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, May 31, 2007

Time for Some Civility?

This post was just received on the Newboxers Talk List.
It looks like help is finally on the way . . . .

Dear Letterboxers,

Salutations. My name is Emily Post. For those of you who are not familiar with my reputation, I am the foremost authority on proper etiquette. It is my solemn duty to ascertain why etiquette is disappearing from society.

Over the course of the last year, I have not failed to notice the mention of letterboxing in many publications throughout the country. This has brought me to your group in the hope of finding an element of society that has not lapsed in common manners.

Letterboxers, it seems, have not been immune to the pitfalls of society. I have spent much time perusing various sites only to find that many of you are concerned with the lack of common courtesy. Yes, horrifying as it may be, there is a lack of etiquette today. How can this be?

Venturing into the groups’ archives in the hope of finding answers, I have come to the only conclusion that can possibly be reached. The Store of Good Manners is missing! How has this happened? Who is at fault? What can be done?

Enlisting the help of Investigator Francis Bacon, I intend to find the answers to these questions. He has assured me that he will act with propriety and courtesy to all those he contacts. I also beg you, the letterboxing community, to assist Investigator Bacon in this most challenging of cases. If any of you have word that can be of benefit in this most mysterious situation, please send me an email. The choice is yours, to act or not to act.


Ms. Emily Post

And the response from Inspector Bacon:

To Letterboxers Everywhere,

As you are aware I have been hired by Emily Post to investigate what she thinks is a crime. I have to agree with her, The Store of Good Manners is missing. I believe that there just might be a goodly number of letterboxers involved in a crime of this magnitude. Have no doubt, I will find the guilty parties!

Der Mad Stamper, are you reading? You might have been able to pull off your innocence in the PZKut caper, but were you really innocent? While under the influence of tequila you let slip a secret that is now making sense to me. You were awfully quick to blame others. Did another letterboxer get the short end of the stick? Just what is your involvement in this latest crime, I ask? You can make this easy: speak up now and save us all a lot of time, not to mention the fee that I will be charging Emily Post. Or you can hide behind a plea of innocence that will eventually be broken. Don’t go for the not at home bit; I know you are out there.


Investigator Francis Bacon

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Are They Both For You?

The oft-repeated question - which is the clue repository of your choice - LBNA or AtlasQuest - has been asked countless times.

In our opinion, you should be using both sites to house your clues if you are of the mindset to publish them for all to see. Silent Eagle of TX has just reminded those on the TX talk list that when you add your clues to AQ they are not automatically added to the LBNA. This policy was changed late last year so you have to manually add them to the LBNA.

While it might not have all of the bells and whistles of it's AQ sister, LBNA is still viewed by many as the "mother ship." The site that started it all; where less is better. AQ, as the much younger sibling - call it "next generation" - came with many other additions and features that some found lacking in the LBNA.

Sue & I link our clues to both sites to ensure that our boxes may be found on whichever is the finder's preference. We humbly ask that you please consider adding all of your boxes to both websites. That should keep everyone in the clue loop!

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Rocks And Box!!!

Azroadie, from AZ, is not only a dedicated letterboxer, but a geologist who has just placed a new series, Geology 101. The unique thing about this series is that it teaches the finder while they are hunting the 9 boxes in this series. What better way to learn than while hunting Tupperware?

Once you complete this series, you not only end up with some nicely carved images, but you'll take away a little knowledge about the rocks of the Tucson area. Sounds like a win - win situation to us!

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Happy Ivy Day!



Mark & Sue

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, May 29, 2007

To Cruise or Not To Cruise . . .

That seems to be the question!

Last year when we first announced our intention to form the first ever letterboxing cruise, we were beseiged with many requests to be on an "interested" list. So many people responded (well over 150,) I was worried that all might not get onboard!

Once prices and dates were announced, the signups have been coming in slowly but not at the rate we had hoped or expected based on the initial interest. Were we expecting too much asking people to plan a year ahead? (Sue & I live by planning vacations sometimes 3 years ahead!) Was the price higher than people thought? Did we infringe into school and graduation times when we moved the dates up a week to save $100 per person by leaving on June 22nd instead of the 29th? It seems "yes" might be the answer to all of those questions.

Then we placed a deadline as of this past Sunday which was a premature deadline. Apparently, I didn't ask if I could hold some additional rooms before but that did come up this weekend during my phone conversation with the group desk. I made arrangements to reserve some extra rooms in 2 categories just in case there are more of you that would like to come and aren't quite sure of your status for next year at the present time. These rooms will go back to the open inventory about 3 months prior to our sailing date of June 22, 2008. If your plans change and you can join us, contact me prior to the end of next March 2008 and we'll let you know how to book your cruise at the group rates and benefits.

As of today, we have close to 50 attendees in approximately 21 cabins. It's a great group that is already assembled and it looks like, according to the cruise talk list we've set up, there is much mischief being planned for the week! The locals have even promised to plant some new boxes for us to find.

If you haven't contacted us because you've missed yesterday's deadline and still want to go, feel free to email us at your convenience and we'll get your info, email you the invite to the special cruise talk list and other info. If you are still on the fence - you have some time.

Our intent is to have as many people possible attend this historic event. How many times are you invited to make letterboxing history? We hope you can join us!

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day!

We hope you found some time this holiday weekend to give thanks to those brave men and women who have given their lives - the ultimate sacrifice - defending the freedoms that we all hold so dear.

Besides remembering those who have served, it seems like many of you have been out there boxing! Sue & I just got home from a great weekend in VT and our inbox was stuffed with reports on many of our boxes - from GA to CT to VT. Glad many of you had the opportunity to get on the trails and even more glad that you took the time to write via our email addy, Atlas Quest or LBNA. We use that info in confirming when our boxes were last found on this page. If you ever hunt our boxes, we suggest that you check here first to see the most current status of every box.

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, May 28, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It's Last Call on Sunday!

This Sunday is the final day that you have to sign up for our Letterboxing Cruise of 2008. Email us if you'd like to go. Visit our Cruise Page for specifics. Hope you can make it.

If you need more time, just email me and we can work something out.

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007

Postcards Redux . . .

On April 13th we published a post entitled "And So It Goes . . . " where we recounted Camera Obscura writing and asking permission to use our idea from our Postcards from Oregon. We quickly wrote back that it wasn't our idea but one that we borrowed from Legerdemaine and those wonderful Postcards from Vermont that were popular back in the day. It was our way of offering an homage for one whose boxes had given us many hours of enjoyment. Funhog wrote to clarify that, unlike our digital postcard clues, Legerdemaine's were of the true postcard variety. The Hog related that these postcards arrived mysteriously via the US Postal Service - much to the delight of the recipient.

It seems those Legerdemaine postcards were taken off of the old, archived site at the LBNA, where they sat for all who discovered them. When the powers that be at LBNA decided to discontinue that site (the archived site,) these gems were lost to cyberspace heaven. Sure, it might have been for financial reasons or just the fact that it was too difficult to maintain 2 sites with the limited resources and volunteer personnel who man the inner workings of the LBNA. But these are gems that we hate to see disappear.

Sue & I feel that these original Legerdemaine postcards are still relevant and would like to expose letterboxers old and new to them. With permission of the author, we are pleased to host several of these postcards. Please email the author, Legerdemaine, when you find them to report on their status. As far as we know, they are still viable and in place awaiting your discovery.

And, as an augmentation to the story, we'd like to ask all of you to submit your own postcard clue that we'll host on our new "Postcards from Boxers" page. Let us know if you'd like to have your trail name identified with the clue, if you'd like a town or a state or any particulars. Be sure your postcards are in jpeg format.

Oh - and we were wrong about thinking that this postcard idea began with Postcards from Vermont. Legerdemaine writes that these clues were an homage to the originator of the postcard idea - one Jay Drew of CT (you little devil, you!) - who first stoked the fires of imagination with his Postcard from Maine.

Now, with your own individual postcards, we can keep this idea alive and ever-changing.

And so it goes . . .

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, May 21, 2007

Friday, May 18, 2007

Cruise Now Listed on AQ as an Event

We received an email from an enthusiastic attendee for the Letterboxing Cruise calling it the best gathering she would ever attend. I really hadn't thought of it as a gathering but I guess it will be - a week long one at that.

So, we entered the Letterboxing Cruise as an event on Atlas Quest. If you have agreed to come, sign up!

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, May 18, 2007

Thursday, May 17, 2007

It's More Than Just A Firepit!

This has been a busy week for us here at the Pinecone Ranch. Work has been nutso for both of us and we've been running nights as well. I wanted to relate this story much earlier in the week.

First, let me forewarn you that it has nothing to do with letterboxing! Many times when we write a story that might be apart from the world-o-boxin' we get email from someone asking us where the clues are in the story! There are no clues here!

Those of you who read our blog often know that Sue & I have a haven that we run to in southern Vermont as much as we can. Last spring, we made some huge improvements to our home there. One of the scheduled additions was to be a deck but, like most projects, we just ran out of funds so the deck was put off a year until this spring. Bummer!

What made the wait even worse was that our youngest son, Steve, had gifted me at Christmas 2005 with an outdoor firepit shown above. Well, this great gift stayed in it's original carton in our new basement in VT; waiting for a deck to hold it.

Over the past year, I played with different deck configurations; made sketch after sketch; trying to get the biggest bang for the buck. After we settled on the design, it was time to look at materials for the deck. After some research and also with a little help from a mystery man, Sue & I settled on a material. We met with our builder and I showed him our sketch and his price arrived the next week. We gave him the go-ahead and told him that we wanted the deck completed for the coming Memorial Day holiday for there was to be a party - a deck christening of sorts with our sons and their girlfriends.

The builder called me last Thursday at work and told me that the deck was complete! I felt a shiver of excitement run through me! We were going up on Friday night so that meant we'd be decking it over the weekend!!

Although the ride is only 2 hours from our CT home, it seemed endless last Friday night! I had a deck to see. Finally, we reached the house and after unlocking the front door, moved quickly through the house to unlock the slider, flick the outside light and there it was! Now I have a slight inkling of how a mother must feel after seeing her newborn for I, too, has carried the inception of this "baby" in my mind for well over a year. And like a newborn, it was the most beautiful deck in the world!

Sue, Steve and his girlfriend, Katie, joined me outside and we admired everything about it. We went inside, unpacked and got comfortable and Sue joined me outside at 10pm for our inaugural glass of wine on the deck!

Morning came quickly and at 8am I was out there, sitting on the built-in bench, listening to the birds and enjoying the early morning quiet with a cup of black coffee and my current Bill Bryson book. This was living. As the others woke, they joined me out on the deck. We made plans to make ready the firepit for there was a deck party tonight! Wood was gathered, firestarters were found.

About 7pm after a great dinner, we stoked up the firepit, and some sat with blankets as we watched the blazing fire. Sue got the fixin's for S'mores which was perfect. As the fire continued to burn, we all enjoyed just talking - away from the computers, and TV's and video games. It was a chance to be together, relax and just enjoy each others company. We laughed, told stories and made some plans for the future.

This firepit was much more than just an object - it was a family conversation maker! It was a memory maker. It was one of the best gifts I've ever received. Thanks, Steve, for the firepit - for as you see - it is much more than that!

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, May 17, 2007

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Letterboxing Cruise 2008 News

We just received this great new logo for the cruise, thanks to the wonderfully talented and generous True Indigo and her hubby, RGBisME, both of the Crayola Posse. This is truly a great way to begin!

We've added a room with a balcony due to several requests for such an upgrade.

Originally I made this coming Sunday the deadline for your commitment to us via email as to whether you wanted to travel or not. Several of you have asked for more time to decide and we've extended the deadline to the Sunday of Memorial weekend, May 27. After that date, we'll call Norwegian Cruise Lines and begin the registration process so all attendees can self-register and pay their initial $25 per person deposit. See our Cruise Page for updates on the payment schedule.

As of this date, we have 17 cabins booked and are hoping for more. There are all sorts of mischief being planned by all of those attending so far. This cruise will allow you much free time and some group time as well. You will be free during the days to do what you like whether shipboard while at sea or on the beautiful isle of Bermuda, while docked for 3 days.

All of you who have signed up for the cruise will be receiving an email in a few weeks with the invitation to join a special talk list created for the cruise. It will give all of the attendees time to ask questions, links to passport info, what to bring, etc. This will be a closed group limited to only those who are attending the ship. Might be a nice place for some mischief as well!

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

12 Cabins Already Booked!

As of 6:30 Tuesday morning, we have 12 cabins booked for our Letterboxing Cruise 2008, including some boxing celebrities like Green Tortuga, Amanda from Seattle, TeamGreenDragon, the Lazy Letterboxer & Letterboxing Ham, Grumpy Grinch and others.

Hope you can make it - it's going to be a blast!

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Sunday, May 06, 2007

2008 Letterboxing Cruise Prices!!!

Ready to sail? We finally have info on pricing, sailing date and other specifics - plus some special group discounts.

You will need to email us by Sunday, May 20 if you plan to attend.

Here's the link to our special Cruise Page.

Ahoy Boxers! Bermuda will never be the same!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, May 06, 2007

Saturday, May 05, 2007

2008 Letterboxing Cruise Info . . .

To Come!

Right now, we're preparing for our annual Schmoopie
"Cinco de Mayo" celebration at our house tonight!
Enchaladas, fajitas, chili, and -

Margheritas & Corona!

Wish you could all be here!
Cruise details on Monday.

posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, May 05, 2007