Mark & Sue Pepe hail from Kensington, CT USA.

After finding our initial box in June 2002, we have since found letterboxes in 18 states and placed them in 13 states; 4 countries: Aruba, Bermuda, The Netherlands, Great Britain; and on a cruise ship! Thanks for stopping by our website and we appreciate your continued support.

"Have fun and just get out there & box!!!"

Email us: (Mark) or (Sue)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

We've Moved . . .

That's right - We've moved.

To a brand new home.

Please adjust your bookmarks accordingly. We're almost done unpacking and hope that you'll stop by!!

Visit us here.

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

We Lived, Breathed and Totally Loved OR!!!

So ya think we had a great 10 days in the wonderful state of Oregon and the fantastic Live & Breathe historic gathering?
Hell ya!

And to prove it, we've started a diary of our trip. It's not quite complete but we'll be adding to it as the days go on. Hope you enjoy it.

Oh -you'll find the story at a different location - one you might want to bookmark!

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, September 29, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Still Time to Sign Up for Bed & Boxing . . .

There is still some time to sign up for Bed & Boxing - our next Pinecone Adventure. We've extended the signups for 2 more weeks. At present, there are 30 people signed up. Initially, there was only about a 2 week window in which to sign up and then Sue & I hit the Oregon trail.

If you are interested in attending, you can find all the info you need at our special Bed & Boxing webpage.

Notice the nifty, retro logo to the left? It's our logo for the event and has been designed by PA's own Crayola Posse members True Indigo and RGBisMe. They also designed the winning patch for our Newboxers list and our recent First Ever Letterboxing Cruise. Sue & I love their work which is why we keep going back, asking for more! Thanks Terri & Jim, we really appreciate the wonderful work in such a timely fashion and exactly what we wanted!

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's All About the People!!!

Our recent 10 days in Oregon have answered that age old question - "What do you like most about letterboxing?"

At Live & Breathe, we met the most awesome boxers - DeniseRows (who embarrassed us with her excitement when meeting us,) SandiBox and daughter, Miss Moon, SHH and Triple T, the GA contingent who impressed us with both their boxing abilities and their friendship (Hi 123 Family!), Poodle Dudes & Spiral Seeker, Shiloh, Wassa and so many more that we met, exchanged and spoke with for a few minutes. And the most excellent Live & Breathe committee - who pulled off what we feel is the most important gathering besides that very first one held in Killington, VT with those original letterboxers back in the day!

And then - Sue & I went to the coast for 6 days where we met more wonderful people! The restaurant owner who gave Sue a petrified shell when she asked about finding agates on the beach, Roy & Kay - volunteers at the Depot Bay Whale Center who showed Sue & I our very first whale as we were gazing at the Pacific in one of those lovely pulloffs that dot the coast, Yiker & Spike and their family who took us under their wing for a day of boxing, made a terrific lunch and shared their love of family and the area in Corvallis, and Heron A Foot who shared her playground in the Heceta Lighthouse area (pictured above) and, along with her husband Eran, showed us how to hunt for edible mushrooms while boxing (they were delicious in an omelette I made the next morning!) Yiker and Heron gave up their precious time to spend a day with us and Sue & I are so appreciative to have shared that special time with them; allowing us to get to know them better and, as usual, parting as more than just boxers but friends.

So where is this all leading, you ask? Sue & I planted 5 new boxes in Oregon (besides a new addition to the Musician's Series in Portland - Thanks Gamecock!) and we're going to call them "Memories of Oregon" and each box will be dedicated to one of those amazing people we met along the way. We hope to have the clues up in a few days. The places we planted them are very special to us but the people to whom they are dedicated are even more special!

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Back from Oregon But Not Happy About It!!!

Well, we're home as of late Saturday evening from our 10 day trip that included the Live & Breathe gathering and the ensuing 6 days on the Oregon coast! And what a 10 days it was!!!

What can we say about Live & Breathe besides a fantastic time was had by all! Excellent clues, artfully-carved stamps, terrific locations and some very unique ways of hiding boxes. Sue & I cannot thank Mitch/Der Mad Stamper and his committee enough - Raqs Enigma, Marmalade, Camp Fire Lady, the Buppsters and Rad Rhymer. Camp Adams was an ideal location with over 200 acres of old growth forests with some challenging trails as well as moderate and easy venues. Clues ranged from straightforward to those puzzles and coded devils that DMS loves! We were pleased to see that most of the clues were either challenging or required a bit of thinking to solve. Sue & I were able to participate in our first night boxing on Saturday night as well.

This committee thought of everything. There was no stone left unturned when it came to the planning aspect - great meals, coffee & trail mix/snacks in every cabin, a bottle of water to be refilled so as to avoid cumbersome water bottles, a gorgeous patch for each attendee, a commemorative booklet with very informative articles (and a clue on the cover!) and a commemorative travel coffee mug and flashlight as well.

The photo in the top left is the re-creation of the main page of the LBNA homepage - one that Mitch designed back in the day. He told me that one day he was sitting in his living room and was looking around. He spotted some of the items he had photographed for the LBNA homepage and thought it would be a great display for L & B (Live & Breathe.)

One of the highlights was the excellent event stamp carved by Raqs Enigma. It took Raqs over 80 hours to complete and was a thing of beauty. We hope it will be either planted somewhere permanently or put on display at future gatherings. It was really remarkable!

Also displayed was an array of patches from the Dartmoor 100 Club in the UK along with a very nice note and sig stamps of the membership including Godfrey Swinscow. Other patches included regional and special patches from around the US.

We will detail more about the gathering and the wonderful time Sue & I had boxing at the coast after the event as this week progresses so stay tuned. The gathering was terrific and again, we thank the committee for their 2 years worth of work in organizing and planning this event. And the boxers attending - they were also great with a nice reprresentation from the East coast, the South and West. And even Alaska (DeniseRows.) While we didn't have time to exchange and talk with everyone, those that we did proved our theory that letterboxers are the very best of folks.

On the right you will notice 2 of the crazy masquerade ball attendees dressed for Der Mad Stampers Masquerade Ball. I wonder who they might be?

More to come later along with clues to about a half a dozen new boxes that we left along the coast and one new addition to the Musicians' Series in Portland.

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Live & Breathe Event is Almost Here!!!

We can hardly wait - the 10th anniversary of letterboxing's We Live and Breathe Letterboxing event is only 5 days away!

Sue & I, along with travel companions Dave & Deanne, leave early this Thursday morning for an 11am arrival in Portland. After a night's rest at McMenamin's in Troutdale, we head to Live & Breathe on Friday morning.

Then the fun will begin! We hope to record thoughts of the event from the over 300 letterboxers in attendance from around the country. We'll also be taking copious amounts of pictures to share once we return.

After the gathering on Sunday morning, Sue & I will be heading for a nice condo across the street from the beach along the Oregon coast. There we'll rest from the busy gathering activities and enjoy all that the coast has to offer.

We wish you all a great few weeks while we're gone and wish those of you heading to the Live & Breathe event a very safe journey! Early thanks to Der Mad Stamper and his wonderful staff for all of the hard work that they have poured into this gathering over the past year. I'm sure it will be one that all of us will remember the rest of our lives!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, September 07, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Another CT Town Celebrates Boxing Style!

First it was Ridgefield, now New Milford is celebrating their tercentennial with - you guessed it - letterboxes!

New Milford, CT has put out clues to 30 letterboxes located at historical sites and town parks. Please note that several are marked as being discontinued. Feel adventurous and want to get them all? A special commemorative coin will be your prize. The town's webpage related to it's 300th celebration letterboxes is located here.

OK - who's next???

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, August 18, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Only A Month Away!

We can hardly wait - the 10th anniversary of letterboxing's We Live and Breathe Letterboxing event is less than a month away!

Based on several emails from Der Mad Stamper, posts we've read on line and just the general buzz about the letterboxing community, we are confidant that this event will be unlike any other previous. Knowing Mitch and the committee and their penchant for mystery and innovation, we can expect the unexpected! This event will truly be the gathering of the decade.

The official guest list was released the other day, but our theory is that it is incomplete. Might there be a surprise guest or two? Time will tell. As we said, expect the unexpected! If I can stay focused enough at the gather (those that know me realize that's a problem!) my intent is to record the reactions and impressions of some of the attendees and the recording will be forwarded to Jackbear for a future podcast. Again - if I can keep my wits about me!!!

Keep up-to-date with all of the latest We Live and Breathe news at the official event website.

After the non-stop action of the weekend gathering, Sue & I are headed out to Newport, OR and the beautiful OR coastline for some relaxing and boxing. Luckily, we came across a condo unit to rent for the 6 nights that is located across the street from the beach. We are spending Sunday night through Saturday morning there. I have already run off most of the boxes within a 25 mile radius of Newport - heading north, south and west. We probably won't have time to do them all but it's better to have too many with us than not enough!!!

So - that's the plan for our next adventure. We hope that you will also consider attending the gathering. It should be something for the record books - ah - logbooks!

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A 300 Anniversary Boxing Celebration!

Sue & I heard about the tercentennial celebration going on in Ridgefield, CT this year at one of the early spring gatherings. "There are 22 special letterboxes" we were told to celebrate the town's 300th anniversary.

So I quickly sent an email to the committee's email address and received a nice email from Terry who is the head of the committee. She sent out a book of clues for the event and 4 weeks ago, Sue & I hit the letterboxes hard! We netted 14 of the 22 and thoroughly enjoyed the history and the locales that each box presented. Clever hides, interesting places, wonderful vistas. Ridgefield has it all!

This past Sunday, we finished the balance and sent an email to Terry and the committee for a job well done. I asked permission to post the info here for all of our readers who might be within a short trip to Ridgefield, CT which is on the NY border. Believe me, it's well worth the trip.

Ridgefield is a wonderful town with huge homes on well-manicured lawns. We were told about the location of the home of the owner of and our jaws dropped when we passed! It's the largest home we've ever seen - even larger than Buckingham Palace, I would guess!!! The town has very interesting terrain so you won't be bored - some large hills, lakes and such that keep the series very engaging.

These boxes are out until September 15 after which some may appear in a different form or place but you must get the complete series in situ. The town's website for the celebration is located here. To find out about the letterboxing portion of the celebration, go down the left side of the page and click on "Letterboxing."

Clue books (free of charge) not only tell the history and important facts about each of the locations but have a cool square where you may place the image. Our completed cluebook really looks great and we used our own markers to add some color to the images. Sue & I also stamped the images into our current logbook as well. If you venture to Ridgefield on the weekend, you may obtain a book at one of the following venues - some of which are open on the weekend:

Union Savings Bank, Danbury Road/Route 35
Squash's Office Supply, Main Street
Books on the Common, Copps Hill Common, Danbury Road/Route 35
Town Hall, Information Desk, Main Street
Chamber of Commerce, Bailey Avenue - just off Main Street
Ridgefield Historical Society, Sunset Lane - just off Grove Street
Conservation Commission Office, Town Hall Annex (old High School Building)
Neumann Real Estate, Main Street

One of our most favorite locations was the Weir Farm, a National Historic Site, that not only was the home of artist J. Alden Weir and his family, but served as a refuge and retreat for friends and fellow artists. The grounds are to die for - and was the spot we chose for a perfect picnic lunch respite from a long day of hiking and boxing. We suggest that you think about doing the same. The gardens are wonderful and the old stone walls really fascinated me.

So - that's the ticket! Get them before they are gone. I hope you make it there before September 15. Let us know how you liked the series and send an email to Terry and her wonderful committee from the website to let them know how much you enjoyed the series. The stamps, while commercially done, are originals that show both a consistency and a change for each location.

I think you'll find that it's time well spend in a beautiful town with much to offer in the way of history, hiking and boxing. A perfect trifecta!

Note: I took all of these photos just at Weir Farm as we walked the property, enjoyed our picnic lunch and hiked to the box.

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Bed & Boxing Signups Now Being Accepted!

Now is the time to make your reservations for the Bed & Boxing event - our next Pinecone Adventure - that takes place the weekend of November 14 to 16.

We've set up a special webpage that details the 3 participating inns, room categories and pricing. Also included is the menu for the special Friday night Welcome Buffet and more.

You don't want to miss this event! Be sure to phone the inn of your choice by September 1 and make your deposit. Call now to ensure that you obtain the room category you desire. Click here to be taken to the official Bed & Boxing page!

Hope to see you all there!

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Message from the Silver Texan!

We're glad to report that Silver Eagle and family are safe.
The following is a portion of an email we received this afternoon:

"Well, Edouard has gone by and thankfully it was a dud. It ended up coming ashore about 30 miles east of us and we only got a little rain and very little wind. It is amazing how close you can be to a Tropical Storm without feeling the full effects if you are on the "good" (west) side of it. Just last month when Hurricane Dolly came ashore in South TX, we felt some effects over 400 miles away to the east. However, this Tropical Storm was not that bad even to the east, so bottom line I think most people are ok. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. Silver Eagle"

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Monday, August 04, 2008

We're Keeping an Eye . . .

As Hurricane Edouard sets it's eye on Texas, the boxers and residents there are in our thoughts. Resident boxers include Silver Eagle and Barefoot Lucy.

After an email to them last night, we were informed that Barefoot Lucy is above the Houston area but Silver Eagle is right in the preliminary path of the storm. We have asked them both to let us know when the storm has past. We'll keep you informed as soon as we do.

Please keep them in your thoughts the next few days.

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, August 04, 2008

Sunday, August 03, 2008

It's Over!!!

That's right - our hiatus is over!

We've been away on the Bermuda Letterboxing Cruise and since we've returned it's been so hot and humid here in Pineconeville that we haven't made it up to our non-air-conditioned computer room except for short periods of time.

With this newest cool front that moved in today, we're typing and ready to go!

Where to begin . . .

* The First Ever Letterboxing Cruise!!! was a huge success (if we say so ourselves!) Great weather except for a few rocky days at sea. Our 3 days in Bermuda were sunny and warm. The boxes planted on the ships were very creative in nature - both in hiding places, carving and clues.

Many of the 37 passengers want to do this again so Pinecone Adventures is looking into The Second Ever Letterboxing Cruise!!! to take place in 2010 with possibly Alaska as our destination. We're just starting to research that and will invite the whole letterboxing public once the cruise line, dates and itinerary are chosen. Alaska is a place Sue & I have wanted to travel so we'll see how the cruise develops.

Watch this blog for more of our Bermuda cruise trip later.

* We begin work now on our next Pinecone Adventure - the Bed & Boxing weekend event that will take place the weekend of November 14 to 16. I will begin working on a webpage with all of the rates and inns as well as the itinerary for the event. Look for that later this week.

Our original deadline for reservations was August 1 but you can't register without info, right? Our new deadline for calling the inns will be September 1. You must call the inn of your choice and pay 1 night's deposit to be included in this event. At the time of this story, there are 68 people scheduled for this event. We hope you will join us for this special weekend of boxing where you will be pampered at one of 3 historic inns with your favorite people - letterboxers!

Plans are underway for some great new boxes that will debut that weekend by some of the most creative people in this pastime.

* Sue & I are pleased to announce the engagement of our son, Steve, to Katie! You've read about Steve and Katie in many of our blog stories relating to VT. Katie's parents, letterboxers know as The 2 Putts, came on the Letterboxing Cruise with us and were our constant companions, along with travel partners Deanne & Dave. Sue & I got a great opportunity to spend some quality time with her parents and really get to know them. Katie's mother really got to know me but that's one of those embarrassing moments that can't be shared here!

We're thrilled to have Katie as part of our family and her parents as well. We look forward to many adventures with the 2 Putts as well as the fun of watching the wedding plans unfold.

* We're signed up for the weekend Murder Mystery Boxing at Austin Hill Inn from August 15 to 17. Austin Hill Inn is located in beautiful West Dover, VT - only several miles from our VT home. I contacted the owners when I noticed that they were advertising letterboxing weekends. After meeting with them and tons of emails, these series of events came about.

While you may not know them, Debbie & John, owners, are very much into letterboxing. John has done extensive research and we've helped and advised wherever needed. They are making sure that letterboxers receive the handout created by Sojourner that gives a nice overview and some Do's & Don'ts about letterboxing along with some terms and definitions.

This will be a fun weekend to attend. Just a few weeks ago, they sent us a preview of 5 special boxes that will premiere at the event. The clues are good and the locations are some of our most favorite! We hope you have the time to attend one of these events. One took place in July, there's the one we'll be attending in August and one more scheduled for September.

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, August 03, 2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Time Draws Near . . . .

for our First Ever Letterboxing Cruise!!!

37 excited letterboxers board the Norwegian Dawn early afternoon tomorrow, Sunday, June 22 for a 7 day journey of rest, relaxation, boxing and fun.

Our bags are packed, we've made all of the final necessary arrangements and now comes the waiting - until 21 New England area boxers join Sue & I at our home 10am Sunday morning awaiting the arrival of the chartered bus to the piers in NYC - home of the beautiful Norwegian Dawn - our home away from home for 7 days.

We'll have some stories to share with you when we get home! In the meantime - have a great week!

posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Birthday - and Thank You!!!

June 16 is Sue's birthday and our 6th letterboxing anniversary!

Several months ago I sent out an email to some of our letterboxing friends asking them to carve a 2 x 2 quilt square for Sue so she could fashion a letterboxing quilt or pillow from all of the stamp images. The response has been terrific and I could hardly wait until Monday!

Tonight, unable to keep it to myself one minute longer, I showered Sue with quilt squares a plenty - 14 to be exact! Sue posted the following for those who made a contribution:

Dear Letterboxing Friends!

I am truly overwhelmed by your kindness and thoughtfulness in carving all of the wonderful quilt squares that Mark gave me tonight - from carvers/friends from all over the US! I'm not sure how I will fabricate the "quilt" as this point but definitely want to stamp the images on paper to frame for a special place near my quilting table.

Always in the background in support of Mark in this hobby, I am so thoroughly touched by this gesture that words cannot fully express my heartfelt thanks. Thank you all so much as well for all that you do to support Mark in this his obsession. You have no idea how much you all mean to us.


posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cruising and Musing

The time is fast approaching for our First Ever Letterboxing Cruise 2008!!! And this pinecone couple is getting pretty excited! We depart a week from this Sunday.

After receiving permission from NCL to plant boxes on the ship (scavenger hunts, I called them - not wanting to use the word "letterbox,") we've been in somewhat of a carving frenzy. We have 2 series to plant of 6 and 3 boxes as well as 7 different forms of puzzles that, when completed correctly, earn the boxer a unique & very special stamp. And some surprises as well.

There are a total of 37 passengers in this little group out of the 150 that expressed interest in the cruise early on. In an effort to save the group an additional $100, we moved the cruise to June 22 to June 29; the last week before the summer price increases. In doing so, that eliminated many people who have school age children, graduations and the like. If we run this trip again - which will more than likely happen in a few years - we will opt for a week or two later departure so more boxers may be included.

Don't get me wrong - I'm pleased that there is a nice sized group of 37 and it will prove to be a great mixture of many good personalities from around the US. Especially where this is a new trip, I find comfort in the fact that if we fall flat on our pinecone faces at least it's to a limited crowd (and many very good friends of ours that will be understanding!) I've noticed that the first trip, like Dartmoor, is always the most difficult. Details to work out, negotiations with the cruise line, learning how to have Sue & I set up as a travel agency, etc. Now that the work is done, we'll just have to replicate our efforts and make improvements that we spot along the way.

Our Bed & Boxing event will gear up shortly after our return from the pink sands of Bermuda. Funny - we received several emails asking why our events always had a fee involved which eliminated those that want to attend a Pinecone Adventure but might not be able to afford a trip to Dartmoor, a cruise or a weekend at a B & B. We've thought about that pretty extensively and we're starting to think about a gathering - just a plain, old gathering without any costs to take place next year some time. And we might do it in VT. We'll see how that goes. Like any good idea, it has to percolate for a while!

There are no plans to do a diary type report of our trip. Don't know if you've noticed but we still haven't finished our last Dartmoor diary! (I promise I will, Bookworm!) But we'll try to keep a few notes to refresh our memory of any memorable events that occur on the ship. We also have a few other ideas of ways to report our comings and goings aboard ship and playing in Bermuda. Whatever we come up with, as usual, you will be the first to know!

Have a good week.

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Calling All Bed & Boxers!

Most of the planning is out of the way for our First Ever Letterboxing Cruise!!! on June 22 to June 29 heading to Bermuda. With 37 excited boxers who have been given permission by the cruise line to hide boxes onboard, something tells me we'll be the craziest ship asea and maybe a floating Dartmoor!

Our thoughts now (of course!) turn to our next Pinecone Adventure - the Bed & Boxing event to be held in the quaint village of Jackson, NH the weekend of November 14 to 16. The photo, at right, is the Honeymoon Bridge, a local attraction.

The 3 inns participating are The Inn at Jackson and Whitney's Inn - both in the village of Jackson and Glen Oaks Inn, located nearby in Intervale. By the first week in July, we'll have a special webpage setup with descriptions and pricing for the 3 locations. Prices will include 2 nights stay and 2 full breakfasts. Additionally you will be charged for taxes and the Welcome Buffet.

The Welcome Buffet will be held that first evening, Friday, November 14 at The Whitney's Inn in their private White Birches room. The charge is $15 per person; $10 per child and must be reserved when you place your room order. You can choose any of the 3 inns where you will breakfast both mornings but the Friday night buffet will be held in Birches. Please tell your reservation taker the number of people for the buffet. Menu includes Chicken Divan, Vegetable Lasagna, Macaroni & Cheese with Lobster, vegetable, salad, bread & butter, cheese and fruit platters and non-alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic drinks may be purchased at your own expense.

Reservations will open early July and must be completed by August 1. A 50% deposit will be required at the time of reservation. Your buffet fee will be added to your room. Stay tuned for details on room accomodations, prices and other specifics.

Please sign up for the event if you are interested here. When the Bed & Boxing webpage is ready for you and reservations are open, I'll send an email to the group registered at the event page. Hope you can make this newest boxing adventure that has been in the planning for almost a year!

In the interim, all 3 inns have given us permission to hide boxes on their grounds. Our hope is that the boxing community will plant boxes for our group to find during the coming summer or fall months. If you decide to plant boxes on their grounds, just go to the front desk of any of the above-mentioned inns and explain what you are doing, then plant your box. We ask that you include the tag line "Planted for Bed & Boxing" in your clues and you publish your clues on LBNA and/or Atlas Quest Monday, November 10 - Thursday, November 13. This will allow attendees the ability to print out these new clues Friday before they depart for this exciting weekend.

Sue & I hope that you can join us. With the almost 70 people already signed up, there will not be an organized group to hunt for boxes on Saturday or Sunday. We encourage small groups of boxers to head out on their own. We can all enjoy each others company at the individual inns over breakfast, at Friday night's Welcome Buffet and a meal being planned for Saturday evening back at Birches private room. Come along with us, pack your boxing gear, some warm clothing and enjoy all this area has to offer during this special weekend!

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, June 05, 2008