Friday, November 19, 2010

I Beat the Storm

I did manage to make it out to the mountains to relocate my letterbox early this morning before the storm moved in. Now the weather forecasters are guesstimating 8 to 14 inches of snow in the valley. Fortunately, my husband had the day off from work thanks for furlough days saving the State some money, and he took the trek with me so that I wouldn't get eaten by a bear.

It turned out that the first part of the trail was slicked down with ice, so every footfall was treacherous. A private school was taking a field trip, which I thought was odd since everyone knows it is time to batten down the hatches. They looked like they were geared up for an all day hike, but we only had about an hour before the clouds and high winds moved in.

I found the letterbox and looked around for a better spot to hide it just off the trail, but not so far off that someone would complain that it causes people to tramp through an area that should remain pristine. Letterboxing is tough, because you are not supposed to leave the trail, yet if you plant the letterbox directly on the trail like I did, someone complains because they can't get enough privacy to sneak it in and out of its hiding place.

I just could not find a single spot where I felt the letterbox wouldn't be a problem, so we hiked back down the hill and looked around the picnic area around the parking lot. I found a stump where I could re-hide it, and then a short time later I found a great crevice under three boulders, so I planted a second letterbox there and created my first series.

I'm sure someone will bitch about them being too close to places where people are picnicking, but honestly, in all the times I've visited this location I have never seen anyone utilize those picnic tables. They usually head straight up the trail.

In other news, the neighborhood has been amazingly quiet lately. The young guy who seemed to have moved in next door appears to have taken the old lady's car and disappeared off the face of the earth. Now the lady has no vehicle doors to slam, so she can't pretend like she's searching for something in her car every time she comes outside to spy on me. She also isn't driving up and down the road in front of my house every 15 minutes. She actually just sits in her house quietly and keeps busy like most retired people do.

Occasionally, I see her watching me from her window or backyard, and sometimes she comes out to fuss with the tarps over the junk in her front yard, but at least she's not interfering with my activities every time I walk outside. Now it is just some of the time. I did notice that she has returned to the habit of walking her dog behind my barn when I'm in there cleaning stalls, but if I look at her and get eye contact, she knows I've spotted her and she'll stay on her own property.

All the construction has stopped too. The noisemakers are going into hibernation. Hurray!


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

That young man deserves something very special! Yay for your peace and quiet, too.

I'm glad you were'nt eaten by a bear. That would ahve s*cked. lol!

Don't worry what people think when you decide where to place your boxes. The biggest concern is safety, for you and for other letterboxes.

When we letterbox in Santa Fe, for instance, stealth is key. There are letterboxes stuck underneath mailboxes and electric meters, using magnetic key boxes. Some are placed in parking lots underneath the light pole covers. Many of the boxes are right beside a road with lots of traffic and pedestrians.

We recently found a very clever letterbox tucked underneath a metal pylon on a pedstrian/bike bridge crossing the Rio Grande River. We had to be ver stealthy, but it was so worth it!

Stay warm and dry. We are expecting your storm to show up Sunday. gah!


fernvalley01 said...

Good news all around. As far as the letter box I think you did your best , some people will always be unhappy and that is their problem ,not yours!

lytha said...

NM, Lisa, i have a couple questions. do you have moderators that approve or deny letterbox locations? do they have to be a certain distance from each other (so you don't find the wrong one by mistake)?

how can a stamp fit inside a key holder?


Dreaming said...

Every time someone posts about letter boxing it sounds like something neat to do. Then...I forget about it. (I just love my aging brain!) I have got to get set up and try it some time!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

I'm glad your neighborhood is quieting down. May the peace last!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Lytha - No moderators other than other letterboxers. They are asked to email the planter if they feel the letterbox has been planted in an inappropriate location. My offending one was under a rock that was used as a trail marker to show where the switchback turns. When I arrived to retrieve it, I could see that people had been moving the rock around and disturbing the ground. They don't want you to move anything. If there is a hole between some rocks, you can reach in to get a letterbox, but shouldn't leave any trace behind.

You can create a series of letterboxes along a trail or route, but I don't think there is a distance requirement. You just are not allowed to use someone else's letterbox as a starting point. Since some stamps are hand-carved, they can be carved as small as necessary to fit into whatever container is necessary. I found one in an old film canister. Most letterboxes are plastic sandwich bins, but I've seen little treasure boxes and VCR tape covers too.

achieve1dream said...

Well I guess winter has benefits for you if the noise makers are going into hibernation! Hooray! Now you should have a really loud, obnoxious party to celebrate. LOL just kidding!