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Read Thread: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?

Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940688 by THE RED CYCLONE
Jan 17, 2017 12:27am
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We found an old Tom Cooch (The Orient Express) box planted July '99 in NY that was 11 years between visits. It had plenty of early finders until the landscape changed significantly. It took a few extra hours of searching once we were in the vicinity. Best kind of finds!
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940688 by THE RED CYCLONE
Jan 17, 2017 5:46am
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I found one several years ago that hadn't been found in seven years - that is a great feeling!
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940688 by THE RED CYCLONE
Jan 17, 2017 8:45am
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Southpaw and I found one that I think hadn't been found in 7 years. We had to wade through nasty briars to find it, resulting in torn flesh and clothing. So it was especially rewarding to find the box!
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940688 by THE RED CYCLONE
Jan 17, 2017 9:00am
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In 2015 we found a box that hadn't been found since 2007. It's not listed on Atlasquest and is an archived clue on LbNA. The box also contained a hitchhiker that had been put in the box in 2005 and hadn't moved since!
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940688 by THE RED CYCLONE
Jan 17, 2017 9:12am
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Box planted in July of 2006.
Multiple attempts through sept. 2007.
I found March 2011
Area frequently floods. It was buried in mud right where it was supposed to be.
Adopted box and relocated it. :)
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940688 by THE RED CYCLONE
Jan 17, 2017 9:26am
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3 years for me. Sometimes I am tempted to Hide all Attempts on my boxes, because soooo often it is because people didn't look hard enough.
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940688 by THE RED CYCLONE
Jan 17, 2017 10:18am
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That's awesome!
Box #9325 planted in 2005 has been found once, in 2012. (Except for the noxer who stumbled across it in about 2010 and emailed me to see what it was all about.) It's a longish hike, but the walk is pleasant and the forest and views are gorgeous!
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940719 by FloridaFour
Jan 17, 2017 10:24am
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I am tempted to Hide all Attempts on my boxes, because soooo often it is because people didn't look hard enough.

I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but I'm more likely to skip the ones with attempts hidden than ones with logged attempts. If I can look at the history, I often see that there are a couple finds, followed by a single attempt. It gives me an idea how long it has been between tries, for one thing. If someone finds it and two months later a brand-newbie comes along, I'm taking that attempt with a grain of salt and I'll go for it anyway. If it's been a long time between finds, followed by an attempt, there is always a chance that the terrain has changed and they didn't look hard enough. That is a challenge! If there are several attempts and the owner hasn't checked it, it's fair to assume it's missing. If I have time, I'll check anyway. If attempts are hidden, there could be a dozen attempts and the box is truly missing. I resent wasting my time that way, and skip it, especially if I suspect that planter is no longer maintaining their boxes, which is often the case. I can make decisions that are more fair to the planter with more information.
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940713 by Rocklun
Jan 17, 2017 10:56am
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Southpaw and I found one that I think hadn't been found in 7 years. We had to wade through nasty briars to find it, resulting in torn flesh and clothing. So it was especially rewarding to find the box!

If that is the box I am thinking of, you and Southpaw deserved a medal for getting that box! A long-forgotten box planted in 2000 that you guys found in 2012 in a dense, briar-filled, swampy area with no longer any evidence of a path.
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940688 by THE RED CYCLONE
Jan 17, 2017 11:41am
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Since August of 2015 I've managed finds on 9 boxes* that hadn't been found in 4 or more years, with the longest being just over 7 years. Altogether, there is nearly 49 years of "loneliness" on those 9 boxes.

Yes, I do a big happy dance whenever I find one of these. Finding a box is fun. Find a really lonely box is a drug of it's own kind!

* only 4 were letterboxes; the other 5 were alternative-site geocaches (3 on Terracaching.com and 2 on OpenCaching North America), those sites having fewer users compared to LbNA or AQ

And all but one of those was in really good shape - the bad one being hid in a coffee can which was bad no longer how long it was out there for. 7 of the 8 were L&L-brand or similar. I'm starting to think a L&L can last forever (out of the sun of course) if it's never opened, and that water-infiltration is related to the box being opened and closed. But that another thread unto itself.
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940688 by THE RED CYCLONE
Jan 17, 2017 3:14pm
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I have found several this year that hadn't been found since 2009, and a few since 2008. It seems crazy, because these were on well traveled trails.
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940741 by yakkman
Jan 17, 2017 3:19pm
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I'm thinking longer hikes are somewhat out of favor with letterboxers. Basically, some people are out for a hike, others are out to find letterboxes -- but few are out to do both. Your well-travelled trails are well-travelled by noxers.
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940704 by dingus dufus
Jan 17, 2017 4:32pm
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We found an old Tom Cooch

Cool. I have some clues for one of his planted in 1999 in upstate New York. I have yet to get to that area though. :(
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940713 by Rocklun
Jan 17, 2017 4:35pm
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resulting in torn flesh and clothing.

Good times!!

That's a Professional Letterboxer!! lol
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940688 by THE RED CYCLONE
Jan 17, 2017 5:16pm
Board
I've found a number of boxes that hadn't been found in 3-4 years. Maybe 5. I can't remember. I've also found a number that have been out there since as far back as 2004 and are still being found every 2-3 years. That's fun.

I've found some that have been there for a few years and found by me and one or two other people and probably not looked for since. Found a few that were there for over a year and no one had looked for them. Or at least they had no attempts on them.
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940742 by Kirbert
Jan 17, 2017 5:23pm
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I'm thinking longer hikes are somewhat out of favor with letterboxers

I think that's too general a statement. Or maybe it's a regional thing. Lots of people still go on long hikes to find boxes.
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940688 by THE RED CYCLONE
Jan 17, 2017 6:08pm
Board
Mine was five years, and I was the first finder--it was a brain teaser and it was a thrill to find it!
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940729 by Bon Echo
Jan 17, 2017 7:52pm
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Yes, I do a big happy dance whenever I find one of these. Finding a box is fun. Find a really lonely box is a drug of it's own kind!

So, Happy Dance?
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940728 by roo
Jan 17, 2017 7:52pm
Board
If that is the box I am thinking of, you and Southpaw deserved a medal for getting that box! A long-forgotten box planted in 2000 that you guys found in 2012 in a dense, briar-filled, swampy area with no longer any evidence of a path.

Yep, that's the one, roo! Finding it was worth the effort, though--those Bolton boxes are fun, aren't they? :^)
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940742 by Kirbert
Jan 17, 2017 7:55pm
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I'm thinking longer hikes are somewhat out of favor with letterboxers.

Do you think that it is because the average age of letterboxers is getting older? By that I mean that everyone gets older, and we're not getting enough new blood. They may be staying inside, or going outside for technology hunts like munzee, Ingress or Pokémon Go.
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940745 by MissMoon
Jan 17, 2017 7:55pm
Board
Good times!!

It's a crazy hobby, isn't it? ;^)
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940760 by Oberon_Kenobi
Jan 17, 2017 9:26pm
Board
I'm a younger letterboxer but I prefer to find short stroll or drive-by letterboxes when I'm alone, otherwise I get to paranoid to complete my hike unless I know the place really well (like near my house where I've planted boxes). When I go out to find other people's boxes in a strange place once I can't hear the road I get paranoid about all the bad things that could happen like falling off a cliff or being kidnapped or getting hopelessly lost. Plus I've gone on a number of longer hikes to reach a box and not been able to find it, very discouraging. I tend to do longer ones when I have friends and good weather and good clues.
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940760 by Oberon_Kenobi
Jan 18, 2017 7:02am
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Do you think that it is because the average age of letterboxers is getting older?

No, I think it's because a focus on numbers is creeping in. "Why go on a hike that'll take all afternoon for one box when I can find four drive-bys in that time? Now, if someone would plant a half dozen boxes along that trail instead of just one, I'd be up for it!"
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940768 by buddyjumper
Jan 18, 2017 7:10am
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I only do longer walks/hike with at least one other person, too. It's just a safety thing. But I genuinely enjoy going for those boxes. When we find them, it's so exciting. But even if we don't, it makes for a fun day. The last time we went out looking for some we suspected were gone, we planted a new one along the trail. I don't think we found any that day (can't remember for sure; maybe one box), but it was beautiful out, I was with good friends, and the hike was good for my heart. Literally and spiritually. :)

What I have found around my area, at least, is that many of the hiking trail boxes have higher restrictions. They tend to be excellent carves, planted by boxers who enjoy hiking, and are always worth the work to find them. But the higher restrictions limit who can go for them, and I don't think that's a bad thing in most cases.
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940771 by General Word Nerd
Jan 18, 2017 7:32am
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What I have found around my area, at least, is that many of the hiking trail boxes have higher restrictions.

Interesting! In my experience, planting boxes on longer hikes--especially in out-of-the-way places--is a type of restriction, since the majority of letterboxers won't look for them.

Southpaw and I have a number of plants with great carves (obviously, done by other people!) and in beautiful locations, but because finders don't get a lot of boxes for the amount of hiking they do, these boxes don't get many finders. I'm pretty sure that if we planted a 15-box series on a 2-mile hike, we'd get more finders. Different strokes for different folks! :^)
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940770 by Kirbert
Jan 18, 2017 12:01pm
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I think it's because a focus on numbers is creeping in. "Why go on a hike that'll take all afternoon for one box when I can find four drive-bys in that time? Now, if someone would plant a half dozen boxes along that trail instead of just one, I'd be up for it!"

Yep. A long time ago, it became about the numbers, not the experience, for many people. Too bad, IMHO. I could say more, but I'll desist, except for this -- the trend alienated many who wanted to provide experiences, not numbers; thus the dynamic fed on itself (with of course its exceptions (and the stray old curmudgeons) that proved the rule).

But, back to the original thread (sort of), I have a shoebox full of pre 2000 clues that never made it online; maybe about 20 or so, I dunno, from Southern New England (and this doesn't include the old 1990s VQ catalog, which I also have (and which is in more Northern New England), and yeah, they are letterboxes also, IMHO). It has always occurred to me to look for these again (I've found most of them), but more interestingly, host a gathering were people who come can have at them.

But, there are two considerations --

1) I'm an economist, and I know this stuff has value. So, would people pay for it? What would they pay for it? Obviously, all revenue would go to charity, (and it would not even cover my travel expenses to pull the thing off (which of course I don't mind eating for a good cause)), but I'm one of those people who believes value should be monetized, and whenever possible, such monetization should be used to reduce suffering in the world.

Ok, enough talking about money, cuz few want to, but the bigger issue, and the issue which has kept this project grounded. is the second consideration --

2) This stuff isn't my work. So, how can I hold a gathering and either sell or give out these clues? I can't presume the motive of the clue author, or whether their attitudes are consistent with mine, no matter how presumably good intentioned mine seem to be (I imagine the original authors wanted their boxes to be found, but is my plan a bridge too far?).

So, this project won't happen this year, but it might happen next year. It might just be me doing it, or it might be a gathering, depending on how people feel about the above. We'll see.

Oh, and nice thread BTW. Kudos to those digging and searching out the old boxes. Part of the original vision, and flies in the face of the "numbers game", which makes it all good.
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940770 by Kirbert
Jan 18, 2017 12:08pm
Board
It isnt my age as much as my arthritic knees. A two mile hike and im done for the day.
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940785 by Sir Braemoor
Jan 18, 2017 2:28pm
Board
Sell the experience, rather than the clues themselves? Maybe charge for the copies and bookmaking, or charge for the event itself; it would be a unique experience. The charity part? Maintenance on all those old boxes and clue updates would benefit the letterboxing community at large? I just can't think someone who left the hobby is still caring about their ownership rights, so assuming some effort has been in that direction toward securing permission, that just leaves public opinion to consider. And you know how that goes; there will always be those opposed and those in favor. I'd pony up happily for an experience like that.
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940785 by Sir Braemoor
Jan 18, 2017 3:23pm
Board
An in-person exchange of old lost clues would seem very consistent with my romantic vision of how early American letterboxing operated. Framing a get together around a charitable cause would be a win-win. I would sign up and help out with something like that.

As far as distributing the clues, I don't see a problem sharing any clue that was originally posted online by the planter/owner. They can be found by the industrious. The event might also satisfy those original clue owner's whose preferences were to have their clues hand-passed between like-minded boxers.
Finding/having old clues, even when there is no longer a box attached to them, is always a rush. They are like little letterboxing historical documents.
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940785 by Sir Braemoor
Jan 18, 2017 5:55pm
Board
Whatever form it might happen in, I'll be there. :)