Wanda and Pete's Letterboxes - Connecticut

Index to Our Other Letterboxes


8. CHANEY RANCH An hour or so walk along marked trail in Montville, CT.

From Chesterfield, CT, drive south 3/4 mile on route 85 passing the beginning of route 161 on the right. Turn left on Turner Road and go southeast for a mile around the New London reservoir until you pass Ridge Hill Road on the left. The entrance, with parking for 2 or 3 cars in front of the green bar gate, is a little further on the left. Walk north on an old dirt roadway past open areas and up a rise. Just over the rise, look to the left at 300 deg. for an indistinct foot trail heading up the ridge. Take this trail, with a stonewall to the left and marked with occasional blue discs, for a clockwise loop.

Up, up, up you go and 10 steps to the right it's down, down, down you look! Ridge Hill Road approaches from the left also down below as you are astride its namesake. The road catches up as you pass a glacial erratic on the left just before the top of your climb. Descend a bit as the road takes charge of the ridge and join a path coming from the left - look back on that path to see another entrance gate on Ridge Hill Road.

Shortly, say 200 feet, go left at the trail junction, again at 300 deg. and with a stonewall to the left. Soon curve right into deep woods still watching for blue discs. Proceed slowly uphill passing a tree you can sit on to the left, a rockpile to the right, and through a stonewall. (You may wish to pause here for Chaney Ranch II.) Within 5 minutes you reach an opening in another stonewall which ends at a large rockpile to the right. You go left of the opening 3 steps and look low in south side of the wall. You have reached the high point of your journey but not the only delight!

Now, descend following the blue discs, pass through a wall with a large rockpile on the left, and in about 10 minutes reach the remains of the Chaney ranch. Here you may find several stone foundations. From about the trailside mid-point of the first big one on the left, hop over the stone wall to your right and find a Little Rocking Horse (see box #43) tucked low under a ledge behind a smallish rock and a few greenish branches. Afterwards you may wish to take a peek into the bunkhouse, but beware that it is sometimes filled with trash. When your curiousity is satisfied, continue south and then southwest on a path which takes you home. No more blue discs as you are now on the old ranch road. Uphill you go to a junction. Go left, 110 deg., down and around to your starting point.

and a little rose too!
A pair of "thank you" boxes for anyone who has planted letterboxes anywhere, but most especially for the "platinum planters" of Connecticut!

From the eastern junction of Rte. 138 and Rte. 49 in Voluntown, CT, take Rte. 49 N just over half a mile to the left-hand parking lot at Doug's Place Picnic Area in Patchaug Forest. Head west from the big brown sign past picnic tables to pick up the blue blazes of the Nehantic Trail for a short, sweet pine-needle carpeted walk. Within just a few minutes at the spot where the blue blazed trail turns southwest, continue straight ahead on the path at about 280 for approximately 100 more steps. From the point where the blue blazed trail rejoins the path you are on, head east about 20 steps to a pine needle covered natural cavity on the north (left) side of a rotting stump. Look just below the sturdy root loop for your Thank-you roses. Then, for one more little rose, just take about 19 more steps at 35, and look under more pine needles in the right hand cubby hole. Now loop back for a picnic or continue on with the blue blazes to the next picnic area, the rhododendron sanctuary, Mt. Misery, or beyond!

Note: these boxes are hard to get in the winter when the pine needles freeze solid.

43. LITTLE ROCKING HORSE An add-on box at Chaney Ranch near Chesterfield in Montville, CT.

See box #8, CHANEY RANCH.

44. TWO CATS Our 2nd LB anniversary box (in honor of our 2 cats and Wanda's 2000+ found boxes) planted in CT R ocky N eck Park's NW corner.

RETIRED August 2007

From the hikers' parking lot (free even in summer) on the south side of route 156 (about 1/2 mile west of the long R ocky N eck exit ramp off of I-95, and across from Camp Niantic), take the blue-blaze trail west through a field and continue down towards Four-Mile River until you spot a blue blaze marker sporting a Cheshire grin. There to the SSE about a dozen steps away, you will find the 2 cats waiting for you sitting up in a four trunked tree!

156. A&P ROCK
(aka "Filling the Litterbox")
A drive-by on the north side of route 1 in the A&P supermarket parking lot east of Mystic, CT,

Missing - April 2009

It seems our cats only like the cat litter from one place - the A&P in Mystic. Every time we drive out of our way to get them their favorite dirt, we can't help but notice the giant boulder on the eastern edge of the parking lot that just cries out for a letterbox, So we finally put one in. It's just behind the cedar tree to the left of the boulder slightly buried under one small stone. Please rehide carefully so it doesn't get mowed over or removed, and think of our cats getting their dirt!

157. FAMILY RELICS A brief stop at the place where Pete's ancestor, who helped found the town of Stonington, CT in the 1600s, has been buried under a wolfstone for over 300 years.

24 April 2010 - Checked boxes and placed new log books.

Fourth of July weekend 2006 marked a return to what had long been a Miner family tradition in the middle of the past century - the family picnic that used to be held at Pete's folk's house in Montville, CT - was held this year at our home in memory of what would have been Pete's mother's 99th birthday. Pete has spent many years researching his family's background and has a genealogy website, so we'd thought we'd also create a little historical letterbox series to mark this special family gathering.

To find the historical monument commemorating the first founders of Stonington, CT, take route 1 between Pawcatuck and Stonington to the light at Greenhaven Rd. Follow the brown public boat launch signs a few yards south, then right towards Barn Island a few yards more to park along the road just past the middle of the cemetery that is across the road on the left. Enter through the black iron gate and stop to read about Pete's first ancestor to reach this continent on the west side of the founders' monument. (Note the slightly different spelling of the name that was then in use) Standing in front of this inscription, approximately 45 steps away at 50 degrees, you may find this man's actual wolfstone grave, said to have been chosen by him from a broken ledge on his homestead and carved by his son in letters now barely visible. His wife's name is on the other side of the rock and those nearby table top gravestones make the final resting spots of his deacon son and grandson. From this area, continue north to a large cedar, then east along the stone wall to a boulder embedded in the earth not far from the stone wall corner. Two steps east from the top of the boulder should land you very near the actual spot of our "family relic", resting comfortably in a small cave in the wall behind a couple of whitish rocks and several smaller ones, about a foot off the ground. Please be sure to use the utmost discretion when removing and replacing these rocks, so that nothing out of the ordinary can be detected in this area.

About 75 steps due west will get you back to the founders' monument. From there, you may wish to explore a bit more of the cemetery, including the big old tree near the southern corner. A careful search behind one larger and one smaller stone in the fork of the exposed roots on the back side of the tree may yield you another tiny memento of your visit to this historic cemetery. Thank you for respecting all the details of cemetery propriety and helping to preserve our family relics!

176. S&S ROCK Another little box placed near a large rock in the vicinity of a grocery store off Rte. 1 in CT.

We just couldn't get over how popular our A&P Rock letterbox turned out to be! Who would care to go letterboxing in a grocery store parking lot where we buy our cat litter, we wondered? Well. Apparently quite a few folks! So, thanks to our friend Hibiscus, we've found another place for some erratic letterboxing while grocery shopping, but this box will be between a rock and a slightly harder place.

Continuing west on Rte. 1 from "A&P Rock" will eventually get you to a place with the same name as the capital city of another state where I did my graduate studies in the late 70's. It has a nice little pedestrian walkway lined with sculptures, which, if followed in the direction of some good spirits, should lead you to a rock dedicated to Odziozo (or a very strong man depending on which legend you are following - see bronze plaque for details). Check under the mulched stone around the backside of the furthest back evergreen on the side of the rock nearest the grocery store for a little memento of your rocking shopping trip!

199. CHANEY RANCH II An add on to our original loop at Chaney Ranch in Montville, CT.

We were going to retire our old boxes at Chaney Ranch, but when friends asked us to leave them, we decided to add one instead! To find this galloping horse, just follow the original clues to the "sitting tree" and then continue to the first stone wall after that tree. Go left of the opening 5 steps and look low in southwest side of the wall.

200. MR. GRINDER (aka "Endurance") Just a little add on for those who like to "eat fresh" in CT.

Seems we just happened to have a little extra measure of "endurance" the other day when we went out 'boxing, so we couldn't resist tucking this tidbit into an already well packaged letterboxing meal! No, it's not meant to be a mental grinder, appeteaser, or hitchhiker - just a bit of added "endurance" for those who might want to get a bite more in their lunch box!

210. W & P ROCK Just a little bit of intrigue and romance to add to our rock collection!

Checked 6 Oct 2011

Well, we've planted A&P Rock, S&S Rock, even Galapagos Rock, so why not add another rock that was even more important to us to the collection? No, it's not the rock we were married on - that's on private property - but it is a rather distant second because it's the rock where we first thought about getting married, on Valentine's Day many years ago, when Pete first gave me a chocolate rose, and I first gave him a kiss!

We've dropped a hint in a nearby CT box, so everyone getting there after us and reading our entry will know where to go. Apparently we weren't the only ones to think of this rock as a good place to set up housekeeping, since the alcove at present contains a cupboard and a chair, and is rather close to a "power source". From the eastern end of the slanted king-size bedrock, cozy up to the large oak and look about 50 feet away at 100 degrees. The western cubby of a low-lying boulder hides our little rock pillow box!

223-225. "CALIFORNIA CRUISE LEFTOVERS" An easy CT mystery to plant the stamps carved by Justin (T2 - age 12)) that we didn't get to plant on our third letterboxing cruise (Royal Caribbean's "Monarch of the Seas" Jan 28 - Feb 1, 2008, and - yes - we really did eat a LOT of seafood and desserts! :-)

1. Cross II:        To find this beautiful little Celtic Cross near the top of Mt. Ta-bor in the Os-we-gat-chie Hills, we recommend broiled yellowfin tuna, pink salmon with just a touch of roasted red pepper sauce and orange roughy en papillote. From the three-pronged utensil (make sure you use the right one!) and large split chunk of mahi-mahi near the top, take about 20 more steps southwesterly to a sizable crusty crabcake with a spot of orange carpaccio. Now locate the 2-pronged utensil lying perched to the left of a goodly portion of herb-encrusted filet of sole just 5 more steps due south. Look behind the magnetite sample embedded between the prongs for your first little treasure and please replace with care!

2. Angel II: (RETIRED)        To find this little winged wonder, if you haven't already filled up on seafood, we recommend capellini (aka "angel hair") with pink vodka sauce, chilled cream of strawberry soup, or perhaps just a dash of iced pink champagne sorbet to clear your palate. Continue to take the "high road" along the smooth-sailing flatstone ridgetop until you see something that may remind you of dessert in the middle of the trail! ( It certainly did for me: raspberry panna cotta!:-) Whether it appears to you as a fruit-bedecked cupcake, tart, creme brulee, souflee, or hot fudge sundae, simply turn away and take 33 steps at 333 degrees to the edge of a large ledge of angelfood cake, devil's food cake, cheesecake, or whatever you might fancy! Behind another 3-pronged utensil standing upright you may note a large diamond shaped wedge of chocolate or shortbread balanced near the front edge of your cake. If you wish to partake, simply remove the gray iced crystalline wing tucked beneath, noting how to reposition it properly, and there's your angel!

3. Batty II:        To find you're still in the pink and not really going "batty", (as we thought we were when we planted this box 3 steps away from a sign marked the "END", only to find out that evening that another box had been planted just hours before within spitting distance of where we'd planted, so back we hopped on the carousel to move batty to a new spot!), pass up any slices of fruit you see on your left (oranges, lemons or watermelons), until two little pink signs on your right may remind you of the sweet smell of "SUCCESS" (in Spanish!) Just after the second one, you may permit yourself one last little slice of orange if it's right and followed by a well-rounded drink of water. Before you go over the edge, if no one is looking, just push away the lettuce and tomato from under the near end of the big long breadstick on your right, and - yes - you have now officially gone "batty"! Please re-hide this one especially well, as we really don't want people going "batty" by accident - they just might not understand how much these little things mean to us! Now, it's back to our first day fish - Wahoo!!!
Hope you enjoyed this little carving and culinary fiesta!

232. TO THE RESCUE ... An easy mystery for those who follow the CT letterboxing scene

Inside the old lady who swallowed a fly
Parts rumbled and bumbled before she could die.
East from her last rest spot post swallowing horse
Can almost be seen a tomb covered with moss
And five feet to far end this bottled up rhyme
Could just save her still if you find it in time!

233. OLD AUNT OPUNTIA Another mystery for those who follow the CT letterboxing scene

Although one old lady we couldn't revive.
Her sister nearby struggles hard to survive.
Sharp, wizened and wrinkled and sprawled in distress.
Just how she still lives here is anyone's guess!
She's come on hard times and her life's on the rocks,
But beneath her back bustle she flaunts a pill box!

322. "You're the TOPS, You're the TOWER of PISA"!
A cute little surprise series from Pete for my F25K Day on one of my favorite little local mountains just over the border in eastern CT

CHECKED - OK 25 Oct 2011

Here's the little series that Pete planted for me as a surprise to get me to those last few boxes I needed to find to reach F25,000 on Nov. 11th 2009 at Mt. Misery in Voluntown, CT! He must have overheard me talking to some folks at a gathering last spring in central CT where someone introduced me as the "top letterboxer in the country", and it reminded me of that old song, "You're the Tops, You're the Tower of Pisa", which we then jokingly proceeded to sing! Anyway, Pete must have thought that would make a cute theme for my spinning and leaning towards that big F25K milestone, so here are the clues that he gave me to find my boxes #24,998 and #24,999 on that day:

Find your way into Pachaug State Forest from route 49 and drive to the circle at the end of the Firetower Road. You might notice that the blue blazed trail accompanies you for the final 500 feet or so.

Note: the ledges are fairly steep; there is an easier route to the top located off to the left of the blazed trail. From there one could follow the blazes down a bit to reach box #1

Follow the blue blazes up the ledges towards the summit of Mt Misery until the trail becomes less steep and you see a "bonzai" pine tree to the right of the trail. From the blue blaze on the ledge rock adjacent to that pine, turn left and go ten steps off the trail. You should end up on top of a slab of rock and facing a three trunk tree. Wiggle your toes and then search beneath them.

Return to the trail beside the "bonzai" tree and continue to follow the blue blazes upward for about 50 steps. The trail begins to level out. Immediately after passing a waist high ledge rock on the left, take 3 steps off trail to the left. With the waist high rock to your left and a pine tree straight ahead, look right for a crevice between two smaller ledge rocks. In that crevice behind and under an 8 inch stone is the place to search.

Continuing upward just a little further, brings you to the top of the mountain and the location of the fire tower. Only a few iron bolts from the tower are still there in the stone, but the extensive and inspiring view remains. There is also a survey disk in the stone which announces that you have arrived at Mt Misery.

324. Wanda's F25K "Fireworks" Box
A wonderful present from Len and the Compass Cuties to mark my 25,000th letterbox find in North America!

When our friend Len said he would like to try to join us on the day that I would be reaching my milestone goal of F25K, never could we have imagined just how very special he would make that day! Just having him with us to do the climb up Mt. Misery that November day in 2009 was wonderful enough, seeing as he has made terrific progress on his own "pathway to recovery" after some very serious surgery that past summer! Our friend, however, not only made the climb, but made the day a "real fiesta", with flowers, balloons, carrot cake with a candle in it and more! While we were setting up the glasses for "bubbly" and cutting up grinders for our little picnic on the summit, off he went in search of a nearby spot to plant this special F25K celebratory box! Here are the clues he gave me to find it:

No matter which way you go, you must locate the Geo survey marker (now with blue around it). Take a bearing from that marker of 340 degrees and follow this path until you are amongst boulders large & small. From the largest boulder on your left, take aprox 3 paces further on the same heading. Stop and look right. You will see a smaller version of the big boulder. Just beyond that, take 3 paces to a small moss/lichen-covered flat rock cave, at the feet of a bunch of wild blueberries... and in there is your prize!

415. We All Scream for Garlic Ice Cream!
A little leftover from the Olde Mystic Garlic Festival that also makes a surprisingly tasty tidbit for "ice cream day"!

RETIRED March 2011

After crashing the delightful Mystical Event at Academy Point on Sept. 18, 2010, we decided to do some garlic crushing over at Olde Mystic Village just down the road! One of the many booths set up there featured lemon sorbet with 10 heads of crushed garlic in it, so we thought that might warrant a quick carve and plant, using the squishy garlic ball handed out by a local bank for our model! So here's the clue:

From the main entrance of the "big fishy place" nearby, cast your line southeast down the "maritime drive" across the way. Triangulate two horseshoe pits at 10 and 250 with a mapboard at 150 and thread your way through the "eye level" of the "pine needles"!

If you're into "rimes of ancient mariners", you might also wish to cast an eye down the "plank" just to see if any vestiges of "seafaring vessels" remain while you sample your garlicky ice cream!

435. Screaming for Garlic Ice Cream Two
Round two on this one, but with a slightly different flavor and location near Olde Mystic Village

Well, it seems that several folks were disappointed to find out that the garlic ice cream from the Olde Mystic Garlic Festival in September 2010 ran out in the course of that year. A second round, however, was served at the second Garlic Festival in September 2011, so now a new cone can be found practically across the road from our old garlic ice cream spot. While exiting the gravel parking lot near where the old cone used to be, note a row of 6 large stones along the right side of the entrance road. If no one else is around to wonder what you're doing, check behind the creamiest side of the tilted color-shaded stone adjacent to a bush for this creamy treat.


You can find information about this hobby at Letterboxing North America (LbNA)

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