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, August 31, 2006

September Gathering Schedule

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As promised, below is the schedule for all gatherings listed on Atlas Quest. Each gathering's title is linked to its appropriate event page on AQ, where you can find out more details and even r.s.v.p.

September 2 - The Amazing VT Race - Danville, VT

September 9 - Knoebels Kampin' Gatherin' - Elysburg, PA

September 9 - SE MI Fantasy Gathering - Clarkston, MI

September 15 - Experience Letterboxing Weekend - Hebron, NH

September 16 - A Pirate in Every Port - Groton, CT

September 23 - Letterboxing Pow-Wow - Whitesburg, GA

September 24 - Central OR Meet & Greet - Sisters, OR

September 24 - Simple Pleasures Gathering - Port Orchard, WA

September 30 - Great Cape Escape - South Yarmouth, MA

Try and attend one or several of these gatherings since they are a great way to enjoy the social aspect of letterboxing. Sue & I will be at the Pirate Gathering in Groton and the Cape Escape in MA. Hope to see you there!

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sunday, August 27, 2006

A Trip to the Beach . . .

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posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, August 27, 2006

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Have You Responded???

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The Capers are gearing up for their upcoming Great Cape Escape gathering, which will be held on September 30 from 11am to 3pm. Plans are coming together but they need your help. In the tradition of the Flamingo Caper, the girls will have a clue packet for every group of boxers but in order to ensure that there is a clue folder for you - you must respond now. Please click the lighthouse image above to go to their event page on Atlas Quest where you can register for the event.

Knowing these ladies, it's bound to be a fun event. Sue and I are very excited about this gathering! Be sure to make your reservations for your hotel if you haven't already. September is a very busy month on the Cape. If you cannot find a place to stay, you can email us and we'll forward the name of the motel where our reservations are - at last check, there were still rooms available. See you there!!!

posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, August 26, 2006

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What's That Smell??????

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It's the Dead Duck HH!!

We heard from Heather from MI today, letting us know that while doing some maintenance on her box, Uncle John's Cider Mill located in St. John's, MI, she noticed a putrid smell coming from the area in which her box was planted! Sure enough, after close inspection, she determined that the contents of her letterbox were polluted by our Dead Duck HH!

If you live in the MI area, you may want to be wary of this HH! He's been on the road since March of 2004 and we can just imagine how stinky he is by now! Thanks, Heather, for the report!

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

New & Notable!

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Beware of Vermonsters!

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The Legend of Wheaton Woods

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Butterflies are Free!

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Chebeague Island Letterboxes

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Monday, August 21, 2006

Pinecone Letterboxing Cruise 2008

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We have been adding interested parties to our cruise list like crazy! At last count, there are over 150 interested letterboxers and we have probably another 50 or so friends and family who are interested but do not letterbox. At the end of September, we'll be contacting the cruise line and getting prices.

After prices are obtained, we will open up our special yahoo talk list for cruise participants. This talk list will only be for those that have put a deposit on the cruise and are going. Questions may be asked, plans can be made, mischief will be hatched and the like on this list. Keep your eyes peeled to this blog for pricing and info as it develops. And if you are interested (we will not hold you to a committment until after pricing and deposits have been made) email us to let us know your names and the number in your party.

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, August 21, 2006

The First Mystery Box Planted!

Looks like Scout from NY is the first letterboxer to plant a clue as part of the upcoming National Mystery Box Planting day! Her new box, Virginia's Engineering Wonder, was planted somewhere in VA this weekend.

Please be sure to include the tag line (like Scout did,) "part of the National Mystery Letterbox Planting Day" in your clues so the letterboxing world will know that you support the planting of more cerebral, mystery boxes!

Also, please be sure to place your vote for the actual day that you would like to declare the Plant a Mystery box day in our poll below. Looks like we have 2 dates running neck-in-neck and we may need a run-off vote!

UPDATE: I made a big mistake!

I had forgotten that Peace Balance of NY had emailed me his contribution almost a week before the above box was planted. Sorry, PB! Here's his mystery box - QKA LB. Good luck solving this one!

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, August 21, 2006


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posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, August 21, 2006

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Schmoopie Saturday & Mystery Mania!

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The Schmoopies!

Saturday was a Schmoopie day! The six of us loaded into the Schmoopiemobile and off we headed to the western corner of CT for a fun-filled day of boxing. We hit boxes in the towns of Torrington, Cornwall, Kent Falls and Kent, and Litchfield.

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Dave, Nancy & Sue check our route

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Kent Falls

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Belgique fruit tarts

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Here's a set of tools that any woman would enjoy!

While in Kent, you have to visit a chocolate shop named Belgique. This place is filled with the most wonderful chocolate confections that we've ever seen. I enjoyed one of their iced chocolate drinks - a light blend of semi-sweet and sweet Belgian chocolate in a milk base - better than any milkshake you can imagine!

After a tiring day on the trails, we ended up for a nice supper at our favorite pizza house - Rossini's in Cheshire, CT. If you ever find yourselves in Cheshire, you have to go and hopefully the seafood pizza special is on the menu that night - it's the best.

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Bull's Bridge in Kent

Sunday the alarm went off early again and we headed out the the Killingworth Gathering of Mysteries, hosted by Bluebird and Fish or Man. A nice size crowd was there for this morning gathering (9 to noon.) Mystery clues abounded in manila folders on the picnic tables. Some quite easy; while other more difficult. The potluck brunch was enjoyed by all - a nice twist to be eating fresh fruit cup, bagels and quiche at a gathering!

Then we headed out about 1pm to box the area with Tony & Veronica and Phynstar joining us. We did a bunch of the mysteries put out for the day in conjunction with the gathering and then tried our luck at some of the permanent ones in the area. We ended the day in the dark at the Chatfield Hollow HH Hostel - leaving behind some of the treasures that we had picked up that day.

It was a wonderful gathering and post-gathering boxing day. Thanks to Deb and Lou for putting on such a great gathering - and timely at that - after all of our horn-blowing about planting mystery boxes. I have the feeling, after talking to many of the attendees there, that after today's gather, mystery boxes wouldn't be so intimidating to those that attended. And what better result could a gathering garner than that? Hopefully - we'll see a whole new slew of mystery boxes cropping up here in the area!

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Isn't this the most interesting rock? See the huge holes?

All in all - it was a great boxing weekend and one that proved quite successful in the finds category. While we don't count our boxes any longer, our bodies told us that this was a very successful day! Hope your weekend went well and you found some time to "just get out there & box!!!

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posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, August 20, 2006

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Another Hit by the Capers!!

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Click the graphic to see "Got Clue?"

Those wonderful ladies at the Cape have done it again! Their new collaboration, Got Clue? is a series of 19, yes - we said 19 boxes, that are based on the game of Clue. And like the game, you have to determine, after visiting all of the boxes, who the murderer is, what weapon they used and in what room they did the deed. Each set of clues are written by a different Cape letterboxer so the finder has to solve a multitude of clues in various mystery clue techniques. Ah - a series of mystery boxes!!!

Once you have determined the 3 parts of the mystery, you email Chunna on AQ and if your mystery-solving is correct, she will send you the clues to the bonus stamp. Thanks to the Capers - CapeCodLetterboxer, Cape Cod Lightening Bug, Chunna, Mumma & Bunny Boy, and Archimedes Screw for this inventive series.

This series is a must for all who visit the Cape next month for their Cape Cod Caper gathering. Sue - please come and help me with these clues . . .

posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, August 19, 2006

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

National Mystery Day Poll Ready!

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Our poll is up with 10 choices that our readers thought would make a great National Plant A Mystery Box Day. Many emails had the same suggestions which made it easy to narrow down the choices to 10. This poll will be up until Thursday, August 31 at which time the day with the most votes will be declared the winner.

Please note: The polling software allows only 1 vote per day per IP address - so don't go trying to stack the numbers! :-)

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Warning for Kansas Boxers!

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The Clever Pigs from Kansas have issued a message for area letterboxers. Click the dragon above to read their press release.

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A New Cape Box

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This special new box is called An Alligator for Rae and is an homage to Rae Record. Created by CapeCodLetterboxer, this new box is located in the Mashpee River Wetlands in Mashpee, MA. We were privileged to not only interview Rae but to spend a special day letterboxing with her this spring. Here's to you, Rae! For the clue, click the gator graphic above.

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, August 15, 2006

We Got Email - Lotsa Email!

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Thanks to everyone who sent us email yesterday and today regarding our article on mystery boxes (see below.) Many of the talk lists brought up the article and we hope we raised awareness on this important and rewarding aspect of letterboxing. Almost all were very supportive and agreed with our position - many having just planted or owning mystery boxes that were very sparsely visited. Those that weren't in agreement with us gave their views as to why they didn't plant or pursue mysteries. We appreciate the feedback and the time it took for you all to write us email or post on a talk list.

So - what do we do now? I received an email from someone who will remain nameless this morning that had a wonderful suggestion, we believe. This boxer suggested a National Mystery Letterbox Day - a day when participants plant a box of a mystery nature - whether it be coded clues, a picture, crossword puzzle, etc. Use your imagination. Even if you don't want to be limited to a particular day to post or plant, just be sure that you mention that the box is "part of the National Mystery Day project."

What day do we choose? I already thought to google National Mystery Day and came up empty handed. Does anyone out there in letterboxingdom have a suggestion of a day that we can rename National Mystery Box Day? My only idea was Halloween since that day is surrounded in mystery and mischief. Let us know if you have other ideas. Please be sure that the dates are at least 6 weeks away to allow boxers time to carve and ready their mystery contribution. Once we get a feel for what people want, we'll post a poll on the top 4 or 5 suggested dates and let everyone vote on it.

Start thinking about your boxes and how mysterious you want to be in cluing them. And please email us with your date suggestion!

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Monday, August 14, 2006

It's All Just A . . . .

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OK - get ready for some venting! I apologize in advance if you are offended but the following are my views (and not the views of my wife!) But we feel that this must be said.

What's happening to the mystery boxes? As time has gone on, we've seen the quantity of new mystery boxes diminish and the finders of mysteries getting fewer as new letterboxers come into the game. Are they too challenging? Is this a result of the dumbing down of letterboxing? Why aren't mystery boxes being visited as frequently as a standard letterbox?

When we first started boxing, Sue & I stayed away from the the mysteries for our first year. That's understandable - getting your feet wet while learning the game - nothing wrong with that. We then became "infected" with the clues of a certain enigma from Maine and there was no holding us back! Once solved, mysteries present their own satisfaction - a satisfaction far greater, in our opinion, than that of a straightforward clue. Anyone can find a box by following directions - provided the box is still there, of course! But a mystery box requires savvy and smarts and Google!

On our recent trip to Oregon, we noticed that many of the Portland area boxes were mysteries - a much higher percentage than back East. We assume it's because of the work of Der Mad Stamper, who influenced several generations of boxers and set such a high standard of cluing a box. Never have Sue and I had to do so much decoding as on that trip!

We feel there is nothing more satisfying than working on a mystery clue for months and finally deciphering and finding the box! That's a feeling that can't be duplicated - to finally move away a stone and find that elusive box just where you thought it would be! Ah - mysteries.

And if you remove that stone and the box isn't there - go back and try again. One of our Mapsurfer finds took 4 tries until we were successful - and I warned Sue when we got to the location at noon that I wasn't leaving this time until I found the box. Luckily for her, it only took us 3 hours on that fourth try and we were able to yell "Eureka!" What a feeling that was - how quickly we forgot the 3 previously foiled attempts! They just didn't matter since we were now holding that Mapsurfer box in our hand and we were victorious! And this story is one that still remains with us years after we found the box. Mysteries create their own special memories.

So - we encourage you all to hunt for and plant a mystery box. Decode a clue, find the location of that picture, plant a box that might be difficult to find - it doesn't matter if it takes months to figure out and 2 or 3 attempts to find. Imagine how sweet that victory dance will be and the story that you can tell! Nothing beats that!

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, August 14, 2006

Sunday, August 13, 2006

It's Gathering Time!

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After what must have been summer vacation scheduling, it seems that the balance of August holds a host of gatherings taking place all over the US and Canada. Please click on the gatherings name to be taken to its own event page located on Atlas Quest.

For those of you who have never attended a gathering - it's a must! A gathering, although slightly intimidating on your first foray, gives you that additional insight into this hobby as well as offering you a venue at which you can make some lifelong friends with a common interest. For further information on attending your first gathering, please visit our gathering page which offers advice from several then newbie letterboxers - Lock Wench and Sprite.

August 17 - York Emporium Mini-Gather - York, PA

August 19 - The Grand Grand Lake Gathering - Grand Lake, CO

August 19 - Midnight Sun Gathering - Anchorage, AK

August 20 - A Gathering of Mysteries - Killingworth, CT

August 20 - Triangle Area Mini Gathering - Raleigh, NC

August 23 - Cape Hatteras Gathering - Buxton, NC

August 25 to 26 - 4th Western NY Gathering - Darien Center, NY

August 26 - Dog Days of Summer - Augusta, MI

August 26 - Between the Forest and the Sea - Belcarra, BC, Canada

August 27 - Bay Area Shoreline Shindig - Oakland, CA

Hope you get to attend at least one of these August gatherings. Look for our listing of Septembers events coming soon! Now "just have fun and get out there & box!!!"

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, August 13, 2006

This Weather is . . .

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After the third longest heatwave in the Northeast since records have been kept, this cool weather is more than a breath of fresh, dry air - it's brought back our creative side! Instead of hibernating down the basement in the dark and cool like a letterboxing mushroom, we're above ground - planning, posting and playing again.

We're so appreciative of the efforts of Choi, one of the LBNA webmasters, who almost singlehandedly got the LBNA files transferred to a new, more stable server. We can only imagine the hours that he spent achieving this goal. Our thanks go to him for this herculean effort - plus he finished several days before he expected giving letterboxingdom an unexpected weekend to box til we drop. Thanks, Choi, for this and all of the unnoticed things you do every day on the LBNA!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, August 13, 2006

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Are You Ready to . . .


Just received an email from Clueless. It seems she and Silent Doug have spent three Sundays at Sleeping Giant State Park in CT - which is a mini playground for letterboxing. Gems by good friends Jay Drew, Sadie & Russ, Butterfly, Rubaduc, RTRW make for a wonderful venue at which you can find a nice cross section of creative and artfully-carved boxes.

Wish we could say the finders were as artfull!

Below is a picture of one of the boxes Clueless and Doug found! Can you believe the way the last finder left this box?

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After only 5 minutes, some scrounging around and a little bit of letterboxing love by the clueless and the silent ones, this is the wonderful finished result:

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Why can't boxers learn to rehide boxes more carefully?

I'm posting these pictures in the attempt that letterboxers will learn from them. Imagine the hours it takes to carve a stamp, make a journal, purchase a container, put them all together, find a nice hiding spot, write the clues and finally post the clues on a website. A lot of time and effort goes into planting a letterbox.

The least we finders can do is ensure that the box is left hidden better than we found it. Use ground cover like leaves or twigs to sprinkle on the box. Make sure it's well-hidden from all angles.

Do your part, please, or more and more letterboxers will plant boxes and distribute by WOM to those most trusted boxing friends.
Please keep letterboxing clues available for all who want them by being careful when you rehide. It's the very least we can do and one of the best ways to show your thanks to the planter!

Please - box responsibly!

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, August 09, 2006

News on the LBNA Site!

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After a look on the LBNA site to see what was happening, we found the following message:

We have outgrown our current shared web hosting service and are in the process of moving the site to a more powerful service. I'm sorry for the inconvience but the site should be back up by 8/14/06. --Choi

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A New Lazy, Orange Box!

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A new box by the Lazy Letterboxer has just been posted on Atlas Quest. The name of this mystery box is entitled The Trailhead. Click the trailhead sign above to read and decipher the clue!

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Monday, August 07, 2006

A Mini Gathering of Sorts

This photo was taken in a secret location last Saturday evening in North Central MA where a small group joined to welcome a few well known Capers to the area. It was a fun evening of full of great company, food, drink and even some special surprise night boxing. Oh - and what would a mini gathering of boxer be without some gossip and talk of that mystery personna from Down East!

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, August 07, 2006

A Website Exclusive!

We're pleased to offer you this exclusive look at Funhog during a recent vacation, which was taken by one of our roving letterboxing reporters from the Pacific Northwest.

Many have never seen or met the Hog and we thought our readership would be interested in finally seeing the Hog at play. Notice the new summer haircut?

While quite the hiker, Funhog also, as the name implies, really knows how to kick back and enjoy life.

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, August 07, 2006

Sunday, August 06, 2006

An Appeal To All Who Love Boxing . . . .

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to help save the LBNA website!

As many of you now know, the LBNA website is down and has been for many days. The service that supplies us server space has cut us off because there is too much traffic. So other means must be taken.

Choi, one of the webmaster of the LBNA, has arranged to have the site transferred to its own independant server but this all comes at a price. Normally, the cost was about $8 per month - now the cost will be over $40 per month.

Do you enjoy letterboxing? Do you use the LBNA website?

Well - after years of a free ride, it's time for all of us who use this site to "pony up" and send in a contribution to help defray the new monthly cost.

If each of you that reads this webpage donates $5, the problem will be solved. But don't stop there - what about sending in $40 to cover a month?

Please - do whatever you can - your hobby needs you. The future of the LBNA website is in your hands and it's time for you to help.

Please send checks made payable to "John Chapman - LBNA Server Fund" and mail to:

John Chapman (Choi)
LBNA Server Fund
28 Birch Road
Andover, MA 01810

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Thank you and letterboxing's future thanks you!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, August 06, 2006

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Happy Birthday, Jerry!

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posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, August 01, 2006