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)

Sunday, April 30, 2006

A Late Gathering Report

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First of all, I need to apologize for being late with this report. I brought a new camera to the gathering to take pictures to go along with the gathering report - you know, like I always do. Well, I got home and downloaded the pictures to my computer and they were horrible! I had the wrong setting and most of the pictures were blurry. By the time I noticed that at the event, it was almost time to go home!

So - I was just going to pass on this report but then the email started coming in. Where's the report? We're waiting for pictures. Even yesterday on the trail at Hartman Park in Lyme, CT (more about that tomorrow) Sue asked why I didn't write a gathering report. "That's rude," she said. "The organizers worked so hard, the least you can do it write a little something about it."

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Dave, Deanne, Choi and Sue

Anyway, rudeness wasn't my intent! The gathering was a great event. There was a series of 3 different hikes on the trails and we did them all with Choi, Deanne & Dave and a new couple, David & Sara from southern CT. Despite the rain, it was great to be out on the trails and find so many wonderful stamps. Our favorites were TGD's ice cream wagon and Orion's Elsie, the Cow. Another clever find was hidden inside a rusted out truck wreck that was located on the property.

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The rain might have kept some boxers away but the barn was crowded the whole day. The potluck was nice (Mmmmm . . . loved GretchenF's avocado dip.) Had the opportunity to finally meet David of Team New Hampshire and to renew some old friendships.

Best of all, though, was the ice cream sundaes. There were four varieties - we went with the strawberry sorbet - and tons of toppings! Every sundae topping that you could even imagine was there. This was a great gathering. Thanks to all that had anything to do with it. And to top it all off - I was asked when the next gathering was by one of the organizers. I mentioned that the upcoming May 13 Spring into Boxing event was the next one of which I knew. I was then given 8 leftover cases of water to bring to that event with us! Thanks again Ice Scream organizers for a fun event that was enjoyed by all ages!

Update: Check out some event pictures located at Atlas Quest. Click here!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, April 30, 2006

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Finally - the Good Inspector Speaks!

My Dear Fellow Letterboxers,

May I call you fellow letterboxers? In the approximately 12 days spent in the investigation of this mysterious case I have been become intrigued with the concept of letterboxing and am looking forward to devoting time to finding and planting the hidden treasures.

This case, I am pleased to inform you, is solved. "Who is it?" you ask. That, dear letterboxers, is for you to discover. The evidence is before you. For a community comprised of solvers of mysteries this should not be a difficult challenge. One of these esteemed letterboxers has lied and is guilty. The rewards will be great for the first one of you to correctly solve this most devastating caper. If you believe you have the correct answer contact me at investigator_bacon @ yahoo. com

Good luck.

Investigator Francis Bacon

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Another Ransom Note Appears!

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Just when it seemed that the ransom notes had stopped, DMS receives another cryptic cutup from a cowardly carver! You know the drill by now - click away!

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, April 26, 2006

AARRGG! It's All Just . . .

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Seems as if there is a rumor going around that Kreepy Kelli's A Pirate In Every Port gather has been cancelled. Kelli cornered us at the recent Ice Scream Gather in Carlisle, MA and asked if we could set the record straight that it is still scheduled for September 16 (from 10am to 4pm) despite talk to the contrary.

This gather, inspired by "Talk Like A Pirate Day" will feature beautifully-carved stamps from the four corners of the world. For further information (until we put the info on our own gatherings page,) please check out and sign up on Atlas Quest here.

Kelli also asked if I would be dressing up like a pirate for the event! Sure - that's me - a real buccaneer!!!

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Ever Feel Real Old?

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Well you should have seen me tonight on Atlas Quest's chatroom with a bunch of crazy, young boxers! There were a few of my contemporaries there - Tempus Fugit, Scarab and Bandaid. But these kids! Fish-or-Man, Celtic Quinn, Infinity, Cam, Drool, Lock Wench, Kaaren, Dixiekin - sounds like Snow White's dwarfs! They sure can type like crazy. For a while, I felt like I was on that spinning thingee in the school yard - you know, the ride where you hold on and the schoolyard just becomes a blur? That's exactly how I felt - watching the typed lines fly by and subjects changing just as quickly!

And the subjects! Seriously - it was loads of fun and I'll be back. They were a great group and I'm sorry if I've forgotten any of your names.
Chalk it up to old age!

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Step Up & Show Some Boxing Love!

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We don't get the privilege to help other letterboxers in need that often here on this blog. Please take a moment from our recreation to help Sherry & Lee from PA. This email came to us this morning from Jan of Team Little Dog.

Last summer, a new boxing couple joined the southeastern Pennsylvania boxing community. Their trail name is Dogs with Wings and, Sherry, the carving half of the team, and I got to know each other through emails after they found several of my boxes near their home. We have been corresponding for many months and I was fortunate enough to actually meet the team in person on one of my ventures to Hibernia Park in Chester County, PA. She loves letterboxing and has proven to be a really good carver.

Well, Sherry and Lee are having some difficulties right now and I would like to try to help her out. Lee was on his way to work about a month ago when he was struck with a great deal of pain and had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. From the Paoli Hospital, where he was diagnosed with an extremely rare and severe case of pancreatitis, he was placed on a ventilator and airlifted to Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia. He sank into a coma and the disease began to attack some of his other organs. He was given a 20% chance of survival at that time.

As if this wasn't enough, there is more to their story. Lee had just started a new job within the last year so his short term disability benefits are very limited. Sherry had worked up until a few months ago, but since she is studying to be a nurse, she quit her job so that she could focus full time on finishing her degree. Sherry has obtained a job at a local hospital but won't begin working till July after graduation. So this means that they now have very limited income. Sherry is spending as much time at Jefferson as she can as well as finishing up her classes and is totally exhausted; both physically and emotionally. The hospital and the school are about two hours drive away from each other which places another burden on her. She talks longingly of being able to walk in the woods with her husband again and of being able to enjoy the simple pleasures of letterboxing. She is totally in love with her husband and is very broken by this terrible illness.

When I spoke to her Sunday night, she gave me some good news. After a month in a coma, Lee has finally regained consciousness and was removed temporarily from the ventilator that has been keeping him alive. The prognosis is much more encouraging now than it was a month ago. The doctors believe that the damage to his lungs could heal itself but his pancreas is severely damaged. They are not sure what to expect from any of the other internal damage. The only thing that they ARE sure of is that recovery is going to take some time.

So this brings me to my plea for help. We are asking for the letterboxing community to give something to this couple in the form of a flat donation or a pledge to any participant in the Road Rally. The pledge would be for each box found during the Rally, either those planted by the Rallymaster or the "distractions" planted by various participating teams. You can obtain information about the Rally at which also gives the details of last year's Rally. So far there are seven teams signed up for the race with more expected shortly. The teams are:

Team: Crayola Posse
Driver: RGBisMe (Jim)
Navigator: true indigo (Terri)

Team Eevil Dawg
Driver: Jan of Team Little Dog
Navigator: Lightnin' Bug and Cyclonic07

Team: RedHatBox'rs
Driver: sewsowbizzy
Navigator: Front Seat: Hikers-n-Hounds
Back Seat Passenger Side: MizScarlet
Back Seat Driver's Side: Sheba (maybe)

Team: Team PP & BS
Name of Driver: Pink Panther (Mary)
Name of Navigator: Black Swan (Stan)

Team: Warcat 76
Driver: Cat (Cathy)
Navigator: War (Warren)

Team: Knights of Columbo
Driver: Shelly Shearer
Navigator: Steve

Team: Compressed Air Junkies
Driver: Mike
Navigator: Kara

Team Name: ??
Driver: JuleBee (Julie)
Navigator: ScrappyFrog (Jen)

If you are interested in helping Dogs with Wings, please contact me at janila at If you are a participant and would like to collect pledges of your own either inside or outside of the letterboxing community, please do. Our goal is to raise $500 for this couple. I know that we are a generous community and I would like it very much if Dogs with Wings would also find out. Thank you.

How can you read this story without reaching for your wallet to help? We asked the letterboxing community to help Katrina victims by purchasing Atlas Quest premium memberships last year when Ryan was donating 100% of those proceeds for the Katrina Fund. You came out in droves and joined AQ premium.

Now we plead that you help both Sherry & Lee as they struggle along this bump in the trail. We have every confidence that this community will come forward and help. We challenge the letterboxing community to double or triple the $500 goal that Jan has set. Sue & I know that as a community we can do it. We've been involved before where boxers have just amazed us with their generosity and love! Please give.

If not us; then who?

Update: Jan has emailed us her mail address. We can forward it to you if you'd like to mail a check directly to her. Also - don't forget to include an image of your signature stamp for Sherry & Lee!

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Monday, April 24, 2006

Ransom Note #5 to DMS!

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Click here to read the latest note!

Poor DMS can't even sing karaoke anymore. He cries while singing the lyrics because his precious PZ Kut is always on his mind. Please, Inspector Bacon, solve this heinous crime~

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, April 24, 2006

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Fourth Ransom Note Received . . .

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This is really getting nuts! Poor DMS is going crazy! This fourth ransom note was just emailed to us. We hope this case gets solved quickly before they cart DMS away in a straight jacket! Click the PZ Kut and scroll to the bottom of that page to read this latest piece of the puzzle from the perloined PZ Kut!

posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, April 22, 2006

It's Time for Ice Scream . . .

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The Ice Scream Gathering, months in the planning stages, happens tomorrow, Sunday, April 23. Stop by and meet some great people, hunt for some wonderful boxes and have a bite to eat at a delicious buffet lunch. And don't forget the piece de resistance! Ice Cream Sundaes!

Sue made some brownies tonight that we will bring to make brownie sundaes. Hope to see you of you New Englanders there tomorrow. We were asked by the organizers to bring our boxing bands along as well. Who's afraid of a little rain???

posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, April 22, 2006

Oh The Humanity . . . Ransom Note #3!!!!

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Please, for the love of all that is good, click the above PZ Kut and read the latest ransom note. DMS just emailed it to us. To say that he's besides himself is putting it mildly. Will this ever end for our friend?

posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, April 22, 2006

Friday, April 21, 2006

Suspicions Change; A New Poll!

In a frantic email from DMS, we have received official information that some of the suspects that were originally put forth might have been in an effort to sway the boxing public and Inspector Bacon. Due to recent evidence that has just come to light, the official list of suspects has changed. Please vote in this new poll for your favorite culprit of the prized PZ Kut from the Portland prankster!

We will continue to watch this story as it develops!

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, April 21, 2006

Thursday, April 20, 2006

DMS Receives a Second Note!

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Click the missing PZ Kut to read the second ransom note that Der Mad Stamper just received! Will he ever get his carving media back in one piece???

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, April 20, 2006

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Special Poll!

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For those of you who love to play armchair detective, we've added a new Poll to give you the chance to vote for your suspect-of-choice in the missing PZ Kut mystery. Check in the lower portion of the righthand column of this main page for the Poll. As more suspects, if any, come to the forefront, we will be adding their names as well.

Feel free to vote on multiple days as your suspicions change and new events are revealed. I don't think you can vote more than once per day but you may vote every day. Don't you just love a good mystery?

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Suspects Cleared; New Ones Put Forth!

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This PZ Kut theft is beginning to get ugly and wide-spread!

Don & Gwen were first accused but have since proven their innocence to Der Mad Stamper's approval. Now, it's Ryan & Amanda who are the culprits-du-jour. Funhog seems to have added fuel to their suspicion with a report that the Hog saw some mysterious packages in the back of the green one's turtlemobile. And what was Ryan doing whittling away at some white PZ Kut so early in the morning?

Will Ryan & Amanda clear themselves? If so - who's head is next on the letterboxing chopping block? We are following this story closely and pledge to post new developments as they occur. Who would steal white PZ Kut from DMS? He's such a sweet guy. Any ideas?

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Did You Know . . .

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. . . that we have a page for your very first letterbox???

Several years ago, we created a page for any letterboxer to post their very first letterbox. Thanks to LadyDriver who stumbled on this page and reminded us that many new boxers might not know of its existence!

If you email us with your trailname, the state in which you live, the name of the box that was your first, the date you found it and the state in which it was located, we'll post it for all of letterboxing to see! Let's see if we can fill in those missing states!

Disclaimer: You may have to wait several weeks for it to be posted but we promise to post it. Just make sure your info is complete so we don't have to email you requesting the missing items.

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Don & Gwen Respond!

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Click and learn!

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Monday, April 17, 2006

Pine Tree's Report

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We just received this email report from Pine Tree:

Northeast Connecticut ( Windham county ) used to be the epicenter of letterboxing. Things have quieted down almost to a halt in this neck of the woods. But I can feel the rumble in the woods, the excitement of spring seeping in, the clue sheets a printin' and the pioneers dustin' off their backpacks........they're back again! (almost)

Leader of the Pack is feeling better and back on her "feet." Chuck and Molly are recuperating and we hope to see them back in the woods, the Maplines were just hibernating (and purchasing a new computer,) Irishtinker and French Fox had a new baby boy in December so they were somewhat busy but French Fox tells me that the baby will get his signature stamp soon and they will be back checking their boxes. Needeeps have been studying and finishing up school. Hats off to this special group of people and their life accomplishments and letterboxing milestones. This ground-breaking group have planted over 375+ boxes in Windham county! Now we just need to find Teach and Preach and see what they have been doing lately.

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, April 17, 2006

Sunday, April 16, 2006

An Investigator is Hired!

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Another development!

A PI is hired to help DMS find the culprit in the missing carving media. You know the drill - click the PZ Kut and scroll to the bottom of the new page for the most recent update in this unfolding and unnerving saga.

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, April 16, 2006

DMS Recieves a Ransom Note!

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Click the PZ Kut to view the ransom note that we just received via email from a very distraught Der Mad Stamper!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sue & I Wish You . . .

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or whatever holiday you celebrate. If not, we wish you a happy spring!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, April 16, 2006

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Read All About It!!!

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posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, April 15, 2006

Portland Puzzler's PZ Kut Pilfered!!!

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The following upsetting item was just posted by Der Mad Stamper:

Okay, everyone... FREEZE! Stop what you're doing right this minute and don't move an inch! I don't want anyone going anywhere until somebody coughs up my freakin' PZ Kut!

I suppose I should explain... last night something absolutely dreadful happened!

It started out pretty much as an ordinary night. I found a nice little karaoke bar that I hadn't been to before. I went in around ten, ordered a drink, and put my name on the list to sing a song. About a half hour later, when they asked me to leave, I headed for home. There was nothing good on TV and the lady next door had her shades pulled down, so I went to bed early.

But I woke up with a start when I heard the sound of screeching tires outside my home. I looked at my alarm and saw that it was exactly 12 midnight. I jumped out of bed and peeked through the curtains of my bedroom window. There was no one in sight and my car was still parked in the middle of my front lawn, so I went back to bed.

Then, this morning, I got up and began my usual routine. I popped a few aspirin, drank some Alka Seltzer, took a quick shower, and then got undressed. After downing a cup of yogurt and a bottle of pale ale, I started making my rounds. I fed my pufferfish, threw another baby bunny into the snake cage, and filled my cat's dish with Cocoa Pebbles. Then I went over to my special shrine to hug and kiss my huge private stockpile of precious Grade A white PZ Kut carving material. To my horror, I realized that my entire hoard was missing! Gone! Vanished!

Why would someone do this to me? Why did they have to take my Grade A white PZ Kut, of all things? There's plenty of other stuff around my house that is more valuable: my ex-wife's car... my ex-wife's wardrobe... my ex-wife's prosthetic leg. Why would they take the one thing that means so very much to me? Why me, Lord, why ME???

It's not like anyone has any personal reason to attack me. Well, I suppose there's that one guy down the block who used to have the peekapoo... and then there was that little incident at the convent. But, for the most part, I've lived a life of pure innocence and have been an absolute model citizen. What could possibly motivate anyone to do something so horrid and unspeakable to someone like me?

I know it must have been one of you!

Who else, but a letterboxer, would be driven to come into my home and steal my beloved PZ Kut? You sick, obsessive, depraved scoundrels! You will never get away with this!

Whoever you are, I will stop at nothing to find you and expose you for the villain that you are! I'm going to hire an investigator! I'm going to hunt you down like an animal! Vengeance will be mine! I will not sit quietly and be violated in this manner!

Nobody... I repeat, NOBODY... goes letterboxing again until I find my PZ Kut! Just stay where you are right this second and my investigator will contact you shortly. Don't any of you move a muscle! You... you... you freakin'... freaks!

Image hosting by Photobucket-- Der Mad Stamper

posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, April 15, 2006

One More Book . . . . Please?

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GretchenF & JulesF have just placed a time machine letterbox series! No - not that kind of time machine - but one that will bring you back to your youth! Their new series is called One More Book, Please! and is located in Providence, RI. This series of 12 boxes highlight many of our two sons favorite books while growing up. I can remember reading Goodnight Moon to our oldest son, Matt, over and over and over until he knew it by heart. Step back to your youth or your child's youth by clicking the books above and enjoy!

posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, April 15, 2006

Friday, April 14, 2006

Time to Rethink Our Role?

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I had 2 hours to reflect over the events from this past week on my drive to VT right after work on Thursday. Sue had to work on Friday and I had this "alone time" to pause and re-examine what I had posted on this site about publishing anothers' stamp images on a website. Don't you find car rides on a sunny afternoon are the perfect moments to just think?

There has been some trouble on the Newboxers list that stemmed from my post on this website relative to publishing stamp images from another boxer on an individual's website. I also brought up the question on the Newboxers list to raise awareness and generally to get a feeling for how others viewed this practice. The boxer who owned the website was upset and posted such and it caused one boxer to leave the list after some words were exchanged and the "E" word was mentioned. While controlled, things took a turn downhill. Thankfully, it never erupted into a huge blowout but it still bothered me. This was a list Sue & I started to be a safe haven from the junk on some of the other lists. It was never our intent to dictate what should be done, or that our idea was better than others but the major intent was to put out there and check others opinions and reactions.

Was I too outspoken? Should I have not mentioned this at all on this website or the Newboxers list? I've never professed to be an expert in letterboxing but just a reporter of things that are happening. I've tried to be as objective as possible but maybe I let my feeling on this subject get in the way.

If I have offended anyone, then I apologize since that was never my intent. Those that know me realize this is the furthest thing from our nature. I cannot apologize for raising awareness or bringing something to the forefront or for challenging newbies on controversial subjects. That won't change - that's what we do on this blog. Maybe next time I'll leave my opinions here, on our blog, and off of the Newboxers list. Or should I? Is it wrong to use our bully pulpit to try and raise awareness?

And the "E" word - Elitist - just ruffles our feathers as it did others on the Newboxers list. That's when I got angry. Sue & I try to be so inclusive in all we do. We constantly send emails of support or advice when asked and even when not. We've taken more than a few new letterboxers under our wing to help ease them into the community. We are constantly arranging get togethers of one kind or another. Sue teases me that I'll arrange a mini-gathering at the drop of a hat. The email we receive on a daily basis of a personal nature sometimes leaves Sue with her head spinning. It's amazing the personal triumphs and failures that the letterboxing public choose to share with us. I posted that we have never acted elitist in answer to that charge. We've got to believe we've been doing something right and do not act elitist if others feel so open to share with us.

We hope we aren't viewed as Elitists - whatever that means. Aren't we all just in this for the fun of the hobby? Is advice we offer considered elitist? Wouldn't an elitist not bother with the rest of those they view as below them? I know that's not us. Again - it's just our opinion.

Do we have opinions on how this game should be played? You betcha. We hope we don't try and exert our will on others but just offer another way to look at something. But I'd like to believe that our opinions are in the mainstream and the reason why this site has had over a quarter of a million visitors. Either we're doing something right or many of you have nothing better to do than stop by here! Are there boxers out there that disagree with us? Hell yes. But that's just reality.

Do we know all the answers? Hardly. Sue & I continue to learn everyday about a subtle nuance that we might have missed previously in letterboxing. I can't tell you the number of times we miss bonus boxes because we're too busy talking or forget to look carefully in a logbook. Are our opinions right? Probably not but I would think we're just as entitled to have an opinion as those that think differently.

Well, that's our explanation. One fault of online posting and chatting is that inpersonal nature of the written word. So many times something typed without any mean intention can be misconstrued due to the medium. Much better to talk face-to-face so expressions and the tone in which a comment was meant can be discerned without any mistake or misinterpretation.

We continue to appreciate the emails and your stopping by to read this little boxing page. We hope we still maintain your trust and you still enjoy stopping by here once in a while. We've been through a lot together, haven't we, and we hope that continues. Now let's just have fun and get out there and box!!! (You knew I'd say that - right?)

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, April 14, 2006

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Mmmmmm - Cape Eggs

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The following cryptic post was seen on Atlas Quest tonight
by Cape Cod Letterboxer:

Saturday and Sunday Only

April 15th and 16th

Easter Egg Hunt Letterboxing Style

South Yarmouth, MA

Watch for the clue Friday Night

Hope you can make it!

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Martha's Revenge!!!!

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Remember the K-Martha on eBay flap of several weeks ago? Well, we received tons of email during this event and even after it was resolved. Many boxers had a clue something was going on - others did not. We tried our best not to lie but to maybe stretch the truth slightly!

There's one boxer who will remain nameless but who loves to repose and weave! She has seen fit to give a little payback for our part in playing along with the K-Martha ruse. Lately, we have been receiving a lot of Martha Stewart jokes in our inbox - thanks to this boxer! She has vowed to forward every Martha Stewart joke in her email to us! When I responded with a reply "You are evil;" her reply was "It takes one to know one!"

Don't you just hate payback???

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Finally, There Are . . .

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Spring is here and with that comes a few letterboxing items to keep in mind and on your agenda:

* Someone once said that Spring is the perfect time for box maintenance. The nicer weather brings more visits to your letterboxes and spring is the perfect time of year to replace baggies, logbooks, stamps, etc. as needed. This will get you ready for the onslaught of vacation-seeking boxers for heavy boxing months ahead.

* Spring is also the time to reasses how we hunt and hide boxes. Don't forget to use some stealth when finding boxes so as to keep the muggles in the dark. We've received several emails from boxers doing their spring maintenance that have been upset at the condition of their boxes - boxes left open, strewn along the trails, containers not sealed correctly or poorly hidden. Please remember that it's your responsiblity to see that the box is hidden from all angles before you leave it. That goes for letterboxing with a group or with children. Be responsible and take an extra moment to see that the box appears hidden from all angles. These few extra minutes will ensure that the little treasure you just found will be there for the next boxer as well.

* Spring is the unofficial beginning of the heavy gatherings schedule. Check gatherings on Atlas Quest or our New England Area Gatherings page for a gathering near you. This is one great way to become an integral part of the local letterboxing community and to finally put a face with a stamp!

Be safe, enjoy the nice weather, hunt lots of boxes, attend a gathering or two and you will truly get more out of letteboxing and will enjoy the signs of spring - the letterboxing signs of spring, we mean!

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Letterboxing Security Part 2

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Thanks to our letterboxing security expert, Don Jackson, of Don & Gwen, we are pleased to offer the second installment in our Letterboxing Security articles. Click on the security cap above to read the article. Don is not only a security expert in real life but a friend and a very important part of our Newboxers talk list. Thanks, Don!

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Monday, April 10, 2006

New Poll Ready for Your Vote!

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While surfing through letterboxing websites, I came across one (no names, please) that showed images of finds for some of their F count. While there was a link with an offer to contact the owner of the site if you objected to having one of your images displayed for easy removal, there was nothing mentioned about what, we feel, is a greater problem.

Do you mind seeing an image of a box that you haven't yet found? Does it take away some of the mystery and anticipation? Or - do you feel the main thrust is just finding the box? Maybe none of this matters to you. Please vote your opinion on this controversial subject.

One of the few times we've shown images from others was our page showing the boxes a group of us made for Funhog. You'll find that link in the right column with a warning - "Spoiler" for those that don't want to see an image for a box they haven't found.

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, April 10, 2006 Blues!

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Not sure what happened - but we've been unable to post to this blog since Friday of last week. Looks like we're back online now so we can get back to normal soon - whatever that is! We have a new Letterboxing Security article by boxing's security expert - Don of Don & Gwen that we'll be posting later this week.

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, April 10, 2006

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Wonderful Weekend Cape-r!

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One of the many special places we visited

It all started early Friday morning! We had Cape Cod in our sights for a long weekend. After a few months of planning with Deanne & Dave, it was finally the day for our 3 day weekend spent at the Cape of Cod!

After a quick drive-through breakfast and an easy 3 hour commute, we arrived at our motel shortly after 9:30am and we actually beat Deanne & Dave! To the motel that is - they had arrived at the Cape at 7:30!!! When we finally met each other in the motel parking lot, they had already had breakfast, placed a box and found a few! We quickly moved some boxing essentials from our car into theirs and headed off for the day!

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The JFK Memorial, Hyannis, MA

Our first stop was the JFK Memorial and on to a mystery box. We then planted our new Hyannis Hero box as well. Then we visited MummaandBunnyBoy's Oso Pardo, Oso Pardo, based on the childrens' book. While I had never heard of this book, our son Steve, who spends vacations and summer working at a childcare facility, immediately recognized the title. Great stamps and a nice walk. We then hit What's My Sign and headed back to the motel to clean up and have a wonderful meal at Ardeo's. The wait was long but the company was the best!

Another early morning start on Saturday - April Fools Day - where we met Rae Record in the parking lot of the motel. We had previously contacted Rae and arranged for her to spend the entire day letterboxing with us. It was great having Rae with us. She was even nicer than she appeared to be in her interview from late last year. First up was Scarab's Calvin Nemeses (I know, Rae, it's plural for Nemesis!) which was a great little series of ups and downs. While the weatherman had predicted rain, we started out with a sunny, cool day - just right for letterboxing!

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Deanne, Dave and Rae at one of the days many boxes

From there, we headed to Archimedes Screw's fantastic series, Star Wars. These are beautifully carved stamps, which are so indicative of the talent that these Capeside "girls" possess! All are such great carvers who seem to be more like a family than friends. The Star Wars series looks great in our logbook and we all ooohed and aahed at each stamp. Once we reached the final box in the series and came up empty-handed, it dawned on us that it was missing - but we didn't worry since we were meeting the "girls" for dinner, along with Rae, and hoped the "Screw" would bring the re-carved replacement stamp!

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Baby lambs at Bray Farm

We also visited Chunna's Indian Grounds and, after serving as our Box of the Month for quite a few months, we found Year of the Dog by Archimedes Screw - which turned out to be one of our favorites. Rounded out the day with Le Pew, Shade Tail and 2 boxes at Bray Farm - which is a wonderful working farm that runs educational seminars for all ages. We took a break from our boxing to admire the cute little newborn sheep and lamb. Last on the agenda was Curses, Kabutogani and Bass Hole. Curses has a great twist that we know New Englanders would enjoy! We then had to rush back to the motel, freshen up, and get to the restaurant to meet the Capers for 6pm.

The meal at the Super Buffet was a great one and full of surprises - how else could you spend an April Fools evening? After some exchanges and personal travelers, we noticed some mischief (which we will keep secret!) and we all enjoyed those little extras that were on the table and other places - including CapeCodLetterboxer's hastily but artfully-carved event stamp! We were joined by Ginger Blue and Bob, with Ginger sporting a 50's style black satin jacket from a local diner that her mother had let her borrow. I don't want to gossip (right!) but Dave's eyes were sooooo green! Even had Deanne take his picture in this great jacket that he hesitantly returned to Ginger.

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The birthday girls cut the cake - Screw, Chunna & CCL

We all enjoyed a nice dinner and dessert was a surprise birthday cake, since CapeCodLetterboxer, Chunna and Archimedes Screw all had celebrated recent birthdays. It was a nice evening with talk about the girls up-coming Cape gathering in the fall. Rae had re-planted the Phantom of the Boardwalk for us to hunt that night in the dark but fog, mist and the offer to have everyone take the celebration to our motel room altered the original plan to hunt for the box. After some gossip and ideas for the gathering and just general conversation, we all parted with kisses and hugs for letterboxers who were friends but now felt like family.

A special moment for Sue & I was a gift of an altered book from Deanne and Dave. It took us totally by surprise. The book was Dartmoor-oriented and contained a special stamp, beautifully carved by Deanne, along with photos and remembrances of the Baker's Dozen trip of September 2004. Dartmoor has a special place in our hearts, as do Deanne and Dave, and this book will be one of our most prized letterboxing possessions. We passed it around for the group to stamp onto one page to commemorate this special night. And don't believe Deanne - those weren't tears in my eyes! Seriously!

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Bayside, at the Phantom of the Boardwalk location

Sunday found us waking up to a brilliant deep blue sky with the promise of more boxes but also with the realization that our nice adventure was coming to a rapid close. Sunday, we visited Chunna's Cultural Center, which is the location of that upcoming gathering, the Great Cape Escape, which is planned for September 30. We visited You Decide, CapeCodLetterboxer's box for which we had written the clues. While we had seen an image of the stamp to aid us in writing the story, it was great to find and actually stamp into this box.

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Sunday's crew - Dave, Sue, Mumma & Deanne

One of the most unique concepts for a box that we have ever found in the 4 short years we've been boxing was CapeCodLetterboxer's Lock Under Key. It was a nice treat to have Mumma meet us before we got to the box and who did the You Decide Box with us as well. Lock Under Key should be on your short list of those boxes you must visit next time you are at the Cape. We don't want to give anything away but be prepared to be wowed~ we all were!

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Sue and Dave check out Phantom of the Boardwalk clues

To round out the weekend just before we left the Cape, we went to Phantom of the Boardwalk, Rae Record's epic box that introduced letterboxing clues based around a story. Rae told us much of the history of the box when she boxed with us on Saturday. Originally, after hiding it, she took her husband Jerry to the location and had him try to find the box. After running through the clues with him, Jerry said, as we men do at times, no one would ever find it and he thought Rae should simplify the clues. It was too difficult. Then Rae showed Jerry where the box was hidden and looked at the logbook. Much to their surprise was an entry from an 8 year boy who had just found the box and who remarked that it took him only 30 minutes! Needless-to-say, Rae left the clues as is.

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We found a geocache - but no Phantom!

So we get there, cross the great boardwalk and follow the clues and look some more and then change directions and look some more. One and a half hours later - no box! And an 8 year old boy found it in a half hour?? Who's son was this - Einstein's? As we were leaving, Archimedes Screw and Cape Cod Lightning Bug were arriving to find the box. We cried on their shoulders, told them of our plight and made them promise to email us if they found the box. When we never heard on Monday, I emailed the Screw. She told me after 2 hours of hunting, they came up empty as well, even after being joined by another couple hunting for the box!

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Deanne is on the lookout for that pesky Phantom!

Then I get an email from CapeCodLetterboxer on Monday, who after hearing from Rae that we couldn't find the box (I called Rae evil many times in our email to Rae!) CCL headed out to look for the box to make sure it was still there. The dunes have changed from erosion and multiple storms, but CCL, who had found the box before the topographic changes, found the new box in 10 minutes! Guess we could never be real Capers! Oh, Rae, what can we say!

Sue and I would like to thank Rae Record, the girls from the Cape and Deanne & Dave for a special weekend that we will long remember. The Cape girls made us feel special and Rae was just a joy. You all better watch out, ladies - we just may want to do this again! This was one very special weekend and a precursor to our early June trip to Hogland, USA with Deanne & Dave. It was a very special weekend filled with special letterboxing memories!

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Follow-up: At the recent Ice Scream Gathering, Archimedes Screw told me the she and Cape Cod Lightning Bug finally got back to the Phantom box and were successful in finding it. Seems we were almost standing on it! Guess where Sue & I are stopping before we hit the Cape gathering in September???

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Monday, April 03, 2006

A Confession . . .

We weren't involved in the actual K-Martha thing on eBay but we did join into feeding the frenzy. Having been around for the initial K-Martha ruse, we loved joining in and creating the appearance of being frustrated and upset. We really never were but as you all know - boxing is a game, at times - and we loved perpetuating the outcry of those that believed that one of Legerdemaine's prizes were being auctioned off to the highest bidder!

Many did not "get" it but as the song goes - different strokes for different folks. There are many ways to play this game and no way is the correct way. Nothing insulting was meant by this ruse or that a certain group was perpetrating an injustice on others. Many don't like mystery boxes - so they don't hunt for them. If this latest eBay adventure wasn't your type of game, that's cool. But don't downgrade those that enjoy it.

What's not so cool is the name-calling and after effects that seem to be left over. Atlas Quest, once a haven from that kind of thing, has had a few posts that have sparked the ire of a few. Please - let it go! It's over - let's get back to the game. Put aside your differences and go find boxes~

We want to thank all of those great friends of this website who emailed us - telling us not to be discouraged and to look at the positives of boxing. Your emails were from the heart and very nice. While we never were upset (part of the game) we did enjoy hearing from you all and the nice words you all wrote. Letterboxers are the nicest people.

We believe that something good has come out of this. A new generation of boxer will now be more aware of posts and unusual happenings around them. This eBay thing will never work again! Many of you have learned and the hobby is the better for it!

Now - let's pack up our pride and tempers and . . .

Just get out there & box!!!

PS. Sorry it took so long to write this but Sue & I spent a long weekend at the Cape. Pictures and story to follow today or tomorrow!!!

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, April 03, 2006