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Read Thread: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15

Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Mar 11, 2015 5:43am
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I figured I would send this out today, since we'll be leaving early tomorrow for our long weekend away!

How did you “discover” letterboxing?

A scrapbooking friend of mine was scrapbooking about her first find, so I asked her about it. she gave me the lowdown, and the next day ATVRacer and I went looking for our first box. I've been scrapbooking my finds since then. I've been boxing since fall of 2007, but haven't even finished scrapping our first 12 months. I need to get busy!!! But, it's fun to recall the adventures, stamps and events as I scrap that far back.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 6:05am
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From a letterbox/geocache hybrid. I was so hooked on geocaching at that time, I didn't even open the logbook. But I did stamp the Pixar Cars stamp on a notebook. A year later, I got bored with geocaching and decided to try letterboxing. That was it! Hooked for almost 4 years now.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 6:08am
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(today is your Friday if you have Th & Fr as your weekend)
How did you “discover” letterboxing?

eaves dropping on WW"s private conversation.
WW, was it Laurie you were talking to?
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 6:14am
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Ours was the girl scout badge. It took a while because it seemed weird, but once I read through the requirements and looked around online some, I was interested. We went for our first find almost a year ago and the rest is history. ;)
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 6:38am
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My beginning may be quite unique. When I worked I was a total workaholic. When I retired I got bored very quickly. I could only clean so much house, play so much golf (besides it's so expensive and I really don't like it), or go fishing so much. I imagined my senior days in a senior center playing Canasta and complaining about the quality of bologna and cheese sandwiches.

So one day I Googled up a question. I think it went something like this: What do retired people do with their time? Maybe slightly different wording. Two responses came up Geocaching and Letterboxing. After reading both descriptions I decided I didn't want to spend the money on a GPS so I looked at Letterboxing. I joined LBNA and later AQ. Read as much as possible on both sites and finally got the nerve to get a logbook, store bought stamp and an ink pad and went out to find my first letterbox.

I was hooked and shortly after letterboxing became a very important part of my life.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 6:50am
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I went hiking with Brandy, who I met through our book club. She asked if I minded if she hunted for some letterboxes while we hiked. I said no problem, I'll help. I got really excited by finding the boxes (there may have been shrieking) and I would unwrap stamps while Brandy prepared her log book and markers. I told Brandy I'd be happy to assist her whenever but I thought I was too lazy to really get into it on my own.

The rest is history.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 6:54am
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At the time David and I were working together and our place of employment told us we had to take a vacation. Apparently we had the "max" vacation days allowed. So with less than a month to plan..... I suggested some adventure vacation. Just go without planning. That night David was watching TV and left the channel on some agate hunting show when he left the room. I happened to walking through. I watched a few minutes and told David let's do something like this. There was this lady in Minnesota (close enough we could pull it off) finding agates on the show. Later that night I got on line and searched treasure hunting (as I could not remember much of the context of the show). Letterboxing was first on the list. So I looked it up more. Read and read. Then I had David read about it. At the time was carving wood. So carving a stamp was not that far out of reach. I happened to have master carve (I use to stick my tools in it to keep them covered). So I carved up an s and d with paw prints our first stamp. So we used that vacation to go "hunt" on the road. It was fantastic. Next was joining the sites (AQ and LBNA).

The rest is history.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 7:21am
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I was at a Beta Sigma Phi social and we had a visitor from California there. She was telling the group how she got a hitchhiker on the way. I looked at her and was shocked that someone "our age" was picking up hitchhikers. Well she explained what her HH was and showed us the AQ site and the rest was history.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 7:49am
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Through geocaching... sort of.

I had heard of geocaching. I don't even know where, but I'm a nerd, so I would find out about odd things that nobody had ever heard of. I wanted to try it, because the whole treasure hunt/adventure thing sounded appealing. But I didn't know how to get started. I didn't have a good GPS, and didn't want to invest that kind of money without having a better idea of what would be suitable. I thought I could hook up with the local geocachers, and maybe go out with one of them to find out more about the hobby, before jumping in. That didn't work out.

ANYway, I was doing more research on it, and found a reference to letterboxing. Being a nerd, I naturally had to follow up this lead to an even more obscure hobby. In the end I thought it sounded much more in my line. I liked the artistic aspect of it; it really seemed like something that could tie together a few of my interests and hobbies, like printmaking and bookbinding. Also, I really liked that I didn't have to spend money on a GPS to get started. Hardly had to spend any money at all. My first taste of letterboxing was actually a local mini-meetup, and I was hooked.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 7:49am
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I heard about it a few times on parenting websites/message boards, as fun family activities. My twins were little at the time, three or four... so it really started for us as something for the older daughter to do with me. To this day, she still gets mad when they come along - she says, "Heartsquare is just me and my mom, you two are just tag-alongs!" She enjoys it the most, so often still I take just her along with me.

We had started hiking around that same time. Originally I thought of letterboxing as a separate activity - we found our first box in our local library! But when we attempted to hike as a family, there was a LOT of bickering about which path to take, or whether to follow a path at all! Letterboxing was PERFECT because it gave us a destination, and usually exact directions to follow.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 7:52am
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I may have the nerdiest answer: it was a thread on the Chronicle of Higher Education forum in which people were talking about their hobbies. It sounded fun, so I googled it. I was teaching an additional class at the time and finishing my dissertation, so I had to wait until the end of the semester. By that time, we'd been hit by an epic blizzard (think closed highways and no mail delivery), but being snowbound gave me time to read The Letterboxer's Companion cover to cover and try carving a sig stamp.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 7:56am
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It's amazing how a chance encounter led to years of fun. My granddaughter (then about age 11) and I were walking through the local sculpture park. A lady and her 2 sons who were visiting from IL were strolling along looking at a paper and stopping and starting. I finally asked her if she wouldn't mind telling me just what they were looking for. She very kindly explained just what letterboxing was all about and invited us to join them in their search. The box they were seeking seemed to be missing, but she pointed me to an activity that my grandkids and I could share.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 8:37am
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Like some others, I began as a geocacher after reading a blurb about it in the local paper. My DH had a crude GPSr, we gave it a try and we (mostly I) were hooked. I retired before he did and went by myself or with the dog if it was remote hiking.

Went looking for a geocache and instead found a letterbox placed a mere 6 feet away. Was struck by the hand carved stamp. Also found the cache and so left notes in both containers about - "if you are searching for the ____________, this isn't it; look around some more." I remembered the LBNA link on the Geocaching site and explored it when I got home.

Did both hobbies for a short time, but that was about the time of the advent of microcaches in geocaching which I found very frustrating what with the trashing of a 30 foot area looking for something 1-2 inches big. (I had long ago quit trading of 'treasure.') I love the hunt, but am much more interested in finding something worthwhile at the end. Letterboxing does that for me.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 8:47am
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I read about it in the Charlotte Observer newspaper in 2003. The newspaper planted a box and gave clues to it each week. I didn't do it at the time but clicked out the article since it was interesting. A year later I found the article and that's when it began...
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890624 by The Wolf Family
Mar 11, 2015 8:59am
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Oh, that sounds fun! I like the serialized clues idea.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 9:58am
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A few years back I lived in FL and a friend of mine mentioned it. I never really payed much attention as she explained it and forgot about it.

Then I moved to NC and was reading a book about some people who were Geocachers and the caches were turning out to be dead bodies. When I was finished reading it, I went online to check out Geocaching and then remembered that my friend, years back, had mentioned something like this. I contacted her and she told me again about Letterboxing. I went out and found my first box and was hooked!

I now live in VA with many boxes to find, and still sneak back into NC to see my sister and get a quick box every now and then. I'll be back in FL soon to see the rest of my family and friends, and also get some more boxes.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 10:03am
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What a great thread! So many of you have some really neat stories. I first heard about letterboxing from the September 2006 Family Fun that I was reading at my sixth-grade daughter's orthodontic appointment. The blurb mentioned LbNA, so that got us started. The addiction didn't kick in until I learned about AQ, which I joined March 30, 2008. I couldn't believe all the boxes listed there. I've found at least one box every month since April, 2008. Now I'm really looking forward to my college-sophomore daughter coming home for spring break so we can get some March boxes!
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 10:05am
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An article in a 2004 issue of Parade magazine introduced me to geocaching. I was anxious to get started but had to wait on a mail-order GPSr. While waiting, someone on one of the geocaching forums mentioned letterboxing -- something I could look into while waiting on the GPSr! The GPSr showed up sooner than expected, and I found my first letterbox on a drive from Tallahassee to Orlando (there were none in Tallahassee at the time) for Thanksgiving weekend and found my first geocache later that same evening.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 10:56am
Board
While researching a hiking trip to Dartmoor, I read about the history of letterboxing at Dartmoor National Park. Hubby said I could try it while on the vacation. Even without clues, I found lots of stamps/boxes.

Returned home and didn't think about letterboxing for a few months. In August of 2008 I wondered, "Does this hobby exist on this side of the pond?"
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 11:24am
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While at the zoo one Saturday I was talking with Abbycat & she said she had been doing letterboxing stuff. She explained Atlasquest & letterboxing and that people carve their own rubber stamps. I immediately said I couldn't do that, but I went home and dug out a rubber top stamp I had in my collection and immediately went out and got almost all the boxes in Springfield. After that I met Housepitality Hostess and she gave me one of her gouges and showed me her LTCs. I was off and carving and visiting places I'd never been. Even learned (kind-of) how to drive the St. Louis highways.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 11:49am
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How did you “discover” letterboxing?

My sister, who was a letterboxer, told me about it. We live on opposite sides of the planet, so we don't see each other very much, and the first time I confess I didn't really take it on board very much - I was more concerned with family news. The second time she told me about it, we were both staying with my father to support him through a medical crisis, and there was a lot more time to talk and share. She showed me her logbook, and I helped here solve some enciphered clues. I introduced the hobby to my husband and kids when I got back to New Zealand.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 11:50am
Board
I read an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Saturday, August 7, 2004, titled "The game's afoot", about the first gathering of letterboxers in Georgia at Stone Mountain Park. It said "more than 50 letterboxers from 9 states are expected to attend, and they'll be scouring the park for the 10 boxes hidden there."

There was a photo of a plastic container with the words "This is Not Trash This is a Letterbox" printed on the top and another of a logbook and signature stamp. It was described as hunting for a treasure with no intrinsic value by following clues posted on the internet to find boxes that other letterboxers have hidden. It sounded like something fun to do while walking Scooter so I saved the article and did some research.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 12:27pm
Board
My husband and I were Tangleboxing (a summer event here in Yamhill County,Oregon) at one of the parks and ran into a lber who introduced us to lbing and have been lbing ever since.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890640 by Book Hoarder
Mar 11, 2015 12:39pm
Board
....was reading a book about some people who were Geocachers and the caches were turning out to be dead bodies.

Well, that would make geocaching a little more interesting.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 12:56pm
Board
Flying J and I were quietly going insane one Thanksgiving in the family pressure cooker, and she suggested we go for a walk. We hunted down a box in a park just outside of town, and she showed me what it was all about.

I think for most of the Thanksgivings since then, we've escaped, I mean gone out boxing, just to get out of the house. I think Skootch and I found that same box one year, because the pressure cooker was rolling on high, too.

very exciting.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 3:29pm
Board
I had heard of geocaching and happened upon a family hiking at a nearby state park. They were using their GPS and they were lost. ;) Knowing the trails, I guided them to the hairpin switchback. I asked if I could tag along to learn about geocaching. Finding the cache was exciting, so when I returned home I immediately began investigating how to get involved. My friend who was with me was staying at a state park and shared his excitement about geocaching with the park ranger. The park ranger was a letterboxer and shared her knowledge and enthusiasm about that. My friend in turn shared his understanding of letterboxing with me by phone. I investigated letterboxing online and within twenty-four hours I was tracking my first box down with a quickly carved signature stamp. Within forty-eight hours, I was carving my second signature stamp-- a frog maze--which I used for many years.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890696 by aMAZEing adventure frog
Mar 11, 2015 4:48pm
Board
My friend in turn shared his understanding of letterboxing with me by phone.

Thank goodness for that friend!
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 12, 2015 6:33am
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I was in Hawaii with my friend, Mow's Art, who had recently started letterboxing. As we were taking a drive North Shore to see the sights, she asked if we could briefly stop at the Dole Plantation to "find a letterbox" and explained it to me on the way. I had no stamp or logbook, but eagerly helped her find several boxes on that trip. When we were back on the mainland, I jumped right in and I've been going strong ever since; I have even been back on Oahu several additional times and have planted many boxes there, as it is where my letterboxing hobby was "born"!
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 12, 2015 1:49pm
Board
I discovered letterboxing when looking through the badges on the Dog Scout website. I wanted to work on badges with the dogs that would allow us to go hiking for miles to be used for our Pack Dog certifications. Found the three letterboxing badges. Found AQ and LbNA. Dragged a friend on my first quest as we had to have a witness the dogs were well behaved on the search. The first box was broken and empty (bummer city). On the next trip, we found the box we were searching for. The dogs earned all three badges. I later took this friend with me on a whirl wind search for boxes in local cemeteries and he almost fainted from hunger because I kept saying...we can find one more box before we get something to eat. Okay...just one more box after this one. Well maybe one more box after the box after this box. Hunger didn't register until after I had found all the boxes I was after. You know what I mean. He survived to tell the tale and actually took one of his friends to see a box we had found together. Wasn't he lucky I asked him to go along with us?! Now the dogs are working on their three geocaching badges...they each earned the first badge. Once we've planted an additional 15 caches and held an event, I can get back to working and planting a letterboxing series I started last year. Caching is okay (took a friend and her dog on a whirl wind search for 11 caches at a local lake. Crawled under barbed wire. Was attacked by fire ants. A million sand burrs attached themselves to her dog. Long thorned trees attacked me. But we survived. I think I'm seeing a trend here...but I digress) but I really like the stories that take me to boxes and the artistic part of letterboxing. What will the stamp look like? Will people go after my letterboxes even after they discover I'm not the best carver? Will anyone ever go letterboxing (or geocaching) with me after reading this?
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890769 by Gypsy Fiddler
Mar 12, 2015 1:52pm
Board
I have even been back on Oahu several additional times and have planted many boxes there

I'm supposed to be going to Hawaii next year with a group of friends. I already told one of them I would have to find a few boxes while I'm there. I'll have to drag her along. She's not a real outdoorsy sort, but I'm sure she'll survive.