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, February 25, 2007

2008 Letterboxing Cruise Update!

Our Dartmoor trip in September is just about set so I finally had some time to call Norwegian Cruise Lines about our Letterboxing Cruise in June of 2008.

One of the customer service people at the group desk told me that I was still a little early for this inquiry. Apparently, the are taking bookings until April of 2008 so there is a month or so before I can get pricing. The key, he said, is to keep calling since the best prices offered are just as soon as the June date book opens up. He told me that's what places like Travelocity and other travel sites do - they buy a block of 300 rooms at early (1 year out) booking rates and sell them at $100 to $200 off of the normal rates. The public is happy - not knowing what they actually paid for the rooms!

Our group will get 2 coordinators with whom I will work - a group administrator who handles the financial end of our booking like deposits, names, etc. and a ship coordinator who I will deal with for special things on board like a first night cocktail party, reserving a space for us to meet, reserving a portion of one of the restaurants on our last night so we can all eat together, etc. My main question is to find out from the ship coordinator is whether we will be allowed to letterbox on the ship - with security concerns and all.

When I mentioned what we do - letterboxing - to Randy, the group sales person with whom I spoke - he thought it was "cool" and also thought it would be OK but I still have to run it by the ship coordinator. I mentioned we'd even be willing to wear special t shirts or some kind of identifying garb to denote we were letterboxers and not terrorists!

We would all have to pay a $50 deposit fee per person once I book the cruise. Thirty days after that, another $250 per person would be due; with the balance payable 75 days before our departure - which means only $300 per person is due 30 days after I book - the balance will not be due until mid February 2008.

At this point, we have about 150 people minimum who have expressed interest in the cruise, pending rates. All rooms must have at least 2 people and can hold a maximum of 4, unless you book one of the pricier suites. From my experience, it's more cost effective to book 2 side-by-side rooms than a suite.

Besides that, we can mention some other things. We are planning to leave from New York City on the Sunday of the last full week in June 2008. This will allow families with school age children the ability to finish school if there are a lot of those pesky snow days.

We would be sailing on the Norwegian Crown - a smaller ship of about 1100 passengers. This is the same ship that Sue & I traveled with her family a few years ago. This ship is also home to our Travel letterbox that our attendees may have a chance to find!

The following is the itinerary for the 7 day cruise to Bermuda:

Sunday - Depart NYC at 4pm
Monday - At Sea
Tuesday - Arrive St. George, Bermuda 9am and remain docked overnight
Wednesday - Leave St. George at 7am and arrive Hamilton, Bermuda at 9am
Thursday -Leave Hamilton, Bermuda and arrive Kings Wharf, Bermuda
Friday - Depart Kings Wharf at noon
Saturday - At Sea
Sunday - Arrive New York City at 7am; with debarkation beginning at 9am

We're getting excited about this venture - which is a huge undertaking for us as tour directors. I have set up a special Yahoo talk list for this cruise which I will open shortly after we book the cruise. You may look for a room mate there if you are a single, ask questions, post clues, find suggestions of the best beaches, whatever. We can then discuss some of the activities we'll have planned for the week.

My thought was to have the days free to spend with our family when we're docked to sight see or visit one of Bermuda's wonderful pink sand beaches and meet before dinner possibly for a get together every night. Some of the ideas I've had for these get togethers are a stamp-carving class, log-book making class, how to clue a letterbox, etc. We might even have some of these during the day when we're at sea if you aren't worried about working on your tan on deck! More on these plans to come. Another nice idea would be to all get together for dinner on the last night, Friday night of our trip.

As a group, I was told, we get amenity points that can be "spent" in combination of 9 different ways. Some of those 9 ways include a bottle of wine in every room, a welcome cocktail party, group photos, on board ship credit by room, glass bottom boat trip to name a few possibilities. We'll discuss all of these possibilities and how best to utilize these amenity points. Of utmost importance will be how best will the amenities serve the entire group where some members may not drink alcohol so wine might not be a good choice, etc.
When I told Sue all we'd have to do, she asked "Are you sure you want to take on all of this?" My reply was "Sure - it's letterboxing!"

Get in touch with us via Atlas Quest or our email found in the orange header above if you would like your name put on a list of those interested. There is no obligation!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, February 25, 2007

Monday, February 19, 2007


Yesterday afternoon, The Schmoopies came to our house and we watched Pirates of the Caribbean, Part 2. It was a fun movie to watch with Johnny Depp reprising his delightful role as Jack Sparrow. We especially liked the sea monster that looked very much like a huge octopus! We kidded about never wanting to eat calamari again! The final scene confirmed that sentiment!

And then, today, while checking the What's New list on the LBNA, I noticed that the sea monster had entered our lives once again! Kracken is now a new/old box that is located on the Cape by Chunna. Read the story of this box and its monster in the clues. Hope you all sleep tonight!

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, February 19, 2007

Sunday, February 18, 2007

New Central MA Letterboxing Patch~

As you know, you can never have enough letterboxing patches on your backpacks!

Deanne, The Lazy Letterboxer, has just premiered the newest patch-on-the-block, the Central MA Letterboxing patch.

For further info, please check out our Letterbox Patches page. If you would like your regional patch featured on this page, just email us the info and a jpeg file of your patch and we'll take care of the rest!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, February 18, 2007

Getting Started?

Are you new to letterboxing?

One of the premiere stops on the information highway in your quest for knowledge about letterboxing should be the LBNA's Getting Started page. It offers the historic insight of Eric Davis in his article Getting Started as well as Der Mad Stampers' How to Make a Rubber Stamp.

Newer contributions include Choi's Start Finding Letterboxes, Sojourner's Letterboxing 101 and Morgun's Hitchhiker Protocol. All are very informative and essential reading. Check out this valuable resource here - you will not be sorry!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, February 18, 2007

Saturday, February 17, 2007


StarSAELS has a fairly new series on Stone Mountain in GA entitled 99 Bottles of Beer. So far there are 6 bottles planted: Bass Ale, Blue Moon Belgian White, Pete's Wicked Ale, Samuel Adams Pale Ale, Titan IPA and Wild Hop Lager.

If you want to view all of these 6 boxes, you can click here. These boxes join the other 70+ already planted on Stone Mountain, which has to be the Letterboxing Mecca of the South! Our own, A CT Dragonfly is planted on Stone Mountain as well, which is a place that Sue and I hope to visit next year!

Can StarSAELS be that energetic as to plant another 93?
Guess we'll just have to wait and see - but until then -

Update: We heard via email from Star SAELS who was so surprised and pleased to see our story about his new series. In answer to our question as to whether he was going to keep going on the series with another 93 - his response was "going to try!" Several more are completed and about 20 already have artwork scanned. The only problem with this series, according to StarSAELS is he's "developed a beer belly!"

Well, Steve, it's all for a good cause! Thanks for the email!

posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, February 17, 2007

Friday, February 16, 2007

It's Been Found!

Our Windmill letterbox has been found by Camera Obscura today, who also says he loves the Netherlands! In an email just received, Tim says that he's found the box and wishes everyone "Totziens!," which is Dutch for "Have fun and just get out there & box!!!" :-)

Thanks to Koyote for planting the box and CO for finding and reporting in on it. Nice to know a box so far away from home is still alive and spinning!

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, February 16, 2007

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Will You Gogh Find This Box???

A new letterbox was just planted today by our friend, Camera Obscura, in the Netherlands. This new box is appropriately called Van Gogh Letterbox.

He told us before his trip that he would try to look for our Netherlands box planted last June by Koyote called The Windmill. As far as we know, that would make Camera Obscura the first finder after almost a year!

Netherlands has its own letterboxing following, especially from this Dutch letterboxing website that contains a nice history of Dartmoor letterboxing as well.

We've just created a new Poll of the Week relating to planting boxes while on vacation. Find the Poll of the Week in it's normal place in the lower portion of the right column of this page.

Enjoy the rest of your trip, Camera Obscura and come home safely!

Update: For those of you that want to Gogh find a Van Gogh box in the US, try the Sunflower Series, which has 3 boxes located in Goodland, KS. The Cleverpigs planted this series last August as a tribute to Vincent Van Gogh.

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, February 15, 2007

It's Time To . . .

That's right - it seems that Gathering Season is here!
Check out the following gatherings scheduled for this coming weekend. Click the titles to be taken to the appropriate Atlas Quest event page.

If you are new to gatherings, you might want to check out some helpful guidelines that are shared by Lock Wench and Sprite. They are located at the top of this page.

This coming weekend:

February 17 - Desperately Seeking Sun 2007, Brewerton, NY
February 17 - Mid-Winter Carve & Create, Zeeland, MI
February 17 - Special Indoor Letterboxing Outing, Lake Bluff, IL
February 18 - Hunting Tupperware, College Park, PA

Two weeks away:

March 3 - Texas Wildflower Event, Somerville, TX
March 3 - Movies al Fresco in Atlanta, Atlanta, GA

If you haven't yet attended a gathering, you don't know what you are missing. It's a wonderful opportunity to put faces with stamps, hunt some special boxes, have a bite to eat and make some long-lasting friendships with folks whom you have so much in common!

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, February 15, 2007

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Canadian Cupid Plants Special Series

The stormy, cold weather on the north shore of Ontario did not prevent Erin from professing her love for her favorite letterboxing life mate, Jiggs! While Erin isn't much of a letterboxer, she planted the series for her husband who is a letterbox-a-holic!

Despite the elements, this Canadian Cupid planted a 3 box series entitled What Jiggs Loves Most for this special day. If you make your way up north; stop by and see how these northern love birds live, plant and show their love of each other via letterboxing!

A series planted for Valentines' Day gets extra points in our book! Looks like Jiggs owes Erin an extra nice gift as well! Wonder if he'll play some of his favorite bagpipes music?

Happy Valentines' Day, eh?

Update: It seems a certain well-known left coast couple also did the Valentines' letterboxing thing. Don, of Don & Gwen from CA, planted South Fork Valentine for his wife and one of our most favorite people, Gwen. Seems like there was lots o' love in the air this Valentines Day!

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Message . . .

Happy Valentines' Day, GeoGeorgia!

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Lots of Flakes & One More!

It's Tuesday, February 13
The Day of the Flakes!

First and non-boxing related, is the pending Blizzard of '07! I can see the traffic outside of my office and I bet most of these people are running to the grocery store to stock up on bread, milk and eggs! And don't forget your shovels! The mad rush has begun - "story at 6pm and 11" plus those annoying crawls at the bottom of the TV screen telling us it's snowing heavily outside - as if we were blind sheep. Oh - maybe we are!!! :-)

Sue & I live in the geographic center of CT so we're on the wintery mix line. We'll see what Mother Nature throws at us but this might be a good day "to get out there and box" before a white blanket covers all of New England's boxingdom!

Secondly - a flake of the ditz variety! It seems boxing's lovable airhead, GeoGeorgia has struck again with her latest boxing offering - Dream Lovers - just in time for tomorrow's Valentine's holiday. We are awaiting with anticipation for the clue's posting sometime tomorrow. Knowing GeoGeorgia, it's sure to be a doozie!

While we're talking about the holiday,
Sue & I wish all of you




posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Monday, February 12, 2007

Things are Really Slow

Boy - are you bored as well?

Things are kind of sleepy this time of year in the letterboxing world! For those of you who have wondered why we haven't been posting much our answer is "Things are very slow." Why post if there's not much about which to post?

That's not to say that there aren't those of you doing your own thing - we realize that there's plenty of that going on but unusual or different happenings and stories are very few and far between.

Is it the season? Many of us slow down in our boxing over the winter although this winter has been a pretty mild one as far as snow fall and other elements that might normally prohibit or lessen letterboxing. Whatever it might be, we're enjoying the respite from the craziness but also looking for business to pick up as well!

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, February 12, 2007

Friday, February 09, 2007

Sending Get Well Wishes . . .

A certain winged creature from CT is home with a knee injury. As you know, this particular winged-one is of the very active variety and to be forced on the sidelines stuck inside is the extremist kind of punishment.

If you know this lovely creature, drop a note of encourangement. After some outpatient knee surgery in 2 weeks and 2 weeks more of recovery time, this beautiful insect will be seen once again gracing CT's trails. It is rare to see a butterfly such as this one homebound.

Sue & I have sent our get well wishes and we encourage you to do this same. This winged one loves doing puzzles and reading and visits from friends. Maybe you might find some time in your busy schedules to send a card or drop off a puzzle or book. If you'd like, send them through us since Sue & I will be heading down for a visit at the end of this month.

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, February 09, 2007