Wanda and Pete's Letterboxes - New Hampshire
BEFORE YOU SET OUT, PLEASE READ THE
WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER..
In addition to the following, we also planted two boxes for the Dawnlanders. They are CT State Bug and CT State Tree.
|CT SYMBOLS MYSTERY TOUR|
IX. CT STATE BUG
From the Dawnlanders home, go N past the 45th parallel to the dam and picnic area on First CT Lake. Just short of 5 miles further N on the paved road, turn R and go c. 8 miles on a dirt road SE, following signs to the tower. Hike up to the tower on either the Coot or the Bobcat Trail (allow about 1/2 hour either way). Climb the tower for some stupendous views. Then head NE past the brown buildings to pick up the Overlook Trail. Shortly down that path, find a chunk of white quartz (yes, just like in CT!). Take 2 steps further N, then look R to find the "CT State Bug" nestled in a little stone house with a stumpy root door. After enjoying the nearby view, please rehide the box carefully, since it is rather close to the path. Then head back to the tower and down to your car.
X. CT STATE TREE
From the "CT State Bug" parking lot drive back 8 miles on the dirt road to the paved road, then 11 more miles N on the paved road to a pull-off on the R marked "Fourth CT Lake: park here". Cross the road carefully and take the slightly overgrown, somewhat rugged path to the right of the signboard. You might soon begin to feel as if you have been transported to another land! After about a mile, reach the Fourth CT Lake loop trail. 10 steps to the R (CCW) on the loop will take you to a balsam fir that is leaning precariously toward the border. Sit on its right-hand root and reach gently back through the branches to uncover the "CT Charter Oak" planted here near the source of the CT river! After stamping in, tuck the box back carefully under the bark, hoping that even if the tree does eventually topple over, the box will still stay safe. If you then want to say you literally hopped across the CT river at its source, just continue around the loop. Then head back along the boundary trail to your car. Hope you enjoyed the adventures!
|106. ARTIST COLONY||A northeastern mystery with vestiges of the vestals, blue skies, rolling hills, swirling waters and a lovely nymph stamp carved by RTRW of CT.|
Find a beautiful spot where an old covered bridge spans two states. Heading north a mile or two on a road honorifically named for the artist who was the inspiration for this box's lovely stamp, you may find some sign of those who gathered here so many years ago. (Not your usual "run-of-the-mill" crowd!) Go gently south toward the sound of falling water, cautiously rounding the hairpin of the first stonewall, until you are standing just above the rushing water near the end one, but don't let that "blow you down!" From the corner of this last stone wall, look down about two feet to the first step-like ledge extending about a foot and a half. If no one else is around and you feel confident, after careful examination, that you can replace the 3 or 4 stones that fit together like a magic puzzle under its western side into their original configuration, then you may temporarily release the image of the pensive nymph from her bold but graceful resting position.
|120. SEAL OF THE CITY||A Great Northern Woods "off-the-porch" view of the lumber mill scene depicted on this stamp carved by RTRW.|
Reported missing May 2007
The city of Berlin in northern NH is a long drive from our home in southern RI. However, when we saw this stamp carved by RTRW of CT, we said we'd be glad to plant it for her the next time we got up that way. That chance finally came while driving home after finding my 8000th box along the AT in Maine. I scooted back into NH on route 2 through Gorham, then headed north on route 16 into Berlin (pronounced with the accent on the first syllable for those who might want to pass as "locals"!). From the junction of route 16 and route 110 in the center of Berlin near the Dunkin Donuts, I proceeded west curving up the hill on route 110, and tried several approaches towards the "elephant". (Mt Forist viewed from this angle, especially from the east side of the Androscoggin River, looks sort of like an elephant!) Former paths leading upward now appeared to be on private property, so I opted to turn south on 3rd avenue, then right on Mt Forist St, and then left on Russia St. Parking here on the right at the foot of the spectacular onion-domed Resurrection Orthodox Church, I walked up the hill curving right, passed under the white gate, read the church history, and climbed the steps to the church's porch for just the view of Berlin I was looking for! The church doors were also open, so I got to take a quick look at the lovely interior of the church as well. Then I proceeded back down the steps, through the white gate, turned left and took around 30 steps at about 115 degrees to the short post just to the right of the tall telephone pole with the sign for Petrograd St on it. There just happened to be a hole behind the short pole, so that is where I deposited the "Seal of the City" box, as near as I could comfortably get to the foot of the "Elephant"! Hope it's still there, covered with a few small stones, when you come to visit!
|121. SEAL OF THE MOUNTAINS||Another fine logo stamp carved by RTRW on a short side trail to a nice viewpoint for both ladies and gents in the heart of the Whites.|
I don't want to give too much away on this one, so I'll let you guess just where and what this logo is. Find the facilities on the west side of route 16 nestled beneath Mt. Washington between Wildcat and Jackson. Park here and carefully cross the road with the Appalachian Trail, here also called the Lost Pond trail. After a very short distance, bear left and then left again on a brief uphill spur. Sitting very "ladylike" here on the edge of the rock in the midst of the tiny clearing, looking out over the facilities to the stupendous view, cast a discreet charming glance to the left and find a small pill box tucked under the left side of the nearest balsamic fir, covered with an unobtrusive piece of bark. Gingerly replace the container, return to the trail junction and decide which way you wish to proceed, squarely uphill to the ledges, towards the pond, or back to the facilities! Hope you enjoy your time in the mountains.
410. HIKING UP CHERRY/BERRY MOUNTAIN
(aka "Reds and Blues in the Whites")
|A July/August treat for climbing and berry picking in New Hampshire.|
Well, having hiked all the major mountains in the Whites many times, this Fourth
of July we were looking for something different to do, so we settled on a couple
of lesser peaks. The blueberries weren't quite ripe for the Fourth of July, but
we bet that if you go a couple of weeks later, you will have some excellent
To pick the most obvious berry in these parts, climb the Mountain of that name near Glencliff (more of a thrill than just a hill! :-). At the top find three metal pegs set around a cairn about 3 feet away from it at 70 degrees, 190 degrees and 310 degrees. From that cairn, go about 7 steps at 40 degrees to find your tiny treasure tucked under moss and a small flat rock at the base of a spruce. (This is actually the same stamp that was once used in our Favorite Ornament series, so that accounts for the little hanger on it. First finders may even find an extra berry here!) Please rehide carefully exactly as found.
The other mountain clue will just have to wait until we return from our adventures in Colorado!
|589. Tree-Covered Mountain||A stroll on the way up a lovely tree-covered mountain that still has some terrific views from the top, too!|
Don't let the name fool you: although once famed for its old-growth trees on slopes too steep to be logged, there are still some lovely views from the rock ledges on top of this mountain as well. However, to find this little "rock-stamp", you don't have to climb all the way up to the top if you don't want to. A ten-minute stroll along the lower reaches of the trail, with a pleasant rocky gurgling mountain stream to your left should suffice, if you are short on time or energy. To get the name of the trail and mountain, simply take the name of this clue and omit letters 4-11, 14, and 17-19, and you should have it! Now google it to find out where to begin or use a handy-dandy "50 Hikes"-type book. Once up the trail past the "corduroy logs" section, start looking left for an "L-shaped" tree sitting on a rock just a few feet off trail. Remove the 8-inch rock in front of the flat sitting rock to find a round gray 2-inch stone with trail stamp on back in the right side of the cavity under the sitting rock. If you reach a large cave-like rock formation with moss on top and evergreen bushes sticking out like a crazy hairstyle trailside left, you have gone about 70 steps past the "L-tree", but continuing up the trail is, of course, always its own reward!
|590. Cherry Mudslide||Currently located at a trailhead/road crossing of the New England Trail (NET)/Coos Trail (CT) in northern NH, but may become a hike next time we get up that way, so those of you who like "drive-bys" may want to catch it before it "slip-slides" away to the north…|
To get this little cherry, simply locate the historic marker for a devastating mudslide that occurred in these parts many years ago. Behind that sign, at the back left corner of the parking area, is a trailhead post with CT South on it, among other things. Behind that post, tucked under a few small stones hides a tiny cherry - not too far away from a bunch of little green apples!
|591. …and a Cherry on Top!||On top of a mountain bearing a fruity name as well as the name of the wife of a former president famous for supposedly not lying about cutting down a tree of the same type|
Yes, this mountain seems to have two official names, as well as at least two routes to the top, so, if you're into "cherry picking" some fine hiking routes in the Whites, just take your pick! (Options for this one can range from about 3 to 6 miles round trip.) Once at the top, continue for a few feet past the fire ring to a good sitting rock ahead. At the time I was there, the rocky ledge to the left/east was occupied by an older man who showed no signs of leaving, so, while sitting there on that smaller rock to the right, facing the fire ring, with my back to the views, I discreetly slipped a small mountain-shaped stone with a cherry on its back into the shallow crack between two rocks near my right foot. Hope it stays there unobtrusively waiting in case anyone else ever comes up wanting a cherry on top!
|673. Wanda's Wanda-rings: NH Trails||Drive-by on the "quiet side" of the White Mountains for a great carve by neet|
This remarkable stamp was created by neet of MA, who also lived for some time in northern NH, to represent my backpacking adventures in the White Mountains of NH and adjoining ME when, after multiple thru-hikes of the AT, PCT, etc., I decided that I just had to climb all of the 4000'-ers in New England and backpack as many of the hundreds of miles of connecting trails in the Whites as I possibly could in just one month - September of 1988. And, since this carving features the whole state of NH, it might as well serve for the Wapack Trail, Monadnock Sunapee Greenway and many other trails that I backpacked in NH as well.
Most people in New England are probably familiar with Franconia, Crawford and Pinkham Notches, so I thought I'd leave this box in the slightly less-traveled Evans Notch area on the eastern border of NH with Maine. I first considered leaving it at lovely Emerald Pool, but that trail had a busload of kids visiting the day we planted, so continue north a bit further up route 113 to the Cold River/Basin area just south of the notch itself. After turning west at the Rec Area sign, drive straight about half a mile or so on Basin Road, and park at the Basin Pond boat launch on the north side of the road just before the campground entrance gate. The Basin Trail takes off from the west side of the parking lot. Follow it very briefly to the first yellow-blazed hemlock on the left, then take 3 or 4 more steps along the trail, turn right 5 or 6 more steps north off trail, then a couple steps back east to a small well-protected cave on the north side of a 2' x 3' boulder. Hope you enjoy exploring this area!
BEFORE YOU SET OUT, PLEASE READ THE
WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER..
You can find information about this hobby at Letterboxing North America (LbNA)
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