Monday, May 3, 2010

Letterboxing Debacle

Ever since Lisa introduced me to the past-time of letterboxing, I have wanted to be more involved. I was able to find a few letterboxes with my daughter when I visited her in Arizona, but there are no letterboxes nearby where I live. So, that means I have to plant some myself to attract more letterboxers to the area, who will hopefully plant some for me to find someday.

It's been taking a while for me to gather all the supplies... clear plastic boxes, rubber stamps, handmade logs, and to create the paperwork that instructs people on how to use the box should they find it. I finally put together four boxes this weekend, but it was Sunday evening by the time I got everything together, so the planting would have to wait for another weekend.

Two weekends ago, my son and I had stopped by the Horsethief Canyon Trail Head and I knew I wanted to plant one there. In the meantime, our apple blossoms and plum blossoms were blooming and I wanted to get some Macro Monday shots, but could not not find my macro lenses. I took pictures without the lenses, and searched the house high and low, but could not find my macro lenses anywhere.

Then I remembered "the incident". When my son and I were at Horsethief Canyon, I pulled my trail guide book out of my backpack and heard something drop on the ground. I looked around, but saw nothing. I said to my son, "Did you see something fall out of my backpack?"

No, he didn't. I bent over and looked under the car, but saw nothing. I passed it off as my imagination. Sunday night when I couldn't find my macro lenses, I vividly remembered putting them in their case in the same pocket as my trail guide book. That was what fell out. Since it had snowed last week and the week before, I didn't think anyone would have used that trail. I decided to go back early Monday morning before my meeting and look for my macro lenses.

I woke at 5:45 AM, showered, and hit the road with my letterboxes. When I reached the trail head, I was disappointed to find fresh tire tracks all over the place and my macro lens kit was gone. Five years ago no one would have stopped at that trail head this time of year. However, now there are so many people in this area that there aren't many places where you can drop some valuable camera equipment and retrieve it two weeks later.

Oh well, at least I could plant a letterbox. I had to get back quickly for my meeting, so I had to find a spot close to the trail head. I found a good spot protected by the elements, but knew that every family with kids that stopped there to eat lunch would probably stumble upon it, since kids love to explore caves. However, I did have instructions on the lid telling people to leave it where they found it, and I included a letter on the inside explaining what it is. Hopefully, people will respect it.

I needed to count out the paces and write down the clues, so I ran back to my truck to get a pen and a pad of paper. The only pad of paper I could find had every page scribbled on it from when the kids were little. I decided to write over the scribbles. After hiking a ways and counting out the paces, I discovered that the pen was out of ink. I ran all the way back to the truck to get another pen.

By then I forgot how many paces I had counted, and I had to do it all over again. As I tried to write down the number, I discovered that this second pen was out of ink too! I ran back to the truck, turned my purse upside down and dug around until I found a writing instrument. I found one of those push button pencils. Perfect. You can't go wrong with a pencil.

I paced my way back to the first sign-post, pushed the button on the pencil to get the lead to come out, and all that was left was a little tiny stub, which promptly fell on the ground. I think I let out a wail louder than Bigfoot. I probably woke all the campers in the campground half a mile up the road.

I finished my pacing and memorized my clues since I now had no writing instrument. I repeated them over and over to myself on the drive home in the car. I'm sure people were wondering who that crazy lady was talking to herself.

Anyway, the very first thing I did when I got home is put two pens and a pencil inside my truck and two more pens and a pencil inside my purse. Then I wrote "pens and pencils" on my shopping list. I also put a fresh memo pad in my truck for writing down the license plate numbers of all the crazy drivers on meth who try to run me off the road. So is life. I guess I'm going to spend next weekend shopping for a new macro lens kit.


fernvalley01 said...

too bad about the lens kit. The letterboxing thing sounds like fun

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oh my goodness your post had me in stitches! lol!
If I had been there with you and I would be laughing so hard we' not only need a new pen, pad or pencil, we'd need a change of panties, too.

What a crazy adventure. I've had things similar happen to me, too. I must say, though, I was hoping you'd say that the first thing you did upon arriving home was to write down the letterbox clues you had been repeating over and overin your car...did you?

I hope I can get back to your area someday, so I can hunt for your letterboxes.

I'm sorry about the macro lens kit. I would have felt sick to my stomach realizing it was gone.


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Lisa - Yeah, once I got all the pens and pencils and paper situated, I logged into and input my clue straight into it. Then I called in for my meeting. I've got to get those priorities straight.

Cheryl Ann said...

I always carry pens and pencils around with me, to the extent that I had to get a larger purse! Now I carry a messenger bag! It has little holders for all the pens. Oh, and I keep a pad of lined paper in it, some sunscreen, lip gloss, hair bands, and anything else I can think of!!! But, it weighs so much I'm walking lopsided! That's too bad about the lens.

The D-Meister said...

Maybe I could hide some for you!

Also, I absolutely love that flower picture.

And your pen and paper debacle sounds a lot like my printing debacle I just had. I'm my mother's daughter. :-p

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Letterboxing is certainly dangerous. One of the first times I went letterboxing, Lisa lost her camera. You sound much more organized than me.

I'm so sorry about your macro lens.

photogchic said...

I am gonna have to read more about this "letterboxing." It sounds like geo-cacheing? I am off to look it up.