Wanda and Pete's Letterboxes in the Dakotas

Index to Our Other Letterboxes


471. A Little Bit of New England in North Dakota Just a little something to catch on the fly if you happen to be flitting between the Enchanted Highway and the Burning Coal Vein of southwestern ND

On our summer 2012 road trip to Montana, we decided to take a little detour off the "main drag" to revisit a part of North Dakota that we hadn't been back to since our "state high pointing" days of the mid 1990's. So, instead of just staying on the interstate (I-94), we took off south from exit 72 to see some of the remarkable folk art sculptures along the Enchanted Highway. Then, just as it was getting dark, near the southern end of that road section in Regent we started to see 4th of July fireworks lighting up the sky quite a few miles off to the northwest, and decided to head over there to investigate...

Turns out the fireworks were emanating from the little town of New England! We just happened to have a little butterfly box with us that we wanted to set free somewhere along our trip route, and being from New England, we figured, " why not leave it here?" So, we looked around the visitor center under the huge cottonwood tree next to Burns RR Park and across from the Fire Dept./ Town Hall on the southern end of town. That area seemed to be a bit too public, however, with picnic pavilions and such, so we took a short stroll - maybe 3 dozen steps - along the north side of the building just to the south. Along that building, where the concrete foundation turned to wood, we found a small cubby hole that may perhaps provide some safe temporary shelter for this little New England butterfly. Please let us know if you find it still there, since we're not very likely to ever be getting back out that way ourselves!

686. Wanda’s Wanda-rings: Centennial Trail Short stroll on the Centennial Trail from a trail crossing just few miles up the road from the “big presidents”!

This colorful stamp was carved by Maire’s Facet of CT to represent my backpacking the Centennial Trail year’s ago from Wind Cave to Bear Butte, SD. I didn’t realize until we got out there to the Black Hills again just how fragile the logbook had gotten from when it was planted in RI, so please don’t even try to sign it - it’s simply there to let you know you found the right thing!

Anyway, to find this camo pill bottle with stamp, take route 244 to the Big Pine Trailhead on the north side of the highway just west of Horse Thief Lake. Pick up trail 89 behind brown gate to the right of the kiosk in the parking lot. Just under 100 steps downhill from the gate is a tilted flat rock on the right just past a 1-foot lichen-covered stump across from a 6 or so -footlong ledge on the left. Now just look carefully under the northeast (downhill) side of that tilted rock to find the box under the 8-inch flat lichen-covered stone!

(More extensive info on my backpacking background can be found at Wanda's Wanda-rings)

SD - Leaving the Hills Behind Drive-by heading from the Black Hills east towards the badlands and prairies…

N.B. As many letterboxers probably know by now, after planting well over 500 regular boxes, we have mostly gotten tired of leaving plastic containers out in the natural environment lately, so for the past few years, instead of actual boxes, we sometimes just leave in our wake small stones with stamps glued underneath that we call "travelin' lights". (Don't expect this to be a box!)

To get this sad little “travelin’ light”, just take the paved trail south across from Wasta Rest Area near mile marker 99 eastbound on I-90. Follow down along the brown railings, curve left past the drinking fountain, pass a dirt trail heading south into the open field , and then reach the only larger tree on the south side of the paved trail (directly across from the large teepee). Tucked under a super-sized potato rock between olives and acacia is a somewhat heart-shaped (or hill-shaped, if you hold it upside down) 1-inch gray stone with SD on its back.


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