Sunday, October 28, 2012

Why I Like Letterboxing

Looking back at some of my pictures I thought maybe I should do a blog on why I like letterboxing. I like treasure hunting as much as the next person, but the thing that I really love the most about letterboxing is you find these really great places that you might pass by just following every day normal life.

I've lived in Island Park for ten years now, and have driven to Bozeman too many times to count. Someone planted two letterboxes at the end of the fall last year on the north side of the park as you head toward Big Sky. The first one was just off the highway, but the second one led you up a little used road that traveled through a dude ranch. (Public access to a trail head.) One of the clues said to look for a fish jumping just above the water on your left as you are driving up the road. Like a fish is going to be jumping every time someone goes up that road? was. Someone had carved a fish from a fallen tree and it is just above the water (and ice when I took the picture). I probably would not have noticed it if I was just driving up, intent on reaching the trail head, but because it was listed in the clues I saw it. What a nice bonus this added to this particular letterbox.

After my car wreck in February, Cathi and I drove down to Ogden for a letterboxing event. The Fifth of the Five Orders traveling letterboxes had arrived at a letterboxer's house and she was willing to share with anyone that wanted to go to the event. I had read about these boxes on Atlas Quest and really wanted to go, so I asked Cathi to go with me. We drove down that day, picked up a few letterboxes along the way, went to the event and then headed back home that night. A long day, but totally worth it!

This particular letterbox came with a cryptex that had to be solved in order to get the key to open the letterbox. The clues traveled with the box. Each person was only supposed to have an hour to solve the puzzle, but I am terrible at this type of thing, so I was glad we were working on it as a group. It took the whole group of us three hours to actually solve the puzzle. We all laughed when we finally solved it and the cryptex opened. It is hard to believe all the work that went into putting this letterbox together. Just the woodworking alone was amazing.
 To the left is the actual letterbox that had to be opened with the key from the cryptex. Inside it were two stamps. Below are some of the people at the event stamping their personal logbooks and doing exchanges with others.

Meeting others who enjoy this hobby is another benefit. But, still, my favorite part is seeing the beauty of this country in ways that I never imagined would happen.

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