Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

December 25, 2008 - MERRY CHRISTMAS
Bernie, the new Boxing Buddy has arrived - just like a Christmas present to me!
I had been away from home, house-sitting in Bangor for several days, but went home on Christmas morning and discovered a mysterious package!! (Actually I almost didn't open it because it was addressed ambiguously to S. Walton from an address on Orchard Street in New York - and lil sis, of the same initials used to live on an Orchard Street in NYC, but then I realized Bernie is from Orchard Street in a different NY town.) Bernie is the buddy of Kelsey's Kreations - on loan for some winter letterboxing! Since he arrived just in time for the holiday celebration, Bernie hung out on the presents and climbed into the Christmas tree. Just can't keep those boxing buddies from climbing trees!
Welcome to Maine, Bernie!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hirundo Wildlife Refuge

November 26, 2008

The day before Thanksgiving was particularly deserted at our respective workplaces, so Rainwater and I skipped out early, went for a late Thai lunch, and made it home while there was still daylight - a very rare occurrence since the sun sets at 4pm these days. OnTheCorner had recently had the thought that Hirundo Wildlife Refuge could be a good place to hide letterboxes (though she hadn't been there in many years) ... so I suggested a reconnaissance mission to investigate. Now there are two boxes hiding in these here woods - the frog prince and his castle! We had a really fun time hiding them! One of the trails is marked by spooky white crosses, and Rainwater made a blair witch inspired video.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

In the snow? Are we insane?

November 22, 2008 - Cascade Park

The first snow of the winter arrived today - but that was not going to stop us from finding another letterbox!! (Perhaps it should have - we spent most of the trek into Cascade Park doubting our sanity!) The stamp that inspired this mission is called "Life-flight of Maine" - located at the edge of a field behind the park, overlooking nearby eastern maine medical center - hence the helicopter theme. The wind was blowing across this field ferociously, making it very difficult to stamp into the books. Pictures aren't as fun without boxing buddies, but we were glad not to have to take the time to get extra stamps - brrrr!

We also stopped off at the Bangor Library and found the letterbox "Buried Truth" which I had previously scoped out (the day I went to the post office to mail James Bone, Zamboni and a b-day present for my favorite little Finnish buddy - mom called while I was there and gave me directions to investigate this newly posted box. To spoil the surprise, the stamp is an eraser with the words "goverment = lies" carved in it. The best part of that box was the clue - behind the statue of three men, one with an axe.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Indian Trail Park - Look-out!!

November 1, 2008 - One last adventure with Zamboni and James Bone!

Indian Trail Park - Brewer, ME.

This is a series of three boxes called "Look-out!", "Broken Tree" and "Watch your Ankles!"

We like to make things difficult by not following directions properly (couldn't find the first landmark, so just jumped into the middle of the second set of clues) ... so the first box we discovered was the broken tree, which you might infer from the clue was hidden under the base of a very large fallen tree. Zamboni and James Bone are very small in comparison!

From there we journeyed on to the third box, hidden along the bank of the Penobscot River, named 'watch your ankles' because it is only accessible (without getting wet, which clearly we would not do on a such a cold November day!) at low tide. We were in luck with the tide situation (maybe OnTheCorner planned ahead a bit?) ... the box was however entirely full of water! Fortunately the logbook was kept dry in it's plastic bag, so we got to leave our marks.

Finally we attempted to reverse the clues to navigate to box #1, but while we were certainly in the right area, we just could not find the 'look-out box.' It was a bit of a treacherous going, because the rocky path was covered in fallen oak leaves, which are very slippery - we couldn't count out the right number of paces because we had to walk in cautious baby steps, and while the clue says you should come to the edge of a cliff, that didn't seem like a smart idea! After extensive searching, we were forced to concede this one.

Zamboni and James Bone had to return to their people - thanks for playing with us little buddies!!
(You can check out the further adventures of James Bone at as he accompanies ResQlou on a new set of missions!)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween From the Boxing Buddies!!!

In honor of this frightfully scary holiday, our friend James Bone decided to dress up as a pirate (Arrrrr, Matey!!) complete with eye patch and pirate hat with feather in it. Zamboni showed off his more angelic side, with a curly blond wig, glittery halo and white robes. They are seen here with the plastic pumpkin bucket

That swash-buckling pooch climbed to the top of the great pumpkin ... which may tomorrow become the great jack-o-lantern!

I myself was disguised for Halloween as well, in a costume I call "Gone Over to the Dark Side." For those of you who do not understand the true nature of die-hard Red Sox fans and our rivalry with the evil ones, please allow me to explain that this is only a joke, and I would never in my right mind actually wear a New York Yankees hat (gross!!) My fellow Mainers and New Englanders of course understood how the black wig, black nail polish, and black clothing from head to foot tied in to this dark side theme .... but I also work with a great many foreigners from far off lands (who don't know what to make of this crazy holiday) and needed some explaining! My cubicle mates, Hitomi from Japan and Lei from China, found this particularly amusing, and insisted on posing for pictures (and Hitomi asked to touch the hair!)

Sadly it is almost over, and we have had no trick-or-treaters yet this year to scare with my horrific ensemble ... but all the more chocolate left for me and the buddies!!

We can't even help ourselves!

Sunday, October 26, 2008:

The Towles, fellow Glenburn letterboxers, went searching for our planted Robot boxes, and sent an AQ message,

"Hope you don't mind we left a hitch-hiker in one!"

Why no Towles, we don't mind at all! Hope you don't mind that we stole it!

So what if it was raining! (And such ferocious winds that earlier in the day when I went to check in on my experiments at the lab, the road to Orono was closed due to downed power lines and trees and I had to detour an extra seven miles through Bangor just to get there)

A little rain does not stop a true letterboxer!

We found the Compass hitch-hiker from Rhode Island (though the stamp is a bit broken, and this hitch-hiker will now be sent back to it's owner for repair ... good thing it doesn't want to go north, because that direction is missing!)

Beware of Robots - revisited

October 19th, 2008:

Boxing buddies couldn't visit us in Glenburn, ME without a visit to the series of stamps that was our first plant this summer - Beware of Robots.

After the weekly family dinner, our little cousin wished to take a trip to the school's playground - and I agreed that the buddies and I would go, on one condition - we had to walk the Nature Trail as well! While little cuz stands by his opinion that any treasure hunt in which he doesn't get to keep the treasure is "the lamest thing I ever heard of" - he is quite content to wander along the trail and jump off boulders while we stamp. Cousin RainWater helped keep him entertained, while we stamp in at Itsy Bitsy Spider (top left)
Robot's Rocket Ride - as carved by Agent S. The most recent visitors to our boxes (ChickenLips) used colored markers instead of ink, and some of that remained, which made for some particularly nice colored stamping ... and maybe will inspire me to try out this marker thing too!

Then we found the scary Robot at his moss covered hiding spot, and further ventured on to sneak up on that peak-a-boo puppy!

Get Lost!

(That's the name of the letterbox, not an order!) On October 18th (after finding the letterbox at the lake) we headed back to Bangor City Forest to find the remaining elusive box. This is a Letterboxing North America set of two boxes called Get Lost and Dust to Dust. Get Lost is at the very far edge of the forest trail where it meets an old railroad bed, and along the way we passed the site of Dust to Dust so we stopped to search it out again, now that we know how to read the compass ... we found Moose Trail, a tiny little winding track at the intersection of two more major trails, and counted out the proper number of paces from the trail head, searching at the proper number of degrees for a "large pine" ... but still nothing! So after some cursing about people who use pine trees as clues in the middle of a pine forest, we gave up and continued on down the golden road of pine needles to the end of the trail. There we met with much more success, though there was a tricky part about following the unmarked East Trail which had on a previous attempt by certain other members of this family caused some confusion, because there is also a marked East Trail.

At the Get Lost Letterbox, there is a bonus clue for another letterbox, which requires finding a trail that is not on the map. From the clue we gathered that Woodchuck Trail would at some point branch off from the railroad bed trail and lead back to the main loop ... and since we were already at the railroad bed, we might as well follow it for awhile ... so we walked, and walked and walked ... mildly reminiscent of another adventure in which we kept saying, "well maybe it's just around the next bend..." except that this time we gave up and turned around (after asking some bicyclists who said there were no trails branching off up ahead) - we had been afraid that we passed one possible side-trail, but it was too marshy to access. In hindsight, having looked at a better internet version of the map, we probably just had to keep going ... but we'll save it for another day.

On the walk back towards the car, we again passed the intersection of Moose Trail with the main paths, but this time, coming from the opposite way, we finally noticed that there is in fact another half of Moose Trail!! If we had properly paid attention we would have noticed that the clue begins with a compass direction telling which half of Moose Trail to start from, but we conveniently had ignored that before! So, after only three tries for OnTheCorner and 2 for Agent S. and 1 for the boxing buddies, the Dust to Dust box was discovered!!

We then left the city forest after a three hour tour (humming the Gilligan's Island theme song) and headed off in search of food ... because much like Gilligan's crew we weren't prepared to be gone for quite so long and hadn't thought to bring any lunch. The mommy decided we deserved Pepinos burritoes after such an arduous adventure, and I was hardly going to argue! I do love this letterboxing! =)

Back at home it was such a lovely autumn day that Zamboni and James Bone couldn't resist the fun of jumping in a pile of leaves! Who could enjoy a New England fall without a little leaf peeping?

Gould's Landing

Gould's Landing on Pushaw Lake is one of our favorite swimming holes - but definitely not today!!! BRRR!! Another gorgeous clear fall day, but lots of wind here on the water, and our fingers (or paws, as the case may be) were just about frozen by the time we finished stamping!

We had looked for this box back in July, but got thrown off track because the clues say to start from the tree with the V (lots of trees grow in v-shaped pairs) and to sit at the picnic table nearest the water (there are three picnic tables) and then walk towards the trash can with rocks on it (also three of those) and then find the letterbox among some boulders near the trees (also, lots of boulders, lots of trees) ... earlier in the summer, the actual hiding spot was guarded by a sign that read "Warning! Poison Ivy!" so we did not pay that clump of boulders/trees much attention ... but today there was not so much dangerous foliage, and voila! A letterbox!

Here our buddies sit triumphantly on their treasure chest (they must be our lucky charms!)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Painted Rock

October 12, 2008:

Along Route 6 in Lincoln, ME there is a large boulder that the natives like to paint messages on. Find the graffiti on the road that says "Patty Daddy '03" and stand on this, then look towards the boulder and observe a hollow stump, in which hides the upscott5 letterbox placed by Team Solid Rock.

After attending our cousin's 8th birthday party in a nearby town, We (OnTheCorner, RainWater, AgentS. and our grammy) ventured a little north to find this hidden treasure, on a beautiful fall day!

The Boxing Buddies were feeling adventurous as always, so we climbed up to the top. Then they had their picture taken, and they noticed that the paint on the rock matched the trees behind them!