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)

Saturday, July 31, 2004

The Hitchhiker Race is On!
Rosie Ruiz a Late Entry!!!

Many of you may have heard about the Thumbin' Critters Hitchhiker Race. As of the last post, Q says that there are presently 10 hitchhikin' animals that will start in Los Angeles county, California and hitchhike their way from West to East coast, with the winner being the first to arrive in NYC's Halloween Adventure Letterbox. There will be reports along the way as letterboxers move them from box to box on their paths to their final destination in the Big Apple.

Rumor has it, from several reliable sources, that there is a late entry into this race! Not a critter, but a humanoid - Rosie Ruiz. For those of you unfamiliar with her name, check out this link for a short Rosie bio. Rosie is in this thing to win!

We have set up a page to track these critters [and Rosie] as they wend their way East. There is a voting poll to place your vote for whom you want to win this race. Also you may keep track of your favorite entry's position in the race . . . . and may the best critter/human win!

posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, July 31, 2004

Friday, July 30, 2004 hits the 10,000 Mark!

Silent Doug posted the following message on the LBNA talk list:

"At about 3:52 pm ET today, the web site reached 10,000 letterboxes in its database. (#10,000 was "On the Way Gnome" in NY, if you're interested.)

Just to give you some perspective, in November 2002 there were 2,500 letterboxes on the site."

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, July 30, 2004

Limited Series Announced for Lebanon Fair

A new series of 5 boxes will be available at the during the Lebanon Fair. Queen B has announced on the talk list that clues will be posted some time at the beginning of the week on the LBNe Talk List. She will be at the fair for the entire weekend of August 6, 7 & 8 and is hoping you stop by, get the boxes and make an exchange with her.

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, July 30, 2004

It's All about Time!

Pine Tree emailed me this morning with the following that she received via the "contact placer" option for one of her Maine letterboxes.
    "My husband and I visit Rangeley [Maine] yearly and we stay at North Camps with Sonny and Dottie. Two years ago we found your box and did not know what it was. Last week there was an article in Time magazine about letterboxing. Imagine how excited we were to find out exactly what the box was for! We have started letterboxing locally over the past week and have been having so much fun. We both cannot wait to "visit" your box next July! Great spot by the way!"

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, July 30, 2004

Help is on the Way - for Newbies!

Laurette, Phantom Phiddler from RI, emailed me this morning, asking what I thought about a series of educational posts that could be placed on our New Letterboxers List. I wrote back and told her the idea was great.

Laurette will organize these monthly posts that will deal with those issues veteran letterboxers take for granted: how to rehide a box, carving a stamp, how to write clues, how to post clues, personal stamps and hitchhikers. An introductory post has been made on most lists, soliciting info from other veteran letterboxers.

Phantom Phiddler has named these monthly, educational posts, Letterboxing 101. We will be cataloging these posts here on our website on a new page, aptly called Letterboxing 101. Since the Time Magazine article on letterboxing of last week, we have seen 42 new members on the Newbie list in the past week. These monthly educational posts should go a long way in educating our new letterboxers. If you have an idea for this series or would like to write an article, email me or Laurette.

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, July 30, 2004

Thursday, July 29, 2004

New CT Fall Gathering Announced!

Bluebird emailed me today with the news of a gathering planned for Saturday, November 13. This gather, co-hosted by Bluebird and Fish-or-Man, will take place at Chatfield Hollow State Park from 10am to 4pm. Look for over 40 letterboxes including some that are both new and event-only. More details to come in the coming weeks. Keep your eyes peeled to our New England Gatherings page for updates.

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, July 29, 2004

Monday, July 26, 2004

Good Grief!!
Glad I Live in CT!!!

We had a great night tonight after work. Sue & I met friends and did MayEve's Good Grief! in Hebron, CT. A former Box of the Week, this enchanting series was enjoyable and the carving is excellent. Took us all of about an hour and then we went for Chinese food to end a great night. Where else but CT could you hit 8 boxes within an hour and still have time for a leisurely dinner?

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, July 26, 2004

Sunday, July 25, 2004

This Week's Goodies are Ready!

Our Box of the Week is Wild Black Bagels by Flutterby & Fat Cat. Located in box-rich Mansfield, CT, this box promises to show you a most unusual phenomenon - black bagels growing out in the wilds of eastern CT!

Our Poll of the Week relates to your favorite type of letterboxing clues. Selections range from the easiest to the most nebulous.

Website of the Week is RIBNAG's site. For those of you that didn't realize, RIBNAG stands for Rhode Island's Bored Nocturnal Adventurer's Guild. Check out the link in the lower, right hand column.

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, July 25, 2004

Saturday, July 24, 2004

The Donovans Take the Giant by Storm!

Did it rain? You betcha
Did we get soaked? You betcha
Did we have the best time ever? You betcha!!!

Louise Donovan and her dad, Chris, were terrific! Their day started at 2pm when Butterfly, the best guide for these parts, took the Donovans on a tour of Sleeping Giant State Park. Along for the hike was Sadie & Russ, LobstaLady, Bluebird and Hiker Lou, Sojourner and Northstar. After 6pm, the group was joined by Music Woman, Tony & Veronica, Pete Miner and Sue and myself. This large group hiked to get Sadie & Russ' new Event Seeker. Russ carved this beautiful stamp to move around, event to event. Look for it at a gathering or event near you. It's the best!

We then headed to Sergio's Restaurant, where we met Alafair, who patiently waited while we showed up 1/2 hour late! We were also joined by Jay Drew and Sojourner's husband. It was a fun evening - filled with 3 event stamps, exchanges, swapping stories and rumors, pizza and beer and our chance to finally meet Alafair! Louise and Chris interviewed several letterboxers for Louise's dissertation.

Our Dartmoor travelers, now known as the LBNA Baker's Dozen [there are 13 of us!] will be meeting with Louise and Chris in Dartmoor. We made plans tentatively for them to join us on our last day in Dartmoor to take us to Cranmere Pool. Kind of a completed letterboxing cycle - we showed them the Giant and they will show us Cranmere Pool! Thanks to Louise and Chris for being so easy to talk with and filling our heads with Dartmoor tips and advice. We wish them the best for their remaining US stay and a safe return home.

posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, July 24, 2004

Thursday, July 22, 2004

It's a BOY!

The Letterboxing Stork has brought a new recruit to Patrick & Amy of CT. Their new addition to our pastime is Thomas, who was born today. Our congratulations go out to the Moriarty household - blessing and health to you all!

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, July 22, 2004

New Valley Quest Book is Available

Valley Quest II - 75 More Treasure Hunts is now available for purchase. Visit the Valley Quest website to learn more and order your copy. The above picture is the first Valley Quest book that Sue & I have been using for years. While some object to paying for these quests when letterboxing is free over the internet, Valley Quest is an arm of Vital Communities.

Vital Communities is a regional nonprofit organization based in White River Junction, VT, that works to engage citizens in community life and to foster the long-term balance of cultural, economic, environmental and social well being in our region. Thus, the dollars raised selling the Quest books are put to good use, besides serving as an educational tool for local school youth.

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, July 22, 2004

Maine Gathering this Saturday!

This Saturday, July 24, from 10am to 3pm, Deb Blanchard and Phyto are hosting A Gathering in the Maine Style, located in the Sebago Lake region of Maine, at the Nathaniel Hawthorne Home. See our New England Area Gatherings page for the details and directions. There will be 7 special letterboxes located less than a mile from the Nathaniel Hawthorne House.

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, July 22, 2004

Louise Donovan, British Student, Arrives Friday, 7/23

Louise Donovan and her dad, Chris, are in the US. They will be leaving NYC on Friday for CT. As you may remember from her LBNA talk list post, Louise is stateside doing research and conducting interviews with US letterboxers for her college dissertation on letterboxing.

You are all welcome to meet them Friday, July 23 at Sleeping Giant State Park, Hamden, CT in the main parking lot across from the entrance to Quinnipiac College on Mount Carmel Avenue.

Be there at 2pm if you would like to hike with Butterfly, Sadie & Russ, Bluebird, Hiker Lou and the Donovans. If you cannot make it until after work, a group of us are meeting in the same lot at 6pm to hike to the Tower with the group. If it is raining, which it won't be!, meet at the covered pavillion off the main parking area.

About 7:30, we will all go out for pizza at Sergio's Restaurant, 3860 Whitney Avenue [Route 10], Hamden, which is right around the corner from the Giant. Hope to see you all there. What better chance than to help a student out, get an event stamp and exchange with a British letterboxer to boot?!?

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, July 22, 2004

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

A BIG . . . . . .

Today, we received 2 emails, advising us of the status of all of our Kensington and Berlin letterboxes. A big thank you goes out to Kiwi [on her second try for the poison ivy-covered Hartford County Stamp] and Sue Soujourner. Both of these boxers took the time to email, which is much appreciated! In fact, they almost had a trail exchange with each other - Sue was just ahead of Melissa but skipped 2 boxes where they might have met! Letterbox placers always appreciate a quick email to let them know that their creation(s) are still alive and well.

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Bluebird Gets The Prize!

Bluebird emailed me this morning to let us know that she is our 3rd finder of the complete CT State Stamp Series. Congratulations, our winged friend!

We hope the rest of you are continuing on this 8 box series to complete the map of CT. Once done, you, too, can earn a special engraved gift by The Engraver! You have until next June to complete this series, which will culminate in a special CT State Stamp Gathering.

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Monday, July 19, 2004

Think about the Next Guy!

We posted today about our concern of finding letterboxes either poorly hidden or just out there without cover. In the last week, Sue and I have found close to 30 letterboxes and 80% have fallen into that poorly hidden category.

That's a sad commentary on the state of letterboxing. We need to be vigilant in both advising friends and others to be sure that the boxes are carefully hidden. If we can put as much effort into rehiding the boxes as we do in finding them we will be fine.

Sue Sojourner followed up my post with her thoughts that each letterbox should be treated as if it's our own box. Be careful out there, boxers, and let's be sure that these boxes are there for the next guy! Thanks!

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, July 19, 2004

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Loons, Kiwis and Time!

This week, The Maine Loon is our Box of the Week. Placed by Pine Tree while she was on vacation, this is her second box located at Mount Blue State Park in Weld, ME. Maybe you could stop off at this one on your way to this Saturday's A Gathering in the Maine Style, to be held in South Casco, ME. Don't miss this wonderful gathering and grab some of that wonderful Maine tupperware!

Our Poll of the Week relates to the exposure and publicity letterboxing is receiving in this week's Time Magazine. You decide whether it's good or bad for this pastime.

Our Website of the Week is Psychokiwi's Letterboxing Site. While Judi and Linton have moved back to New Zealand, their influence and wonderful letterboxes remain. How about that Vegetarian Chili recipe????

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, July 18, 2004

Finally, it's TIME!!!

Time Magazine, in Monday's edition, will feature a story about Letterboxing. This short article, called Hide and Seek for Grownups, features TeamGreenDragon and others from the letterboxing world. We are happy to see TeamGreenDragon receive the recognition they deserve. Wonder if they'll still go letterboxing with 2 lowly people like Sue and I???? Get ready for questions from family and friends - this hobby may really experience a huge period of growth.

The Time article ends with the following, that we feel, sums up this pastime:

    "Ultimately, however, the game is about the thrill of the unknown. In April the Connollys [TeamGreenDragon] found themselves in the middle of a herd of wild boar near Tampa, Fla. Says Lori: "If not for letterboxing, we never would have seen something like that."

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, July 18, 2004

Help Brit Girl!

Louise Donovan, a British student, recently posted a plea for help on the LBNA talk list. A second year student at Aberystwyth University in Wales, Louise is writing her dissertation about Letterboxing. I have arranged a mini-gathering to welcome her and let her meet some of our area letterboxers. If you can, meet us at 6pm, Friday, July 23 in the main parking lot of Sleeping Giant State Park, Hamden, CT. This is the entrance that is directly across from the entrance to Quinnipiac College. Butterfly will lead us in a short trip up to the Tower on the Giant and then Louise will ask us her questions. The group will then go to an area pizza restaurant for supper.

If you cannot make it, I encourage you to visit Louise's website and fill out a questionnare form for her. This information will be used for her dissertation. Thanks for helping and we hope to see many of our readers at the Giant 6pm this coming Friday night.

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, July 18, 2004

Saturday, July 17, 2004

A Gem of a GEM!

Our meeting today at Deanne & Dave's cabin in Orange, MA with our Dartmoor trip attendees was the best! Eleven of our 13 travelers showed up for this Greet, Eat, and Meet, with Judy from VA attending via a conference call! We have decided to call ourselves, "The LBNA Baker's Dozen." A common group stamp will be carved to speed the stamping in process on the moors at Dartmoor. Thanks to Deanne & Dave for a great job in an awesome spot and all who attended. This should really prove to be a fun group since we all seemed to mesh very well. Now - if we're still all talking to each other when return - it will truly be a great trip!!!  ;-)

posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, July 17, 2004

Friday, July 16, 2004

Second Dartmoor Travelers' Meeting

The second meeting of our Dartmoor travelers will take place Saturday at Deanne & Dave's cabin in northern MA. Our complete group will be there, except for Judy, who will be on a conference call with us from VA. Modern technology! Saturday begins our 2 month wait until this group hits the moors and London. Something tells me that England will never be the same!

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, July 16, 2004

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Music Woman is 2nd to Complete Series!

The Engraver just emailed me a digital image of Music Woman's logbook, showing her completed image of the state of CT, made up of each of the 8 individual county stamps that comprise the CT State Stamp Series.
Congratulations, Pam! Music Woman's name appears on the Hall of Fame page, below Wanda's, who was our first finder.

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, July 15, 2004

Dust off that Canoe!

Casco Bay Painter, one of those great Maine letterboxers, has planted 2 new letterboxes in her Paddler series. These boxes can only be reached by canoe or kayak. They are Fort Gorges and Diamond Islands. Both letterboxes are located in Cumberland county in Maine. Be sure to visit them as you head up for Deb Blanchard's A Gathering in the Maine Style, that will take place next Saturday, July 24 in South Casco, ME.

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, July 15, 2004

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

"Pin" Us!!!

Please place your virtual pin on our Guest Map, located in the lower right column. We love to see who reads this page and where they are from. Thanks!

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Saved because of Firefighters!

I received a message on our answering machine yesterday. A local man, while out for a walk, noticed our Unsung Heroes letterbox thrown among some bushes. Apparently, he opened it and noticed it was a tribute to our son and all of the volunteer firefighters. He saw that we were from Kensington, looked up our phone number and left the message on our answering machine.

After work, I stopped by and picked the box up from him. He said the reason he called and held on to it was that he knew it must be a special keepsake if it had to do with our son and firefighters. He never asked what it was but knew it was important. Would he have gone through all of this if this box wasn't a tribute to volunteer firefighters? I don't think so. We are very appreciative that there are community members, in a small act like this, that show their respect and thanks for those that volunteer and risk their lives. This box will be rehidden soon but not sure it will go in the same place.

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Goodies are Ready!

This week's Box of the Week is Good Grief! by MayEve. This series of 7 letterboxes, located in Glastonbury, CT, celebrates the zany antics of those beloved Peanuts characters.

Website of the Week is Letterboxing with Chuck & Molly. Find the link to their site on the right.

Poll of the Week deals with your preference as to whether to go searching for a large series, with many boxes close together - or - going after 1 letterbox in a beautiful locale. Please vote now!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, July 11, 2004

How Quickly a Day can Change!

Today, Steve, our youngest son, was taking Sue to a concert in Hartford. I was going to spend the evening watching a ball game and carving the event stamp for our second Dartmoor Group Gathering this coming Saturday. That was the plan - until the phone rang at 9:30 this morning. Seth, from the Dynamic Duo from Rhode Island, was on the phone. They would be in CT and wanted to have us join them in the Mansfield area for a letterboxing series!

So, at 4pm, I met the Dynamic Duo at the Journey Into Imagination Series in Stafford, CT. After 4 hours, we had completed the series, except for 2 that we couldn't find. Thanks Seth and Kellie for a great afternoon! If your enthusiasm and love for this pastime is indicative of all of the new letterboxers coming onto the scene, this pastime has a wonderful and bright future. After all, new letterboxers perpetuate the work of those veterans before them.

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, July 11, 2004

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Leader of the Pack announces new Gathering!

Carol Stearns, Leader of the Pack, announced today on the talk list a new gathering to take place at the 4-H Event in Vernon, CT on August 13, 14, 15 to coincide with the local 4-H Fair. Check out the New England Gatherings page for the details.

posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, July 10, 2004

2 New Boxes Placed

Today, I placed 2 new letterboxes - one is an exclusive to this webpage. It will not be shown on the site or anywhere else. Please keep it off of the talk lists. This box, Sue's Seashore Souvenir, has been dedicated to our loyal webpage readers who have encouraged and supported us through this venture. We have added a little twist to this letterbox and hope you all enjoy it!

The second box, Silver Sage Martini, will be posted on the site and features a hand-carved stamp. We hope that you find this a refreshing letterbox!

posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, July 10, 2004

Thanks to a Non-Letterboxer!

Last week, when Sue & I returned from VT, there was an email awaiting us. It was from a gentleman named Adam who had contacted us via the Contact Placer vehicle on the website. Apparently, he had just purchased the property where our Inventor Mystery letterbox resided. His dad, not knowing anything about letterboxing, loaded our letterbox, with the rest of the debris that he had cleaned up, into the back of his pickup truck and left it there. Wanda & Pete were up in VT that weekend also and stopped by to find this box. After a conversation with Adam, the new owner, they must have informed him about this pastime and what a letterbox was.

My email from Adam said he would get in touch with his father and get the letterbox back. He gave me his phone number so we could go up and replant it. He was very excited about hearing of the history of this newly-purchased property and I offered to send that along.

This morning, I received another email from Adam, letting me know that he had replanted the box for me and gave the location! Thanks so much to Adam for rescuing our box and replanting it. Also thanks to Wanda & Pete for beginning this "happy ending" chain of events!

posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, July 10, 2004

Friday, July 09, 2004

The NeeDeeps are at it again!

After a hiatus from planting this series, The NeeDeeps have returned with more of their State Stamps letterboxes in recent days. Florida, Iowa and Michigan are new since the first of July. Hopefully, there will be more to come. When we spoke to them many months ago at a gathering, they told us that the stamps were all carved for the complete series, but they just had to hide them. We're glad they're back in the State mode again!

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, July 09, 2004

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Boxing with the Davidows!

Tonight, after work, Sue & I finally had the chance to letterbox with our original boxing mates, The Davidow's. We had a great night in Page Park, Bristol, doing some of the boxes there, then went for pizza. Great night to be out!

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, July 08, 2004

Check out LBNA Links!

Thanks to Wes Garrison, there is a fairly new Links section on the LBNA website. These letterboxing links allow you to navigate to different letterboxers' websites as well as a few talk lists.
Check them out!

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, July 08, 2004

Monday, July 05, 2004

It's Tuesday!

The weekend is over and we hope you all had a great one. Now it's time to get back to work so put on that Tuesday face - although it is a short week!

Our Box of the Week is the Art Deco Letterboxes by MaryAnn & Scott. These 2 boxes are located in Mountain Laurel Park in Fairfield, CT.

Boxing Poll of the Week relates to the recent discussion on the New Letterboxers Talk List, regarding placing store-bought stamps in letterboxes and the finders reactions to them. Basically - it's the old discussion - bought vs. carved. Weigh in with your opinion below.

Our new Website of the Week honors go to the Cavy Lovers. Find the link to their website in the right column.

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, July 05, 2004

Wonderful Weekend in VT

We're back after a great time in VT. Saturday morning, after a quick breakfast, Sue & I headed out with TeamGreenDragon to what we thought would be central VT. We stopped for 1 of Legerdemaine's mystery boxes for TGD, then headed north to pay homage to Prayer Rock and, last minute, decided to continue to several other northerly mystery boxes. They are all detailed in our Finds Page 4.

We are all anxiously awaiting this week's edition of Time magazine, which will feature a story about letterboxing. This article should result in many new letterboxers into this pastime and TGD and Sue & I discussed the merits and pitfalls of a quick influx of new boxers.

Hope that you all enjoyed the 4th and the wonderful weather.

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, July 05, 2004

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Birthday, America!

Ever wonder what the Presidents did on the 4th of July?

Fourth of July Celebrations through History

History of Independance Day

Send a 4th of July E-card

Fourth of July Quiz

10 Songs that celebrate the 4th

The Story of The Pledge of Allegiance

And finally . . . . A Fourth of July Letterbox

posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, July 03, 2004

Friday, July 02, 2004

Heading to VT for the Holiday Weekend

Sue and I are headed to VT for the Fourth. We will be joined by TeamGreenDragon and Wanda & Pete, as we box our way around central VT - visiting some of Tom Cooch's boxes in the Braintree and Randolph area. Then, Killington's letterboxes are in our sights, provided we don't run out of daylight. We plan to watch the fireworks display in Wilmington on Sunday night.
Hope your Holiday weekend is filled with family, friends, freedom, fireworks & finds!

Please be advised that our new Letterboxing Poll, Box of the Week and Website of the Week will be out on Tuesday. Thanks!

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, July 02, 2004

Thursday, July 01, 2004

British Student will meet with CT Boxers

Louise Donovan, from England, recently posted on the big talk list that she is working on a dissertation for school on Letterboxing. In order to aid her in completing this paper, she asked for volunteers to interview in order to gain a perspective of how we do things across the pond here in the US.

I emailed Louise and offered to assemble a small group of CT letterboxers in a mini-gathering atmosphere so that she would have a central place in which to conduct her interviews and to letterbox the CT way. Louise has accepted and we are working out the final details for later this month. She will most likely meet with our Dartmoor travelers when we hit her homeland in the fall. We will keep you informed of the result of the interviews and maybe can convince her to let us have a copy of her final paper for this website!

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, July 01, 2004