100+ box MD/PA "Circus" Weekend

Well, you might have thought that after that 500-box month-long TX/OK road trip, I'd want to take a little break, rest up and get things in order back home in RI. Indeed, I would have liked to, but spring letterboxing events were suddenly popping out all over! The very next day after I got home, Pete took me up to Flutterby's Earth Day Event in Lebanon, CT, where we picked up some beautiful stamps and hibiscus plants in the pouring rain. The following weekend's rain also did not dampen our spirits for both the CT Spring Drive-by Gathering on Saturday and the May Day Gathering on Sunday. Both events were delightful and well organized - the first debutting many new boxes by MayEve and Wild Rover, with a great little "party stop" at RTRW and the Antiboxer's house, and the second featuring a scavenger hunt around CT's NE "Quiet Corner", leading eventually to an afternoon picnic as planned by MommaFox and Bald Eagle. Thanks to everyone who helped make those events so pleasant and successful!

Next I thought I'd have a week or two to catch my breathe and catch up on housework and gardening, but then I got "done in" by a big bouncing ball that showed up for aerobics class on Friday morning! We were supposed to hang upside down over it, bounce doing Russian "presyadka" steps, etc., but all I could think of was how sick I'd gotten being forced to do things like that as a child, so I ended up throwing up, throwing out my back and precipitating a CFIDS "flare-up" that put me flat out in bed for the entire week! I thought surely I'd have to miss the "circus" gathering down in MD, but somehow I managed to convince myself at the last moment that it would be just as well for me to sit painfully in the car driving down there as to sit aching in bed, so down we went to MD!

What a great decision that turned out to be, and just perfect for the condition I was in that day too! We got there quite late, but we were still just in time for the CLUE game, so all we had to do was get our tired aching bones under the "big top", stake out our own little corner, and wait for people to bring their various clue pieces over for an exchange! I also really appreciated Dead Duck Chuck bringing over a hot dog for me, since otherwise I might not even have had enough energy to get that myself! :-) Soon several other boxes made their way over, and before I knew it, I was "reeling in" Cactus Lickers "Amazing Fish Girl" as my 7500th box, without ever even having to leave the tent!

After a brief spell of rain and a catnap in the car, Pete and I finally felt refreshed enough to try going out for a few of the "circus acts" themselves, just as most other folks were already heading home. We found about half of them before a thunderstorm struck at dusk, then headed over to stay with the Doubtful Guests in VA. What a boon it was having that hobbit hole to crawl into with Pete at 5 AM to munch on brownies while waiting for the next set of pain killers to kick in, and how wonderful to know such vibrant and hospitable folks as the Doubtful Guests!

The next day, in spite of all feeling a bit worn out, we decided to go back to the Germantown, MD area to meet up with Tempus Fugit and Dead Duck Chuck to do some of the newer Yachty Girl and Energizer Bunnie boxes up that way. I had already done most of the area boxes, so I waited as patiently as I could to get to "Lost and Found", but we all thought it was pretty funny when we sent Pete off to find the "Donkey" of the "Far Far Away" series, and without clues, he actually went and found "BoxOn3" instead!

We wrapped up our pleasant afternoon of Maryland letterboxing with another quick trip through Black Hill Regional Park to finish off the spectacular "circus acts" before they disappeared, and then headed off to Hagerstown to spend the night. Next morning we met up with Lightnin' Bug in PA as planned, then went off for a little foreign language foray and some mapsurfing. The view from the "retreat" was phenomenal, and we only wish that Rich could have had a little more time to stay with us for one last bit of mapsurfing. Without giving too much away, though, since we know Randy prefers to keep things secret, we do have reason to head down that way again sometime soon, and hope to be able to do so!

All in all, in spite of how I was feeling, it was a terrific weekend, and quite possibly our biggest weekend box total ever! Thanks again to everyone who helped make this letterboxing event "The Greatest Show On Earth"!

Wanda from RI
P128 F7534 X921

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