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 30, 2007

Our First Doggie Add-On!

Good friend and uberhiker, Rubaduc, has just posted the very first add-on to our Dog Walk Series challenge. See story below.

Like the little guy on the left, it's called Wag It.

Now that the ice is broken, we hope to see more! If you don't feel comfortable carving a dog breed, do like the 'Duc and carve a dog-related box! If you let us know when you post a new add-on, we'll add it to the bottom of the page in the Add-on section of our Dog Walk clues.

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, July 30, 2007

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Another Way to Walk Your Dog!

We received a nice email this week from Hez, Grumpy & Mona. They had just completed our Dog Walk series. And, apparently Mona Dog, who has been trained to operate a computer keyboard, asked why her breed, Chihuahua, was not represented in our series!

That email got me to thinking that this might be a nice way to enhance this series. Why not develop your own dog breeds that are different from the ones we've added and plant them in the same area?

Now they would not be part of our series - but your own boxes with your own clues - you would just state that they are add-on boxes to the Dog Walk series. Let's see how many different breeds we can have walking their way around this park. Don't neglect the other trails that are located here as well.

Soon, we'll hear the barking of all different breeds from our front door since we live close by to this area. Who wants to play????

posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, July 28, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ivy Weighs In . . .

Friend and fellow blogger, Poison Ivy, has offered his take on the goings on with CT's missing boxes. It's interesting to read the opinions of one from afar - who has no emotional attachment to the situation. I have to say that I agree. Read Ivy's take here.
Wonder if a safer approach to letterboxing, I wrote to PI, might be to consider your box lost the day you plant it. Then, every day it survives is a bonus.
I really think a lesson should be learned from all of this. We placers have to plant more difficult boxes - mysteries, coded clues, picture clues and on longer hikes. This will keep the muggles away.
Why would they pilfer boxes that they cannot find?

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

It's a Black Day for Boxing in CT

We've been following, with heavy hearts, the unfolding story about what has happened here in CT. Over the weekend, 3 well-known areas, chocked full of letterboxes, have slowly reported missing boxes. And it's not the ordinary one or two boxes that you hear about from time to time. About 150 boxes at this point have gone missing over this past weekend alone and the concern of the CT boxing community is where does this end? Who would do something like this? It takes on such a surreal dimension.

Part of me says that publishing this story only feeds the perpetrators who might be seeking publicity. But the other half of me says that the word must get out. Maybe by informing the local boxing community, we can save some of these targeted boxes.

In an effort to stop this crime, many have archived their clues on the LBNA. Some of us feel that it might be too late as these hoodlums have probably printed off clues for all the areas of their earmarked hits. While the CT boxing community explores every possible option to catch these thieves, we ask that those of you in CT to stay aware and be vigilant. Keep your eyes open for possible problems or anyone who might look suspicious.

We'll keep you informed of developments as they occur. This is a story that we never expected to write - a most horrible deed done to those creative, wonderful letterboxers who have worked so hard to make CT a great place to box. We keep hoping we'll wake up in the morning and discover this has just been a bad dream . . .

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, July 23, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Still Time for Cruisin'

Are you pondering whether you can make our First Ever Letterboxing Cruise next June?

There is still time to sign up if you are so inclined. With about 50 passengers signed up to date; there's always room for more letterboxers to join in the fun! There are plans for all kinds of mischief! You never know what will happen when boxing and water meet!

Visit our Cruise Page for further details and email me ASAP!

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The News is Very Grave . . .

Like in a cemetery, we mean!

Pictured at the right is a lunette, which is the center top, half moon-shaped part of a headstone. Those of you versed in French realize how this term came to be since lune is the French term for moon.

Where is this all going, you may wonder . . .

There's a new letterboxer in CT called Nomad Indian Saint, who just published a series of individual boxes highlighting various lunettes in ancient cemeteries around CT. So far, published boxes appear in Storrs, Canterbury, Tolland, Hampton, Pomfret, Coventry & Bozrah.

Might there be more lunettes in our future?
Only time and Nomad Indian Saint will tell.

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Alexandria Pub Crawl Report

Finally, we've found some time to write our Pub Crawl experience from June 23!

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Pinecone Pints: Stargazermomma, Woody, Steve & Katie
(Sue missing; Mark behind camera!)

We arrived at our Alexandria, VA hotel mid afternoon on the 23rd; just in time to unpack, freshen up from the 6+ hour drive from CT and get our boxing things together. Sue & I were joined by our youngest son, Steve and his girlfriend, Katie, who were traveling with us on this vacation. Our detour was the Pub Crawl; our destination was VA Beach from Sunday, June 24 through Sunday, July 1. Steve & Katie came along with us on the crawl as semi-interested tagalongs!

Since we wanted to pull a "reverse Ivy" (see the story below,) only our hosts, BullDawg & Shell, knew we were coming. As we waited for the shuttlebus for the Old Town section of Alexandria - the location of the crawl - Irene from Hikers & Hounds drove up in a minivan, riding shotgun. The look on her face when she spotted us was priceless!

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Irene's friend Rita, Irene of Hikers & Hounds, The Castle Keepers

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Scarab - Is that a clue sticking out of that messenger bag?

Arriving at Pat Troy's in Old Town, we ventured to the open air patio where participants were to meet. Immediately we were spotted by Poison Ivy, TeamGreendragon and a few others. After hi's and hugs and introductions of Steve & Katie, we settled in a corner table and began exchanging. It was wonderful to meet BullDawg, who was deep in the thick of things. We got to meet and exchange with Wink & Tarheel, Infinity (snagged her traveler as well,) and many others.

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Sue, daelphinus and new baby

One of the unexpected highlights was to finally meet Daelphinus/Dvn2Chkr, whom we have corresponded with many times over the years. In fact, her pinecone contribution to the Pepe Pinecones as arranged by Funhog is now our VT house box. She told me later that she recognized Sue from pictures on our blog and we finally got a chance to talk for a while and meet her newborn daughter and family. Donna/Tempus Fugit is another fav of ours and we were happy to see her as well.

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Tempus Fugit & Night Owl

We were then told by the organizers that the 4 of us would be teamed with Stargazermomma and Woody. And we needed a team name so "Pinecone Pints" seemed appropriate enough for this alcohol-based hunt! Teams were called and released. When our turn came, we were handed a folder which contained clues and were warned "Read everything!" Every team had a different beginning pub destination and then it was up to you as to what strategy you wanted to use to visit the other 5 pubs. Of the 6 pubs we would visit in search of elusive boxes, 1 was not even aware that boxers would be participating in this hunt so extreme stealth was needed. Besides the 6 pub locations, there were other boxes on the way to various places.

As we made our way to our first bar, we were able to snag one of the outside boxes from an "envelope" clue that was found in our packet. This clever clue brought us to a Star Wars decorated mail box, where the box was located underneath the mailbox; held in place by a magnet within the box. Crowded streets called for stealth since we wanted this box to be available for other teams as well - or did we? Rehiding the box, I bent down to tie my sneaker and refastened the box to the underside of the mailbox.

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Our first pub stop, King Street Blues

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Some of the pig memorabilia inside the Kings Street Blues pub

Our initial deemed destination was King Street Blues. The clues brought us to a table in the downstairs bar (restaurant upstairs) that had balloons suspended from an antique-looking treasure chest. Keeping the treasure chest secure was a small, 3 digit padlock! In order to get the stamp hidden inside, we'd have to decode the clue and convert it to 3 numbers. Luckily, this was a bar whose owner knew about the crawl! After almost an hour, several of the non-boxing clients were helping us and offering encouragement. It was both a great and frustrating way to begin this event!

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Whimsical detail of the building front at King Street Blues

Finally, we got the padlock unlocked and stamped the contents in both our personal logbooks and the official crawl logbook from which our count would come in determining the winning team. The team that found the most boxes would share the huge treasure chest of goodies which held the primo prize of an wonderfully preserved edition of that original Smithsonian Magazine that contained the historic article on letterboxing that helped motivate the early boxers to begin to organize letterboxing in the US.

The afternoon and early evening flew by as we walked all over Old Town in Alexandria in search of boxes that were cleverly clued and very well hid. At one point, we had to locate a box that was hidden on the central square of Old Town complete with fountains and benchs where muggles rested in the shade. Then, we spotted the box in a pile of rocks in the clues (the stamp ended up being glued to the bottom of one of the rocks in the pile!) but noticed 2 men that were enjoying the day seated nearby. Stargazer Momma, using her high school Spanish, engaged the 2 men as she acted as a lost tourist, while the others in our group blocked their view and I retrieved and rehid the rock/stamp! It was a great group effort.

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Sue, Stargazermomma & Woody pose after finding the Bunny Man tribute box

One of our most favorite boxes, merely due to the history, was the Mid-Atlantic legend box about the Bunny Man, who haunted this tunnel in PA. This original box was a classic one done by the Jolly G Man, who has since left letterboxing and was an actual FBI employee. I had the distinct honor of emailing him several times early in our boxing career, just before he left. This box was in honor of that historic box and, like the original, was hidden in a tunnel.

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Stargazermomma plays it up for the wedding guests.
Hope we looked like tourists!

Another funny encounter was a box that was hidden on the grounds of the church where George Washington's funeral service was held. Easy enough, we thought! After asking directions from a resident, we approached the church, only to find a wedding ceremony just processing out of the church. As the guests milled about the front of the church awaiting the happy couple, we made like tourists, looking at the historic plaque, knowing that the box was hidden somewhere in the front of the church - in plain view of the wedding guests.

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Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the Revolutionary War

So we decided to walk along the church, which had a small graveyard which held the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the Revolutionary War. This was a case where, stalling for time, we discovered a true gem which we might have missed had there been no wedding at all! After the brief respite in the small graveyard, we proceeded to the front of the church as the guest boarded the buses that whisked them away for their celebration and we found and stamped the box!

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Alexandria Brownstones

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Is this a clue? :-)

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Wink Goes Wild!
Many pints later, Wink sports one of the prizes, a new pair of underpants, worn over his hiking pants.

This was a wonderful event - very well planned. We can't even imagine the hours of work of preparation that BullDawg and Shell put in as well as the wonderful carvings of boxers from around the world (Yorkshire Tortoise - you told me you couldn't carve! That stamp was great!!) It was an event we'll try to attend next January, when Hikers & Hounds takes over the hosting duties for her version of the Pub Crawl: Pennsyltucky Stagger on January 12, 2008. Irene told us that this one will be more low key and centered around trivia. We are so there!

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Sue & Poison Ivy share a moment at the "day after breakfast"
He made that hat which became an official Pub Crawl souvenir

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Great to meet Bulldawg!

Thanks to BullDawg and Shell for providing one of the most exciting, educational and fun days we've had in a long time. And thanks to Stargazer Momma and Woody for joining our team. It was great to see all of our friends from that area - it was a blast. And who know - maybe the Northeast needs to begin its own tradition of Pub Crawls!

If that happens - we've learned from the best!

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Later that week, rested and tan in VA Beach!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, July 15, 2007

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Gathering of the Decade!

Der Mad Stamper has announced tentative plans for a gathering to be held just outside of Portland, OR called "We Live & Breathe Letterboxing - A Decade of Obsession" This title is a play on words of the title of the original article in the Smithsonian Magazine that started the obsession in letterboxing in the US called "They Live & Breathe Letterboxing."

The tentative weekend gather is set for September 19 to 21, 2008 and promises to be "a weekend jam-packed full of letterboxing madness and mayhem to help celebrate the ten year anniversary of our beloved hobby."

Der Mad Stamper and Friends have set up a website on which the plans will be unfolding in the coming months. The organizers will take care of all of the plans - food, cabins, entertainment and amazing letterboxes! Costs and more info to follow. This is surely an event you will not want to miss. Knowing Mitch, you can expect wonderful and crazy things.

Go ahead - pencil it in on your calendar! We'll see you there!

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Beauty of Alaska!

The Mid-Atlantic talk list has detailed a few posts over the past several weeks by Sewsobizzy and Miss Moon, who took a recent trip to Alaska. While letterboxing was on the agenda, exploring the beauty of this state must of been the prime reason for the trip; as evident in the pictures that these 2 letterboxers brought back.

Thanks to Miss Moon for allowing us to post the link to their vacation pictures. The Alaska Board of Tourism should consider using a few of these! Here's the link to the pictures taken by Miss Moon and Sewsobizzy. Click on both of the photo albums entitled "Alaska, The Last Frontier" and "Alaska 2." Enjoy the pictures and the accompanying commentary.

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Ahoy matey!

Seems Capt'n Jackbear has been a-hidin' some letterboxin' gold!
And this one has a fair tune to go along!

Begin by clicking the link below but don't forget to click the audio portion of his singin'. While he won't ever sing on stage, it's a treasure in itself!

Capt' Jackbear's New Treasure

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

War of the Rebellion Box

Connfederate has just placed a new box called War of the Rebellion: Tenting Tonight on the Old Camp Ground.

This box, located in Coventry, CT, is the second of an "occasional expanding series" featuring martial lyrics from the Civil War. This particular song as recounted by Paul Glass in "A History of the Civil War in Song, Singing Soldiers" was ". . .one of the most popular songs on both sides. It is reported that its appeal was so strong that officers had to restrain their men from singing it at night because they would divulge their positions on the field.

Let's hope this box is as popular as the song it represents and we look forward to additional historical boxes inspired by the music of the Civil War.

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Stuff that Makes Good Boxers!

The Lazy Letterboxer & The Letterboxing Ham (Deanne & Dave) were out letterboxing in Wendell State Forest last Thursday in search of Bonnie Sennott's historic El Corazon letterbox. This box is the first box planted in MA and one that was effected by a severe storm/tornado that went through that part of MA last year. Trails had changed due to felled trees, etc.

When Sue & I visited Wendell with Deanne & Dave last year, it was just after the storm and the trails were in upheaval. Our intent was to find that little piece of boxing history but it wasn't to happen. We had trouble not only locating the box but the trail itself because of downed trees.

Deanne & Dave went back last week; hellbent to refind this historic box and check on its status after taking Funhog there several weeks before. A familiar rock, a few gyrations, and Dave dove into the wild brush and came up with a few scratches but also the prize: El Corazon. They were then faced with a quandry since the box could not go into it's original spot - should they bring the box home and contact Bonnie, leave it where it was or rehide it in a safer place and email Bonnie with the revamped clues to the new, safe location? They opted for the last choice.

Bonnie Sennot was pleased with their decision. This original letterboxer, who was featured in Rae Record's video of that very first Killington, VT gathering that premiered here on this website , wrote back and called them "heroes." How many times does that happen in one's boxing career?

Well - it's no surprise to Sue & I! We've always known they both had it in them with their deep commitment to this hobby. Plus - they've been our heroes for a long time!

By the way, here are the revamped clues that contain a special thanks to letterboxing's newest heroes.

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, July 09, 2007

Sunday, July 08, 2007

New Poll

We've created a new Poll for your voting.
This question is a result of an on-going discussion on the Newboxers talk list. We were discussing better ways to ensure that a box remains where it belongs. Many of the contributing posters - both new and veteran boxers - feel that those boxes left out in the open and not hidden properly are found by new, casual letterboxers who join from all of the current rave of publication like Family Fun, etc.

The consensus was that these are not every publicity-drafted boxer but those that are unaffiliated because they do not belong to a talk list or don't read up on the hobby and just box willy nilly like the story posted several days ago where The Wildcats followed a family who let the children rehide the boxes in NH. They used the well-known "aim and throw" method of rehiding!

So we talked about better ways to preserve boxes and I brought up the fact that boxes hidden with difficult clues like mysteries with codes, pictures, etc. help deter the casual boxer from hunting these boxes.

Now it's time for you to weigh in! What say you - oh letterboxing public???

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, July 08, 2007

We've Been Contacted By A . . . .

Mystery person(s) who calls themselves "You Don't Need to Know." The following is the content of their email:

Hello Mark,

I am emailing you today to hopefully get a mention on your website. I believe your site has a much more attentive audience than any of the talklists.

You Dont Need To Know my name - all I want you to do is to tell your readers that I am putting out boxes in the Northeast and all my clues will be WOM. Except this first one. To get clues to this one your readers must email me at If it is easier for you, just publish this email.

Thank you for your help.


You Don't Need To Know

PS -- I enjoyed your recent interview.

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, July 08, 2007

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Ever Been to Africa?

Moonstone Baby of RI has just planted a new 4 box series entitled "Out of Africa" which includes contributions by herself and Music Woman.

Nice to know that to experience Africa you don't have to travel too far - you just have to take a trip to Exeter, RI! The clues are found here.

posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, July 07, 2007

Friday, July 06, 2007

An Oh So Delicate Flower!

It seems poor Lady Prisspot is at it again!

Letterboxing's Poison Ivy (and one of our favs) regails another story in which LP gets into some trouble. At least it's not a dilemma!

Check out PI's blog and his story entitled "A Delicate Flower."

LP - hope you are feeling better!


Mark & Sue

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, July 06, 2007

Can We Talk?

We're all like family here, right?

It's been an interesting week here in Pineconeville! We've experienced both the highs and lows of letterboxing . . . .


* Published the 10th in our interview series with what we thought was a gangbuster interview with silverbacks Don & Gwen from CA. While these interviews have been widely accepted in the past and were always an event when published, this recent one went totally unobserved.

Sure - the interview page received a lot of hits but we heard from only 2 people - one via post on the LBNA and one personal email. Have these interview reached their saturation point? Maybe the boxing community is just not interested in them any longer. I'm not saying that I want a huge outpouring of remarks but only 2 people even acknowledged that they existed. Our purpose is to preserve the thoughts and accomplishments of those early boxers and we feel that we have done this so maybe that should be reward in and of itself.


* We received notice on one of our very first HH's, Ken Sings Kensington, placed at the Maine Event in August of 2003! The HH is a joint collaboration between Delerium (she carved) and ourselves (we placed.) Great to hear about this one since it's been almost 3 1/2 years since we've heard of the status of this one!

* On the newboxers talk list, the Wildcats posted about following a family of new boxers on a recent hunt. The parents let the children rehide the boxes which consisted of just throwing them near the hidey holes because the kids didn't like the bugs that were swarming around! The Wildcats, after talking to the family, realized that this new family didn't have a trail name, were not members of the talk list and were just out there boxing willy nilly as a result of some local article about letterboxing.

The Wildcats took the extra time - almost 2 hours worth - to walk with the family, help the with the fine art of rehiding and encourage them to join the newboxers list. This series is owned by David of Team New Hampshire and after the Wildcats notified him, he publically thanked the Wildcats on the talk list.

The Wildcats reply was something like "Mark & Sue helped us so much when we started between their blog and in person, always welcoming us. We felt that we had to do the same to this family."

Wow! Pay it forward! Thanks, Alice, you really made our week!
All in all, not a bad week here!
And so it goes . . . .

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, July 06, 2007

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Another Postcard from Legerdemaine

We are the recipients of another postcard from the enigma de maine. Check out our Postcards page for the newest of the bunch. This one is entitled - you guessed it - "2 Bits." Good luck and please, let Legerdemaine know when you find one of these!

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Holiday Wish

We'd like to wish you all a happy & safe holiday!

While you are letterboxing or enjoying a picnic with family and friends, please keep a good thought for our men and women in the Armed Forces who are away from home today.

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, July 04, 2007

You Have to Have . . . .

It looks like Der Mad Stamper is at it again with a new box that he's placed in collaboration with Raqs Enigma, aptly called "Our Friends." This mystery box is located in Multnomah County, OR so you left coasters in the north have your work cut out for you!

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Monday, July 02, 2007

Reverse Ivy, Vacation & an Interview!

So you probably have been wondering where we've been for the past so many days? Sue & I pulled a Reverse Ivy. No - it's not a back muscle or even a skating move like a triple Salchow. It's the surprise we pulled on Poison Ivy et al at the recent Pub Crawl Event in Alexandria, VA.

Background: Several Mystery Gatherings ago, I pleaded to have Poison Ivy and Lady Prispott attend but they were sadly unavailable that weekend and the distance to travel for a weekend just made it worse. But, unbeknownst to the Pinecone Pair, this creative group arrived dressed as monks who, for 15 minutes, held true to their vow of silence. It was a wonderful surprise and one that we haven't forgotten.

Now to the present: Ivy had inquired whether Sue & I would be attending BullDawg's Pub Crawl and even though we were attending, I made every excuse under the sun. So we showed and we had a wonderful time while we pulled a Reverse Ivy. Get it?

More on the Pub Crawl to come later this week once we sort through our memory stick of pictures and those that might be presentable on this blog! Suffice it to say that this was a terrific event with great friends old and new. And those boxes - BullDawg is evil! More on that this week!

Sue & I went from the Alexandria Pub Crawl on June 22nd to VA Beach where we spent an idyllic week beaching out and enjoying the sand and sea. The heat and humidity were high but what better place to be than by the sea? Even had a chance to see BullDawg & Shell again at a Meet & Greet he planned for those VA and NC folks this past Saturday. A nice evening was spent in an al fresco seaside dining patio where the brews and the letterboxing talk flourished. It was great to meet those new friends in that area.

Now to the interview portion of this post. Just before we left, we were putting the finishing touches on the 10th in our Interview Series of letterboxing pioneers. This interview is with buddies Don & Gwen from CA. Hope you enjoy the interview and, if you are new to the Interview Series, we encourage you to read all of the interviews to learn the history of this hobby and the accomplishments and ideas of those that came before us.

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, July 02, 2007