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)

Monday, July 31, 2006

A New Stormy Box . . .

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Patrick & Amy have just published the clues to their new box, The Tempest, which is located somewhere in New London county in CT. You have a little homework to do before you hunt this box! Click the image above to check out the clues. Nice to see this Nutmeg pair planting again!

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, July 31, 2006

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Just Too Hot!

Have you wondered where we've been? Well - this hot, steamy weather has kept us in our cooler parts of the house than the stuffy computer room. We hope to get back to our normal posting schedule once we get a break in the weather. We've started to work on our photo album of our Oregon trip. Here's a link to show you the beginnings of that. Stay cool!

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

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A New 14 Box Series . . .

Scout, from NY, just placed a new, 14 box series entitled Virginia Creeper Trail. It wasn't just your typical placement, though. They rode bikes and planted this series along some 34 miles of the Creeper Trail in VA with both Tupperware and water in tow!

The Virginia Creeper Trail, according to the clues, traverses through some of the most rugged and picturesque scenery in the eastern US and is widely viewed as one of the most beautiful trails in the country.

While Scout and family planted this series on bikes, it can be done by any means of transportation, including cars. This trail began as an Indian footpath, later used by European pioneers and explorer Daniel Boone. Just before 1900, the newly-formed Virginia-Carolina Railroad use this as its route from Abington to Damascus.

The name, Virginia Creeper, came from the early steam locomotives that slowly made their way up the railroad's steep grades. Thanks to Scout and her family for taking the time to highlight this valuable natural resource by planting this exciting new series for all of us to enjoy. Next time you find yourself in VA, we hope you'll take a look at these clues. Great work and wonderful accomplishment, Scout!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, July 23, 2006

Our Latest International Letterbox!

Thanks to Koyote, we have the clues up to our 4th international letterbox, Windmill, planted in the village of Mill, Netherlands.

As reported several weeks ago, Koyote and his wife, Mari, offered to hide and clue this box for us while there on vacation.

This box is dedicated to Koyote and The End Gang for our continued friendship, despite the fact that they now live in VA and we're still here in CT

Thanks to both of you for carrying, planting and clueing our latest pinecone creation! Now the rest of you - get out there and find this box!!!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, July 23, 2006

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Wonders of the World Gathering

Keep your calendar open this fall for October 8 - the date of the Wonders of the World gathering, to be held at John Boyd Thatcher State Park in Albany, NY.

This state park is situated along the Helderberg Escarpment, one of the richest fossil-bearing formations in the world. Some of the parks wonders include Indian Ladder and the Manulius Formation, pictured here.

Look forward to great views, fall foliage and some great company with which to letterbox! Hosts Phynstar, Buggylou, Minpin Lovers, Sahalie, Daytonatip and Tamsyn promise special boxes and a potluck lunch.

For further information and to register for the event, please visit the special event page on Atlas Quest.

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

Monday, July 17, 2006

Letterboxing Bits & Pieces

Here are a bunch of small news items that we thought we could cover under the heading of Bits & Pieces - a hodgepodge of boxing snippets:

* Thanks to Koyote who planted and clued our new Windmill letterbox that is located in Holland. Clues will be up shortly on our site, LBNA and Atlas Quest. This is our third international box - with 2 boxes planted previously in England - 1 listed in the current Dartmoor Catalogue of Clues.

* The emails are coming in fast and furious for those interested in attending our first ever Letterboxing Cruise in June 2008. The count now stands at close to 100 and is still growing! We've heard from interested letterboxers from Alaska to Oregon to California to Texas to Florida and all points in between!

If this keeps up - we may be the first group of letterboxers to ever fill a complete cruise ship! I called the cruise line on Friday of last week and found out we are two months too early to even begin planning the trip. They don't even have departure dates listed yet for anything after April 2008. In a few months, we'll call again and get some pricing. At this point, Sue & I are leaning for a late June departure date so we can include those families with children - and yes - you teachers as well!

* There was a story on the Pacific Northwest talk list about the murder of two hikers. While not letterboxers, we still urge you to be careful out there on the trails and if possible, letterbox with a buddy, a can of mace and whatever else you can think of to help you out of a possible situation.

* With the current heat wave, it is now more important than ever to use common sense when hiking and letterboxing. Be sure you hydrate yourself before, during and after you hike as well as frequent stops - know your limits. The real feel temperature in central CT today and tomorrow are expected to be about 103 and 104 degrees!

* This cryptic message was seen on the LBNe talk list last week:

"Attention one and all. Save the date: October 14th. Watch for clues to 8, yes I said 8, boxes that will hold the info you need to find the gather. More details soon... Stay Tuned!!!"

Hez, Grumpy, Sunshine, Swamp Yankee, Mona and the ToadDog, too!!!

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

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

All We Can Say Is . . .

It's been 24 hours since our post here about the Letterboxing Cruise of 2008 and already there are over 30 interested people! If this pace keeps up, we'll be taking over the whole ship!

Sue & I will be preparing a new Yahoo Talk List to keep everyone updated on the latest info once we have something to report. There may be some lag time, though - it is almost 2 years away. But don't panic - you'll hear from us.

In the meantime, anyone who has not emailed us and is interested in attending should email us so your name and number in your party can be put on the list. This is not a commitment but just shows your interest. Pricing will determine if many of you go - we understand that. If you are a single and want to share expenses on a room with someone else, let us know. The Yahoo cruise talk list, once started, will allow you to get to know people and hopefully you will find someone with whom you'd like to share a room. We also plan to post informative links to websites that highlight Bermuda travel. Only cruise members will be allowed to join this list once pricing has been arranged and published here on this blog.

One important detail - there will be only one formal activity per day - probably in the evening, either just before or after dinner. The rest of the day you are free to enjoy the ship on your own (when we're at sea) or the island of Bermuda (when we're docked.) Please don't expect the whole day to be planned for you. Sue & I are negotiating discount pricing and will arrange a daily activity. The rest of the cruise is what you make of it so come with your own ideas, a good book, some letterboxes and your own daily plans. Those of you who have cruised before realize that while at sea, there are many activities to keep anyone busy. And the island of Bermuda is chocked full of great places and beaches to explore. Plan to bring some letterboxes and your own brand of mischief for the cruise. I know this group can come up with some very unique ways to keep us all guessing and hunting!

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

Welcome Home Friends!

Sue & I would like to wish a warm "Welcome Home" to Koyote of The End Gang! He and Mari are back after a special trip to Holland, where he took along a little pinecone piece - our Windmill Letterbox that he planted there for us. We heard from Koyote early this morning via email and he said that they had arrived home safe and sound and had a wonderful trip.

Koyote will forward clues and maybe a picture once he gets out from under the 23 hour trip jet lag that he's surely facing today. We know that the box is planted in the village of Mill. We'll keep you updated once the clues come over via email from VA.

Welcome home, Kris & Mari, and thanks so much for bringing our little piece of CT to Holland!

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

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Major Announcement . . . . .

Just when you thought we probably had run out of new ideas - this hit me on the way to work yesterday! To back track, I have a 45 minute commute to work and use it as a means to dream up letterboxing schemes, boxes, clues, etc. Sick, I know.

Well here's my latest: I am beginning to make preparations for our Dartmoor Trip for September 2007 and realized that all of the original Bakers Dozen want to return. We may have room for a few more but our waiting list is over 25 people! Why isn't there a way to get all of those interested to attend a Pinecone trip???

OK - here's the good part! Sue & I are thinking about sponsoring the first ever Letterboxing Cruise to Bermuda! Cool - no? I would negotiate with a cruise line to get us the best rate possible on a specific cruise to Bermuda, departing from New York. Those in New England wouldn't even need airfare! We would travel away from hurricane season, of course - probably early June 2008.

I would negotiate the best price based on single, double, triple or quadruple occupancy - probably outside staterooms but nothing fancy and would try to get us all on the same floor. Then I'd get an offer code or a name like Pinecone Cruise and you could make arrangements with the cruise line yourself. We're partial to Norwegian since we traveled on their cruise to Bermuda last July and our son, Steve, traveled again on Norwegian this spring again. As members of their frequent cruise club, we are afforded extras that others would not get. Plus, with a large number of rooms being booked, I'm sure we'd get a terrific deal.

But that's just the beginning - I would make arrangements with the management to be sure they knew of our hobby and we could hide boxes on the ship all week long! There could also be seminars every night for an hour or so on logbook making, carving, clue-writing, etc. How about a special T shirt or commemorative item? And don't forget the whole island of Bermuda to enjoy!

If you are interested, please email us. We don't need to know for sure if you'd come but let us know the number in your party if you are interested. No commitments. I'd like to get at least a representative head count so I can start talking with the cruise lines.

Again - you'd be with a group, you'd get a group rate, but would handle your own arrangements for the cruise and travel to NYC and back home. Our time spent as a group could be as little or as much as you want. Think of it - a week with letterboxing crazies on ship and in Bermuda!!

Does it get better than that? Email me!

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

Monday, July 10, 2006

Cremation, Winter, Mystery -
All the Proper Elements for a Box!

A new letterbox by Connfederate, based on the Yukon story of "The Cremation of Sam McGee," has been planted in Glastonbury, CT.

Take the time to read the poem that tells a tale of that fateful day - a story that has all the elements of a mystery - gold, the frozen Yukon, friendship and even a little twist at the end.

You can access the clues here. Enjoy!

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

A New Gathering Announced for August

Fish or Man and Bluebird announced today that a new gathering will occur on August 20 between 9am and noon. The location will be Sheldon Park in Killingworth, CT. This gathering will be called appropriately enough "A Gathering of Mysteries."

There will be some boxes planted for the event, but they invite the boxing public to plant their own mysteries between now and August 20th. Email your clues to Fish or Man so that a clue packet can be made and handed out that morning. A carving demo, mystery solving class and potluck brunch are planned as well.

To read more about this event, click here and you'll be magically transported to another world - the world of Atlas Quest - where you may read up on the event, get the full details and schedule for this morning gather and rsvp.

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

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Crest of the Eagle on the 4th

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To celebrate the Fourth of July, we thought we'd post our newest box, Crest of the Eagle. This is the eighth and final box that we planted during our recent trip to Oregon. We thought it quite fitting to publish it today - on the Fourth of July!

Hope you all enjoy it and the rest of the boxes we planted while out West. Please continue to keep us informed of our little babies that we left for you left coasters. And thanks for performing any maintenance that they may need throughout the year!

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Monday, July 03, 2006

Happy Fourth of July!

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and don't forget to vote in our special
Independance Day Poll of the Week!
Be safe!

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

"Quilt Codes" is Wonderful!

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Back about 6 weeks ago, we mentioned Choi's new series called Quilt Codes, which features different symbols used as a means to direct slaves seeking freedom on the Underground Railroad. Yesterday, the Schmoopies got a chance to visit this 10 box series in Andover, MA and we loved it!

I brought along some heavier ivory cover stock and we stamped all of the images in a pattern on the cover stock sheets, as well as our logbooks, so that each of the Schmoopie couples now have a ready-to-frame piece of quilt stamp art courtesy of Choi. We highly recommend this series that is located on a wonderful property with ponds and excellently maintained trails.

As we were exiting the property, the park manager talked to us for about 20 minutes. At one point he was a little concerned - seeing the Schmoopie-mobile with CT license plates sitting in the same spot for over 3 hours. He knew we were letterboxers and asked us our opinion of the facility. It was a great day and hope you get to enjoy this series soon.

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

Mexican Tiles?

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It's time Clueless steps out from behind Silent Doug's imposing shadow! Seriously, we're pleased to bring to the forefront this exciting new series carved by Clueless and placed as a collaboration of both of these recent CT transplants. The series made it's debut today and is called Mexican Tiles. For those of you that like the longer hikes, this series will keep you busy for about 3 hours.

While we all know of Doug's carving prowess, you will soon discover that his better half's abilities are equally as good. For those of you lucky enough to live in CT - go get 'em!

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

The Doors of McMenamin's

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While we are still working on our Oregon trip scrapbook, we thought you might want to take a look at the Doors of McMenamin's. This little feature demonstrates the artwork contained in this period hotel, where we laid our heads for 3 nights during our recent trip.

Tomorrow, we begin working on our Oregon Scrapbook, which will have tons of pictures and commentary as well from the trip.

UPDATE of July 4: We've just added a newer section to The Doors of McMenamin's with some different artwork found around the hotel, including some pipe faces and the famous Jerry Garcia statue!

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