Sunday, February 15, 2009

Then I got the small red box

Yesterday, while on a trip to Bosque del Apache with my mom, I took the opportunity to go letterboxing.

First, we drove to Socorro to an old, deserted drive-in movie lot. It was creepy, but the letterbox was placed where someone supposedly saw a UFO, so I guess it was appropriate.

Then, while driving around the Bosque del Apache park, I decided to call up my friend, Lisa, at LaughingOrcaRanch to get some directions to a letterbox that was on one of the trails there. (She turned me on to letterboxing last year, but she has been laid up from recent knee surgery. She had an unfortunate riding accident back in December, while we were riding our horses around our neighborhood. Her horse spooked and she twisted her knee as she fell off. She has not been able to get around since and I miss her companionship. I went out letterboxing by myself and gave up, on two different attempts.)

So, I walked the 2 mile trail until I came upon a place as described in the clues. I looked and looked for the box. I was so frustrated trying to solve the clues. I was ready to give up, but she told me to try one more time. She talked me through it again and again, and then, with dear Lisa's help, it all made sense! I finally clicked and found the box in the "fork". Here's the clues she told me:

Stop when you are flanked with great sittin’ logs right and left. One of these has a neighbor standing at its side, a harbinger of misfortune. Behind the bearer of bad luck stands a row of four medium-sized cottonwoods. Walk to the second in line. Ten steps in a westerly direction will bring you to the letterbox, nestled in a fork.

I knew I was in the right place when I saw this tree next to the sitting log which was across from the other sitting log. But then, I refused to believe that it could be so simple. There were rows of trees in every direction.

And it wasn't these, although they are so nice and even, aren't they?
Trees were growing in rows in every direction.
I looked around every tree "fork" and base until it finally clicked. So, thank you dear Lisa, for giving me the clues over the phone, and for the fortitude and perseverence to continue searching. It felt just like you were there with me! We solved this one together. haha!

Then I got the small red box - song: Red Money, artist: David Bowie, album: Let's Dance


lytha said...

how fun to experience letterboxing with you this morning! i think it's cute that you took photos of "where the box ISN'T" cuz usually we take pics of the final location, not all of our failed attempt locations!: )

cool that you have cell phone coverage and a telephone joker to help you. i don't know why, but in germany they call this using a "telephone joker" - lisa was the joker. do they call it that in america?

it's the same word they use on those quiz shows where you have to answer trivia questions, and you are allowed to make one phone call to someone you think might help you.

anyway, your photos of where the cache is not located made me think of this particularly humorous cache in seattle called "now it's here." it's so cute cuz there's a picture with an arrow, showing you *exactly* where the cache is, and then a close up, showing the actual cache. it's funny cuz you're not really supposed to make it so easy, but the owner has so many truly difficult caches, i guess he thought he'd make a simple one for people who don't even own a GPS device! if you're curious, here's the link, showing the photos:

i'm not hardcore, i really hate logging caches (online). i really like just being out there, seeing new places. and the whole sneaky aspect. but it's my husband's favorite thing to do, and it's something we can share.

a deserted drive-in, ooh, that sounds so cool. i love drive ins, such a part of american culture, may there always be drive ins!

~lytha in white germany

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Hmmm, Telephone Joker! I've never heard that term before. I know about "Phone a Friend" from the TV show, Who wants to be a millionaire. Cool!

I actually did take a photo of the real hiding place too. :) I'm sure you see it a few photos down. I kept seeing it but it never clicked as a "fork."

That guy drew a map as well as the photo. LOL! Did you get that one?

I did that for one of my other letterboxes- I took a picture with a finger pointing to the actual hiding place. But that was because it was all stone walls and I don't want people tearing them all down looking for it. I may just rehide that one in a better spot.

I like looking for hidden things but I don't like them to be too hard. Sometimes there can be more than 1 possibility and it gets confusing.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Hey Fiona,

We were truly a team, were'nt we? Thanks for thinking of me and asking me to be your virutal letterboxing buddy. It was so great to feel needed and useful. :D

You're the best!

So, where shall we travel next?


Melanie said...

What a great day!!! Too bad Lisa wasn't able to join you, but at least she was their with you in spirit, right??

PS-I like your new header! You guys look like you are a daddy long legs spider. :)

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

That's cool. It sounds like fun. If we had more time it might be something to try, but we're full in the other things we want/need to do.


C-ingspots said...

Whoowee - that's a mighty long-legged horse you got there!!
So...what exactly is letterboxing? I've heard you and Lisa talk about it, but what is it really??
Beautiful pics too!!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

CingSpots- it's like geocaching, only you use rubber stamps and journals to leave your "mark". The pegasus of Fantastyk Voyager is my personal stamp. You find the hidden box (with stamp and journal) and stamp your own journal then you stamp their journal with your stamp.
"LETTERBOXING is an intriguing pastime combining navigational skills and rubber stamp artistry in a charming "treasure hunt" style outdoor quest." This is quoted from For more info go here:
It's a great way to go places you might not see otherwise.

The Wades said...

The more I hear about letterboxing from you two, the more intriqued I get. Tempting..

Fantastyk Voyager said...

It really IS fun! You should come along with us sometime.