Letterboxing

/ posted in: 101 in 1001Hobbies

For some reason last night I decided I wanted to go geocaching. Geocaching is looking for hidden boxes using GPS coordinates. Inside the boxes are log books that you sign to say that you’ve been there. There is also usually a stamp that you can stamp in your own book as proof you found the box. I happen to have a husband who makes his living writing GPS software so I thought this would be easy.

Wrong. The husband makes software that pinpoints to within a centimeter where things are underground. When I discussed with him that I just wanted a unit that would tell me where I was he got distainful. The end of the discussion being if I wanted something that “tacky and cheesy” I’d have to buy it myself because his units could draw me a detailed map to the box (and given enough time he’d probably program them to pick them up for me) but he doesn’t stoop so low as to bother with GPS units that just tell you where you are.

So that took the fun out of it for me. Then I remembered letterboxing. In letterboxing you get clues that you need to figure out to find the box. No coordinates. Just brainpower. That seemed better to me. I checked out the letterboxing site and found that there is a box in my county so I went and checked it out this morning. (I’m claiming this as #77 Try something new on my 101 things list.)

The clues started at a college bookstore. I bought myself a small scrapbook there so when I found the book I could use the stamp in the box. I brought the only rubberstamp I own which is a tree. I guess lots of people make their own stamps but I was in a hurry to try it.

There wasn’t alot of figuring things out for this box. Mostly I just followed the directions on a winding path through the grounds. It was a beautiful day to stroll through the pedestrian only areas of the campus. I’d never been there before. The course took you from statue to statue until you ended up in a cemetery. I saw the stump that the clues said the box would be in. Lots of squirrels and chipmunks watched me walk over to it. I had a moment of trepidation. Would there really be a box inside this stump? But it was there. According to the log book there had been lots of people coming to this box. The latest one before me was last week. The farthest away ones were from California. I definately didn’t expect that in this area.

I think I’m definately hooked. I’ve got some ideas for places to make my own boxes to hide. I’m looking at other clues in my area. (Let it be noted how far from the mainstream I’ve fallen when for the longest time I interpreted one clue “_____ of Eden” as East instead of Garden.)

Check out the website to see if there are boxes in your areas.