Monday, October 12, 2009

Finland Lodj-ing

Moi! In September I went to visit good friends in Turku, Finland - and we found letterboxes!!
I took along a new boxing buddy friend, Peggy the Pug, and wrote about our adventures on her blog,

We went to Pyhan Katariinan(Saint Catherine's Trail) in Kaarina, Finland and Vanhalinna hill fort in Lieto, Finland. It was an amazing adventure!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

San Francisco

May 3-May 6, 2009
San Francisco, California

There are supposedly letterboxes in Golden Gate Park - 4 of them, to be precise. But though Crabby and I searched for two and a half hours - IN the RAIN! - we did not manage to find a single one! This may be the truest depths of letterboxing disappointment - visiting a new place with no stamps to show! Here is my new buddy Crabby - who arrived in the nick of time to accompany me on this mission - sitting on a flowery tree in Golden Gate Park. My camera really downplays the whole rainy atmosphere thing ... but this was not one of my best letterboxing days! So much to see and so little time in SF to see it meant I had to take full advantage of all the opportunities to play tourist before the conference started - but next time I should really pack an umbrella!
This cactus is part of clue for the letterbox called "off to see the wizard" near the conservancy of flowers. the part that threw us off was my inability to identify scrub oak ... I think the oak was hiding from me out of fear I'd turn it into biofuels (the subject of the conference that brought me to SF).Golden Gate Bridge - proof that we were there (on a foggy, foggy day!)
We also went searching for a letterbox that was actually on the balcony of our hotel! "Open to the Public - 888 Howard Street" - also in the rain, but we chickened out from searching too much because there were other people around. Hopefully we will have better luck in Minneapolis!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bernie's snowy day

January 19, 2009:
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!
In honor of the holiday we already planned to spend the day writing Agent S.' thesis at home - but 18 inches of new snow yesterday made it a half-snow-day as well - and Bernie, well he was not amused.

"BRRR! What the heck! This is not funny!! Get me out of this snow bank right nowwwww!!

"Arrrrooooo!! What the heck! Let me eat it! I want it right nowwwwwww!"
Jasmine was not impressed that she couldn't have Bernie,
Bernie looks a lot like the kind of toy she enjoys chewing into tiny bits, usually spitting out a mountain of stuffing and a broken squeaker in approximately 45 seconds from the time she gets a new toy.

Not to worry, Bernie knows to stay out of reach of bigger dogs.

Still not impressed.
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Bernie at Bangor Library

January 17, 2009:

"It's negative 14 degrees out and that crazy girl wants to go letterboxing? No way, uh-uh, can't make me!!

Oh wait. this one is indoors at least. maybe I'll reconsider."

Bernie joined the ranks of the "Cards on the Table" altered book-letterbox finders! This is hiding at the Bangor Public Library (I check on it often because the only thing I'm more addicted to than letterboxing is books!)

After finding the letterbox we went to Orono to stop in at Agent S.'s office, and Bernie had a close encounter with my good friend Mr. E. coli, the million times magnified bacteria (he is the friendly wood-to-ethanol converting strain, not the spinach inhabiting strain, no need to worry about Bernie's safety here!)
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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bar Harbor - Acadia National Park

January 4, 2009 - A visit to the IslandTo celebrate our last day of vacation, InsaneGuy, Bernie and Agent S. took a road trip down to see the ocean - specifically the lovely coastal town of Bar Harbor, Maine! In downtown Bar Harbor we went searching for a letterbox called "The Maine Event," whose clue says to find the cannons that guard the harbor. (check)
Bernie practices for his future in stunt-devil work, getting shot out of the cannon.
then locate the gazebo near the cannons and sit down on the step facing the ocean. (check)

then reach under the step and find .... no treasure =( (the owner says that it is often reported to be far back, but the stamp log shows the last several people hadn't been able to find it either. bummer. perhaps for the best though because it was soooo windy at the harbor I wouldn't have wanted to take off gloves long enough to stamp anything!)
This photo of Bernie with the cocked leg amuses me greatly - like he is showing his opinion of missing letterboxes!

After searching the harbor, and lunch in the one of the only eateries that isn't closed down for the winter (subway) we then headed out to Acadia National Park. The Park is a hugely popular tourist spot in summer, but is officially closed for the winter. Parts however are accessible, and I had it in mind to find the letterbox called "Blackbeards Hidden Cove" - so we started following the clues - find a road that loops around (Park Loop Rd) - pass a sandy beach (Sand Beach), past a hole that lets you hear thunder even when the sky is clear (Thunder Hole), past cliffs and a large cove and a stone bridge ...

A beautiful day at Sand Beach - and not too cold because it was protected from the wind.

Bernie enjoyed a nice stroll along the beach and watching the waves.

We stopped at Thunder Hole, but it wasn't the right point in the tide for thundering. Bernie enjoyed a lesson on the causes of this natural phenomenon, but wishes he could have seen it for himself!

Sadly after Thunder Hole the park loop road reached a point where it was gated off for the winter - and this made access to the letterbox not possible. another bummer.

No letterboxes to be found, but we decided to drive out to find the lighthouse that none of us had actually seen before - driving through the picturesque towns of Northeast Harbor and Southwest Harbor, we made a fairly complete circle of Mount Desert Island to reach the lighthouse at Bass Harbor.

Bernie at Bass Harbor Lighthouse. We had to climb down a hill of sheer ice to get here!
No letterbox success, but a beautiful day at the ocean!
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Poetry Smurf

January 3, 2009
Holden Nature Trail - Holden, ME
Bernie, InsaneGuy and Agent S. braved the chilly day (24 degrees!) to go letterboxing in the snowy woods! Some recently planted letterboxes awaited (ok so I had gone with OnTheCorner to plant them, but since I didn't stamp in that day I couldn't count it yet, and that needed to be corrected! And I made the InsaneGuy decipher the clues, which he liked a lot better than the stamping part of this adventure. Here we are at the first box, "Poetry Smurf." That was when I realized I only had green ink - poor smurf is having an identity crisis!! By the time we finished stamping, Bernie and I had frozen fingers and paws, so we decided not to stamp anymore that day - but we did continue on the hike and point out where all the other boxes were hiding.

Kiosk 9 tells about life in a dead log

Just past Kiosk 9, InsaneGuy points out a letterbox in a dead log.
Posted by PicasaBernie finds the "Joy to the World" letterbox hidden inside the dead log
Requisite picture of InsaneGuy pretending to push over leaning tree. There is another smurf letterbox hiding in the roots (at least there should be, I think the snow was hiding him)Following our hike we stopped by the playground. Bernie liked the slide best, but I prefer swings and InsaneGuy is of course monkeying around! =P

Ponder This

January 2nd, 2009

To start the new year off right, we had to find a letterbox!! We went to the Brewer Public Library to find this new altered-book letterbox called "Ponder This."

If you look at the stamp the way it is in the picture, it is called "There's One in Every Crowd!"

But if you flip it around, it is called "Maybe it's just Me!"

Ponder this - which way would you stamp it?

Bernie reads the description of this letterbox, written by OnTheCorner! (who is Agent S.'s mom and also the planter of this box)

Accompanying us on this mission was InsaneGuy - this was his first ever letterboxing excursion, and while he does not share Bernie and my excitement for finding stamps, he was a good sport and stood guard so no one could spy on our stamping!
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