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)

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Our Wish for You!

Our Poll of the Week is ready for your vote. We ask what your plans are for the coming holiday weekend. Sue & I will be away.
Be safe, healthy and happy!

Our Box of the Week can be found by clicking the graphic above. It's deserving of the season and our personal wish for the coming year -
Peace on Earth by the Deans. This box is located in Chaplin, CT.

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, December 30, 2004

Please Help!

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, December 30, 2004

Want to Safari in Africa?

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, December 30, 2004

Valley Quest Hats

Sue & I received a surprise in the mail on Christmas Eve - our 2 Valley Quest hats, along with a nice note from Simon and Steve, Valley Quest co-ordinators. Traditionally, once you find 20 Valley Quest boxes, they send you a great, embroidered patch for your backpack. Late this year, they added another new reward - a new Valley Quest baseball style hat for 50 Valley Quest finds. Simon remarked in his letter that they were hoping to make our Winter Boxing Drive on January 16. For those of you that would like more info on Valley Quest, please click their logo below to be taken to their website.

Valley Quest is a series of more than 175 treasure hunts stretching across 50 towns in the Connecticut River Valley in Vermont and New Hampshire. Quests, making use of hand-drawn maps and riddle-like clues, lead to hidden special places, such as remote lakes, old cellar holes, favorite trees, and forgotten cemeteries. Quests are exciting adventures that gently share and teach the natural and cultural history of the region.

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, December 30, 2004

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

It's Our Anniversary!

Two years ago today we began a paultry effort to initiate our first webpage based on our new hobby - Letterboxing. That first entry was just a listing of our finds to date. That individual page from December 29, 2002 has now grown to nearly 70 pages of individualized content in 2004 and is still growing! What began two years ago today has blossomed into something that neither of us could have ever imagined, even in our wildest dreams!

After our first year online, we hit almost 16,000 hits. Our hits to date have exceeded the 98,000 mark and we now average about 125 individual letterboxers visiting this site a day! That's over 82,000 hits in this, our second year! When we first started out - we were happy if we had 10 letterboxers visiting this site over the course of a week!

While we realize that we are blowing our own horn somewhat by citing these stats, we also realize that the key to this success is you. We thank our loyal readers who visit this site - many every day and some multiple times per day. Without your support, through email, website visits and personal encouragement, this site would not exist. Because of that support, we continually strive to raise the bar and offer new and exciting ideas and content. Don't ever be shy about contacting us to suggest improvements, a Poll of the Week or a Box of the Week entry. As we've said in the past "This is your site too!"

Several people have been instrumental in encouraging our efforts over the past 2 years and deserve to be singled out from the crowd of our supporters - Legerdemaine, Funhog, Jay Drew, Alafair and Lori & Brian of TeamGreenDragon. Our heartfelt thanks to you all. Each of you has made a huge impact on our letterboxing lives and ultimately, this website. But - no one has offered me more support and encouragement than Sue. She's watched me, night after night, pounding away at this keyboard or composing interview questions while we're in VT or listening to some new, hair-brained scheme of mine! Who else would have given up a 30th anniversary trip to Italy and followed my dream as we visited Dartmoor on the 150th anniversary of the Cranmere Pool letterbox with 11 other letterboxers? This game and website are never more than one thought away and we thank her for her continued indulgence for she realizes my passion and commitment to this hobby and website!

But, this is not a time to rest on our laurels since there is much more work to be done and mischief to make! We hope to continue offering new and innovative content. One of our major goals is to see the Other Boxers' Sites page grow and become a useful tool for the letterboxing community. We want to offer those of you that may not have the ability or time to have your own place on the net that includes some of your clues. Just email me your clues and I'll take care of the rest. We feel this is a great way to hide a WoM clue and give everyone that opportunity to stake their claim in this amazing digital world.

Another goal is to maintain the ongoing Interview Series by offering new insights into this hobby through "talks" with influential movers and shakers from yesterday and today within the letterboxing community. This has been one of the most widely-accepted and popular features of our website and we are still dedicated to the importance of keeping this feature strong. As new boxers continue to come into the fold in increasing numbers, the importance of realizing our history and roots remains all the more vital.

Which also leads to the growing membership on our New Boxers Talk List. This forum continues to grow daily, enforcing the idea that this was a needed addition to the letterboxing community. While we struggled with this idea before it's inception as to whether a new talk list might further divide the community, our feeling now is that it was the correct action to take. We have just instituted a scheduled Chat Session every Sunday night, beginning at 8pm EST. Our hope is to further expand this talk list to possibly include a gathering in the near future.

Our Dartmoor trip is another project we'd like to expand. At present, 12 of the original 13 Baker's Dozen will return to Dartmoor in the fall of 2006 with us. We are planning to expand the trip to another 6 people. At present, there is a 25 person waiting list! This indicates a growing interest in Dartmoor and the origins of letterboxing and a vehicle we will pursue. Our intent is to possibly host a Dartmoor trip every 2 years. The success and interest in this trip and the home of letterboxing has also presented us with another idea - why not host letterboxing trips to different parts of this country? Might there be interest in a trip to the Pacific Northwest? How about Georgia and Texas - areas of the country that are growing in the number of letterboxers and boxes. We'll see what happens there. Heck, I might as well open up Pinecone Letterboxing Travel Agency! ;-)

As you can see, our appreciation and energy for this hobby and its participants are boundless. We've been so very fortunate to find a diversion about which we are truly passionate, enthusiastic and excited. Thank you all for traveling this road with us for the past 2 years and making it such a wonderful ride. We look forward to your continued support and participation. And - Happy anniversary to us all!

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

These Clues are for the Dogs!

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Venice Floating Letterbox

Pretty unique concept. Headed down to the Gulf for New Years?
You may want to comb the beach and search for this one!
Click the bottle for the clue.

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Monday, December 27, 2004

The Great Cookie Caper

Talking Turtle, of the NY Alphabet Bandits, is planning the Great Cookie Caper. This limited edition letterboxing series will be available only from January 7 at 4pm through January 23 at 11:59pm. The first 10 people providing Talking Turtle with photocopied proof from their logbooks that they've visited all 8 of these boxes will each receive a free box of Girl Scout Cookies, once they are delivered in February. Find out more about the Caper by visiting The Alphabet Bandits Cookie Caper page.

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, December 27, 2004

New Chat Schedule

Yesterday, Uneksia posted a question to the talk list inquiring whether there would be a Sunday Chat on the newboxers list. A few of us did show up and the result is a new, more formalized schedule - we will have an open chat for anyone interested on the Newboxers talk list every Sunday, beginning at 8pm. If you have some time, stop by. Who knows who will be lurking in the shadows!

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, December 27, 2004

Sunday, December 26, 2004

A Special Russ 'Hiker Report!

Our very first HH that we placed is called the Russ 'Hiker in memory of our brother-in-law, Russ Pipeling, who died suddenly in the spring of 2003 in his early 50's. Because this HH commmemorates that special guy, Sue & I have been most fortunate in receiving reports of its whereabouts over the years and this Christmas Eve was no exception.

Christmas Eve in our family has always been a special time. My memories of the once-a-year Christmas Eve feast was a much-anticipated event when it was held at my grandmother's many years ago. After her death, my mom took over the honors as Sue & I did after my mom's passing almost 20 years ago. And Russ, who married my sister Linda, was always a vital part of this meal! This was our 2nd Christmas without Russ and we all thought of him often during the night - remembering and retelling stories about him - which served as a way of rememberance and I suppose, as a vehicle of healing.

After all our guests had left and Sue & I were finished cleaning up, I stopped at the computer on my way upstairs to bed. A quick check of our email found a wonderful note, telling Sue and I that the Russ 'Hiker had been picked up that same day - Christmas Eve by a letterboxer in Brewster, MA at the Cape, and that "Russ was in great condition and ready to be moved on!" I called my sister and shared the news with her. What a wonderful way to end the day. I guess you never know what impact you make when reporting to a placer a boxes' condition or a HH's whereabouts. I do know that this was one report that meant so much to us and will never forget!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, December 26, 2004

Saturday, December 25, 2004

A Letterbox for All!

Mountain Girl has just planted a handicapped accessible letterbox. Planted in Hop Brook Lake in Middlebury, CT, this location is home to other boxes by Beth, including her Presidents Series 1, Series 2 and Series 3. Thank to Mountain Girl for planting a box for ALL letterboxers and hopefully starting a new movement of a more accessible type of letterbox in CT!

posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, December 25, 2004

Friday, December 24, 2004

Happy Holidays to You All!

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, December 24, 2004

Our New LbNE Logo!

This will now become the official logo of the LbNE talk list, thanks to Phyto, who designed it for the recent LbNE Logo Contest. Details can be found here. Congratulations to Phyto, who will be awarded a new backback with her design embroidered for all to see! Wear this new logo proudly.

Watch this website sometime after the first of the year for a new page where you can order clothing and other items featuring this new logo and made by CT letterboxer, Wolfy, who recently purchased a new state-of-the-art embroidery machine.

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, December 24, 2004

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Some Packages for You

Sue & I would like to extend our wishes for the best Holiday Season ever and the best in the New Year! May you revel in the glow of a roaring fire, besides family and friends.

While we were poking through our gifts under our tree this evening, we found a few with your name on them! Click on your gifts below!

Merry Christmas
A Happy and Healthy New Year!

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, December 23, 2004

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Who's Naughty or Nice?
A Letterboxing Reflection

For those of you following the LbNE Logo Contest, it seems that a late comer has started to question the entire groups' reasoning to include New York in our logo. This after Phyto ran a poll, much discussion on the talk list and the actual designs coming into us for the contest!

I also received a personal email from this person this morning, asking why I began the contest before the poll had ended!

Why do we have to face these trolls now and then, filled with their brand of anti-letterboxing venom? Negativity just hurts this hobby. Why can't we keep this all on a positive note - this is a hobby - isn't it? I'm not saying I do bunches for letterboxing, but I try my best to involve all, keep up this website and make this game a little more interesting - whether via this website or other media. I do my best to contribute so that others enjoy this game. Why are there always trolls looking to take good things down? What do these questions do to the designers of these logos; many who have spent hours for no money to produce a logo that will be enjoyed by all?

In the final assessment - what would your answer be when asked of your contribution to letterboxing - Naughty or Nice?

Thanks for listening to me spout off - I feel much better now - back to the good Mark!

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Monday, December 20, 2004

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, December 20, 2004

Voting is Brisk!

We had over 350 unique visitors to our website yesterday - some of them placing their vote for the LbNE logo. I received an email from the site that hosts our polls, telling me that I had exceeded the daily allotment of hits so if your vote wasn't recorded, please try again today. Thanks for your interest in this contest.

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, December 20, 2004

Your Gifts are Here!

Box of the Week: Skipping Christmas Series

This series planted in South Portland, ME highlights other celebrations during this time of year, besides the popular Christmas festivities. Phyto & Isoceles encourage adding on other types of celebrations to their series.

Poll of the Week: Boxing supplies on your Christmas List?

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, December 20, 2004

Sunday, December 19, 2004

First Winter Drive Date Set!

After our Sunday night Chat at the Newboxers Talk List, we finally have a date and time nailed down for our Winter Boxing Drive. Chrissy will post to the talk lists but here are the details:

Date: Sunday, January 16
Time: 9am
Place to Meet:
Westfield Shopping Center, Meriden
Event Stamp by TeamGreenDragon

The thought is that we'll leave some cars at the Westfield Mall, then carpool to the furthest point, which is Enfield, CT. Then we'll work our way back towards our final destination, our house in Kensington. Everyone can bring a dessert to share and Sue and I will furnish hot drinks like coffee, flavored coffee, hot chocolate, tea, flavored tea and hot cider. Chrissy will carve a log-in stamp for those of us that want to speed the process along and log into the books with a common stamp, which is what The Bakers Dozen did in Dartmoor. Those that wish to use their own sig stamp are more than welcomed to do so.

Chrissy has mapped out our route and has the clues for the drivebys. We will work on Hartford county for January 16. Another date will be set for Tolland county in February and if all goes well, Chrissy talked about the possibility of a March date for the Meriden area!

Drop me an email if you are planning to participate so we can have an idea of boxers that will invade our dining room!!!! ;-) Also, if you drive a van, we welcome you to drive it that day.

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, December 19, 2004

Newboxers Chat Tonight!

Hope to see and chat with many of you tonight at 9pm EST, when once again we will explore the Chat feature on the Newboxers Talk List. For further instructions, see our post below from December 16 for further instructions.

One of the items we hope to explore is the Winter Drive concept that has been talked about on the LbNE talk list. This idea came from a post by Chrissy, located here. This was added on by other and ended up with 2 dates to be chosen - 1 in January and 1 in February. Sue and I will host a dessert and hot drinks gathering after the drive in January. Everyone can bring a dessert item to share with the group and Sue & I will provide the hot drinks. So meet us at the Newboxers Chat Room tonight to further discuss and plan this post holidays gather.

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, December 19, 2004

Check out the Logo Entries!

Click on the image above to inspect and vote for your favorite in the LbNE Logo Contest. Voting continues through midnight December 23. The winning entry will become the official logo of the LbNE Talk List as well as being featured in a new clothing line for letterboxers produced by Wolfy.

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, December 19, 2004

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Logo Contest Deadline
Draws Near!

The deadline for designing the new logo for the LbNE talk list and clothing line is Saturday, December 18 at midnight EST. We have received 10 entries at the time of this post and are expecting several more. Please get your entries to me via email in a jpg. format. Sunday, December 19 we will post a webpage with all of the entries and a mini poll where you may all place your votes for your favorite logo design.

posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, December 18, 2004

Friday, December 17, 2004

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, December 17, 2004

Chat Went Well!

Last night was the first attempt at utilizing the Chat feature on the Newboxers Talk List. A group of about a dozen of us met there at 9pm and things went really well. People came and went as their schedule allowed. The only glitch was that Yahoo would kick us off the site now and again and we would have to rejoin the chat. Hope you can meet us there this Sunday at 9pm EST. Please note that directions are located 2 posts below. Some of the participants included Pepperment Patti, Uneksia, Ruby Tuesday, Veronica, MayEve, Choi, Brian & Lori of TeamGreenDragon and Mark & Sue. Our hope is to structure the Chats with pertinent subjects so that on, say a Monday evening, the subject would be carving, Tuesday might be clue-writing, etc. Drop me an email if you like that idea and also - join us this Sunday night at 9pm.

Maybe we can discuss and plan our Winter Boxing Drive. The thought was a Sunday in January for a group of us to head out and hit some Hartford County drive-bys, then each bring a dessert and meet at someone's house for hot drinks and desserts. Another day is planned in February and Tolland County may be in our sights. We may try a progressive dinner for that one - we'll see how this develops and the amount of participation there is. This idea came up from a post by Chrissy and MayEve. Stay tuned for details.

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, December 17, 2004

Thursday, December 16, 2004

LbNE Members Get
a Christmas Card!

The LbNE talk list members have received their first Christmas card, thanks to Sunshine and Swamp Yankee of CT. Hope you all like it!
And Nancy . . . . you look maaaarvelous!

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, December 16, 2004

Calling All Newboxers!

If you are a member of the Newboxers Talk List and are interested in joining a group of us as we try out the Chat feature, meet us there on Sunday, December 19 at 8pm EST. To access the Chat area, choose "Chat" from the left menu on the Newboxers home page. You will also need Java software, which you can download here. By clicking the yellow bar at the top right of this Java page, you will automatically download the proper software for your system.

If you are not a member of this talk list, join it by clicking the appropriate button in the lower right portion of this page. Hope you can make it - who knows, maybe there will be some exclusive clues shared with the group!

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, December 16, 2004

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Chapter 6

For those of you following the ongoing mystery of The Case of the Vanished Lover, we have received Chapter 6 and have posted it. This saga has become a very popular addition to our website.

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Monday, December 13, 2004

A New Collaboration

Several months ago, Ryan Carpenter asked me if I would consider linking our site to his via entry titles from our blog that would be shown on Atlas Quest. After several weeks of adjustments and tweaking, you will now find links to the titles of all of our most recent articles from our main page in the lower right portion of your Atlas Quest "My Page." Thanks to Ryan for developing another innovation and thinking of us. We are proud to be linked with Ryan, Atlas Quest and its membership.
Welcome all new Altas Quest visitors!

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, December 13, 2004

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, December 13, 2004

Ahoy Mates!
The Treasure is Out!

Our Box of the Week is TeamGreenDragon's The Scoundrel and Treasure Ship. Located in the town of Mashpee on the Cape, this series of 2 boxes features stamps carved by RTRW. So bring your treasure maps, a bottle of rum and search for this great find - arghhhhh!

Poll of The Week asks whether you get into the seasonal or holiday letterboxes that abound this time of year. Please place your vote now!

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, December 13, 2004

Busy, busy, busy . . .

As with most of you, it was a frantic weekend - wrapping, decorating and such. But we still found time to enjoy the holiday movie, Polar Express, in 3D at an Imax theatre. The animation is stunning - so lifelike that we forgot it was an animated movie at times and the 3D effects are great! Boy - have those 3D glasses come a long way!

Sunday we took our 2 nieces to Bethelem, CT where many CT residents annually visit the Bethlehem post office to stamp one of the 65 Christmas cachet designs on their holiday card envelopes. While we enjoyed doing that, we really enjoyed RTRW & BookWorm's Christmas in Bethlehem series - 6 boxes along a well maintained wide path in the Bethlehem Land Trust that put us all into the holiday spirit. After that we headed to do Tom & Suz's Tom's Snobbery Boxes. Not bad for a busy weekend!

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, December 13, 2004

Friday, December 10, 2004

Ryan Carpenter's Interview is Up!

Click the Green Tortuga!

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, December 10, 2004

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Are You Just Too Busy?????

Our new Logo Design Contest for the LbNE talk list and clothing line is trudging along SLOWLY! I only have 1 entry at this point. Hopefully there will be more entries coming to us via email shortly. Come on - give it a try!

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, December 09, 2004

Poison Ivy Wins Haiku Contest!

Poison Ivy has won first and third prize in the Letterboxing Mid-Atlantic's talk list First Annual Haiku Contest. Congrats to PI who we all recognize is one talented letterboxer! PI's much-acclaimed Letterbox Rating System is located on our website. All of the entries can be viewed here on NattyBumpo's website, who headed up this contest.
Ivy's winning entry is below:

You have all you need:
Stamp, compass, book and pigment.
Now go, "in search of."

East up the mountain.
Puzzle while you pant and sweat--
what's a birch look like?

Look! A makeshift cairn!
A quick glance back up the trail.
Reach in and grab it.

Who else has stamped in--
Store-bought and great handcarvings.
Make your mark and theirs.

Pack it watertight.
Take another look both ways.
Hide it back away.

Wet butt, itchy bites,
A small scratch, perhaps a rash.
But look at the stamp!

Ink on the fingers.
Crumpled sheet of clues in hand.
Triumphant return.

- "Poison Ivy Hedge"

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, December 09, 2004

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Something's Coming!

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Monday, December 06, 2004

At our Dartmoor Reunion on Saturday, Sue & I and several others were infected with a bad case of the cooties. Don't call the doctor for us yet - these cooties are the letterboxing type! But they did manage to cause a little havoc with those remaining at the reunion late in the day!

While relatively new to the East, it seems that cooties were the brain children of a joint collaboration between Pandora, Iron Bear and Campfire Lady. These cooties are really HH's but with a twist - instead of leaving them in another letterbox, you hide them on the person or in the belongings of another unknowing letterboxer! That's where the infection starts! Now, that receiving boxer is then obliged to do the same - hide this cootie on another letterboxer who is unaware. Adds a completely different outcome to the HH game!

Well, Talking Turtle of the Alphabet Bandits decided to unlease her own little swarm on some unsuspecting Dartmoorites on Saturday. As usual, her carving is superior! I venture to say that she is one of the best carvers on the East coast. And these cooties also have another twist. If you find 4 of them, you email Talking Turtle and she mails out a bonus postal box in the series. Now tell me that this isn't innovative!

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, December 06, 2004