Saturday, November 7, 2009
We finally did it!
Letterboxing is "treasure hunt" in parks, forests, and cities around the world. Participants look for hidden letterboxes by following clues or cracking codes, which other letterboxers leave on various websites. Check it out here.
Letterboxers stamp their discoveries in a personal journal, then use their own rubber stamp, called a signature stamp, by stamping it into the logbook found with the letterbox, perhaps writing a note about the weather or their adventures in finding the letterbox, or just a message to the next person who might find the box.
So where and how did letterboxing start?
"According to legend, in 1854 a Victorian gentlemen hiker put his calling card in a bottle and stuck it into a bank at Cranmere Pool, in a remote part of Dartmoor in southwestern England. Over the years, the hobby developed; current reports indicate that as many as 10,000 letterboxes are presently hidden in Dartmoor, now a National Park. Visitors from around the globe prowl the heath at Dartmoor in search of the elusive boxes and the artful stamps inside.
In April of 1998, Smithsonian magazine published an article on the Dartmoor letterboxes. Within a very short time, a loose alliance of adventurers and rubber stamp enthusiasts pioneered the introduction of the hobby to the US. With the Internet as a primary means of communication, the idea soon spread around the country. Web-sites and a discussion group were established. Letterboxes began to be placed in inconspicuous but interesting locations throughout the US."
Yesterday we found our first letterbox (4th Hole and 7 Strokes Ago!) in Ulster County, New York, and we placed our first letterbox on The Labyrinth Trail of Mohonk Mountain House. There are hundreds of thousands of letterboxes hidden all over the world, including some right here in our town. It's a great CHEAP activity for friends and family to do together and I love the fact that it combines two things I enjoy most in life: spending time in nature and art.
We'll be looking for letterboxes wherever we go now.
Won't you join us??