Wanda and Pete's Letterboxes - New Jersey

Index to Our Other Letterboxes


195. GORP (aka Wanda Yanda Wawayanda) About a 3 mile round trip on a very well built section of the Appalachian Trail in northern New Jersey near the New York border.

You will need yellow and black and red ink pens for these boxes. (Otherwise, these little images will not make any sense, and blue peanuts would certainly not look edible!:-)

This series of tubular GORP-containing letterboxes was originally planted briefly in Lincoln Woods, RI, as part of our Hungry Rocks III series, but we quickly decided that GORP could be made better use of on even a slightly more strenuous hike, like the AT in NJ, where hikers could pick up these pieces of "Great Old Raisins and Peanuts" (GORP) going up or down Mount Wawayanda. Before we had a chance to get back down to NJ, several other boxes had appeared in the Wawayanda area, so we just planted our GORP a little further up Wawayanda to make you wander a bit yonder!

To find these microboxes, drive a couple of miles north from Vernon, NJ, or south from New Milford, NY on route 94, and pull into the AT parking lot on the east side of the road. From the kiosk, follow the white blazes curving gently around the field, then up the "staircases" beautifully built in the 1990s through the rocks towards the top of the mountain. (Having built a few steps on trails ourselves, we can appreciate just how much work this entails, as well as how much easier it makes the trail to hike!) Near the top of the mountain, you may wish to take a side trip to the overlook when you see the blue-blazed trail on your left.

From that junction, continue on up to the viewless summit where you will find an AT register mailbox on a tree with a sign for a vista at 0.8 mile down the old AT route of the 1980s, which is now a blue-blazed trail on the right. With the mailbox at your right shoulder, take about 48 to 50 steps down that trail at about 200 degrees to stand on the middle of a long slab of rock right in the trail. Turn around facing back the way you came, and look into the south-facing side of a small rock-filled crevice of a low rock overhang right next to the trail on your right. Get your "Peanuts" here! (Take as many as you want, but please try to keep them tan or yellow!)

Now you may return the way you came to get the rest of the GORP ingredients. At the tree with 4 white blazes, now on your left continue straight on an unmarked trails at about 300 degrees for about 12 steps. Look a couple of steps to the right to see a ledge rock with several smaller stone on its west side. Under leaves and a small reddish rounded rock , find your "Raisins". (Please keep them black or dark brown!)

Continue down the trail a short distance. Just before you get back to the blue blazed lookout trail now on your right, see a narrow U-shaped maple tree on your right just by the trail. Look under leaves and a small rock at east side base of the tree for your "Emmies" (Such a favorite among thru hikers that there even has even been a backpackers' song written about them!) Please color the M&Ms red so that the GORP doesn't get too dull, and rehide especially discreetly since this box is so close to the trail! Enjoy the lookout if you haven't already done so, and watch your footing going carefully back down the mountain!

198. MR SUNRISE A drive-by off a scenic woodsy 7 mile one-way paved road along the northern part of Kittatinny Ridge in northwestern New Jersey.

Reported missing

About 9 miles south of where the AT crosses route 23 at High Point, NJ and about 5 miles north of where the AT crosses route 26 at Culver's Gap, NJ is a place called Sunrise Mountain. Having always backpacked my way into this area on my AT thru-hikes of the 80s and 90s, I had never before driven the road leading to the top of the mountain, but since I did that on a recent drive home from Pennsylvania (May 2007), I couldn't resist leaving an impromptu stamp at that rather surprising sunrise spot. It will be up to the finder to try to make something artistic out of this very crude carving! :)

We are also leaving it up to the searcher to find the one-way road and drive along it about half way to where it briefly becomes a two-way stretch up to the parking lot. Look behind the bike rack near the men's outhouse. See the white rock at the foot of a tree. Examine its east side for the microbox tucked in tightly next to the tree. Please only reach for it when no one is looking and rehide exactly as found!

662. Wanda's Wanda-rings: NY/NJ Trails A short stroll near the NY/NJ border to represent the many backpacking "warm-up rings" I once made throughout this area

I wasn't quite sure where I would want to leave this stamp carved by Arf! of MA for marking my "wanda-rings" throughout NY/NJ when backpacking as many trail loops as I could find in preparation for some of my longer backpacking excursions in the early 1980's. I'd considered planting in several places I'd hiked, from the Batona Trail in the Pine Barrens to the many loops of the Harriman-Suffern-Bear Mountain area, but decided that Ringwood would be about as appropriate and accessible as anywhere around for these particular "wanda-rings"

So, to find this box, make your way south from NY via Sloatsburg Road or north on NJ 511 to the appropriately named state park near the border. There is also a nice manor house here that you can tour for a small fee. From the cannon on the south side of that house, head west across the lawn through the "stand-alone iron gates" to pick up the yellow trail by crossing a culvert, turning right, then quickly left and bearing left to continue towards the treeline. Soon inside the woods you should see several double yellow blazes and on the left near the stream historical marker #14. After reading the information on that plaque, take about 18 steps at 30 degrees to a 2-trunk tree with a small tilted sitting rock in front of it and look behind the tree for the box tucked under a discreetly placed stone and some leaves.

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


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

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