Wanda and Pete's Letterboxes - Southern RI
BEFORE YOU SET OUT, PLEASE READ THE
WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER.
|2. BIRDHOUSE HEAVEN||Here is an easy, 1/2 mile loop in the suburbs of southwestern RI, a nice little stop on your way to the beach perhaps.|
RETIRED 28 APRIL 2006 but the associated bonus box is still there: see below.
From Wilcox Park and library in the center of Westerly, RI continue easterly on Route 1 North (up hill on Granite St. and then along Franklin St) about 1 mile to the third light on Franklin St. With the Mobil gas station in the triangle directly in front of you, bear right of the station onto East Avenue. Go exactly 1 mile to a hidden driveway on the left marked by stone pillars on either side. Although you might never have guessed, this is the main entrance to Moore Woods. Park in here next to an old brown shed (shed removed in 2002).
Walk east past the red gate (not too fast - jogging is prohibited here!), with a stonewall on your right. Pass through the first stonewall opening and curve gently right (south), admiring the variety of trees that were planted here over the years. Just before the second stonewall opening swing left and eastward onto cushy pine needles. (Going through the opening will take you onto a nice short loop through another small portion of the Moore Woods property which you might like to visit now or save for the walk back.)
With stonewall and open field on your right, soon pass through another stonewall and begin to count birdhouses. How many can you find? Turn left (north) just before a metal gate and pass more birdhouses in the surrounding fields. Turn right (east again) through the next stonewall break.
From the silver maple on your left, head generally southeast toward the big spruces. 15 steps due south from between the second and third spruces should take you to your treasure. Let us know your birdhouse count! (Hint: Further exploration of the area may lead you to more birdhouses and foundations, but be on the lookout for poison ivy when going off trail.)
|55. LITTLE BIRD||Here is an easy, 1/2 mile loop in the suburbs of southwestern RI, a nice little stop on your way to the beach perhaps.|
"Birdhouse Heaven" has been retired, but for those still interested in looking for the little "Bonus Bird", after entering into the main part of the park past the house on the right, go to that second stone wall opening that leads to the southern part of the property. From the sign near that opening, head east along the stone wall, then south with the path. From the twin trunk cedar on the left, take about another 50 steps to another cedar on your right. Look left here low in the bottom of the stone wall behind a small trap door for the lonely little bird, wishing someone would carve a tiny little bird stamp to replace him, or keep him company!
Please close the "cage" carefully. Thanks.
|4. BLUE JAY at BLUE POND||Yet another fine fishing pond within the domain of "Canonchet's Waters" in Ashaway, RI - an easy 2 miles or less.|
Checked box - OK 18 April 2011
The pond was damaged during the flooding of March 2010. It now contains only enough water to make the frogs happy.
Blue Pond in Hopkinton, RI can be accessed from Exit 2 off of I-95 by heading briefly west, then south on Route 3 for 1/2 mile, then west again on Canonchet Rd. Follow Canonchet Rd for almost 2 miles, passing Asheville Pond on the left, to a small Fish and Wildlife parking area on the right. (A sign says that the only activities permitted here are fishing and boating, but somehow I think that just hiking in, even without a boat or fishing pole, would probably be OK!)
Follow the laurel-lined lane (quite lovely in June) east, soon catching a glimpse of an old fireplace on your left. In about 1/2 mile, reach the foundation of a small house that once stood overlooking the pond. 50 yards further will lead you onto a wedge-shaped rock jutting out into the pond - a nice view point. Returning to the southern corner of the old foundation and continuing 80 yards back the way you came, and just west of a large oak tree find a faint trail heading generally south to take you along and above the pond's western shore. Just as you reach what appears to be the highest point of this stretch of trail and just before a small white pine on your left, take a bearing of 250 and walk 6 steps in that direction. Your treasure is tucked low into the NW side of this particular rock.
From here, you can return the way you came or continue briefly south with the trail, passing an old campfire ring, to reach the pond's south end. Taking the dirt road that swings between south and west will soon return you to paved Canonchet Rd, and a 1/2 mile north on this usually quiet byway will get you back to your car. (The trailhead for Long Pond is just up the road a bit on your left, and Route 138 in Rockville is about a mile past that.)
|5 - 6. KIMBALL ARBUTUS WALK||2 letterboxes just outside of a lovely little Audubon Sanctuary in southwestern RI and a prime spot to see trailing arbutus blooming in the latter part of April.|
Removed by the chairman of the Kimball Wildlife Refuge on 28 February 2002.
|24 - 25. UP NORTH / DOWN SOUTH||A couple of easy 1-2 hour loops in the Carolina Management Area in southern RI. Wear orange from October through the end of February as hunting is allowed in this area.|
Checked box - OK 18 April 2011
Carolina Management Area is located on both sides of Pine Hill Road, south of Hope Valley and Wyoming, RI and north of Wood River Junction and Carolina, RI. The main hunters' parking lot can be reached by driving on Pine Hill Rd 0.7 mile east from Hope Valley Rd / Switch Rd. (north of Chariho Regional High School) or 1.6 miles west from Richmond Town House Rd (Rt. 112) just north of the "octagon house". The parking lot is on the south side of the road, along with a red DEM building, an old outhouse, and a small cemetery.
From the main parking lot, head west on Pine Hill Rd., crossing Meadow Brook, and turning north on dirt Meadowbrook Trail. If you need to make a shorter loop, you may drive up this dirt road about 3/4 mile, following the North - South Trail markers. Almost immediately after the log barrier, bear left on the unmarked Jerue Trail, while the N/S Trail arrows point right. Just past where the Gardiner Trail branches right and where you will notice one of several aberrant N/S Trail markers, there is a convergence of stone walls, also on your right. Continuing to the "T" junction, turn left (SW) onto the Habrek Trail and follow this path gently downhill, passing a 10ft boulder on you right. When you see the remains of a large foundation on your right, head off trail to its southern corner, then take 15 steps along the western side of the eastern wall of the enclosure to the highest remaining stone and sift through the leaves in the cranny below. Then continue just a short distance to the next junction and turn left uphill on the unmarked Shippee Trail. If you are doing the shorter loop, bear left onto the Essex Trail and then turn left on Meadowbrook Trail following it back to your car at the log barrier. If you are doing the longer loop, turn right at the Essex junction, then bear left onto unmarked Duprey Trail for a pleasant, easy-going mile to Pine Hill Rd., on which you briefly walk east back to the main parking lot.
Relocated June 5, 2002 due to poison ivy encroaching on old location.
From the main parking lot, bear left (SE) past the outhouse and then keep heading south along the old gravelly road, passing several wildlife clearings and side trails. After a little over a mile, turn left at the "T" junction, keeping a line of pines on your right through which you can see an open field beyond. Just before entering that field, bear left at the fork, heading generally east along the edge of a larger field, passing an old tumble-down barn, until you reach the North - South Trail opening with its blue markers. Go NE gently down this pine needle covered path, passing a canoe camp on this upper part of the Pawcatuck River reached via a short unmarked spur trail to the east. Soon the blue blazes curve N, NW, and W to take you to the white picket fence of the Kenyon cemetery on your right. Directly opposite perpendicular to the trail is a stonewall. Look behind a trap door located five or six steps along the east side of this wall. Then continue along the main path to the next junction. From here you have about a mile to go, whether you bear left on the grassy path and then right on the gravelly road you started in on, or continue on the N/S Trail to paved Pine Hill Road and then walk west back to your car.
|32. GRASS POND||A nice little loop, c. 1 mile on preserved land in Richmond, RI.|
Grass Pond Preserve protects a special RI ecosystem - a coastal plain quagmire that is home to many relatively rare insects including the bog copper butterfly, the pine barrens bluet, the elfin skimmer, and the ringed boghaunter. Because of its fragility, the pond itself is generally off-limits to the public (except for occasional guided walks). However, a short loop on the north side of Wilbur Hill Rd presently gives access to at least one "letterboxing bug"!
To reach the preserve, follow route 138 east just under 2 miles from exit 3 off I95. Then head 1/2 mile south on route 112 and 1/2 mile east on Wilbur Hill Rd to the parking spot by the sign.
Continue walking east on the unpaved portion of Wilbur Hill Rd until you see a big rock on your left with trail markings pointing north (left). Follow this trail as it swings past several lichen covered rock outcroppings, taking either branch of the kite-shaped loop at its northeastern end. At the most easterly point of the loop, where the trail makes a very sharp turn near a stone wall, take a seat on the log with your back to the stone wall. Look to your left, then take 3 steps in that direction from the end of the log and look for a bug hidden behind a trap door or two in the stone wall.
To return, complete the loop to the bottom of the "kite" and walk out on the path you came in on. You may wish to look for "Birthday Blossoms" during your journey as well.
|33. QUEEN OF A RIVER||A little gem of preserved river land in Exeter, RI for golden hearted letterboxers to add to their crowns.|
Replaced stamp on March 8, 2007 and put in a new location, see QUEEN OF A RIVER II. A geocache moved into the area, our stamp went missing, and the rocks got grafitti. The neighborhood seemed to be going downhill so we moved our box up the road to a posher location!
The Queen's River is perhaps one of the most pristine in RI. The area also contains a rather rare RI example of a pine barrens environment, although this one is "logged" by volunteers to keep it from disappearing. To reach this spot in Exeter, take Rte. 2 3.5 miles south of Rte. 102 or 3.3 miles north of Rte. 138. Turn west on Mail Road 0.9 mile to dirt School Land Woods Road on the right, then another 0.9 mile to a gate and small signed pull off on the left. Walk in on the sandy lane through the pines about half a mile to the river and bridge. The box is in an alcove beneath the northern side of the middle of 3 rocks on the bridge's north side and the river's eastern bank. Return the way you came in or take some time to explore.
|41. HOLLY TREES IMPROMPTU||An easy (c. 1/2 mile) add-on to the Great Swamp in West Kingston, RI.|
Checked box - OK 19 May 2007
Follow the directions to Laurette's Adventures of Tintin Letterbox in the Great Swamp. While returning on the main path straight back from the hanger to your car, start looking for holly trees after the powerline. When you see 3 large ones on your left (before you reach the first fork you took on your way out) locate a small stump just past them, and find an impromptu letterbox tucked under the 6th rock behind and to the right of that stump. Please bring your own pen and ink, since I was somewhat unprepared that day and didn't have any extras with me. It is also up to you to try to make something artistic out of the critter-carved field-stone stamp! Good luck!
Note: the hanger was moved to Richmond Airport in Sept. 2004 to make a museum.
|III. THE WARRIOR|
Missing again - April 2007
Back in place on Oct 15; checked Nov 9, 2006.
This Warrior, carved and packaged by ScoutDogs in Indiana, can be found in a place that has harbored several different varieties of warriors over the years. To find this particular one's hiding place, go to an island that is now joined by a free bridge to the mainland and by a toll bridge to another island. Take the Helm [he's wearing a fine one! :-) ], then go South on North 'till you find yourself continuing Southwest. Pass roads to 2 other more well known forts to your left and right, then find an ever-ready, heavy-handed lane on the right. When you drive to the parking lot at the end, your prospects are looking up to a park newly cleared and rededicated by a community effort on June 29, 2002. Take the path to the right to view the breastworks utilized by soldiers in different uniforms. To find one more, dressed to the hilt in even older style, scout out the middle of the multi-maple by Burnett's bench. You may complete the loop by going past a large rock concealing a small cannon, then continuing past a bunker sporting a rather suspenseful geocache. Hope you've enjoyed your brief trek through a bellicose bit of history.
|68-70. HUNGRY ROCKS||A few little treats added to a pleasant loop in Arcadia-South, Exeter, RI, just northwest of Browning Mill Pond.|
We must have been awfully hungry recently when we visited Peace Amy's letterbox,
"Dad's Birthday Box", starting out from a small parking lot on the left just down Bates Schoolhouse Road off Arcadia road, just south from route 165. Several of the rocks we saw along the way seemed to be sporting "mouths" just asking to be fed, so we decided to return with a few little tidbits to fill them up!
The first "fast food" we planted can be reached from the red gate in just about as many steps as a "centipede" supposedly has "feet". Step lively - your "Fries" are tucked into a microbox about 2 inches to the right of a tiny white pine growing out of the jaws of a big rock on the right. Watch your fingers!
Next, if you're having a "Big Mac Attack", look for your "Burger" a relatively short distance down on your left in the small maw of a "pucker-mouth rock", about 10 steps down-trail and then 10 steps off-trail from a clump of "dated" beech trees. Hope this holds you for a while!
Continue on the loop to find Dad's Birthday Box (bent tree is broken now, so just go 30 steps and look under stones), and then perhaps you'll be ready for some cake. The trail winds quite a bit as it heads back towards the dirt road you started out on, but be on the lookout for a very hard to see rock well into the woods that seems to be grinning at you like a snapping turtle from behind a tree. Even if you do not see it, just go straight ahead about 35 steps at 160 degrees at the point where the trail makes a sharp bend left to the east. When you get down to the rock, carefully run your fingers through the pine needles and dirt in the south side crack of the rock - not in the turtle's mouth! Hope that was a "Piece of Cake"!
About 150 more steps down the trail will take you to the dirt road you came in on, and you can turn right back to your car. However, if you are still hungry or on the South Beach Letterboxing Diet, just cross the dirt road, and walk another 80 steps along the mountain bike trail to find a rock on the right with a large fish mouth. The bottom right corner harbors "Bacon and Eggs".
Head back the way you came or look for "More Hungry Rocks".
|71-73. MORE HUNGRY ROCKS||More mini add-ons starting from Bates Schoolhouse Rd. off Arcadia Road between Browning Mill Pond and Rte. 165 in Exeter, RI.|
Seems that those rocks around Dad's Birthday and the first Hungry Rocks series are still hungry! When we went back there recently, we couldn't even get as far as the "Fries" before they started calling out to us. The third large rock on the right about 30 steps after the red gate was growling rather loudly, so we had to stuff a slice of "Pizza" low down into the corner of its gaping maw so it would let us pass!
We safely continued past the "Hamburger and then took the yellow trail to the right. Shortly on the left we noticed a huge rock with a big dead tree trunk leaning across the middle of it, reminiscent of the straw in a giant's "Root Beer Float". We decided to leave a miniature version of that in the crack just to the right of that tree where ferns were dribbling out like foam from that float.
Continuing on a ways further, past the biker's log jump, we finally spotted the Big Monster Rock on the left with its ferny head and a mustache of black foliose lichen. Just to the left of that mustache, next to a swag of moss to the left of a piece of bark about to be chewed, you might find a bunch of grapes about to be swallowed. Tuck them back in safely near the moss after you've taken your sample, but please don't let them go all the way down! Then return the way you came, or go looking for more hungry mouths to feed!
75. BIRTHDAY BLOSSOMS (aka FLOWERS TURNING INTO BUTTERFLIES)
||An RI "add-on" originally planted for Laurette's birthday in 2003, featuring a stamp of mountain laurel blossoms turning into butterflies.|
This box used to be a bonus to our "Grass Pond" letterbox. However, to avoid confusion, we have now decided to list it as a regular letterbox. From the bottom of the "kite" mentioned in the "Grass Pond" clues, just backtrack uphill about 30 steps, hop over the stone wall to your right and look left under the middle of a rock that serves as a "sheltering roof". Please hide discreetly with leaves to cover the box, and use pink ink on both the flowers and the butterflies to preserve the metaphor. Thanks!
80-86. PETE'S PILLOW (aka CONSULTANDO CON LA ALMOHADA)
||A 4 mile loop in the Tefft Hill area of Arcadia in Exeter, RI with 7 stamps that fit together to make Pete's Pillow.|
CHECKED - OK on 9 April 2011 except dead tree marking second microbox appears to be gone.
This series is based on a special pillow that I once gave Pete for his birthday several years ago. The starting point is the same as for Mike and Christine's "St Anger" letterbox. Find the dirt lane heading east across the street from Browning Mill Pond on Arcadia Road south of Rte. 165. Head down it to the gate or park in the fishing access area just to the North (at "tuna rock").
To find the central box for the pillow, walk past the gate down the dirt lane to the first trail junction at 344d. Take that bearing about 20-25 steps, and find the main middle part of the pillow under the S side of the biggest rock in the jumble off trail to your left.
Go back to the junction and continue uphill on the dirt road, passing the trail at 151d. When you see a stonewall on the left, look under a small rock on the NE side of the nearby twin tree for the first of six microbox pieces that fit around the central portion of the pillow. (Can you guess what the others might be?)
Next take the trail at 207d until you see a dead birch tree that is still standing (for now) on a rock on the left side of the trail. Find you next pillow piece on its back side tucked beneath the many shelved of green tinted fungus growing near the bottom of the tree.
Continue on trail to a 4 way intersection where you go 223d. At the next junction, take the trail at 174d up to the top of the ridge to a big boulder. Going back downhill the way you came a few steps, you will see a rock that is being engulfed by its neighboring tree to the right side of the trail. Find your next piece tucked into the bottom of that rock.
Now you have a relatively long segment just to walk and enjoy the trail, paying special attention to the rocks and logs that can be rather slippery when wet. Eventually cross streams and stone walls to reach an old foundation at a T junction. At the T, turn to 284d and proceed until you spy a large rock about a dozen steps off trail to your left in the midst of pine needles. Look under the NE corner of the rock closest to the trail. (Listen carefully, you might hear Metallica playing nearby!)
Continue along the trail until you reach a sharp left turn marked by a tree on the left hand side with double yellow blazes on both sides (2nd blaze now fading). There is a beech tree at 70d, and just to the right of that another tree with a sweet little pillow piece resting at its base under a small rock corner covered with leaves.
To finish your pillow, continue on yellow crossing thru a stone wall and over a small bridge. Then turn right on white until you see a stone wall on the left with a triple trunk tree just beyond. About 10 steps back the way you came, find 2 small trees growing on a rock and twisting around each other for a kiss. At the foot of the larger one, hidden under moss and a stone, find your last piece of the pillow. Continue on to close the loop and head back down the dirt lane to your car, perhaps pausing once again at the pillow base to comment on your journey. Hope you find a lot of love along the way.
104. HEART'S TREASURE
||Just a little treasure box to remind us of some special gifts of the spirit!|
April 10, 2005 This box went missing before anyone (except the vandals) found it!
Find a chapel in the pines tucked behind a donut shop not far from the 4-corners of Dunn off Route 1. From there wind your way down to the pulpit in the pines, then carefully wind back up westerly through the rows of benches to the last big boulder before the stone wall. From this rock, a dozen steps northerly gets you near the end of your little journey - a small low rock sanctuary sheltering a scallop shell, symbol of the many wanderers who have for centuries made pilgrimages to the shine of Santiago da Campostela! May letterboxing provide you with many sweet pilgrimages also and opportunities to share your heart as well ... ojala!
116. "V" IS FOR "VIRTU"
||A Memorial Day weekend festival microbox in Wilcox Park, Westerly, RI|
Just a tiny little "v" stuck on the end of a Cherokee rose that we brought back from Oklahoma recently, but if you happen to be in the area checking out the art festival going on in Wilcox Park in the center of Westerly, RI on Saturday and Sunday, May 28 - 29, 2005, between 10AM and 5PM, you might as well stamp into this microbox, too! After wandering around through the park, once called New England's largest "village green", head over to the northernmost corner, closest to the entrance to the YMCA on High St. (parking sometimes available here near Other Tiger book store) Take about a dozen steps south along the fence/stonewall border to a big hole in the wall at foot level. Above this cavity is a quarry rock with 5 notches cut into it. On the top left corner of this big rock, under a slender piece of concrete and some oak leaves, find the microbox, then please replace it discreetly exactly as found!
118. GET WHALE SOON
||A microbox planted in Westerly, RI to go along with the Whale Trail sculptures temporarily on display along the CT/RI coast.|
Both the Whale Trail and this box were retired in Nov 2005
To find this tiny whale, make your way to the center of Westerly and locate a place to park somewhere along Broad St (Rte 1) or High St (heading north from Rte 1). At the intersection of these two streets note the eyes on the flowery cetaceous fellow adorning the center island. Then head generally east across the road, taking the path between the post office and the library, then curving behind the library toward the fountain, and then hopping over to the Runaway Bunny. From the big bunny, head south to the pillar of the stone wall where the wall joins the iron railing paralleling the sidewalk. (A white lucky numbered house is just across the street.) To "get whale soon", very discreetly look at about 5 ft eye level under three small stones on the left side of the pillar while facing the street. Please replace this little box very carefully so that nothing looks disturbed!
119. "S" is for "Shakespeare in the Park"
||Another short time "letter" placed in a microbox for this event in Westerly that runs through 7/31/05.|
For "Shakespeare in the Park", find a place to park somewhere around Wilcox Park in the center of Westerly, RI. If you are circling through downtown Westerly northbound on Rte 1 you can turn left at the light onto Rte 3, and usually find a place to park along here or on Wilcox Avenue, the short road on your right. After parking, carefully cross Rte 3 at Wilcox Avenue and enter the park, heading generally north. If you come around 8PM any day except Monday through the end of July, you can catch this year's Shakespeare offering - "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Walk behind the set and then around either side of the very tall water lilies to the light post in the far northeast corner of the park. Go up 7 steps and walk toward the next set, but stop before taking them. Instead turn east and take about 12 steps to the "cave" in the stonewall. Look on the left side of the big stone atop the cave, taking careful note of 2 small pieces of concrete and a triangular rock, so that you can remove them, take out the microbox, and afterwards replace them exactly the same way. Thanks for visiting "Shakespeare in the Park".
123. BACON AND EGGS
||An add-on to the Hungry Rocks Series.|
See numbers 68 - 70 above. Clue is embedded in the Hungry Rocks after the somewhat elusive Piece of Cake.
144. BEN FRANKLIN in RHODE ISLAND
||A small box placed near where this famous person stayed when he came to visit southern RI.|
Checked box - OK 21 July 2011
Finally getting around to officially adding this one to the LbNA list to commemorate Ben's 300th birthday today! (1/17/06)
At first, we had planned to plant this stamp image of Ben Franklin, carved by RTRW of CT, on one of our trips down to PA. Then, however, we realized there were several Ben Franklin boxes already down there near Philadelphia. Suddenly, I remembered one of my grade school teachers telling us that Ben had actually visited southern RI, and that people could take a tour of the house where he stayed and view some of his letters there. Now you can also find a letterbox there in his honor.
From "Joshua's Store" just follow the stone wall to the east. At ground level in the southeastern most crevice next to a big end rock, two small stones hide your prize. Please note exactly how they are placed so you can completely rehide the box when you are finished. Otherwise the trash collectors might get it, and Ben would never appreciate that!
146. ONE MORE LITTLE ANGEL
||A quick "fly-by" off the Shelter Trail loop in Exeter, RI.|
Knowing how much we love letterboxing, our 85-year old friend Bruna gave us
another little stamp to plant for Christmas 2005. Appropriately enough, it's a
tree-toting, peace banner-carrying angel that we planted near the end of the
loop where our former "Peace/Angel" ski-boxing series (#59) comes back out onto
Breakheart Road in the Arcadia Management Area of Exeter, RI. Here are the
150. NEW BEGINNINGS HHH
||An easy "on/off" way to give a hitcher a lift while passing through RI on I-95. (Not good for rainy or icy conditions)|
Well, our Inn of the End hitcher hostel in Charlestown wasn't getting too much business, and hitchers were getting stranded there for rather long periods of time, so we thought we'd find a spot where they might be able to catch rides a bit quicker! This spot is right off Exit 3 in Hope Valley / Richmond / Wyoming, RI, heading east on route 138 just a few hundred feet. Turn into the park and ride lot on the south side of the road, and head towards the furthest west parking space. From there, follow a little pine needle covered path straight up the embankment about 20 steps at 200 degrees. Bear right onto a faint trail at 260 degrees for about 40 steps, then right again at 280 degrees on an even fainter trail for about 20 steps towards a long flat sheet of tilted black rock overlooking the turnpike. 30 steps at 200 degrees, side-stepping any obstacles or low branches, should get you to a cushy, mossy spot between some white pines. (10 steps further and you'd be standing on a geodetic survey marker!) Stop and look left about 5 steps away for the hostel hidden under a few discreet branches on the northeast side of the pine, about a foot and a half away from it. Hope you enjoy visiting "New Beginnings" and sending off another hitcher or two out "into the wild"!
154. HELP STAMP OUT HOMELESSNESS
||A long walk across a small state for a good cause. Available occasionally as a traveler for those who tell us for which year and event this stamp was originally carved (or perhaps for those who tell us what good cause they are currently personally serving!)|
Starting on Sunday May 21st, 2006 with a kick-off from the Westerly Town Hall at noon, and ending Thursday May 25th, 2006 at the Providence State Home, many people from across the state will be joining in a "march to end homelessness in RI" called "The Journey Home". Both of our churches will be participating in this event to help raise funds and awareness for the 6,000 people in our state, about 1/3 of them being children, who were homeless last year. Rest stops with refreshments will be provided at our "mother church" (Dunn's Corners Presbyterian) and our "father church" (St Andrews Lutheran on Sunday at about 2:00PM and 4:00PM respectively). Anyone wishing to meet up with us along the way please feel free to ask us for this limited time stamp to "help stamp out homelessness"!
162. MAGICAL MYSTERY CRUISE
||A nice little memory of our three original "letterboxing cruises", going way back to 2003! May 2007 - Now back in its RI homeport in a slightly different berth.|
Between ports-of-call (that is, most of the time) this cruise ship can be found near the New Beginnings hostel off exit 3 of I-95 in RI. The ship used to be docked about 14 steps southerly from the geodetic survey marker which is located about 10 steps south of the hostel. (The old clue referred to the special rate of $199 for a 4-day cruise from Long Beach to Catalina Island to San Diego to Ensenada and back on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line on Jan 22, 2007). However, there is now a government insect trap near the "old pier" and the cruise price went up, so the ship has sailed a bit north. Just add about $160 to the old best cruise price for that January date and take that bearing for as many steps as there are letters in the first part of the cruise line name, starting from the hostel under the pine. Look down under the needles by another pine tree right by the path.
Please cover the ship discreetly so that it looks completely natural, and so that no one else will inadvertently find out about this "special cruise deal". Good luck and bon voyage!
177. ONE MORE LITTLE BERRY
||A little mystery in RI.|
After you have gotten your peanut berries, you just might wish to get one more little antioxidant down the road! If so, follow your nose to the start of the blue plate special, note the great blue heron with fish near the entrance, go to the middle of the second parking space past the two with blue handicap parking signs and look low behind the little blue grayish stone in the crack to the right of the black lamppost. Be sure to cover this little berry carefully.
|179. QUEEN OF A RIVER II||A little gem of preserved river land in Exeter, RI for golden hearted letterboxers to add to their crowns.|
The Queen's River is perhaps one of the most pristine in RI. We once went kayaking with Moonstone Baby and other letterboxing friends along the southern portion of this beautiful river, but this letterbox is at the other end. The area also contains a rather rare RI example of a pine barrens environment, although this one is "logged" by volunteers to keep it from disappearing. To reach this spot in Exeter, take Rte. 2 3.5 miles south of Rte. 102 or 3.3 miles north of Rte. 138. Turn west on Mail Road 0.9 mile to dirt School Land Woods Road on the right, then another 0.9 mile to a gate and small signed pull off on the left. Walk in on the sandy lane through the pines about half a mile to the river and bridge.
From the bridge go back about 40 steps and find a small path to the right. Go down this path about 40 more steps to a fallen tree. Under this tree just a couple of feet from the root end, the Queen has taken up residence in a soft bed of fragrant pine needles. Return the way you came in or take some time to explore.
180. TRIPLE CROWNS FOR THE QUEEN
||Some additions to this little gem of preserved river land in Exeter, RI.|
One your way back from Queen of a River II, pass two sandy dirt tracks on your right (the first one has an old cemetery down it a short way on the right), then a big wolf pine tree on the right, and then turn right just past the double trunk pine. Follow the piney path about 40 steps until you see a nurse stump on the left on a slight uphill. The first crown is tucked into the end of the nurse log (6 steps at 135 degrees). Make sure the hole is well covered when you're done.
Continue on the narrow piney trail to look out over a field. Then backtrack about a dozen steps to where you can see a small nook under the curved trunks of a tiny double tree on the right about 4 steps off trail just past a big white pine.
Return to the main trail and head back toward your car. Stop 80 steps before you reach the metal gate to find the third crown off to your right about 15 steps at the top northern corner of an old foundation. It is under moss pine needles, twigs and a small flat stone.
192. SWEET PEAS IN A POD
||A short walk to a moss green "peapod" in Arcadia Management Area, Exeter, RI|
Checked and found 13 Jan 2008.
This stamp of two hearts in a peapod was inspired by a valentine card created by Dale End Farm of Sudbury, MA. We meant to plant the box at Breakheart Pond for Valentine's Day, but someone else had that same idea, so we planted our peas nearby for St Patrick's Day.
To find these peas take Frosty Hollow Road north from the white church at "Appie Crossing" on route 165. Turn left at the end of the road for 4/10 of a mile to the parking area on the left in the open field. Once across the field find the third white blaze on your right in the direction you are walking and then continue 60-65 steps further. From there 10 steps west will bring you to our peapod in a little piney cubby behind a little mossy door.
If you continue down this trail, you will reach the piece of the Four Seasons puzzle planted by Moonstone. (Part of the DEF Tribute Series: Wanda and Pete)
||Oh no, the tree has now keeled over, but we placed the stamp in memorium anyway, on the west side of Breakheart Pond in Exeter, RI|
Checked box - OK 1 Jan 2009
While walking around Breakheart Pond for Valentine's Day 2007, we were struck by the image of a huge stump, about 10 feet tall, topped by an almost perfect circle of wood which, although it appeared to be dead, had live branches coming out of its top. We vowed to return to plant a box to commemorate this "alive alive-o tree" arising out of the dead wood.
Unfortunately, by the time we finally got around to planting the box, a terrific storm had blown through the area, knocking the wood circle and its living branches completely over into the nearby stream. Now, we can no longer call the remaining stump alive, but if you stand on the granite block overlooking the stream to the west, you can still see the big dead O resting just inches above the water with the formerly living branches reaching some 20 feet upstream, now destined nevermore to sprout leaves.
To find find the box giving a hint of what this tree used to look like, just walk north from the huge stump a few steps towards a big curvy log that sort of looks like a sea monster slug. Near the middle part of that log is a small squarish sitting rock several steps off trail. Look behind the west side of that rock for a carefully concealed box, and please rehide it the way you found it!
211. JONNYCAKE PEZ
||Just a little drive-up companion treat to Warrior Woman's Quahog Pez further along the Great Pezzy Road Show in RI.|
We were going to plant our tiny example of this traditional RI cornmeal pancake wayfaring food (hence the name coming from "journey cakes"), at one of the old inns along Route 1 (Boston Post Road`) that would historically have served them. However, things didn't quite work out: the oldest inn in these parts (1600's) had quite a few fleas, and the next oldest (1700's) put hay bales around the monument in front where we had hoped to leave the box! So, in the several miles between these two old inns on the south side of the highway heading east, just find your way to the southern corner of the western parking lot for the wildlife refuge. A nice little loop trail starts there from a small brown sign. Proceed down this trail at roughly 210 degrees for 25-30 steps, passing a high bush blueberry on your left. Just past that tall bush, turn left and walk about 10 steps off trail, passing a multi-trunk maple, to a good-sized oak with fuzzy green lichen growing on its north-facing side. On its opposite side, under a piece of asphalt and leaves, hides a black microbox with its tiny jonnycake pez stamp spewing bits of un-ground corn kernels - for those who couldn't figure out what that "mystery stamp" we left at a stampless box in RI was supposed to be! The Jonnycake tradition still lives on in these parts of southern RI with names like the Jonnycake Center to help members of our community in need, and the Jonnycake Storytelling Festival in September. However, the actual jonnycakes themselves are getting pretty hard to find these days, so enjoy them when you can find them, and please hide these particular little ones well. And you might as well hike the rest of the loop while you are here, too, especially since we have added jonnycakes and maple syrup!
Continue on down the loop trail until you reach a junction. Proceed to the left and stop beside the "Native Grasslands Restoration" sign. Observe how the trail continues across the clearing and take note of the rocks to the south and just a few steps (maybe 20) to the right of the gravel trail and in front of some cedar trees. Go to those rocks and explore the cave between the 4th and 5th rocks.
From the "Restoration" sign, take the paved path to the distant end of the clearing. From the end of the pavement, you might continue on the path a short way to a nice water view or you might go 30 steps at 145 degrees to a cedar tree. At its foot is a one foot, squarish chunk of asphalt that is worthy of examination!
226-231. BALD HILL GOES MUSICAL (UPDATED 2009)
||A melodious collection of RTRW stamps on a pretty piney 1.5 mile loop in west central RI|
CHECKED 26 March 11 - remaining 5 of 6 are OK
Phantom is MISSING - Oct 2009
When RTRW recently donated this sweet collection of stamps commemorating musicals we all know and love, we immediately started thinking about where we had seen many of them, and where would be a good place to hide them for others to enjoy and perhaps bring back some memories for them, too. We had seen most of these musicals at PPAC (Providence Performing Arts Center), but certainly had no wish to try planting around there in the middle of the city! Even the Warwick Musical on Bald Hill Road in central RI, where we remember seeing some wonderful musical tent shows when we were just kids, is now just a RI memory spot amid miles and miles of strip malls! In fact, nowadays one of our pastors always seems to get a laugh in his sermons by using the term "Bald Hill" metonymically for "excessive consumerism", so no planting there either!
There is, however, another Bald Hill in RI, far removed in spirit from the hustle and bustle of that other one, and this is the one you will have to find to get to these boxes. It is actually very easy, and quite convenient for the "CT Crowd" to reach as well. Just follow route 165 until you see the sign for Summit Rd./Bald Hill Rd across from the old Exeter Baptist Church, and drive south a few hundred feet to limited parking on the left, or park back on Frosty Hollow Rd across from the church and stroll down to the North-South Trail crossing.
From the red gate, follow the blue blazed trail up the old dirt road. When you first spot a white blaze on a tree to the right of the trail about 100 feet ahead, look for a long fuzzy green rock taking a catnap on your left. Go behind the rock and as you face it, look in the left side of the horizontal crack for Cats.
Continue uphill following the blue blazed road past the white blazed trail until you reach a "Y" junction of dirt paths. Look left at four large pine trees and see the solitary boulder between the shadows of the third and fourth tree. Hidden below the front of that boulder lurks the Phantom of the Opera.
Take the left prong and continue uphill on the blue blazed road, then slightly downhill passing a stone lined water-hole on the right before spotting a large boulder on the left with a substantial well-rooted pine tree growing on its roof top. Behind where the curved leg of the right root and the rock meet at ground level, tucked under a small stone is the Fiddler on the Roof
Continue awhile on the blue trail until you reach a road junction with a tree wearing two blue blazes and a red triangle. Turn right here onto the unblazed dirt road, and shortly right again. This is the Loop Trail. Stay on the main trail (right/straight at the road fork) and continue up to where the old road levels off. The oak originally mentioned in our clues is gone as of Jan. 2009, so now just look for a very short stump on the right near the height of land. About a dozen steps after that stump, also on the right, is a pine tree rising out of an uplifted mound of needles. Look behind it under crossed branches and a stone for Jesus Christ Superstar.
Follow the unblazed dirt road loop trail gently down until an unusual rock appears on the right, about 40 steps past a 25 foot snag on the left. This rock with its foliose lichen reminded Pete of a small version of the slimy frog in "Pan's Labyrinth", but we did not try to plant a carrot in its gaping maw because it might have fallen in too deep. Instead, look under a small lichen covered stone on its carefully camouflaged right back side for The Fantasticks.
Continue on unblazed dirt road until it ends back at the junction with the blue blazed road. Proceed left going downhill past a stone wall on the left and continuing all the way down to the bottom where a stone wall can be seen coming in from the right. At the closest approach of that wall there is a small side path going off to the right. A large pine tree stands about two steps in front of the wall to the north at this point. Without touching the smooth curved branch that rests like a staff against the wall directly behind this tree, merely remove one small stone that sits like filling sandwiched between two larger wall rocks just below and to the left of it. Wrapped in a leftover scrap of what was once my costume for the Bulgarian Suite when I danced many years ago with the international dance performing troupe "Narodno", please find and carefully replace Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat . Hope you enjoyed this colorful little series, and have many pleasant musical tunes going through your head as you wrap up your trip!
||Classical music lovers will know where to start for this one - look for the giant wine bottle.|
Checked box - OK 14 March 2011
To celebrate the New Year (2008) and our 250th plant, we placed this little bottle near where we usually stop to replenish our wine supply at the giant wine bottle of classical music fame, advertised regularly on WCRI 95.9 Once you have found a spot to park here along route 1 near the giant bottle, walk down the dead end street just to the west, passing another big wine bottle on the side of the building.
Keep walking a short distance (maybe 100 feet) until you reach the first larger tree that juts out a bit in front of the stone wall. Carefully "reach in" behind the bittersweet vines in back of the tree to extract a little yellow bottle quietly resting in the stone wall at mid level behind a small cantaloupe sized rock. Here's to your health: na zdrowie, salut, etc!
239. PETE'S GRAND VIEW
||A lovely spot that Pete found in Westerly and immediately had to share.|
Checked box - OK 24 April 2010
Drive down Shore Road west from Venice to find the glacier preserve lands on the north side of the road by the white sign. Find your way to the overlook, have a seat and enjoy the grand view. Then, walk east along the stone wall a few steps, pass through the wall and walk 10 more steps. Stop and look left to find a large trapdoor leaning against the wall. Look behind the door under the leaves for Pete's layered impression of the view.
Recommended colors are blue, tan, aquamarine, green and gray.
Please rehide the container under leaves so that you cannot see it by peeking past the sides of the trapdoor.
240. PETE'S F10000
||A walk on the sunrise side of the blue loop for Pete's 10K event stamp carved by Warrior Woman and now planted in the wild.|
Checked box - OK 24 April 2010
This box is planted in the same glaciated park as Pete's Grand View. However, whereas that previous box makes a lovely setting for sunset, this walk takes you to the sunrise side of the park. You may choose to follow the blue loop from the overlook past where it joins briefly with red and then continues solo. Shortly thereafter, from the tree with the blue blaze where the trail curves left to parallel a stone wall, just take 7 steps down the trail, hop over the stone wall, and take 3 steps back up the backside of the wall. Pete's cute little Mr. Sunshine waving his 10K flag carved with love by Warrior Woman can be found covered with leaves behind two small stones at the base of the wall.
280. RI LETTERBOXING'S 10th BIRTHDAY - STILL SMILIN THRU!
||A stamp to commemorate the 10th birthday of RI's first letterbox, planted in Arcadia.|
What a wonderful New Years trek through the snows of Arcadia we had to celebrate RI letterboxing's 10th birthday on Jan 1, 2009! By the time we met at "Appie Crossing" (at the junction of route 165 and Frosty Hollow Road) most of the people who had expressed an interest in this New Years Day hike had already dropped out due to the snow, the single digit morning temperatures, and various other reasons. However, three intrepid characters called We Who Wander (Chuck, Barbara and their chocolate lab Amy) decided to join us on this adventure in spite of the wintry conditions and the fact that the box had not been found for well over three years! Chuck had recently been suffering from back problems, so doing the whole hike might have been a concern, and Barbara had never been on XC skis before, but was game to try it on an extra pair of skis that we had brought. So, off we went hiking and skiing on some of the old dirt roads that had not been plowed heading toward Breakheart Pond to see if that original RI box, with its store-bought, smiley-face stamp was still there!
The sun shining through chill air and illuminating the snow-laden pines was absolutely breathtaking, and the trek would have been well worth the effort even if we had not been able to find the box. Indeed, after much searching, we were just about to give up when persistence paid off for a big "Woohoo" in the woods! Just as we were getting ready to plant the 10th birthday bonus box, however, Pete reached into his pocket and realized he didn't have it with him! (Instead he had a yellow tennis ball that he had been throwing to Amy!) So, back towards the car we trudged and glided, hoping to find the box dropped in the snow somewhere along the way. It turned out, naturally, that the box was lying in the snow almost all the way back to the car, so we decided to plant it near the end of our journey at the road junction that sports a small wooden sign with two arrows pointing in different directions, to Breakheart Pond and to 165. From that sign, just taking a few steps east and looking under bark between a boulder and a tall dead tree will reveal the bonus box we almost thought we'd lost!
We followed up our adventure with some nearby tailgating (hot chocolate and cookies), then went home for some hot soup, pasta, pizza, sandwich wraps, desserts and good conversation with friends. What a great way to spend New Years Day and RI letterboxing's 10th birthday! Hope many others have some fun exploring these wonderful woods of Arcadia as well!
286. I LOVE SNICKERS, TOO!
||A little chocolate treat to celebrate a solid month of X-C skiing in Rhode Island|
Go to the place where on Feb 1st, 2009, we celebrated a solid month (31 consecutive days in January!) of X-C skiing in RI (from the beaches of the south to Buck Hill in the north - a rarity indeed in our little coastal state!), and where T2 got to try out X-C skiing for the very first time in his life! If you want to slide on over to this box, too, just head east from the Baptist outhouse near "Appie Crossing" to a multi-tree with two trunks kissing. Behind the stone wall in front of this tree, tucked into a deep hole, hopefully you will find this little chocolate treat that all of us hikers seem to love!
Afterwards, you may wish to cross the street to the south and continue on as we did that day along the North-South Trail, to show off our "Bald Hill Goes Musical" series to two of the Travelers 4, with Pete helping to dig out those elusive little boxes hidden in the snow! We also helped T1 find a home for the "Up, Up, and Away" box, which may now be found while doing this same loop.
What a fine time we had on that sunny winter afternoon, with great memories of how, many years ago, we used to lead those senior citizens of our old RI hiking group up this very same loop, with us skiing back and forth as they trudged through the snow admiring the rainbow reflections on the ice clad trees! Hope you have as delightful a day as we did celebrating our rare solid month of skiable snow in our own Little Rhody!
|343. CHARMING LITTLE BACKPACKING & CAMPING SERIES||
A charming mile or so semicircle around the northern side of Browning Mill Pond in Arcadia Management Area, Exeter, RI. |
Stamps carved by Mim
We were so charmed by Mim's Charm Bracelet series in Westborough/Northborough, MA a while back that we hoped she might be willing to carve something like that for our "letterboxing retirement" in RI. Well, she did indeed carve us a very charming series reflecting our backpacking and camping backgrounds! We expected to plant it in a ring on the loop trail around Browning Mill Pond, but with all the recent flooding in RI, half of the bridge by the dam near the fish hatchery (at the far end of the loop) is gone. So we decided to turn this series into an "open bracelet", rather than have folks try to get across the rushing waters to close that currently missing link!
Anyway, to get your bracelet and 7 little lucky charms, start out from one of the dirt parking areas adjacent to Browning Mill Pond on the west side of Arcadia road which goes south from route 165 in Exeter, RI. You will be walking in Arcadia State Forest, so it is a good idea to wear something orange, especially if it is hunting season. And please, replace all boxes very carefully so that no part of them is showing! (The first lantern already went missing once and was graciously recarved by Mim , but we don't want that to happen again!)
Follow the yellow-blazed trail counter-clockwise around Browning Mill Pond. Pass the paths on the right leading up to a covered picnic pavilion. Continue on "yellow" to a stonewall crossing where there is a prominent two trunk tree with a yellow blaze. Go about 12 stones up the west side of the stone wall "bracelet" and look for the bracelet and series logbook under the tilted rock behind the "kissing pair" of a cluster of small trees.
Continue on the yellow trail until you find a large boulder on the left side of the trail before you reach a muddy area. From the boulder, continue ten more steps and look left beyond a log paralleling the trail to see an old, mottled beech tree. Look at the base of the tree below the carving: "I Love This Girl a Whole Bunch" for a charming little tent.
Proceed along the yellow trail, crossing over some boardwalks, until you see a huge pine tree on the right. Just before it, about 7 steps off trail to the right, is the stump portion of a downed tree. Behind the stump under a rock is a little charm of a backpack.
3. SLEEPING BAG
Continue on the yellow trail, passing the stone ruins of a shelter. Since many shelters have resident rodents, we decided to place the sleeping bag a bit further down the trail. After passing through a stonewall and following it on your right, look right for a tree leaning away from the trail. The mummy bag charm rests at the base of this tree on its far side.
4. THERMAREST PAD
Continue on the yellow trail until - what's this? - a dam with water rushing over the spillway! Best stop and consult a map. Maybe even unroll a Thermarest pad to take a little break. Look towards the pond at the point where the actual trail descends the earthen dam and see the double blazed tree. Between it and a companion you'll find your next charm resting comfortably under pine needles.
5. LANTERN - Replaced 30 Sept. 2010
Well, the footbridge that once crossed the outlet creek below the dam was washed away by the spring floods, so now you'd better backtrack the way you came to pick up your lantern before it gets dark! Head back, passing through the remains of two stonewalls. When the wall, now on your left, turns a corner and marches off into the woods, look for a large oak tree at that corner with a "bump-out" at its base, about ten feet or so off trail. Tucked beneath this mossy bulge are two stones. The lantern charm to light your way awaits under the left stone amidst the leaves. (Please be careful of slippery rocks, root loops, briars and such when going off trail!)
6. COOK PAN
Getting hungry yet? It's time to eat, but first you'll need a cook pan. Continue back the way you came, passing the shelter ruins. Cross the remains of a stonewall and look for a large boulder on the left with the remains of an ancient campfire behind it. Across the trail just after that boulder is a pair of small entwined white birches. You'll find the cook pan charm on their south side under leaves and a rock.
7. CAMP STOVE
Open fires are no longer allowed here because of the forest fire hazard, so continue back the way you came, passing the paths to the pavilion and crossing a pair of footbridges. You are now in an area of what was once a beach. There are some tables around here where cooking up would be easy, but the cooking area you want is out on the peninsula ahead. About half way down the peninsula is a "double burner" stump and on its southwest side under a small stone is the camp stove charm - just what is needed to complete your charm bracelet and this charming little adventure!
|409. AMONG THE AZALEAS||A lovely little stroll through the gardens behind the house at 2391 Kingstown Road, route 108 just south of route 138 in Kingston, RI.|
Checked box - OK 14 March 2011
Kinney Azalea Garden is absolutely amazing during flowering season, Mid-April to late May, but it can be enjoyed for a stroll most any time of year. Formerly owned by a URI botany professor, it showcases many varieties of azaleas and other plants in a charming setting. To find this somewhat hidden spot (which we literally drove by for years without ever realizing it was there until another letterbox alerted us! ;-), drive route 138 about 3 miles west from route 1, or east quite a few more miles from exit 3 off 95. Turn south onto route 108 at the light, and scarcely a quarter mile, turn left into 2391 Kingston Rd. at what looks like a narrow driveway with a very small sign for the gardens. Park behind the house and walk straight into the gardens towards the Moon Gate. From there, wander northward to find Godzilla Bend and continue meandering until you reach the two-faced Troll Bridge. Facing the redhead, simply look under the left-hand side of the bridge's front step to find a tiny memento of blooming flowers resting near the beam!
|437. LONG PATH||An additional trail logo stamp carved by Lightnin' Bug of PA that can be accessed by an easy alternate route for those who have already done the "big series" (or for those who just want a "shortcut" to the Long Path!;-)|
To get this stamp without doing the whole first loop of "Wanda's Wanda-rings" in Arcadia State Park's southern parcel, simply find the small 2-car parking lot on the south side of route 165 opposite the John B. Hudson Trail (large parking lot). This spot is several miles west of the route 3/165 junction or just a mile or so east of the little white church at "Appie Crossing". From this parking area, continue south on the yellow-blazed trail less than 500 miles till you reach a couple of small bridges. (Remember - we're counting a mile for every foot of trail I backpacked back then, so just count "5 miles" for every 2 steps you take and you should come out pretty close!;-) From the bridges, continue less than another 1000 miles (less than a third of my first PCT if coming from the other direction), until you get to a low spot in a rather rooty stretch of the trail before a slight uphill section. (If you reach a trail junction with a boulder and 5-foot tall stump in the center, you've gone too far, so backtrack a few dozen miles to represent finishing up my last few days of backpacking the Long Path and other trails through the Catskills. ) Stand on the north side of a large yellow-blazed white pine on the northeast side of the trail and take about 10 steps at 40 degrees. Look under the mossy sloping side of a large rock located between some gray birches for this Long Path logo stamp!
|438. NORTHVILLE-PLACID TRAIL||Another stamp carved by Lightnin' Bug of PA to help fill out the "Wanda's Wanda-rings" series in southern RI with an "alternate re-supply route"|
To get this stamp without doing the whole first loop of "Wanda's Wanda-rings" in Arcadia State Park's southern parcel, simply find the smallish parking lot for the blue-blazed North-South Trail that is just a tenth of a mile or so south of the white church at "Appie Crossing" on route 165 in Exeter, RI. From the red gate, walk about 600 miles up to the next big multiple trail junction.(Remember - we're counting a mile for every foot of trail I backpacked back then, so just count "5 miles" for every 2 steps you take and you should come out pretty close!;-) This actually marks the spot for where I finished my first PCT up to Canada and then took the bus back east to hike the Northville-Placid Trail and other trails in the Adirondacks before calling it a "backpacking year". So, for now just continue another 150 miles or so on the trail with the stone wall on your left (now ignoring the white trail and the dirt road), and look behind the second medium pine near two smaller dead trees a couple of steps off trail on the right. Buried in the pine needles under a few small stones and sticks find the NP logo stamp!
|442. NH TRAILS||Another addition to the "Wanda's Wanda-rings" series in Exeter, RI, carved by NEET who used to live up north in the White Mountains of NH.|
I've always enjoyed the trails of New Hampshire, from the Metacomet - Monadnock - Sunapee Greenway in the south to the Cohos Trail in the north, now linked up as part of the New England Trail. My biggest concentration of backpacking in NH, however, came in the fall of 1987 after finishing up my 2nd PCT and 3rd LT, when I spent a delightful month or so climbing all the 4000 footers in New England plus doing all the side trails to the AT in the Whites, etc. To mark these miles without doing the whole "Wanda's Wanda-rings" loop, simply start from the usual gate off Bates Schoolhouse Road, hike up past where the yellow blazed trail splits off to the right and continue from there about 750 miles to a rock on the right about 8 steps off trail. Beside that rock and at the base of a 2 inch diameter beech which is hugging the rock find a SPOR containing a gorgeous Granite State stamp representing "NH TRAILS" carved by NEET of MA.
|443. PIZZA DROP||Just a little snack while hiking in the woods of Arcadia State Forest|
If you need to "resupply" while doing the 1st PCT on "Wanda's Wanda-rings" series, just continue straight on yellow where white goes left (about 1000 miles into PCT #1). Cross a couple of small bridges and head out shortly to a small clearing at the nearest road. From the wood line of that clearing, look right (east) for a 2 foot high stump in front of a stone wall. Between the 3rd and 4th rocks to your right of the stump and below the high point of the wall, look behind a small stone for a little slice of pizza.
|445. Stopping by for Tea with Bruna||A little memorial cup of tea for all the special "tea times" shared with a remarkable lady from our church - Bruna Mixie (Dec. 1920 - Oct. 2011)|
"Where are you? It's me, Bruna. Come over for a cuppa tea whenever you get back. Bye-eye!" So went the message that greeted us on our answering machine so many times after returning from one of our trips, and we were always happy to oblige. Bruna was always such a lively person, cheerfully humming along, doing her many projects, never once moving slowly like an "older person", so we were quite shocked to come back from a recent trip to Maine, and find out that she had passed away...
Naturally, we thought of planting a letterbox in her honor, not far from her gravestone in River Bend Cemetery in Westerly, RI. To find it, enter the cemetery from the northeast portal at Washington and Beach Streets. Note the handiwork of the master Italian granite carvers for which Westerly was once famous as you wander westerly through the older sections. Then proceed southerly towards the maintenance buildings, and somewhat westerly again into the newer section that juts out towards the Pawcatuck River. Bruna's grave is actually on Baywood Street, but if you go northwesterly from there, crossing two dirt roads (Dogwood and Elm), you will reach a paved road (Cedar) and a large monument for the LATTNER family surrounded by rows of shrubbery. Behind is a multi-trunk oak near the river with several holes in it that seem to hold water. Bruna's little butterfly teacup, however, rests in the mini hole in back that hopefully won't fill up with water, carefully tucked behind a couple of small stones. Our love goes along with all those "cuppas" we shared with Bruna over the years, and we hope that you enjoy a cup of tea in memory of Bruna , too!
|459. Hiking Critters on "Wanda's Wanda-rings"||A sweet lollipop loop through the Bald Hill portion of Arcadia to find four adorable hiking animals carved by Bluegoatz of MA|
This little group of cute Burgess/Cady critters with hiking sticks was carved by Bluegoatz to come join the trail fun on the "Wanda's Wanda-rings" series presently in Exeter, RI. However, for those who have already done that series, or for those who prefer sampling a much shorter loop (less than 2 miles round trip), this animal troupe can also "stand on its own two feet"!
Start at the same place off Bates Schoolhouse Road as for the "Wanda-rings", pass by the gate, and hike up the old road. Where the yellow trail forks right for AT#1, continue straight on the blue trail all the way to where the blue trail forks right, and a little brown loop sign points left. (This is the area we call "great triangle island", and PCT#2 can be found nearby.) Continue walking left to another fork with a 25-foot snag at its head. Bear right here and go about 35 steps to a small cross trail (at which AT#5 is just a bit north off to the right). To find the little animals, turn left here so that you are now following the "Wanda-rings" series, past the Catamount Trail near two mossy rocks on either side of the trail.
From that trail point adjacent to the two mossy rocks, continue about 300 feet to stand on a low rock in the trail, then a dozen more steps to a rotting log on the left parallel to the trail. Standing on the far side of the log and using a bit of imagination, the root end could almost be said to resemble the head of a short-eared rabbit. So, look behind the left ear of the rabbit to find "Peter Rabbit" snugly tucked into the log, having just finished hiking the Allegheny Trail to its terminus on Peter's Mountain in WV!
Now, just 32 steps further down the trail, find a long green mossy covered log on the right side of the trail. Follow it along to where it branches and look in the crotch, which is almost directly below a second fallen tree, for "Buster Bear'" taking a nap after hiking along the sweetly flowing Greenbrier River Trail"!
Continue to the next junction (near the Superior Trail), and go left until you reach an old dirt road. Cross the road and take 12 steps off trail into the woods angling slightly left to where "Mr. And Mrs. Whitefeet the Wood Mice" have made a nest in the root end of a decaying log to rest their feet after their long haul on the Ozark Highlands Trail. (Please reach in from behind so as not to disturb their fragile nest too much!)
Return to the dirt road and turn right. After about 170 feet, you will see a 4-foot stump on the right side of the road. Across from the stump on the left side of the road are 3 pine trees in a crooked row. Behind the third tree, under two stones, find "Digger the Badger", digging in under the pine needles and resting up from a bad bout of chiggers on the Ouachita Trail!
Now you are ready to complete the lollipop loop (near PA Trails/ Keystone Wanda-rings), turn right, bear right back at "great triangle island', and return to your car. Hope you enjoyed hiking the loop along with these cute little critters!!!
|463. Looping Back for the Bartram Trail||A pleasant figure-eight loop around Bald Hill/ Arcadia for an intricately mapped carving by figureeight of SC|
This box is probably most appropriately done as part of the figure eight loop described in the second half of the "Wanda's Wanda-rings" series. (listed under the heading "More of Wanda's Wanda-rings"). However, for those wishing a slightly shorter alternative, here is another suggested route:
Follow the old dirt road from behind the gate off Bates Schoolhouse Road as in the clues for "Hiking Critters on Wanda's Wanda-rings". At the top of the hill near "great triangle island", bear left with the loop arrow. Go right at the next fork with the big snag, and continue straight past the first cross trail (AT#5 right/ Catamount Trail left) to pick up "Wanda's Wanda-rings" with the "California Redwoods" (about 400 feet from the fork with the snag). Pass the "Wonderland Trail"(another 100 feet), the "Colorado Trail" (another 500 feet) and the "Foothills Trail" (another 70 or so feet to the beak of the second rock on the left). Then, after another 100 or so feet, find the wonderful box created by figureeight of SC to represent the Chattooga River /Bartram Trail, snugly wrapped in its own black cloak, under sticks behind another rock that is behind a baby beech directly on the left side of the trail. Hope you enjoy this lovely figureeight as you retrace your steps or loop back to your car!
|467. Wanda's Wanda-rings: Benton MacKaye Trail||Another addition to this "wanderful series" bridging the gap from Georgia to the woods of western RI!|
This box, put together by Beachcomber of GA with a gorgeous carving of the "gut -swinging bridge over the Toccoa River" carved by Spitfire of GA, can currently either be found as part of the "Wanda's Wanda-rings" series or by itself on a shortcut from the "Bald Hill back door". (Of course, however you do it, it still only counts as one box, so please do not list it as a find both under this name and under the "Wanda-rings if you are finding the same box in the same place!;-) If just doing this box alone, go to the small North/South Trail parking lot on the left a few hundred feet south down the road across from "Appie Crossing" at the old white Baptist Church on route 165 in Exeter, RI. Head east past the gate up the old tote road trail (that is the "bail-out" point for those stopping their "wanderings" after PCT#1), bear right at the first main junction (NOT the sharper right onto the white-blazed trail nearby!) and continue about half a mile, passing the Long Path, NJ Trails, and AT #3, and stepping over a couple of logs across the trail to find a sizable grey birch on the left side of the trail with a rock behind it about 5 steps off trail (diagonally right facing the left side of the trail). Behind that rock, find the box with its stamp depicting that famous swinging bridge where I remember my dog Victor scrunching down to pussy-foot across as she joined me for my last few days that year on the trail!
|468. Wanda's Wanda-rings: Maine Trails||Another happy addition simulating footsteps "Wandering through Maine" currently in the woods of western RI!|
The easiest way to find this stamp, cleverly carved by Teacup of Maine, is to start at the original "Wanda's Wanda-rings" parking lot off Bates Schoolhouse Road in Exeter, RI. Tread your way up the blue-blazed North/South Trail past the yellow-blazed trail branching off to the right (unless, of course, you are doing the whole first loop, in which case you will pick up this box later!;-) Continue up the hill past an unmarked trail crossing (Long Trail #4 is nearby), and then about another 250 miles to where there is a large boulder hiding behind three young pines on the right side of the trail. Carefully tread your way behind this knee-high boulder to find this box representing many fond footfalls through Maine!
|470. Wanda's Wanda-rings: Wonderland Trail #1/HHH||Another wonderful stamp addition to this series currently in Arcadia, RI, carved by Blackvelvetrav of ID!|
As usual, you can either find this box by doing the whole series, or by taking the shortcut "in-and-out" of about a mile and a half. If doing the latter, walk the usual route up from Bates Schoolhouse Road on the North-South Trail to the "hilltop triangle", bear left to the intersection with the large snag, turn right on the old dirt road and continue about 500 feet, passing a slightly more open area, to a large rock on the left side of the trail. Angle off trail left another 20 feet to a medium pine with a cluster of small maples around it. Look behind the pine/ maple combo hidden in the duff between some short blueberry bushes for a "curious PNW critters combo" stamp carved by BLACKVELVETRAV of ID! (Blackvelvetrav also provided a rather big logbook, so I used quite a large box to accommodate everything here, which means this spot can also function as the "Wonderland HHH", so please feel free to drop off any of your extra large hitchers here as well! ;-)
|596. Westerly Armory||Available to those attending our annual Christmas Concert at the historic Westerly Armory on Railroad Ave in Westerly, RI|
Day only. For 2015, available December 13 c. 1:30 to 3:30PM
Our annual Westerly Band Christmas Concert, in which we both play our trombones, is usually held on the 2nd Sunday afternoon of December at 2PM. Just let us know if there are any letterboxers out there interested in attending and we will be glad to plant an extra box with an armory memento stamp for you under one of the Christmas trees, or behind the silver eagle. Seating for the concert is "cabaret style" with ccokies and coffee included, and the $5 donation goes towards preservation of this historic armory building, where we also have band practice on Wednesday nights for anyone interested in taking part in the musical traditions of one of the oldest continuously active civic marching and concert bands in the country!
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