Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Little Letterboxing on the Side

While visiting the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center for the Clinton Anderson Downunder Horsemanship clinic, there were several half hour breaks and one hour-long break, so Lisa and I took advantage of that time by letterboxing. I had read about Lisa's letterboxing adventures on her Laughing Orca Ranch blog site, and am always interested in a treasure hunt. It was good seeing the process in action, so that if I someday have more time to travel, I can participate in the hobby.

Lisa had printed out a list of clues that would lead us to hidden letterboxes in the area. Amazingly, the first letterbox was a very short walk from the clinic. Upon locating the box, we found a stamp of a jumping mini horse inside.

There was also a sign-in or stamp-in sheet. People put their personal stamps in this book and sometimes leave comments on where they are from and the date. It's kind of like sharing a secret with a very select group of strangers.

Lisa had an ink pad and placed an impression of the letterbox's horse stamp into her personal letterboxing book.

It was 55 degrees outside, but pleasant enough, at least until the sun set. Then we were both shivering and our teeth were chattering. When Lisa told me that it is colder in Northern Nevada than it is in New Mexico, it made me want to take a closer look at New Mexico as a place to retire, if not a place to move to get away from my crazy neighbors.

Unfortunately, we had such a tight schedule that Lisa didn't have the pleasure of witnessing my nosy neighbors' shenanigans. I know so many of my blogger friends would love to come to my house and moon them, but the only time we were at my house was late at night and in the wee hours of the morning. The neighborhood was pretty sleepy.

Lisa had to do some pacing to locate the second letterbox. This one was hidden in a juniper bush by the trunk of a tree by an apartment building. Now I understand why only letterboxers would stumble upon these treasures. They are hidden well enough that the average Joe just walking down the street wouldn't even think to dig around in there.

We must have looked like a couple of bums sitting on that tire in the bushes with all that paperwork and trash scattered around us. Every time someone walked by, Lisa said, "We're just eating our lunch here. Just eating our lunch."

Apparently, we looked like we lived there, because someone pulled over to the side of the road to ask us for directions. When we told them we weren't familiar with Reno, I'm sure they were wondering what tourists were doing sitting in the bushes of an apartment building. This is a Reno Rodeo stamp...

This is the Twinville Trekkers stamp...

I think that Lisa found herself a new recruit. I'll have to start thinking about what identity I want to project with my personal stamp. I wish my kids were younger, because letterboxing is something that I would have really enjoyed doing with them. Perhaps I can still get them involved and use letterboxing as an excuse to travel with them. That might be a little more interesting to them than hiking alongside me while I ride a horse.

Thanks to Lisa for sharing this hobby with me. Now when I see people loitering suspiciously in bushes, I'll have a better understanding of what they are up to.


Once Upon an Equine said...

I've never heard of Letterboxing. Interesting. Who sets it up and how do you get your clues?

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

roflmbo!! I loved, loved, loved this post, NM! I was smiling all the while while reading and enjoying all the photos you took. And I was laughing out loud, remembering us sitting in those bushes and the way we must have looked if anyone noticed us. lol!

I didn't even know you were snapping away while I was stamping. See? You'd be perfect for letterboxing with your stealthiness. heehee!
I'm glad we were able to do some letterboxing together, my friend.

You're right about the early mornings and late nights. I had hoped to take some photos of Gabbrielle, Bombay and Lostine, but it was always too dark, or their noses were buried deep into their hay buckets. hehe!
I'm glad I was able to meet them, though, and give them some petting and treats.
And I'm happy to have met your son, hubby and most of all...you!

Maybe in the future I can meet your nutty neighbors. (And I'll be sure to wear loose underwear, so it'll be easier to moon them. hah!)

Thanks again for your friendly hospitality. :)


fernvalley01 said...

Looks like a fun hobby ,I had never heard of it . Thanks for sharing

Breathe said...

What fun! We've done a little letterboxing, but I was enjoying it much more than our kids.

I guess I didn't pass on the pirate gene. :)

Glad you got to go with a pro!

The D-Meister said...

I don't quite understand what letterboxing is. Is it like a scavenger hunt? Anyways, it seems pretty adventurous and interesting.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I think rather than trying to explain letterboxing in a comment or write a more detailed post about it, I'll direct you to Lisa's posts. She has all of her letterboxing posts here: http://laughingorcaranch.blogspot.com/search/label/Letterboxing

And here is a specific post about how letterboxing works: http://laughingorcaranch.blogspot.com/2008/07/letterboxingembudito-canyonalbuquerque.html