Monday, September 19, 2011

Family Adventures: Letterboxing

My Wife has discovered a new family hobby for us: letterboxing. Learn all about it here. The basic idea is, someone plants a waterproof box somewhere. They put a rubber stamp and a small notepad in the box. They post clues to finding the box online. The searcher finds the box, stamps their own notebook and marks the notepad in the box with their own stamp or signs it. Done. It's basically a treasure hunt. The boxes are planted throughout North America and beyond. There are 178 listed for Northern Vermont alone, including quite a few within easy striking distance of our house. So, we decided to give it a go.

We started with the Mills Riverside Park Series. Sadly, we were only able to find two of the three in the series. We couldn't find #1. One of the clues for #1 is "Check out the amazing tree." This is Vermont, for crying out loud! Throw a rock in any given direction. It'll bounce off of one amazing tree and hit the one next to it. There has been some flooding in the area, as you may have heard, and it's not difficult to imagine that box might have been washed away. We did find #2 and it was in excellent shape. #3 hasn't fared as well. The box had been crushed and the notepad was completely soaked. The stamp was in good condition, though.

Overall, I enjoyed it and I think it has a lot of promise as a hobby for us. It's hiking-light compared to our Long Trail and Side-to-Side projects. It's also driving-light, which I definitely like. Some supplies to bring for next time: gloves for poking around in the dirt and underbrush for the box, hand wipes and/or sanitizer and perhaps some extra Ziplocs to reinforce boxes that have sustained damage.

We also went "apple picking." Apple picking the past couple of years has basically involved driving to Chapin Orchard, buying a couple bags of apples, then finding a nice place to sit with our cider and doughnuts: perfect.

Finally, we stopped by the Jericho village green to see the new sculpture display by Our Girl's after school arts program. This is her section of the larger whole which follows:

Overall, it was a great, adventurous weekend. The equinox is near!