Letterboxing: A Real Life Treasure Hunt

Letterboxing @ Three Cornered Hug

Image by Krzysztof Szkurlatowski; 12frames.eu

Part mystery, part scavenger hunt, part pirate pastime- letterboxing is a great way to get some fresh air and add a little adventure to your hikes.

What is letterboxing? Well, it’s a hobby similar to Geocashing, except that it utilizes a set of mysterious directions in place of the GPS. It’s been extremely popular in England for quite some time, but didn’t catch on in the US until the 1990’s. In short, you hop on to a letterboxing site to find some boxes that have been planted in your area. You will need to make up a neat nickname for yourself (or your group/family), get a “logbook”, and buy or make a stamp that represents you well. Following the clues and instructions found online, you locate a box, which will contain it’s own stamp, a log, and possibly some other cool things. You use your stamp on the log in the box, and use the stamp from the box to record your visit in your logbook. It’s best to put a date next to both stamps.

Later, you’ll have a record of all of the places you’ve visited, and the person who planted the box can see who has been there. This is a great activity (especially for boys) which may help you to see your area in a new way, and maybe find some spots you’ve never seen before. It’s also fun to take your stamp and book on vacation with you to get stamps from different states (or countries!).

*BONUS!* Besides the initial cost of the few supplies, and some gas–letterboxing is FREE!

Here are a couple of sites to help you get started:

http://www.letterboxing.org/ (on the top you can see the tab “Getting Started” which is a good place to….get started)

http://www.atlasquest.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letterboxing_%28hobby%29 (This wiki has a little more detailed info on the different kinds of boxes, etc. You may want to wait to read this one!)

Once you’ve found all of the letterboxes in your area (or if there aren’t many), maybe you’ll want to go out and plant some for others to find. Now go out there and have fun!

Advertisements

DNA: A Creative Work of Art

Stained Glass DNA @ Three Cornered Hug

I’m not trying to say that there’s something inherently religious [in this picture] but, I think it is emblematic of the potential here of the topic to both interest people and to make them unsettled. Can you, in fact, admire both of these [pictures]? Can you do it at the same time? Is there an inherent problem in having both a scientific world view and a spiritual world view?

… We live on this knife edge of improbability … the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics [points to God’s existence.] There’s no particular reason why all the events in the universe should follow simple mathematical equations.

Dr. Francis Collins

Image

104,185 Square Mile Playground

This is my backyard.

Rocky Mountains @ Three Cornered HugWell…..sort of.

Now that we’ve been in Colorado over two months, I’ll testify that this state is one humungous playground. And it’s a good thing- the people here love the outdoors. They thrive on fresh mountain air.

Opportunities to sniff this goodness abound. Even in the middle of the big city of Denver, there’s beautiful park space, and young people can be found taking walks or playing football at lunchtime. In the suburbs, there are huge open spaces planned right in- the one near us is about 40 acres. There you can enjoy the playground, or paddle boats while quacking at the ducks in the lake.  You can walk or take a bike path–all the way into Boulder if you’d like! But then there’s the mountains. Nothing like them, and no limit to the activities to be found there. Snowshoeing, skiing/boarding, hiking, and more. Recently I found out that you can even drive a dog sled!

One of the places we like most near home is the Rocky Mountain Arsenal wildlife refuge. (That’s actually what’s shown in the picture above) This wonderful preserve just about 10 miles from us, is home to so many different kinds of animals. The highlight for me are the many eagles that come to spend the winter there. Bald and golden, you can find these majestic birds sitting together on the ice or in the trees.

Bison: Rocky Mountain National Arsenal @ Three Cornered HugAs you drive through you can watch as the little birds fly from one bison’s lumpy back to the next. You can chatter back to the little prairie dogs who pop out of their homes to scold you. A mule deer might be watching you from behind some brush just a few feet away as he nibbles on his dinner.

There are some areas where you can get out and hike the trails here. One evening as I knelt down in the grass along the road to take a few landscapes, I heard the eerie sound of a coyote calling to his friends…and then their answer.

After a few minutes I hopped back in the car and we drove down the road a bit. Like a flash, a coyote darted across the road in front of us. Looking to our right we could see the herd of deer he had been stalking. The huge buck who had apparently driven him away was watching to make sure he wouldn’t return.

What a wild and awesome state we’ve come to. It’s difficult for me to believe that all of this beauty, all of this wonder is all around us. Hard to believe this is all my big backyard.

Evening Over Denver @Three Cornered Hug

Image

Moving to Colorado!

Well, obviously there’s been a big gap in my writing– and there’s a reason for that! We are moving to Colorado! Woo hoo! My husband was offered a job (good news) and we have to be there in about three weeks (bad news)!!!

There’s so many great things to love about Colorado, but right now when the humidity is at worst in KY, the thing my mind dwells on is that it’s DRY in CO! I thought about that all day as I worked out in my yard with the sweat…well you get the picture, don’t you?

Speaking of pictures, here’s the MAIN reason to love Colorado:

Panorama at RMNP taken on a trip earlier this year.

Panorama at RMNP taken on a trip earlier this year.