pond Preserve. Follow the blue blazes east along the dirt road.
Pass a house on the left and settle in for a 15 minute walk through a pine forest with laurel and rhododendron. As you near the pond the road divides. Left goes into Indian Territory, but you swing right through a boulder barrier. Continue to follow the blue blazes southwest along the pond for 5 minutes, passing a likely boat launch area on your left.
When the blazes swing west away from the pond, look to your right to spot a large tree burl about 15 feet above the ground. Go to that tree and then take 27 steps at 315 deg. to face a row of four pines bookended by 2 stumps. Study mother nature well and take note of what lies beneath a lonely stone among the pine needles.
When you have finished your lessons, return to the blue blazed trail and complete the loop back to the dirt road and west to Kings Factory Road. Note: From here the blue blazes also continue west through B urlingame Forest to meet the yellow - blazed Vin Gormley trail.



11. THE NURSE LOG A bonus box awaiting visitors in the "greater Burlingame area" of Charlestown, RI.


12. FALLING LEAVES Another Burlingame area box on part of a 2 mile blue blazed trail between Schoolhouse Pond and the Vin Gormley Trail.

CHECKED - OK on 11 March 2011

This hike begins at the same parking lot off Kings Factory Road as the hike to Schoolhouse Pond (2.3 miles north of route 1 on east side of road). However, instead of taking the dirt road east to the pond, locate a hard-to-spot blue-blazed trail to the west which quickly plunges you into the tangled woods. Soon you emerge right onto an old woods road which you follow west for a while as the gently climbing sandy path narrows and passes a series of ledges.
Just as you reach the boardwalk in a damp ravine, take a bearing of 75 deg. and walk about 25 steps to a flat bit of ledge with a leaning tree growing up on its backside. You will find the letterbox tucked under the ledge amidst the fallen leaves.
Return the way you came or continue about 10 minutes on the blue-blazed trail to reach the yellow-blazed Vin Gormley Trail and the first box of the Lil' Rhody Runaround Series.



13-17. LIL' RHODY RUNAROUND A series of boxes on the 7.9 mile Vin Gormley Trail in B urlingame Forest, Charlestown, RI.

CHECKED - OK on 25 March 2011

For the clues go to Lil' Rhody Runaround.



18. NORTH CAMP Explore the remains of an old, abandoned campground on the north shore of Watchaug Pond (across the pond from the huge Burlingame complex on the SW shore) in Charlestown, RI. Wear orange in hunting season.

RETIRED March 2011

To get to the old North Campground road from Route 1, drive north on either Prosser Trail or Kings Factory Road, keep straight onto Shumankanuc Road, and then turn left (southwest) on Buckeye Brook Road. Go 3/4 of a mile and park by a yellow gate on your left.
Walk past the gate and follow the sandy gravel entrance road south for a few minutes taking note of the crossing of the yellow blazed Vin Gormley Trail at a sign that says "Hikers Only". Within 15 minutes you will begin to see many dead red pines still standing. (Just before this point, you might want to give a wave to the Little Butterfly, our box #31.) Bear right at the fork, passing by a large boulder on your left, then by an old brown building, through a small clearing, and then reaching a sign near the water that says "Unsafe for Skating" (you could land a canoe here). Returning to the clearing, spot old campsite #801 painted on a rock, and turn east along the grassy path. Pass an old water faucet on your right, head straight across the next intersection, and then curve gently south to reach the little sandy beach (another possible canoe landing with Burlingame's current campground visible across the pond).
From here, head generally NE up the sandy, gravelly path, passing old campsites and the remains of an old stone chimney on your right, just before you curve left (northwest) at rock #849. Continue to the next grassy track, where you turn right with the pond at your back. Pass an old red outhouse on your right and proceed to campsite #870 near the end of a little campground loop. Just past here on your right, you should be able to spot a multi-trunked bush with a big, nearly flat rock in front of it. Your treasure is tucked under the rock's far (east) side.
To return to your car, it is easiest to retrace your steps towards the pond, and then just keep bearing right (past the 830s, 809, 812, etc.) until you find yourself back on the old sandy gravel entrance road. Hope you had fun exploring the old camp in B urlingame Forest!



30. LIL' RHODSTER A home box hanging out in our front yard or living room.

For anyone who didn't get Lil' Rhodster as an event stamp for the 2001 Burlingame Fall Gathering, Carolyn Stearns has graciously donated it to us for use as a home box stamp. If you want to stop by for this one, please contact us ahead of time to see when we might be home.



31. LIL' BUTTERFLY A little "flutterby" on the way to North Camp in RI.

Checked 28 April 2009

Located about a half mile in on the way to North Camp. From the third stone wall corner that comes to a point right near the dirt road - just before the dead red pine grove and just after a patch of slickrock - take about 8 steps west, then carefully pry open the lower lip of the pink granite mouth, and out will come ... a little butterfly!



38. PASQUISET POND Another pleasant pine-needle path and preserve on the eastern side of Charlestown, RI.

RETIRED October 2010

To reach this lovely little pine-clad (and seasonally mushroom-filled) parcel from Route 1 on the eastern border of Charlestown, head west and take Narrow Lane north about 1/2 mile, then bear right onto Old Coach Road for 1.7 miles. Park along side the road near the entrance sign for Pasquiset Pond Nature Preserve on the left.

About 1/2 way around the short, cushy path (less than 1/2 mile total) marked with occasional trail sign arrows, look west of the trail to see a huge multi-trunk white pine with several broken off branches and with one of the trunks reaching back to touch another one, creating a little "fenster". Two steps east from that spot, under the end of a broken off limb and under some pine needles, all those who wish to may lay claim to finding the box "1st"!

Those in a hurry to get to the "1st" box first will now have to backtrack a bit to get to "2nd" second! No big deal - just about 80 steps back to that last trail junction with the marked white pine in the middle, and then about 50 steps more on the other path (c.330) to another big "wolf tree" on the right. Look under bark in the cubby around back.

Note Feb 2006: 3rd is again wet! After we get the logbook dryed, the box will be slightly relocated to "higher ground" perhaps at the base of a nearby tree.

Finally, to get to "3rd", retrace your steps past "1st", and then go half right (c.240) where 2 adjacent white pines have arrows pointing left. Check the south side of the upturned roots of the larger of two down pines for the "3rd" box in a small bark-covered niche. Now, hopefully with your fill of "numbers", just take your time to enjoy the pines as you wend your way east with the arrows to the road, and then briefly left back to your car!



45-48. FAVORITE ORNAMENTS SERIES A collection of some of our favorite Christmas tree ornaments placed along the southern edge of B urlingame Park in RI.

Find your way to the entrance of the B urlingame Park Campground off of route 1 in Charlestown, RI, and park off to the right in front of the registration building, where the signs say "no overnight parking". Walk through the yellow bar gate at the southeastern edge of the parking area and proceed 50 steps to a right turn. Walk another minute or so until you see a stone wall. Pass through the wall, take five steps to the left, and look behind a chunk of pink feldspar in the wall to find the "Mushroom".

Now return to the paved road and continue north on it until you are just past the main gate (which is locked at 3:30PM in the winter months.) Immediately turn right onto a dirt roadway and follow it to what is now the "camp junkyard". The junk has changed over the years, and has included everything from old wooden outhouses to piles of wood chips (remnants of the former outhouses?). Whatever happens to be there when you arrive, just try to find a way around it by circling NE to SE to pick up the still visible grassy path near a few white pines. Follow this path left to a T, then left again (right would be you return loop), continuing northerly through the pines past more old camp junk. (Hard to believe now that this used to be the start of one of my favorite local X-C ski routes!) Just past a couple of rusty metal cylinders on your right, look near the bottom of a rotten woodpecker tree for the microbox ornament, the "Broken Heart".

Further on, where the main path bears left, continue straight North to drop down into a big pine-needle-clad kettlehole. You will find an E-W lying log at the bottom of this little valley. From the eastern end of the log spot the large boulder on the horizon at 60 degrees. Up the hill in the cavity formed by two boulders just in front of that large boulder, tucked behind a few smaller stones you will find the "Cuckoo Clock". Please rehide the box carefully just as you found it, since we have already had to replace the missing stamp once from when the box was left out exposed.

Now go back down to the western end of the E-W log, and take a bearing north. About 40 feet or so away (although you'll probably take a more circuitous approach), tucked under a rather inconspicuous rock ledge, find the elusive "Pickle"!

After finding "Pickle", head back to the E-W lying log and spy the three large erratics at 120 degrees. Before they went back to New Zealand, the Psychokiwi's left another addition to this series, a "Gingerbread Man" which is hiding under the SW lip of the furthest leftmost erratic.

NEW for Christmas 2006: Checked 28 Aug 2010
Back at the mid-valley log, just head west through the pines to reach the main park entrance road. Turning left on the road will take you back to your car in less than 1/2 mile, or you can continue to loop right for more ornaments. After a minute or so walking north on the paved camp road, a right at the next dirt road brings you to a bulletin board describing the Kettle Pond area and a "719-606 / 720-739" campsite sign. From between these signs, look at 140 degrees over the top of the "Do Not Enter" sign towards the hillside. That's where you're going. Walk along the 140 deg. bearing and about 60 to 70 steps beyond the "Do Not Enter" sign to the second of two boulders on the hillside. You will find a little "Peanut" under the western side of this boulder behind a few small stones. The "Peanut" is accompanied by two "Berry" ornaments. The first is 5 steps west from the "Peanut" to the top of another rock. On top of this rock, beside the tree, and under a small stone is a microbox. The second "Berry" is in a microbox located 10 steps north of the "Peanut" between a five foot stump and a rock and under a small stone.

From the "Peanut" you may continue on to Laurette's holiday additions by walking down the dirt road behind the "Do Not Enter" sign (presumably meant for vehicles). Bear left at the Y past the stacked logs and whatever might be stored there (dumpsters in Nov 2005), up a slight incline into the pines and over or under many blowdowns along the path (please be careful) until you see a triangular-shaped Christmas Tree Rock about 100 yards off to your left (east). Go to that rock and take about 30 steps in a northerly direction to find your "Christmas Tree" tucked under the south side of a nearby rock. Now that you have a tree, it needs some decorations. Look for the "Gold Star" in the stump of the tree that is resting on the rock where the box is hidden. Then return to Christmas Tree Rock. Take your bearings from the west side (trail side) for the next 3 boxes. Take 3 steps north to find "Candy Cane" hiding in the corner under the west-facing ledge of a smallish rock. Next take 20 steps north to find "Stocking" in the roots of a blow down. (Note: Warrior Woman returned with us in Nov 05 to plant an "extra stocking" that she had carved after Laurette's was reported missing!) Finally, take 12 steps south to a woodpecker's delight that used to be standing, but has since become a fallen log. Look about a foot from its root end for "Silver Bow".

Back on the trail, continue southerly through of the pine grove and notice that the path soon becomes bordered by mountain laurels. Just before the trail goes uphill there will be a small clearing on the left and you will see a large laurel bush next to a rock. Crouch under the laurel to find Sadie and Russ's "Angel Grace" hiding beneath bark and sticks between the laurel and the rock.

Continuing straight on this trail will eventually get you back to the T by the junkyard, thence left and back to your car. If you still have plenty of daylight and are hungry for some "Holiday Leftovers", the next sharp left after "Angel Grace" will quickly get you to two boxes that we planted for Warrior Woman as just dessert additions, "coffee and pumpkin pie". However, if you want the whole big meal, we suggest you go to the beginning of those clues to pick up your plate first, then fill it up, making your way back for dessert later! At any rate, we hope you've had a very "fulfilling day", and collected some pleasant memories! Happy Holidays!

Nov 24, 2009 - "Holiday Leftovers" and "Kindergarten Keepsakes" have now been retired, after some of them went missing or got chewed up by little animals!




51. GARDEN PARTY A little flower still occasionally to be found growing by our garden gate during parties at our home.

This clue was originally written as part of the first ever quest we created to introduce the X family to questing, and soon thereafter letterboxing, on Easter back in the year 2000! It also appeared at a party we held for mapsurfer in May of 2003. Most of the original poem clue is now lost to history. However, this part remains:

"Start your trek at the back door deck
Take a march through the cedar arch
Don't be late at the garden gate
Find a box among the rocks ..."



138. HOLIDAY LEFTOVERS A special plate full of "letterboxing fare" in the Burlingame area of Charlestown, RI

RETIRED

For those of you who don't mind "leftovers", here's a new series to fill your plates! There are actually a couple of ways to access the area of these boxes. One is to get to the last leg of the loop of our "Favorite Ornaments" series. After finding the "Angel Grace" by Sadie and Russ, you could take the nearest trail turning off uphill eastwards to find Warrior Woman's "coffee and pumpkin pie" carvings that we planted for her, and eat dessert first! However, we strongly suggest that you pick up your blue plate special FIRST, and then go back to get the rest of your "meal"! The easiest way to do this is to find the new brown sign westbound along route 1 between Charlestown and Westerly (or make a U-turn near Ninigret if you were eastbound) that might remind you of having hot tea by a post-glacial watering hole. Follow Bend Road briefly to the bend, then continue straight into the parking area near the lovely new visitor center (open daily 10AM-4PM, and sometimes later for special events in the evening.)

To pick up your plate, head north down the main trail until you see the first side trail on the left. Take 25 steps down this trail and look under the western (left) side of the overhang on the big table rock, under leaves slightly to the right and behind a grapefruit-sized stone. Here's where you can first pick up your "Blue Plate", set it on the table rock, contemplate filling it up, or returning it later empty!

Continue on the new B... trail passing another trail coming in from the right and watch for a mossy log lying parallel to the right side of the trail. It will be just after a pair of white pine trees. Under the front of the log and behind a few licheny branches just a couple feet from the root end, help yourself to the turkey (the "Meat")

Continue on the trail up and down a couple of little eskers and through a tumbling down stone wall to a four way junction with a view of Burlingame Campground playgrounds to the right. There is a 15 foot white pine tree here on the left. At its base under a flat rock, needles and leaves get your "Mashed Potatoes".

Turn left at the four way junction, proceed up the slope and along the gently undulating path to just before a descent. On the right is a big "hungry rock". "Peas" have dribbled down its chin and lie under two stones and some leaves.

Continue on the path and climb up a bigger hill. At the top see a five foot long, prone boulder immediately to the right of the trail. Have a seat. Across the path is a small oak tree, maybe 5 inches in diameter, with "Carrots" at its base under a stone.

Continue on the path and turn right before you approach the stone wall. The wall will be on your left for a bit, and then, down the path after the wall ends, there is a large two trunk oak tree on the right. The trunks are each about a foot in diameter. Within you will find your "Cranberry Sauce". That should fill your plate!

Now, should you choose to continue for dessert and coffee, graciously provided by Warrior Woman for us to plant and write the clues for, just keep going along the path until you come to another fork which joins up with a second side trail to form a small triangle just left of the main trail. From the junction with that first fork, wander off trail south about 20 steps to a large six to eight foot wide boulder. As you seat yourself on the south side, you can see a group of four oak trees just a few steps away. The left oak is a double and behind it is your "Pumpkin Pie". Behind the rightmost oak tucked under some green moss, find just a little tiny dollop of "Whipped Cream".

Continue on the path all the way to its end at a T junction. Look back the way you came and see a group of three trees now to the left of the path. Your "Cup of Coffee" is waiting between those trees under a few stones and leave. Please cover well when you are done to make sure that coffee is available for future guests!

Exiting instructions: You can go back the way you came, or for a little additional adventure you can return to the T junction and turn right. Follow this meandering path beneath and over blown-downs of the dead and dying red pine forest to the Burlingame Camp road. Along the way your could pick up the "Angel Grace" (by Sadie and Russ), the "Christmas Tree" (by Laurette), and our little "Peanut". When you get to the yellow gate past the "logging area", do not follow the paved road, but immediately swing right up a dirt roadway with many camping areas visible off to your left. Pass by camp site 710, and continue straight past some vehicle blocking boulders. You will soon find yourself back at the four way junction that offers "Mashed Potatoes". From here you will have to proceed back the way you came.




50. INN OF THE END A hitchhiker hostel in RI, planted as a sister to Jay's Inn of the Beginning in CT.

RETIRED

Our hitcher hostel in Charlestown, RI is located near the beginning of the Lil' Rhody Runaround - or the end, depending on which way you're going! From where the yellow-blazed Vin Gormley Trail heads off from Kings Factory Road, go a short distance to where the trail makes a quick jog right and left to cross a private camp road. Immediately after that, note some boulders uphill on your right and take about 30 steps at 30 degrees to reach a large slanted rock slab. The hostel box is tucked well under its NW corner, covered with leaves and some bark. Please leave a hitcher here in exchange for any that you take so that there is always at least one hitcher in residence!

Our boxes have traditionally hosted many hitchers that we have brought in from various places (and even a couple of hitchers left by other folks!), but since we're not going to be able to keep up that tradition as our lives move in different directions, it would still be nice to know that hitchers have a home here in this area where at least one of them can always be found and where all are welcome to visit!

Thanks again for all the great letterboxing memories!!!




52. THE THRONE Another type of "home box" if you ever visit our house in Charlestown, RI and need to use the bathroom!

This box at our house in Charlestown, RI we have kept fairly quiet about since we have "country plumbing" which probably couldn't handle a big rush to the toilet. However, the bathroom itself has long been the butt of jokes in our old hiking circles. For years, we used to lead hikes for senior citizens and have parties in our rec. room afterwards. Most of the parties involved refused to use the bathroom down there because the toilet was on a raised platform, dubbed the "throne", and they would choose to go upstairs instead. So, when we got into the hobby of letterboxing, we just had to make a letterbox commemorating that old "uplifting throne" of ours. All you have to do is visit us and choose the right bathroom and have a look around for the box.



67. TRAILING ARBUTUS A box put out for the arbutus blooming season in Burlingame, but apparently still sticking around for other seasonal "campers"!

Checked on May 1, 2007 and still waiting for visitors despite an earlier report that it was missing.

Kimball Audubon Sanctuary in Charlestown, RI is still the best place around locally to get a whiff of these delightful little early blooming wildflowers (usually mid April to early May)), but, as requested, the letterbox itself is not located on Audubon property. You can still visit there (as long as you do not ride bicycles, bring dogs or go off trail!) by taking Prosser Trail off route 1 and then following the sanctuary signs. In season, a fine display of arbutus can usually be found blooming along the orange trail within 50 paces of the mapboard at the nature center / parking lot. (You can get down on your hands and knees for a sniff, but do not pick!)

Continuing along the orange trail to the vernal pool, then westerly to pick up the green trail winding through white pines will bring you to a sharp right turn with a diagonal stone wall straight in front of you. Take a few steps through the stone wall, then about a dozen to your right to find the letterbox tucked into the northeast side of the rotten twin-sister, just 30 steps due east from Burlingame picnic table #624. Alternatively, you can reach this same spot by driving to Burlingame campground, and generally heading east from the second dirt road on the right. Either route should get you to the box in less than a mile round trip. Hope you enjoy your visit and take time to explore some of the other boxes around here, too!



87-94. RI RED & PURPLE
(aka "This Outfit Rocks")
A pretty 2 mile in-out hike in a new preserve in Charlestown, RI

RETIRED

The outfit is out! This series was placed for Wanda's 50th birthday, when she finally became officially entitled to don those colors red and purple that she has been wearing together for so long anyway.

Don't expect much in the way of stamps - just some paper doll type cut-outs placed on rocks. However, if you're intrigued by the thought of exploring a new area and putting together your own personalized outfit (each one will come out a bit different!) please do try this series!

The starting point is a signed preserve parking lot on the west side of route 112 about 1 mile south of its junction with route 91 (or several miles north on 2 and 112 from route 1). From the signboard, take the yellow blazed trail in the NW corner, pass red numbers 1, 2, 3, and then eventually find 4 red items for your wardrobe in a big rocky ledge on the north side of the trail shortly after a few erratics. There is a pyramid-shaped rock sitting just about 3 feet SW of this ledge. From the pyramid rock walk about 8 steps N around the western corner of the ledge and find your basic red sweater tucked between 2 SW pointing rocks on the right side under a smaller rock. Three more red micro accessory items can be found in the ledge itself, almost directly behind the pyramid rock and behind 3 separate trees growing out of the ledge, all within about 3 feet of each other! Please re-hide them all carefully so they cannot be seen by the casual ledge observer.

To complete the purple portion of the outfit, continue along the trail another 1/2 mile of so, passing more rocks, cairns, and a stone wall on the left which you eventually go through at a corner. Finally, after passing an old dying oak smooching a big rock on the right, go a few steps further and off trail to a rocky area on the left. The furthest S pointy rock of this cluster has a purple skirt tucked into its western side. Three more purple micro items are located about 8 steps N in the corners of 3 separate rocks, about 3 feet apart and covered with a few sticks. Please replace everything discreetly, and walk back out the way you came in, wearing your strange new red and purple outfit with pride!



105. ONE MORE LITTLE ORNAMENT A little Christmas present from Bruna to complete the ornament collection and make a "round dozen"

DEC 2006, RETIRED

Go back to the beginning of where you started the "Favorite Ornament Series" near the campground ranger station building. Walk to the spot where there is a well straight in front of you with a large rock on either side of it. A few well placed steps to the south side of the big rock to the left should get you to the last ornament tucked under sticks.



134. HAPPY DANCERS Another little piece of preserved land in Charlestown, RI with an interesting old fish hatchery and a notable tree!

CHECKED - OK on 25 March 2011

We are so happy that this piece of land didn't get bought up for development that we just had to entice our fellow letterboxers to visit it. From the junction of routes 1 and 2 (at a nice little rural mall with "Simple Pleasures"), go north on route 2 about 0.2 mile and then turn right onto a very narrow, almost invisible gravel drive that leads to a little parking area. Take the SB trail all the way to the end until you are facing the hum of highway 1. Just before the trail drops into the white pines here, look left for what the 4 fingered oak tree holds, then do your "Happy Dance"!

Don't miss walking by the ruins of the old fish hatchery on the loop on your way out. Here across the little one plank bridge is where we saw a cluster of tiny fish near the multi-trunk bush. You might want to check to see if they are still there.

Also, the north side of the preserve contains another loop with a spectacular horizontal tree to sit on. At the stonewall crossing nearby we spotted a nice little clump of mushrooms beside a white rock. They were at the base of the wall near where the path turns away from the wall after following it for a short distance. It's always such fun to see what natural wonders there are along the way! Hope you enjoy your day!



163. GALAPAGOS ROCK A quick stop at an interesting coffee shop and boutique in Charlestown, RI.

The Buddha was stolen and our box has gone missing!

Drive along route 1 in Charlestown until you see Dave's Coffee and Galapagos on the north side. It is a little east of the junction with route 216, but west of Wilcox Tavern. Have a look about the parking lot with its pond and sculptures, then go up the stone steps by the Buddha and sit on the top step, looking towards Dave's patio. Reach into the little cave with you left hand and find the box under some leaves.

After signing in, please take the time to go inside to check out what's new on the computers, lounge on the couch, play a game, read a book, view some truly remarkable shoes upstairs in the boutique, and get a cup of possibly the best raspberry mocha latte available anywhere in the world. Enjoy!



171. PEANUTBERRIES A few more ornaments added to our Christmas tree collection for 2006

One of the highpoints of our trip to the Outer Banks of NC for Thanksgiving 2006 was stopping in Colonial Williamsburg, and seeing some of the Christmas decorations that we wrote about in our recent report "Turkeys, Pickles and Peanuts - Thanksgiving 2006", which provides the background for this holiday addition. Naturally, to keep our pickle company, we had to add a peanut to our favorite ornament series in B urlingame Park, and, just for good measure, we decided to throw in a few berries, too!

The clues for finding the peanut and berries are now embedded in with the others, if you are doing the whole ornament series. However, if you are just coming for the new ornaments, you can park near the entrance gate off Klondike Road and walk directly down the campground entrance road until you come to the new Kettle Pond National Wildlife Refuge sign on the right. From there, sighting over the top of the "Do Not Enter" sign and going about 60 steps past it on approximately the same bearing should get you to the "peanut", placed on the SW side of the rock near the top of the hillock. Don't forget to look on the backside of the peanut to find another surprise commemorating the last ornament left to us by Pete's 95 year old mother, and for two nearby berries representing ornaments we got last year in PA, a strawberry from Byer's Choice in Chalfont, PA and a raspberry from Hershey! Enjoy!



178. SKIING THE BEACH A long glide along the seashore from Blue Shutters Beach to the Charlestown Breachway. (6/10/08 - A carved ski/hiking pole stamp now awaits at our house if anyone feels like going out there to plant it!)

RETIRED

Maybe for only one day every half dozen years or so does a coastal storm drop enough snow to make it possible to ski along this lovely Charlestown beach, with waves lapping the shore just a few feet away. We were able to ski out for one of Jay's boxes, now long gone, in Feb 2001, and then in Feb 2007 we had another chance to ski the beach, so naturally we wanted to plant a box out there to mark this rare occasion. Most other times it will be just a long beach walk, but, if anyone is up for it, please bring a carving tool to carve a little snowflake or something into the piece of eraser I left there, since I thought I had my carving tool in my pack to carve something there on the spot, but turns out I didn't and probably won't be back out there to ski for quite some time! (And - guess what? - it's not the only blank eraser stamp out in the wild, as we've already found several of them left by other planters, so make of it whatever you will! :-)

Anyway, to find this letterbox, just walk (or ski) about 3 miles to the breachway, starting from the beach at the end of East Beach Rd. (Just follow the blue blazes to the end of the North/South Trail at Blue Shutters Beach) and start heading east along the water! Shortly after you begin your return trip from the breachway rocks, take a slight detour north to the parallel beach buggy road where it ends in a circular opening with a red storm fence on its eastern side. As you head west on the sandy road, note a signpost with no sign on your left and a nearby pitch pine. The small yellow pillbox should be found tucked into the back side of that tree.

P.S. Our kudos to anyone willing to go after this box. To us, such people would definitely represent "real letterboxers" and not just the current rush of "stamp collectors" that seem to be rampant, but we can certainly understand if there are few if any takers. And, once again, special thanks if anyone chooses to do a carving or picks up the stick we have waiting and ready to go here at home!



256. WANDA AND PETE'S PICNIC PARTY Planted at Burlingame Picnic Area for Wanda's PFX 20,000 picnic party

This stamp was originally carved by Laurette ("phantom phiddler") for a party we had at our house in May 2003. Half of it, the lower watermelon part, we later transported to New Mexico and planted as "Sandia Picnic", while the upper part resurfaced for Wanda's PFX 20,000 picnic party at the Burlingame Picnic Area in Charlestown, RI on June 28, 2008. It was planted in the northern part of the picnic area in the middle of a "sassy gal" with twelve skinny legs!



257. PFX 20K: UNDER THE PINES Planted at Burlingame Picnic Area for Wanda's PFX 20,000 picnic party, and now available in the piney woods of Schoolhouse Pond

This stamp was specially carved by Cynthia ("Warrior Woman") to represent my reaching PFX 20,000 on June 13th, 2008, as well as my current favorite type of letterboxing experience: a nice walk in the piney woods! Coming from an amazing background of having solo backpacked over 26,000 miles of the big mountain trails in multiple thru-hikes during the mid-part of my life (something very few other backpackers in the whole world have ever even come close to achieving, let alone some of the newcomers in recent years who act like they're too sexy for their shirts just for hiking a trail or two one single time through, sometimes even resorting to "slack-packing" (carrying an ultralight pack or having someone else cart it down the trail for them), "pink-blazing" (getting picked up and taken to motels and such by "sweeties") or "yellow-blazing" (walking the roads), all things basically unheard of in my backpacking heyday!) Anyway, after all my real heavy-duty "radical repeater" backpacking adventures, I was saddened to find that various illnesses would conspire to prevent me from backpacking in my later years. Fortunately, however, letterboxing came into my life at that time as something I could still do and as a pleasant little "diversion" from my former grueling backpacking years, so I have hopped to it with great enthusiasm! Even if my letterboxing count never gets as high as my backpacking record (and certainly it could never get anywhere near as high if I included my "just plain trail hiking" mileage, which I'm sure must have passed the 50,000 mile mark many years ago!), I am still just ever so grateful to all the letterbox planters who have kept me walking, albeit in much diminished fashion, during these past half dozen or so years. With any luck, I hope I'll still be able to keep walking and letterboxing for a few more! Meanwhile, thanks so much to Warrior Woman for carving this beautiful commemorative stamp, which really "takes the cake"!

And, yes, it really did "take the cake" to find this stamp on June 28, 2008! Just a week before our picnic party, we had seen the mapsurfer at Hickory Run in PA, and, examining a piece of swirled tiramisu liqueur cake that I had brought, he wondered if a clue could be baked into a cake like that. Well, that would have been well beyond my abilities, but I could certainly put the icing on the cake! So, that's what the original clue was: a chocolate frosted cake picturing the yellow gate at Burlingame picnic area (appropriately enough near the finish line of the Little Rhody Runaround - symbolic of all the "running around" I had to do to reach that goal line with PFX 20K above it!), a pebbly path of jimmies leading down to the beach, an adjacent green pine tree, and a little white box tucked underneath it by the rocks - a simple enough design that even I could frost on a cake and have it make its point to reach the target!

Now, however, this box has a more traditional clue, and can be found by driving to the parking lot for Schoolhouse Pond, on the east side of Kings Factory Road a couple of miles north of the Burlingame picnic area from its Prosser Trail junction. After parking in the small lot marked by a large stone sign, simply walk east down the dirt road following the blue blazes to the pond, then continue rounding the bend on the blue loop past the burl, the Narragansett Indian survey marker and the nurse log to a massive white pine reminiscent of a giant harp or candelabra holding up its candles on the northeast side of the gently curving trail. From the back side of that pine, which has always been one of my favorites, just take about 35 steps at 100 degrees to the midpoint of a big old log with mint green lichen patina, and look for the box tucked beneath under several layers of minty bark amid the surrounding piney woods.

These woods can be rather full of tiny mosquitoes in season, so please bring bug repellent if they irritate you, or plan to visit in the cooler months. We have been known to visit here in mid winter and overhear some absolutely amazing "ice conversations" among the various cracking portions of the pond. You can also do the loop in reverse, if you wish to approach the pond via the curving piney paths and find the burl looming directly ahead of you before you get to the pond. In any case, hope you enjoy these pretty piney woods!



258. WANDA'S PFX 20K PICNIC BASKET A gift box from the Compass Cuties graciously presented in delightful compass-covered wrapping for Wanda's PFX 20K party

CHECKED - OK 25 March 2011

This surprise picnic basket from the Compass Cuties was originally planted quickly in a 2-sister tree just a few dozen yards away from the picnic tables near the yellow "goal line" that we used for our gathering at Burlingame Picnic Area on June 28, 2008. However, to hopefully keep the picnic going on a little longer and hang out with Jay's "Great Gathering" box still sitting nearby since 2001, we've transplanted it to the other side of the picnic area.

Once again, simply find the "sassy gal" with twelve skinny legs, take 22 steps at 44 degrees, (hopping over another potential picnic spot) and, being careful of briars and poison ivy to your left, find a shady nook behind two small stones and leaves low in the stone wall just left of a slanted sitting rock and well right of a cedar. We may try to keep this picnic basket filled with any food-related hitchers we ever find, and hope that others might add some traveling food items from time to time, too! Happy picnicking!



XXXV. Monkeying around in RI and other stuff A very kid friendly, day only series for a gathering at Kettle Pond.

RETIRED

Find the rear most lot that says "Authorized Vehicles Only". There is where your Adventure begins!

Enter the lot & look all around, Try to spot a tree that looks like a large 4 sister Oak but is it? One is a White Oak, growing up with 3 Red Oaks and it has a Mossy Bed in its interior,.. Wanda said: "Any deeper down it would have been a "Water Bed"! In the middle amongst leaves & sticks is the Bouncy Bed that got this whole thing started

#1 Monkey
Well, Well, Well,.. What happened Here?!, Enter the Lot and spot an Artesian Well Due North, Right Behind this covered with sticks is the Poor Guy that We think Got PUSHED OFF the Bed and he fits nicely stamped in at the floor of your newly found "Bed".

#2 Monkey
Back out to the lot you go,.. and must spot a light pole with a Large dead log in front of a stone wall. About shin high behind this dead tree's stump on the back side is Accomplice #1.

#3 Monkey
Back out to the lot again,.. you must have figured out by now that you're going Counterclockwise!! Walking a little further spot an Old 3' high Stump go to it and in It's Tippety Top,.. You'll find this guy trying to escape & Wanda , Pete & I,... Tree'd this Troublemaker!

#4 Monkey
Further down in the southern Corner of the lot, look in the woods and spot another stump that's about 1 1/2 foot high & Mossy green. Somewhere in here, we spotted this Bad Boy trying to Hide!

# 5 Monkey
You're almost done solving & catching all these bad boys. Go to The Authorized Vehicle sign again and in the Jungle of Grass next to the Light Pole's Base is the Guy that managed to elude us and get the furthest away!!



417. SFP An "anniversary present" from Pete (former map-clue letterbox walk) to an old farm in Charlestown which is now a town preserve to be shared with the public.

South Farm Preserve is located on the east side of Old Coach Road, north of route 1 along Narrow Lane and less than a mile north of the side road to the Charlestown Recycling and Animal Shelter. There is a small parking lot there now just north of where we used to have 3 boxes planted (now retired) at pretty piney Pasquisset Pond Preserve.

From the parking lot, head east to the old Card cemetery, which was restored in 2010. Then head south along the wood line, passing the sheep barn, to southeast corner of the North field where you will see a path into the woods. Follow this path to left and find yourself entering the South field. Follow the wood line along the west side of the field to its southwest corner where another path goes into the woods. Follow this path to a trail junction and stop. There will be a dead tree straight ahead. What you seek is behind that tree under a small stone.



425. Astrii and Art - Navigating with the Stars! A little "star chart" by which to steer the course of marriage - with love and best wishes to Maggie and Art on their recent wedding!

CHECKED - OK 29 March 2011

To find this little box placed in honor of the marriage of Astrii and Art the Navigator in central CT, find a place well known for observing the stars in our home town in RI that is composed of both the name of a famous snowman and the name of a famous early prolific CT letterboxing clan.

Once there, head in the direction of where the center of our solar system seems to disappear on the evening horizon. There at the edge of where human beings have put some darkened material over the natural earth, find a solitary dendroid of the gin berry variety, and consider the answer to life, the universe and everything! With that number in mind, walk that many steps basically northwest to a rusty P-2. From there, another 5 or 6 steps in the same general direction should lead you to where you can find this simple message of celestial bodies above an ancient barque for two resting under a chunk of bark in the embrace of a many-armed bush! Congratulations and best wishes to Maggie and Art!



426. Last of Our Favorite Ornaments Series: the Rooster! A quick look at our new Charlestown dog park between two fenced-in areas in Ninigret Park where hopefully this little rooster will feel safe from the dogs for a little while!

CHECKED - OK 2 August 2011

When we first planted our Favorite Ornament series of about a dozen boxes back in 2002, it was one of the biggest series in the country at that time! Indeed, we remember a certain amount of grumbling - in that age of mostly single boxes - that planting so many boxes on a hike of only a couple of miles was "trivializing" or "commoditizing" letterboxing!

Well, times have certainly changed! Now it almost seems that series of boxes are the norm, there have been literally dozens of holiday box series since that time, and no one bats an eyelid if they are practically on top of each other! In fact, some people nowadays even consider just picking bunches of boxes off a tree to be "letterboxing", which we, of course, do not, since we still adhere to the basic concept of "a search utilizing clues" (not just "scavenging"!) as our definition for "American-style letterboxing". However, as they say, it's all in good fun, so we were just getting ready to retire our antiquated ornament series, when what should we do but find another ornament at Yankee Candle in Deerfield, MA for which we just had to make one last ornament box - a rooster!

Note: A small building is being constructed in the parking lot. The rocks are behind it; the box area remains undisturbed.

So, to find this little rooster crowing, or cowering, between the two fenced-in dog areas of Ninigret Park between the Nature Center and the Senior Center, simply hop over the middle of the line of rocks (or go around them) at the south end of that parking lot. Then take about two dozen more steps south and look for rooster SPOR under the south side of a multi-bush about a dozen steps north of the bike path. Kukuriku - Happy Holidays!


465. Two Cats: At Rest Now in "Cat Heaven" In memory of the two sweet cats "Choolie" and "Ondra" that were such an important part of our lives for so long...

This is the same stamp that many pre-AQ letterboxers from southern New England may have gotten when it was planted at Rocky Neck in Niantic, CT many years ago. When we heard through the grapevine that someone was removing boxes from certain CT State Parks, we managed to rush over there and salvage the box before it got taken out. Just for a limited time, however, we would like to make it available to those who didn't get it previously, at the place where our dear cats are now buried.

Yes, we would probably say that ever since Pete's folks died many years ago, our cats were the closest thing we had to "family". Soon after we were married, they were the very first thing I went out and wrote a check for - to the Charlestown Animal Shelter in 1992 - and they quickly became the heart and soul of our home. Ondra was the seemingly more robust and outgoing of the two, and lived into her 17th year, until Sept. 15, 2008. Choolie was the one that surprised us, however, for although she was very shy and the "runt of the litter", she lived well into her 20th year, until she passed away quietly around 1AM on February 1st, 2012. Right up to near the very end (about 100 in "cat years"), she was still purring, still snuggling, still eating with us at the kitchen table, and even still taking care of Pete by sitting next to him the whole time he had the flu for most of January. We loved them both dearly...

To find the place where our cats are now buried, go to the first paved dead end street east of the crossing of the Pawcatuck River off of Burdickville Road in Charlestown, RI, turn south, and stop near the first house on the right. Find a large oak surrounded by a ring of rocks, and circle to its northern side. Then continue following the tree line a few steps west, then north (being careful not to step on a tiny 4" pine from "Back to Our Roots" in Vermont that is trying hard to grow there along the way!;-) to where a happy face pumpkin near a holly tree watches over two flat stones marking the graves of our two sweet cats. Behind the pumpkin is where the two cats box will reside until the end of February 2012, if anyone might care to come and visit!


556. Woodland Cuppa Day-only box for the 14th annual southern RI gathering at Kettle Pond NWR Visitor Center, Charlestown, RI.

557. Finding Bliss Day-only box for the 14th annual southern RI gathering at Kettle Pond NWR Visitor Center, Charlestown, RI.

558. Fish Soup redux Day-only box for the 14th annual southern RI gathering at Kettle Pond NWR Visitor Center, Charlestown, RI.

559. Rites of Spring Day-only box for the 14th annual southern RI gathering at Kettle Pond NWR Visitor Center, Charlestown, RI.

560. Don't Bag Me Day-only box for the 14th annual southern RI gathering at Kettle Pond NWR Visitor Center, Charlestown, RI.

561. "Teddy" Day-only box for the 14th annual southern RI gathering at Kettle Pond NWR Visitor Center, Charlestown, RI.

562. Nalu Day-only box for the 14th annual southern RI gathering at Kettle Pond NWR Visitor Center, Charlestown, RI.

563. Smart Food? Day-only box for the 14th annual southern RI gathering at Kettle Pond NWR Visitor Center, Charlestown, RI.

564. Three Old Boxes:
   Lil' Rhodster Rides Again!
   Golden-Aged Teddy
   Squashed Pumpkin
Day-only boxes for the 14th annual southern RI gathering at Kettle Pond NWR Visitor Center, Charlestown, RI.

567. Fort Collins Pumpkin Day-only box for the 14th annual southern RI gathering at Kettle Pond NWR Visitor Center, Charlestown, RI.

568. New Place for New Beginnings Day-only box for the 14th annual southern RI gathering at Kettle Pond NWR Visitor Center, Charlestown, RI.

569. Itty Bitty Bluebird Day-only box for the 14th annual southern RI gathering at Kettle Pond NWR Visitor Center, Charlestown, RI.

570. Re-catching a Breeze from the Southwest Day-only box for the 14th annual gathering at Kettle Pond NWR Visitor Center, Charlestown, RI.

571. Eat Your Veggies! (2) Day-only boxes for the 14th annual southern RI gathering at Kettle Pond NWR Visitor Center, Charlestown, RI.

573. Green Box Flower Day-only box for the 14th annual southern RI gathering at Kettle Pond NWR Visitor Center, Charlestown, RI.

576. Flying South (2) Day-only boxes for the 14th annual southern RI gathering at Kettle Pond NWR Visitor Center, Charlestown, RI.

577. Flying South Again (3) Short stroll for a small "V formation" of stamps in a Charlestown farm preserve

These birds flew over from the 14th annual southern RI fall gathering for one last little loop before flying even further south for the winter. They are temporarily hanging out at a farm preserve in Charlestown, RI named after the direction to which they will soon be flying. This preserve can be found on the east side of Old Coach Road just a bit south of Nordic Lodge. There is a small parking area with a large preserve sign and kiosk at this location.

The first box features the 2014 event stamp carved by RIclimber and can be found within a 3-trunk tree at the northwest corner of the Card Burying Ground, which can be reached by walking east from the parking lot.

The second box, featuring a bird in flight carved by Jaybirders of California, can be found by following the mown path southeasterly from the cemetery towards the sheep barn. From between the Horstmeyer Sheep Barn sign and the wooden bench, go about 15 steps north along the tree line and then look east for the first medium rock in front of a large boulder. Look under the east side of the rock under leaves and debris.

The last box, featuring a bird coming in for a landing, also carved by Jaybirders of CA, is nesting west of the sheep barn in the large cedar southwesterly from the Korpi Sauna ruins. Please make sure that its nest stays "well-feathered" with grassy stuff to keep the box well hidden!

Hope you have a bit more time after this brief intro for further exploration of the preserve from the north field to the south field, where you may be able to find a box that Pete planted for our anniversary quite a few years ago!


657. Glacial Roll Back Time! a short 3/4 mile loop in a new preserve related to the Ice Age in our hometown

1. "The King"
These two fine stamps by superhedgehoggie recently got ousted from where they were hidden as semi-mystery bonus boxes near (not even in!) the next town over that didn't want boxes there, so we decided to quietly replace them in this nice new "glacial preserve" in our own current hometown - especially since so few people had found them previously and the cold late winter/early spring weather of 2017 had been making us feel a bit "icy" ourselves! This preserve can be found just under half a mile north from the Boston Post Road/Route 1 (the "glacial out was plain") on a road reminiscent of the King. (If driving eastbound on Route 1, a U-turn will be required near Cross Mills just west of Route 2, but the King's road itself is well marked for an easy exit when driving westbound.) From the parking area and kiosk on the west side of this road, follow the blue blazed trail, almost immediately forking left to initially stay closer to the King's road. Continue down, then upwards to a height of land, created by the last glacier and featured in the name of this preserve, to find a large long boulder on the left south side of the trail just past some broken-off trees and a pile of cut logs also on the left. Look on the west side of the boulder beneath a small mountain laurel bush to find a lock n' lock containing an image of the King at the height of his career!

2. "The Low Roller"
Now continue descending with the blue blazes, then rolling along mostly level ground for a half mile or so. Eventually climb up a bank and soon start back down again. At the bottom of that somewhat steeper descent, look left for a large 2-trunk tree a few paces off trail with a round lock n' lock containing a stamp of a rather unexpected "freewheeler" behind it! Continue shortly with the blue blazes to a familiar junction and left back to your car.


Index to Our Other Letterboxes

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