Wanda and Pete's Letterbox Hikes


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214. RI "SWOH" GRAVEYARD
(aka just say "NO" to "SWOH")
A mile or so loop through Westerly Woods and down to the Pawcatuck River to pass off some "ghosts" of the past.

Well, we figured it really wouldn't be quite fair to complain about all the "SWOH" (i.e. stamps without hikes: PT's, PLB's, event stamps, cooties, etc.) that some folks are creating these days, if we were still producing any of it ourselves! Granted we thought it was rather harmless when we first saw some of it coming out a few years back because it was such a small part of our total letterboxing experience, and even nowadays it still accounts for less than 5% of both our total finds and plants. However, since we have now seen some "stamp addicts" getting more than half their "finds" just by going to stamp collecting gatherings and such, we figured it was high time to fight to preserve our North American-style letterboxing tradition by just saying "NO" to "SWOH"!

So, to do our part, we're planting our most recent "SWOH" in our RI "SWOH" graveyard, with hopes that many other folks around the country will follow suit! (We've been heartened to see how some people, like Flutterby and Music Woman, have been planting their old postals lately, and certainly hope that this process can work for other types of "SWOH", too, at least for those not contaminated by food odors, like our old "Chocolate Box"!:-) Anyway, just to try to "fit in", we rather misguidedly produced two more pieces of "SWOH" for a recent Halloween gathering already totally swarming in the stuff! It is only fitting, therefore, that we should now bury those "ghosts" in the spooky woods of our haunted childhood memories!

To find the spot called Westerly Woods, locate the intersection of Upper Canal St with Boombridge Rd in Westerly's North End, head east from there a short distance on Potter Hill Rd., then turn north for a bit on Laurel to the parking lot on the left marked with a granite stone and a trail map. (Total driving distance scarcely a mile.) Follow the yellow trail across the power lines, then start looking for a 3x5 foot boulder next to a 1.5 foot dbh double-trunk oak tree just a few feet off trail to the right. Beneath the ENE edge of that rock, find the "Game Inspectors". (A PT created to impart our image of "haunting figures" coming to "inspect" the "SWOH games", not to partake in them, although we did make a sample page full of disease-producing microbes to show others as a "cautionary tale!:-)

Anyway, from the rock, continue following the yellow trail again as it twists and turns gently downhill following the arrows, passing through a couple of stone walls and by several side trails. Eventually the trail levels off and swings to the right, crosses a small stream and arrives at a granite trail marker. Turn left onto the white trail and continue downhill. Cross a boardwalk and wind through the laurel bushes toward the river and the stamp that was the low point of our journey. A large beech on the right will command "No Hunting" and a stonewall will be before you. In the left end of the wall opening, low and behind a 2x3 inch stone that is somewhat orange when compared to its mossy green companions is a sickly yellow bottle containing a former event image induced by the theme "What scares you?". The river is 25 steps beyond the wall and offers a nice view while you stamp in. Replace carefully in the intermural fashion of child sacrifice depicted in "The Bridge on the River Drina" so it doesn't come back and haunt you! Then make your way back up the yellow trail loop after turning left off of the short white branch, and please feel free to plant any of your own "SWOH" here in the many hiding places along the way, or in any other potential "SWOH Graveyard" you may happen upon in your travels!


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BEFORE YOU SET OUT, PLEASE READ THE WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER..

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