Wanda and Pete's Letterboxes


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452. Wanda & Pete's Holiday Treats



A small sampling of some of our favorite Christmas cookies to be found briefly during the Winter Holiday season in the piney woods of Arcadia off Frosty Hollow Road in Exeter, RI ... just follow the "cookie crumbs" to find some shelter from the "wintry elements"! (Please bring colored pens and wear orange in hunting season)



Yeah, we know - we're supposed to be "retired" from letterboxing, but we were just realizing how long it's been since we planted a Christmas Holiday series! Our first would have been our "Favorite Ornament Series" planted way back in 2001, back when almost all letterboxes were single-box hikes, so planting a dozen boxes on a mile-or-two loop was considered quite "outrageous"! (I think it was the biggest numbered series around for quite a while, and one of the first ever to have "add-on" contributions from other folks, too, so that's how much things have changed! ;-) We followed up with several other winter holiday-theme series, including a multi-box X-C skiing adventure and a "fill-your-plate/ blue-plate special" called "Holiday Leftovers", but most of those we retired years ago, leaving behind just desserts that we had planted for Warrior Woman as "add-ons" when she gave us those boxes to plant for her way back then, and maybe a mystery or two...

So then, other than the boxes on the Burlingame "Favorite Ornaments" loop (still follow-able by the "trail savvy", but rather dramatically changed over the years due to downed trees from the red-pine bark beetle, critter-chewed boxes and such), and "One Last Ornament" added more recently in a "secret" new location, we really didn't have much left out there in the woods in the way of boxes that were mostly designed with the Christmas spirit in mind...

And then at the last minute last weekend, we quite unexpectedly found ourselves being transported to Guzzelin' Gal's Christmas Cookie Swap in Fitchburg, MA (12/10/11), where we became magically "holiday-stamp re-inspired" (or perhaps it was "punch-happy" full of cookies! ;-) At any rate, we suddenly got the urge to carve up a batch of Christmas cookies ourselves to plant out in the piney woods of RI! And what better place to plant them than in the "heart" of RI boxing: the home of RI's very first letterbox ever ("Breaking Hearts at Breakheart"), the site of RI's first letterbox series ("Feathers in Your Cap"), and - all within about a 25-mile radius of our house - home to perhaps nearly half of the nearly 500 letterboxes that we've planted over the years, many still active and some listed only on our own personal letterboxing website, from the many years before AQ ever came into existence!
Holiday Treats

Anyway, if anyone would like to come down our way to sample some of our old favorite Christmas cookies (or perhaps add some of their own, since we got quite a few wonderful new "favorite recipes" at the Cookie Swap in MA, and we would love to see more RI area boxers taking an active interest in planting, too - even just some simple Christmas cookie cutter shapes would do (hint,hint;-), here's how to get to the starting point: Take exit 5 off route 95, and head southeast briefly on Victory Highway(route 102). Then head south a bit on Nooseneck Hill Road(route 3). Turn west on Ten Rod Road (route 165), and drive until you get to the white church at "Appie Crossing". (If coming from CT, you could also take route 395, and then head east on route 138 and 165 until you reach this point.) Proceed 3/4 mile north from the church on dirt Frosty Hollow Road and park near the Frosty Hollow Fishing Pond. (Note: This area could become hard to access in case of heavy snow, but we have never had a problem getting in here yet - although we have occasionally had to ski in!)

From this point, continue on foot across the bridge on the dirt road over Breakheart Brook and follow the white blazes west into the woods. The brook and a stone wall will be on your left. Soon an old fallen tree protrudes from the left into the trail. At this point there is a mossy based tree with a white blaze to your right, and behind it is a microbox under a curl of bark with our #1 old-time standby favorite: Peanut Butter Blossoms!

Turn north with the white-blazed trail and shortly near a trail junction, find a 1-foot tall mossy green stump on the right. Behind it under a small stone find long-standing favorite #2: Walnut Cheesecake Raspberry Jam Gems!

Very soon ahead the trail dips through a wet area and turns abruptly left around a fallen tree. Uphill to the right is a white pine with a small nose bump about 3 feet up its trunk. Behind it sniff out our seasonal favorite #3: Anise Drops (don't forget to color the sprinkles!)

Now back on the trail, head gradually halfway up the hill until you see an ancient "star- root" fallen tree on your left. Three steps behind it is a beech tree with a low pucker lip, and three steps behind that is another tree. Behind that tree, between thin mossy green arms of an old root and behind a small stone, find once-a-year treat #4: Amaretto Coconut Fudge Drops!

Continue the short distance to the top of the little hill, and as the trail levels out, look right for the remnants of a beech tree surrounded by saplings. Within the stump on a shelf about one foot up and hidden under a few stones and leaves rests ever-popular #5: Magic Bars!

Now face back north and you will find yourself entering a more open area with some blow-downs from recent storms. Soon stand with a three trunk tree on your right and then take about 10 steps left. Beneath the left side of a fat, slightly curved tree root and behind a small stone, seek out our #6 pink and white twisted delights: Candy Cane Cookies (and a little sprig of holly just to liven up the coloring!)

And now, after not even a quarter of a mile from your starting point, here you are at our "secret place" to shelter you from the gathering winter storms! Granted you won't find too much shelter here if bitter winter winds are howling, but it's a nice place to stop on a sunny winter afternoon, sip a cup of hot cocoa on the south-facing deck, and then sneak a peak under the southeastern corner of the foundation, behind a brick on the lip, to see if there are any more cookies hiding there in the cookie jar! Yup, there you should find a stamp of the actual cookie jar that generally sits on our kitchen table during the Christmas season, and there aren't usually any cookies left in our jar either, because the bear has eaten them all before we can manage to save any! However, if you'd care to leave any more cookies for our hungry little bear, please feel free to leave him a clue as to where to find them anywhere within these woods! And thanks for coming to sample a few of our favorite Holiday treats!!!


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