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)

Friday, June 30, 2006

Oregon Boxes

We've heard a little news on the letterboxes we left in Oregon during our trip there earlier this month. Our Postcards from Oregon #1, dedicated to Amanda from Seattle, was found by the team of Marmalade, Campfire Lady, Maiden, Tooth Fairy and Rico. We understand that a certain trio had been wandering around McMenamin's looking for clues. While we won't mention any names, we offer congrats to those that did find this box!

We also heard that the Logos found our Pioneer Conestoga box. Good work on their part as well.

What are the rest of you doing??? We left a total of 8 boxes on the left coast! Let us know if you find one of them so we can update our page of our boxes. Thanks!

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, June 30, 2006

Ding Dong & Blessings!

We heard of two cute new boxing methods while letterboxing in Oregon earlier this month.

The first was told to us by Funhog. It seems Dvn2chkr letterboxes with her children and they have a special code word when one of the two kids finds a letterbox. They've been told not to yell out "I've found it" or "Here's the letterbox" which might alert muggles in the area of some precious cargo. So instead, Bethany has taught the kids to say "Ding Dong!" Now the muggles will just think they are crazy hikers and won't be so apt to investigate what they found!

The second item is something Sue & I have always done but never thought about. After carefully rehiding a letterbox, I will grab a handful of the nearby ground's floor and sprinkle it over the hidden area so as to make it look undisturbed and thus, less obvious - whether it be pine needles, twigs, leaves or whatever is on the ground nearby. Well, letterboxing in Oregon with Funhog and Don & Gwen, we learned that Don, the character that he is, calls this method "blessing the letterbox."

So when you are boxing this holiday weekend - don't forget to yell "Ding Dong" and to bless that box!

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, June 30, 2006


You may have wondered what happened to us here at Casa di Pinecone! Haven't posted anything in a while and we've been pretty quiet.

It seems I've hurt my back or a muscle that attaches to my right hip that refers pain to many areas of my body. Missed a day and a half from work and have spent a lot of time on my back - just resting. Poor Sue - I'm an awful patient!

Today, I finally feel like I'm making progress. We've cancelled all of our plans for today and tomorrow and hope to just rest and recuperate during those days. By Sunday or Monday we hope to be back posting and feeling more like normal again.

Until then, we wish you a safe and box-filled long weekend. You'll hear from us soon with a "Scrapbook from Oregon" that will include some of the almost 300 pictures we took on our recent trip there. Included will be commentary and stories - some funny and many unflattering to me! Stay safe!

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, June 30, 2006

Friday, June 23, 2006

Extra - Extra!

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We've just heard, from the rumor mill of course, that the 20 Questions letterbox has been found! That's amazing - considering that all 20 questions haven't been asked and answered.

While it is only a rumor, we still encourage all to keep playing this fun game and hunt the box for yourselves. Who knows - our sources could be wrong! Either way - it's a very creative attempt at hiding a box and we offer our congratulations to the first finders - if they really did find it!

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, June 23, 2006

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Ithaca is . . . .


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The great view that we all experienced from the pavilion

The gathering in Ithaca this past Saturday was a whole group of things: hot, fun, busy, mischievous, and chocked full of waterfalls, gorges, friends, exchanges, boxes and WOM's.

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Our own little piece of boxing heaven - our pavilion

Sue & I left Kensington on Friday evening bound for our first stop - the midway point motel in Liberty, NY where we would spend Sue's birthday! After a good night's rest and a quick breakfast, we were off to the big I - Ithaca and Turtle McQ's gathering! We arrived at Stewart Park about 11:30 am and quickly found the smaller pavilion where we saw some familiar faces. Stewart Park is a small community park located at the very tip of one of the Finger Lakes with nice facilities and great lake views.

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Jump into the exchange pool - the water's fine!

After unloading our gear, we said hello to old friends like Turtle McQ, TGD, Ryan & Amanda, Silent Doug and Clueless and others. We then jumped into the exchange pool and the water was fine! It was fun to meet some New Yorkers whom we've corresponded with but never met like JackBear and Joystar, Sprite & Highlander and Peace & Balance (sounds like 60's rock groups, no?) We also enjoyed meeting, talking with and exchanging with new people - listening to their stories of how they heard about letterboxing and what they liked most about this hobby that brought together such a diverse group as was assembled here on a hot day to Ithaca, NY in June!

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Da Girlz: Amanda from Seattle, Turtle McQ and Clueless

When Turtle McQ met us at the car when we first arrived, she told us she had arranged a little surprise for Sue. Since Friday was her birthday, Angele had hidden a birthday box for Sue and handed the clues to her. The directions at the pavilion stated that boxers must find the person celebrating a birthday, sing Happy Birthday to them and then they would receive the clues. It also turned out that Scout was celebrating a birthday as well so there were 2 clue-givers available for the special "Bonne Fete" box which translates from French Canadian to Happy Birthday. The stamp was nicely carved by Ryan (Green Tortuga) and just the thought added a special twist to the day for Mrs. Pinecone. Sue is always the quiet half of this duo and is never in the spotlight so it was great to see her experience some letterboxing love aimed just at her. Thanks, Angele and Ryan for arranging this special little surprise for Sue. After spending her birthday in the car Friday night driving to Libery, this was a welcomed belated gift! Last year, we celebrated Sue's birthday in the car driving to Michigan! Do you see a pattern here????

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Boy - did we want to jump in here!

After settling in, we went out to get some of the boxes in Stewart Park - some WOM's and some published for the event. The great event stamp was carved by Mama Bear and held a clue itself for another box called "Ithaca Is . . ." Our group headed out to find that box first and we were first finders. It seems that when Mama Bear hid this box, there was a homeless person asleep on the bench where she had planned to hide the box. She gently placed it there; not wanting to wake the sleeping man. She told us she had no choice to hide it there since the clues were already carved into the event stamp!

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A very special jumbo kinda box!

Silent Doug found the box under the then vacant, blanket-covered bench. After we all stamped into the box, we noticed that the homeless man was back on his bench. Now what were we to do? After some conferring, we decided that the clue located on the event stamp, featured 8 footsteps from the bridge, could be placed on the other side of the bridge, away from the curious homeless person and making it much easier for others that would be hunting the box later in the day. All ended well! When our group returned to the pavilion, I told Mama Bear what we had done and she was pleased to know others could now steer clear of "the bench."

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Colum, CrunchyMama's son -is that a beautiful baby or what?

The rest of the day was a blur~meeting new boxers, getting reacquainted with old friends, picking at the pot luck table and just enjoying the boxing talk that was rampant both in the pavilion and at the picnic tables surrounding it. Sometimes we like to just sit back and watch the fun! The enthusiasm that letterboxing creates among strangers and friends is really amazing. After all - they're only stamps! But the time and care and friendships behind those stamps make it such a great way to spend a day, or a vacation - or a lifetime~ :-)

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The gang: Lori & Brian of TGD, Turtle McQ, Amanda & Ryan (GT)
and Sue & Mark

We'd like to thank Turtle McQ, our dear friend, for encouraging us to attend this event, although it didn't take much. We had heard so much about last years event and were sorry that we were in MI to miss it. Sue and I had a blast on Saturday, as it seems everyone else did. One thing is for certain - we'll be back next year for sure!!!

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One of the many beautiful sights that Ithaca had to offer

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, June 22, 2006

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Greek Myth-Story Gathering this Weekend!

This weekend, June 24 and 25, you can be entertained and brought back in time to the days of Greek gods and goddesses at the Greek Myth-Story Gathering. This event will be held at Wendell State Forest in Wendell, MA, home of the first letterboxes in the state of MA by Bonnie Sennott.

SapphireBerry is the hostess of the event which will feature some wonderful stamps carved by Choi, Music Woman, TeamGreenDragon and others. Don't forget the potluck and other activities!

Since this is a weekend event, there will be a bonfire and who know what else may happen when you get a group of letterboxing fanatics together for a weekend long celebration!! Don't forget to say hello to our boxing traveling companions who will be at the event - the Lazy Letterboxer (Deanne) and the Letterboxing Ham (Dave.)

To RSVP or find out more details, visit the event page on Atlas Quest.

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, June 20, 2006

And Choi said "Let there be Letterboxing Podcasts!"

ack about a month ago, Choi emailed me and asked that I call him right away. I did, wondering what was up.

He asked me what I knew about podcasts and did I see a use for them in letterboxing, which I really did not! In fact, I told him, our youngest son, Steve, whose idea the boxing bands were, came to me 4 months ago and said I should get on the podcast bandwagon for our website.

"How would that fit in," I asked Steve.
"You'll see," he said.
Will I never learn???

So, Choi went on to tell me some uses of podcasts. They could be used as educational audio (interesting idea I thought,) and for interviews (that's when he caught my ear!) Then I imagined our Interview Series and how cool it would be to actually hear the interview, which would give them much more life and reality!

"What about podcasts from Dartmoor when we go next year?" I asked Choi. "And wouldn't it be cool to sit down and interview Godfrey and Anne Swinscow for a half hour talk?"

Choi then said, "Maybe even sit down with your group after a day on the moor and ask their impressions." My mind was racing - this podcast thing was way cool and something for which I could see a multitude of other uses - clues to name one!

So, the Letterboxing Podcast yahoo group was born - with Choi's idea and foresight and my enthusiasm. We hope you join the yahoo group which is located here. From the initial reaction, it looks like it will be a hit. Think of it as letterboxing joining the present. What better way to learn about letterboxing than from a group that care so much about it. Other planned discussions may include "What to do with a HH," "I signed up for a gathering - now what?"

Visit the letterboxing podcast website for the first podcast, which is an introduction to letterboxing. Choi wrote a wonderful script that he narrates which captures the essence of this game. Stop by and see what you think. And don't forget to give props to that Choi boy!

We've just put up a new Poll of the Week for you to express your opinion of letterboxing podcasts after you've listened to the first podcast and explored the talk list.

Ain't letterboxing great? :-)

UPDATE: Thanks to Pied Piper - we'd like to let everyone know that you don't actually have to own an iPod to listen to podcasts. All you have to have is iTunes (free program from Apple) loaded on your computer. If you have a PC, there is a version of iTunes for you as well to download.

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Postcard from Oregon #6

TO: Ryan Carpenter
1800 Atlas Quest Terrace

Tortuga, OR


Hi GT:

It was great to finally meet you at the Spirit of Dartmoor gathering in Oregon. After all these years of corresponding and our interview with you, it was fun to finally talk to you face-to-face!

While we were in Oregon, we had the opportunity to visit your Wappato Island Mystery box. It was a wonderful spot and Sue & I really liked it.

You've done a terrific job in planting boxes around the country and the world. We wanted to show our appreciation for your boxes as well as the stellar work you continue to perform on Atlas Quest. So - we decided to leave a little treasure behind.

On the return trip after carefully rehiding the Wappato, take 150 paces back home and look to your left! Hope you enjoy this little homage!


Mark & Sue

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posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, June 15, 2006

Postcard from Oregon #5

TO: Der Mad Stamper
1 Alfred E. Neuman Lane

Karaoke, OR



As you probably have figured out by now, we really enjoyed our trip to your home state. And it was a pleasure to meet and see you at not one, but two gatherings during our visit!

One of the treats of our vacation was to find those historic Columbia River Falls Series that you planted way back in 1998. It's so cool to see those images in our logbook! You have done a great job seeding OR with early boxes and were instrumental in the clue-writing and carving techniques that boxers will employ for years to come. You are truly a letterboxing forefather.

As a small tribute to all you've done, Sue & I decided to leave a little something behind. From the peregrine's iris, proceed in a 90 degree path to another hound, where you will find where this little hard-working homage rests.


Mark & Sue

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posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, June 15, 2006

Postcard from Oregon #4

TO: Jay Jeopardy
16 Maiden Street

Toolbox, OR


Hi Jay Jeopardy:

We'd like to thank you for your great Jay's Toolbox letterbox. We tried several times to find it but had difficulty finding the Target store -you know how lost we out-of-towners can get!

Well, we finally found it and were we surprised! Your little toolbox is crammed full of stamps! There are so many in that container that we had to find the proper way in which to put them in to make sure that the lid would close!

Deanne and I had great fun stamping the images in our logbooks while Sue and Dave went into the Target store for cough medicine and a few other items that we forgot to pack.

By the way - we left a little something to join the rest of your tools. Since our oldest son is a volunteer firefighter, we carved a fireman's helmet and axe to join the rest of your tools. This stamp took a long trip on the plane and hope you like it.

Thanks for a wonderful idea and letting all of the letterboxing community share in the fun!

Mark & Sue

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posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, June 15, 2006

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Ithaca Gathering This Saturday!

Don't forget the Ithaca Gathering this coming Saturday. While the location is a mystery that can be easily solved, the fun of past years is not a mystery. Travelers from far and wide will attend this event so look for all kinds of fun and mischief. The scenery is breath-taking as well as the company and the boxes.

Thanks to our buddy, Turtle McQ for putting on this event and to all of those that have contributed and hid boxes. Sue and I will be there with boxing bands on (get it?) We've been anxious about attending this event for months.

For more information on the event and to respond, visit the Atlas Quest page by clicking here. As usual, we'll have a full report with pictures on Monday.

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Monday, June 12, 2006

Postcard from Oregon #3

TO: Brett
25 Boss Hog Lane

Pungent, OR


Hi Brett:

Thanks for your fantastic Musicians Series in Portland. Several of the artists you chose are our personal favorites and we thoroughly enjoyed the 3 mile walk through the woods, despite the fact that we ran later than we expected!

Since Sue & I are big music fans, we couldn't help but leave behind a little thank you gift - our own personal rendition of Ray! We hope you like it - it might be a little off-tune but we sure do love his music!

You will find Ray! after 10.75 and before 10.61. You must take a left side path midway along a fernside bend. Ray is singing "Georgia on My Mind" in the crook of a multi-trunked, moss-covered tree.

Thanks for a wonderful series, Brett, and allowing other letterboxers to show their personal musical favorites!


Mark & Sue

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posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, June 12, 2006

Postcard from Oregon #2

TO: Funhog
25 Porcine Terrace
Hogville, OR


Hi Funhog:

Thanks for the wonderful time that you showed us. We fondly remember this little picnic that we all shared at the Bear Springs Shelter Area in Mount Hood National Park.

Do you remember it? We followed signs to Bear Springs Shelter area. We really enjoyed that Mexican food that we brought with us!

Just to show our appreciation for all you did, Sue & I thought we should leave a little something for you and all of your friends. Just at the beginning of the paved circular loop, look right for a large Ponderosa pine in the woods. At its back lies a large downed tree. If you listen carefully, you can hear our surprise singing hoarsely at its farthest end.

Hope you like it. It's a special thank you for a wonderful week and all that you do for letterboxing! Thanks for being the cheerleader of our blog and for being such a special friend!


Mark & Sue

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posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, June 12, 2006

Postcard from Oregon #1

TO: Amanda from Seattle
16 Airport Way
Seattle, WA


Hi Amanda:

We stopped by this nice hotel for some rest and relaxation while in Oregon recently. After getting refreshed, we decided to walk around the grounds to see the sights.

Suddenly, we found #1906 and passed the guards on the right until we found a break in the wall where the red prison boss stood.

Upon entering this shaded cell, Sue & I proceeded as far as we could at 270 degrees. We left a little something for you under the last sheltered tree.

Hope you like it – it’s a little thank you for all you’ve done for letterboxing!


Mark & Sue

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posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, June 12, 2006

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Back with Beauty and History in our Heads!

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Well - it was a whirlwind trip but one we'll remember for years! We attended 3 gatherings in 9 days - two of them in our honor. Met a lot of great letterboxers from the Pacific Northwest as well as finding boxes in 2 states - Oregon & Washington and planting 8 letterboxes in Oregon too. The beauty of the state of Oregon and the history of its land and some of those early boxes made this a very interesting trip.

While at times we pushed our limits, we saw much of what central Oregon has to offer in the way of differing landscapes and boxes: the Lava Lands National Park and the High Desert Museum; Mt. Hood and the cowboy town of Sisters; Hog's great desert hideway and the Metolius River; the beautiful canyons of the Deschutes River and the simplicity of Sauvie Island; magpies, banana slugs, and lizards; Funhog boxes and the early Der Mad Stamper Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Series and a few very special WOM's, letterboxing with Funhog, Don & Gwen and Deanne & Dave! I remarked one night as we all were around the table in a Redmond restaurant early on in the week - "None of us would have known each other if it hadn't been for letterboxing." But this wonderful hobby/pastime/obsession has allowed Sue and I to meet some very special people!

More to come in the next few days! Even a few surprises like our new "Postcards from Oregon" and the Doors of McMenamins. And of course the commentary! What would a pinecone trip be without the diary-like story of what we did! Special thanks to Deanne, the Lazy Letterboxer (not!) and Dave, the Letterboxing Ham, for being wonderful travel partners during our 9 days away. Sue & I had more laughs and fun than you can imagine.

And this trip never would have happened with the help of our porcine friend - Funhog, who acted as travel agent, host and all around best friend! Early on, the Hog ran us pretty hard but we are now ever so thankful for without that little push of the curly-tailed one, our trip would have not been so complete and wide-ranging! And the four of us are pleased to have survived Camp Funhog! Thanks, Hog, for giving us the most precious thing anyone could - your precious time that you so willingly spent with us!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, June 11, 2006