Starting Out The New Year 2006
(CCX2 + XC2! )

Well, as we all know, what better way to start out the New Year than with a little letterboxing, right? But, with so many boxes, how to choose ... eenie, meenie, minie, moe! Moe, that's it - we decided to start with MOE! So off we dashed on a slushy RI New Year's afternoon (New Year's eve had dropped several inches of wet snow on our area) to the relative dryness of Cape Cod just a 2 hour drive away, and made Calvin's first nemesis of the newly placed Doubtful Guest series our first box of the New Year!

Actually, this just happened to be our second trip to Cape Cod in 2 weeks. After years of mostly avoiding the cape due to long associations with summer traffic (and always tending to head north, west or south for our travels instead), we finally thought that it might not be such a bad idea to check out our neighbors to the east in the off-season. We had a wonderful relaxing time on our first winter letterboxing trip to Cape Cod a couple of years ago, and even bumped into the Doubtful Guests in Nickerson Park, after they recognized our car. So, we decided to take advantage of a little pre-Christmas lull this year to recreate a similar experience, including another lovely dinner at the holiday-bedecked Yarmouth House, only this time with about 10 times as many boxes! As it turned out, even on two of the coldest, shortest days of the year, and stopping early to head home after lunch, we still managed to find over 75 boxes! (Just imagine what one might now be able to do in the long warm days of summer! :-) We started out with a few boxes along the Cape Cod canal, visited "O Letterbox Tree" and finished up the Toy series with amazing carvings by Archimedes' Screw, collected some of Chunna's instruments, and called it an early evening with CCL's fanciful Candyland characters. The next morning included several beach walks, Mumma's Spanish animals, and some CC baseball league stamps, among others, before heading home determined to visit Cape Cod again soon.

Next on the list of priorities, however, was a quick trip up North for some X-C skiing before the predicted rains came and washed all the snow away. That opportunity came just a few days before Christmas, with a wild dash through the snow to visit the "Christmas Spirit Hostel" in Billerica, MA - and a chance meeting with its owners, Morgun and Tiny Turtle - along the way. After a great day of skiing in northern NH, there was just enough time left for a little letterboxing, so it was time to exchange ski poles for a collapsible shovel, so that at least 6 of the 7 boxes buried under several feet of snow could be discretely uncovered and then recovered in Team NH's "Blizzard of Last Year" series! (Much better results than in our first year of ski boxing (2001), when I remember one day going skiing in 7 different spots in CT looking for individual boxes, but not being able to find a single one - but still having a great time anyway!)

Christmas Day back home in RI included an incredible dinner with our wonderful church family. It was actually televised as a community event, so Pete and I even got filmed sharing a Christmas kiss on camera! Then off we went to CT for a terrific Holiday Folkdance party that evening and theater performance in Providence the next. We barely had time over the next few days to catch up on a few local boxes (RI and CT), and then it was time already for some slushy New Year's festivities, and that next extra short trip to Cape Cod that netted us several dozen more letterboxes! In addition to the new Doubtful Guest series, we visited some older boxes like "Doomed Deacon" that brought back memories of disembodied voices calling out my name from the murky depths of the distant waters while I was looking for the "Oyster" box and the "Empty Tomb". (Once again, it was the Doubtful Guests who caught me out letterboxing while they were out swimming in the middle of the pond last summer! :-) We also revisited "O Letterbox Tree" for several added ornaments and a little visit with the planters, Archimedes' Screw and CC Lightning Bug, hopped over to Dennis for Mutant Enemy's "Heroes of Canton" series, and picked up a few assorted mystery boxes on the way home!

So, it was a good start to the New Year after all! Looks like we may be doing more dancing and X-C skiing than letterboxing over the next few months, but we hope that the snows don't distract us all too much from our favorite hobby. After all, that magic number - F10,000 - is still beckoning, and it should be exciting to see just what, when and where that particular box will be found, hopefully sometime this coming spring!

Happy New Year and Happy Boxing!

Wanda and Pete

P159 F9375 X1053

Update (1/16/05): make that CCX3!
We just couldn't resist another short trip out to the Cape for a few more of those cool boxes on one of the chilliest, windiest days ever! We even went out for lunch and a mystery with Archimedes' Screw and Cape Cod Lightning Bug! Thanks, guys, for all the great winter fun!

P.P.S. Still January 2006, but now it's CCX4! Just took our friend Irene for a quick swing along the seashore and round about a dozen of the Cape's beautiful kettle ponds, and she really enjoyed the letterboxing, too!

Index to Our Letterboxes

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