Wanda and Pete's Letterboxes - Travelin' Light 2015 Series
BEFORE YOU SET OUT, PLEASE READ THE
WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER..
|597. Hey, Good Lookin' - What You Got Cookin' ?||A stroll through the woods of Cook Forest in western PA|
Find your way to the junction of Tom's Run and Longfellow Trail in Cook Forest State Park about 15 or so miles north from exit 78 off I-80 along route 36. Maps available at the Visitor Center or other resources may help you choose your path. Once there just east of the bridge at that junction, simply take the Longfellow Trail north a very short distance to see two lovely long-legged hemlocks sitting on a giant ledge on your right (east). From the middle of their many dangling legs, take 10 steps further north, or just about 5 steps from the north end of the giant ledge, to a much smaller moss-covered rock with a shallow cave "pot" on its front side. When no one else is lookin', bend down and carefully remove the 10-inch "stoneware lid" to see what's cookin' inside. On the backside of a tiny flat rectangular 1x2-inch stone hiding on the ground behind the "lid", find a little Cook Forest Cookpot in which to make some "Stone Soup". Just "blacken the pot", stamp your logbook, and replace that little stone pot and lid exactly as found!
|598. "OH", Dear!||A short stroll to a sad place in eastern Ohio near the north end of Salt Fork State Park|
While passing through eastern Ohio again recently, we noticed a trail on our map of Salt Fork State Park that didn't seem to have a stamp on it, so we thought we'd leave one of our tiny state token ones there near the end of short road #29. The name of the trail can be found by reversing the letters of the abbreviation for this state and then giving it the "SAK". We didn't know at the time that there had been a tragic accident at this location several years back, so be sure to read and heed the warnings at the trailhead. If conditions permit, carefully cross over to the small wood viewing platform and look under its left front (south) corner. Carefully remove a tan trapezoid 2" top stone, then a 3" brown stone to reveal a very thin flat dark gray 1" arrowhead-shaped stone with a tiny "OH" token stamp on its reverse side. No need to remove the larger white stones behind these three little ones, but please do be careful in replacing them and returning to the trailhead.
|599. The "IN" Place to Be!||A short stroll to the backside of a pretty evening park in Indianapolis|
It seems that Crown Hill Cemetery is quite the "IN Place" to be for stamping in Indianapolis! We were almost going to add this one more tiny token state abbreviation stamp to that vast array, but then felt there were already far too many stamps there and the cemetery was about to close anyway. So, we got in our car and "hopped" diagonally northwest across the main intersection from there to park just inside the gates of the Art Museum's eastern entrance. We walked north past a brick building, meandered a bit westerly and then north again on a small path to a large circular fountain gracing the mansion's east lawn, which looked lovely at sunset. Glancing east again, we spotted the "Three Graces" up a slight rise, and decided to leave our little token tucked in mulch behind their right back corner. It's just a 1" white and gray mottled stone with "IN" stamped on its back, but, as we always say, we personally have never been in this hobby for the stamps, but rather for the hunt, wherever that might happen to take us. So, we hope that there are at least a few other people around who feel that way, too, and won't despise our "crude little carvings", especially since we no longer have the interest, ability or eyesight to try to do any better at carving ourselves - but (hint,hint) we are still generally open to planting other people's carvings, if they have any extras that they might be willing to share!
|600. Not Speaking "IL"...||Our fastest "drop-off" ever, while dashing through Illinois along I-70!|
Sorry about this "quickie". On our rush to the mountains, we really didn't have
time to find some place better to hide. Not that we had ever intended to plant a
box in every state, like some people seem to want to do. We had already visited
all 50 states years before letterboxing, and several times since, so that was
definitely not a priority for us. However, after planting well over 500 boxes in
and around our "more usual stomping grounds" and in getting down to just a few
states that we hadn't left a box in over the years, we figured we might as well
at least "tokenly" try to finish them all off again "stampwise" if we ever got
Anyway, to find this little "travelin' light", pull into the Cumberland Rest Area westbound around mile marker 150 off I-70 and, on the north side of the building, locate the brick drinking water fountain, which we old-timey Rhode Islanders call a "bubbler". From it, take 7 steps at 130* and look in the westside corner of the pavement junction in front of the single gray door. Tucked in that corner behind a greenish 2-inch oval stone should be a 1-inch half pink stone with the state abbreviation on its backside. Hope it lasts at least a little while, since there didn't seem to be much else we could do along I-70 in IL this time through!
|601. Eenie Meenie Miney "MO" - to which McDonald's should we go?||Another fast food/rest stop on our way west to the mountains again…|
Yes, there really are so many fast food possibilities in crossing Missouri on I-70 that it could be hard to choose! For this teeny tiny stamp, however, choose the one "with heart", just north off exit 59. Park near the small arches at the northern entrance, then walk west to the large arches. With the big-hearted Concordia water tower looming to the north, look under the southwest corner of the large metal base holding up the pole for a small stone (sorry, we forgot to note size, shape and color, but probably 1-2" nondescript gray), with the state abbreviation on the back - pretty lame, we know, but that's all we can manage these days, so please excuse our current carving and planting ineptitude!
|602. Twisting through "KS"||Another quick break at the "twisty trees" of the last Kansas rest stop westbound on I-70|
Have to say, it's always a relief to finally get across Kansas on our way west to the mountains, so we decided to leave one last KS token stamp on the west side of the last KS rest area off I-70 west of Goodland, where there is clump of twisty cedar trees slightly behind and west of the restroom building. In the furthest northwest cedar, between a 2-foot cut stump and a horizontal cut stump, we left a roundish 1-inch flattop gray stone under a removable piece of driftwood. Turn over the stone to see the little "KS" to stamp in your logbook to show that you came twisting through KS, too, and please remember to replace the stone and branch exactly as you found it!
|603. Redcloud and Sunshine||An easy drive-by set at the CDT crossing of Spring Creek Pass in CO|
Yup, ever since climbing 14,000' Redcloud years ago, but getting caught in a
wicked thunderstorm just a mile short of reaching nearby Sunshine (another
"fourteener"), we've been meaning to get back out that way for another climb,
even going so far as to have carved these stamps quite a while back as further
incentive to have something to plant on top! However, once again after our
Continental Divide trail building projects of 2015, we simply ran out of time,
energy and good weather. So, until or unless we get another chance to get theses
stamps closer to their namesake mountains, we decided to leave them at 10, 988'
Spring Creek Pass, just a couple of mountain passes to the east between Lake
City and Creede right along route 149.
On the south side of the highway there is an information kiosk where on the right panel you can read about the Colorado Trail and the Continental Divide Trail (both of which I backpacked several decades ago) and where on the left panel you can locate Redcloud and Sunshine. Go behind where these two "fourteeners" appear on the map, then take about 20 steps uphill northeast to the right side of a 3-foot tall lichen-covered reddish boulder. Look under its northeast overhang and remove a 4" cover rock to find a small 2" yellowish stone with a "Redcloud" stamp on its back, meant to be colored with red and blue ink.
Next proceed about 12 more steps at 120 degrees to a 1-foot tall lichen-covered rock, and look under its small southeast overhang for "Sunshine", meant to be colored yellow and blue. Hope you have a fun journey through these magnificent mountains with lots of clear blue skies!
|605. Sad Little Oak Leaf||In memory of our original "Animas Overlook Box" planted so many years ago on a hill west of Durango, CO|
Well, we don't usually replant boxes of ours that go missing. This one has a
special story, though, because it was the first box ever planted in a that part of
southwestern Colorado back when there were no other boxes for many miles around, and it featured a lovely little
mountain scene stamp carved by RTRW of CT. (See box #54 on our index listing.)
At that time, having finished
backpacking both the Colorado Trail and The Continental Divide years earlier, my
goal was to hike all the hikes in the "100 Hikes in Colorado" book, as well as
those in "Best Hikes in Colorado with Children", and the Animas Overlook hike
from the latter book seemed a likely candidate for that particular stamp of
RTRW's. I remember being concerned, however, that that "children's hike" was
far too short to support a letterbox, being well under 3/4 of a mile at a time
when most letterboxes were still singles on hikes of over a mile. I justified
choosing that spot however, because of the easily attained views that would
hopefully inspire more local letterboxers to get out and further explore this
vast mountain region with so many other wonderful trails to share.
Well, imagine my surprise when, a few months later, I got an e-mail requesting my permission to add another letterbox to that very same trail I had originally planted on! Naturally, I was delighted that people had enjoyed that particular little trail so much that they would want to do that, so I said that it would probably be fine to add another box there, but secretly I was rather amused that with hundreds of miles of then "boxless territory" all around, anyone would choose to plant in the exact same area where there already was a box! I didn't think much further about it, though, until maybe a decade later, when I finally got back out that way, and suddenly I was flabbergasted to see that there was not just one more box, but maybe a dozen - all on that one little trail that I had thought was too short for even just my own original one! I had planted at one of the info signs about half way around the little loop, and now just about every info sign along the way had a box - and then some! Worst of all, my original box with the RTRW stamp had gone missing while all these newer ones had taken over, and one newer boxer, apparently completely unaware of my part, as a letterboxer from RI planting stamps carved by a letterboxer from CT, had even written something erroneously implying that this trail was originally introduced to letterboxing by Colorado letterboxers for showing off Colorado carving skills! Well, naturally I had to set the record straight on that one!!! (LOL)
Anyway, when passing through southwestern Colorado again after some more recent trail projects, I couldn't resist the chance to leave something behind once again near that same spot where I had staked my first CO "letterbox claim" so many years ago. All I had left with me to plant by that point was a little emergency foam stamp of an oak leaf attached to the back of a small finger-shaped stone. So, if you go to that same "Basketmakers of Falls Creek" info sign where my original "Animas Overlook Box" was, this time just look down at its northwest corner and remove a top jagged reddish finger rock to see a 5" jagged reddish finger rock below. Under that is a 2" tannish finger stone with a sad-looking little blood-red oak leaf crushed onto its backside. Please watch those fingers and replace exactly as found!
|606. Heading Out to "UT"||A quick drive-by if you happen to be making the long drive out towards the 4-Corners area|
We barely had time to make it across the Utah border on our last trip west through the Rocky Mountains , but we did have a "UT" token rock stamp with us just in case. So, we left it just outside a National Park whose name made us think of aspirating a baking appliance and ordering it to cry! Anyway, if you find yourself in this area, just before crossing the cattle guard boundary within sight of the NP stone entrance monument ahead, stop at the yellow "Bump" sign on the right and check its base. Under a 3" darkish oval stone is a 1" dark gray angular squarish stone with "UT" on its back!
|608. Southern RI Rocks||Another collection of little rock stamps currently residing in Charlestown, RI|
In the future, we may be able to make these stamps available to those who plant
a minimum of 6 new boxes in RI. (Hey, things have gotten desperately slow around
here lately, and, if we "old-timers" are still willing to plant our ever
worsening, ridiculously crude carvings - for now only making a brief appearance
at the 15th Annual Southern RI Fall Gathering - we're sure that there must be
some newer letterboxers out there who could certainly do much better!) Just give
it a try!
1. This stamp is "the pits". Before your luck drains out, peek under the mossy flap of the western horseshoe.
2. Without a flag, you'd probably never even guess what this thing at the base of the pole is supposed to be!
3. Got an axe to grind? Well, why don't you grab the one up there on the chopping block inside the fence?
4.This dog is so ugly now you know why we put him as far away in the doghouse as we possibly could!
5.This flower under the mini pot in the rock wall is so pathetic it doesn't even have a stem to grow on!
6.Time to rock on out of here! Perhaps a getaway trekking pole can be found over by the garage door.
7.Bonus 1: Hey, what's that rock doing inside a teapot???
8.Bonus 2: Get the hook!!!
You can find information about this hobby at
Letterboxing North America (LbNA)
Copyright (c) 2015 Wanda and Pete. All Rights Reserved.