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, September 27, 2007

Do You Want to Visit Dartmoor?

No - Sue & I aren't going until 2010 and that trip is already booked up!

We've heard from several of you who want to go to Dartmoor to letterbox where this hobby began. Many of you have said it sounds complicated to make arrangements having never been there before. Short of hiring me to act as your guide (which I'm sure we can work out!) arrangements have been made with Mark & Jacky Walker - our hosts at Blackadon Barn Cottages in Ivybridge, Devon which is on the southern edge of the Moor.

Mark is a trained Dartmoor guide and is willing to make arrangements for your very own custom letterboxing holiday. You can be picked up at the Bristol airport - under 2 hours away - and brought to your comfy cottage. Arrangements can be made to rent a car locally or Mark can guide you on several day trips to the Moor, along a coastal walk or where ever you decide to visit. Mark & Jacky are very accommodating and will work diligently to be sure your Dartmoor vacation is all you've dreamed.

If you are interested, please contact me for a brochure. Mark sent a stack of them home with me. If you send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to me, we'll be happy to send out this informative brochure that tells about all Blackadon and Mark & Jacky have to offer.

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Home Happy & Safe

We're home - safe and sound - with wonderful memories of the moor and the people we met along the way. Our trip to Dartmoor was better than our last, I think. Having been before, the emphasis wasn't on getting the 100 to enter the Dartmoor 100 Club since we did that last trip.

This trip was more of a return to the beauty of the moor, spending time with the other Moor Tor-ists and just enjoying the area and the special beauty it holds. I wouldn't have cared if we found enough boxes to garner our Dartmoor 2oo patch but we did. Renewing friendships with the great Andy Wilkes, who gave up a week of his precious time to put up with us as well as thanks to Spannerman & Ali and Chris & Louise Donovan for joining us for several days. We're also glad for our other visitors who drove hours to meet with us like Yorkshire Tortoise, Cadenza & Andrew, The Dartmoor Bounders - Ian & Caroline and especially Malcolm Allderidge and his wife, Angela. You'll hear more about Malcolm later. Also thanks to the wonderful Plymouth meeting letterboxers who welcomed us with open arms, even after I messed up the address of the meet location and we arrived late!

We also must mention a special evening spent with Godfrey & Anne Swinscow and Roger & Stephanie Paul. Godfrey retired from his role of running the membership portion of the Dartmoor 100 Club which has now been taken over by the Pauls. Thanks to Pinetree who brought her digital recorder thinking I needed it for the clues to some boxes we were going to plant, we have about 10 minutes of Godfrey's talk to us recorded and will share that with you later in the week.

So much to catch up on but you'll hear more in a few days. We're still compiling our trip diary and we'll begin posting it - a day at a time after we download some pictures. Just wanted to let you know that everyone is home safe and happy!

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Decker (who says she's Clueless?)
Thanks for the picture, Jen, we love it!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, September 23, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Well over 100 Finds . . .

and still counting!

Sitting here after a few hours out in the driving rain, fog and cold while hunting for letterboxes on Thursday. We're back home in the cottages now - waiting for a special dinner - but more on that later! Another surprise for the group!

We hit the Moor on Tuesday where we did a Charity Walk - a special series of letterboxes put out for just a limited time where you pay the placer about $10 that is passed on the the particular charity of the placers choice. This walk was a series of 19 boxes but we were told, when the clues were emailed to me, that we should scavenge the area as well. We ended up finding the 19 for the walk and with the scavenged boxes ended the day with 53. Funny, though, I don't feel the sense of urgency to find boxes this visit as last. We've gotten our Dartmoor 100 patches last visit and looks like those of us that have returned will earn our 200 patches and newbies will garner their 100.

Wednesday evening we visited the Plymouth letterboxing group's monthly meeting. We had prewarned them of our arrival just so our crazy group wouldn't arrive taking them unaware. What a special evening! Our hosts were the best ever. And the meeting is held in a community center that had bar -pints of draft beer at 1.75 pounds ($3.50 approx.)

We'll post much more when we return but wanted you to realize that we are all alive and well and having a wonderful time! Enjoying the beauty of the Moor, the excitement of the hunt for boxes and the beer and food (like bangers & mash, fish & chips.) And the Moor Tor-ists are even crazier than the Bakers Dozen!!!

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

We're Here!

The Moor Tor-ists have landed in the UK and are on the Moor! After a three hour flight delay in Logan - something about a part being flown in from France - we arrived in England to sunny skies and warm temperatures on Sautrday.

It's early Sunday morning here a I write this and RTRW and I are the only ones up at this point. I've had some time - about an hour - to enter the previous 2 days activities into our journal. Now awaiting for the 2 cottages to awaken for today the Moor Torists are headed to Duck's Pool - Dartmoor's second oldest letterbox. Moor to come tomorrow!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, September 16, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Almost Time to Travel . . .

Clothes are out and ready to pack; minivans have been reserved; the plans are made; airfare tickets are in hand; airport limo has been reserved; excitement is starting to mount because The Moor Tor-ists are ready to travel!

Posts on our private talk list have gotten more anxious as our travelers begin the countdown before we leave this Friday. 11 of us depart on Virgin Air at 8pm Friday from Logan Airport in Boston - arriving Saturday morning in Heathrow, London at 7:30am on Saturday when we begin our very first day. The 5 others who have left at varying times this past week and last will meet us at the car rental locotion right outside of Heathrow. Then, The Moor Tor-ists will begin their almost 200 mile drive to Dartmoor and the Blackadon Barn Cottages - our home for the week.

While we will not be posting further before we leave, our hope is to hopefully pen a few lines on several days while we're on the moor. If not, you can expect a full diary with all of the details, stories and photos of our trip after we return.

Before we leave, I have to thank Malcolm Allderidge from Devon, UK. I can't tell you how helpful and invaluable this total stranger has been to us. It all started after he read our Baker's Dozen trip report and noticed that we were returning to Dartmoor in September. He wrote wondering, while we were at the Dartmoor Prison as mentioned in the diary, did we check out the prison store which held a bevy of boxes at the cash registers. I wrote back, thanking him for the email and told him that we had gotten the boxes there.

This initial email dating back to the beginning of August has turned into a wonderful resource of advice and help from a fellow letterboxer and a friendship has developed. Sue and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Malcolm for all of his help and wish he and his wife congratulations on the recent birth of their first granddaughter. Your help has made this coming trip more fantastic than I could have ever imagined, Malcolm!

As you can see, this email contact has blossomed all because of a common love of this game and those great souls who always seem willing to help - even if the person on the receiving end is a total stranger. Ah - the kindness of letterboxers . . . .

I guess there are no strangers in letterboxing - just friends yet to be made!

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

We Will Never Forget

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Hiking Friends

Our friends Koyote, BullDawg, Shell, Wisconsin Hiker and Martini Man recently went out for a nice 6 to 7 mile hike this past Labor Day weekend.

BullDawg was kind enough to email us the link to the video to share. The video lasts about 7 minutes and has some great views of the VA countryside.

You can access the video by clicking here. Enjoy!

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, September 06, 2007

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Sad News . . .

I just heard from Yorkshire Tortoise from the UK. It seems the historic Cranmere Pool letterbox has had its stamp stolen sometime at the end of August! She was letting us know just in case we had plans to hunt that box next week when we leave for our Dartmoor trip.

Sadly, it appears that stolen letterboxes are not limited to the US. Yorkshire Tortoise hoped the replacement stamp would be returned soon.

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Oh The Places You Will Go . . .

When our 2 sons graduated college, Betsy & Joe, from The Schmoopies, gave them both the Doctor Suess book entitled "Oh, the Places You Will Go." While it fits a college graduate as they persue their careers of choice, it also is a great title to describe letterboxing - and the places that boxes take a boxer.

One of our boxes in VT, Sugarbush Cheese Block, remains one of our most popular boxes. Everyone tells us in emails how they spend way too much money on the wonderful cheeses that they offer for sale and how friendly the staff is. When we planted this box the owners were more than enthusiastic.

Well, yesterday we received a status report via the "Contact Placer" option on from our good pal, Rubaduc. It seems she and Gizz had just found the box and remarked how, growing up, the Duc had crossed the bridge mentioned in our clues many times during her childhood while visiting family and attending reunions in that area. As they made their way into the cheese store, Duc remarked to one of the employees that she grew up in the area, etc.

Come to find out one of the employees is a distant cousin of Rubaduc's but was off for the day. The Duc was told that a family reunion was planned and they were looking for lost relatives - Rubaduc and Chapuline (Duc's sister) being two of the missing.

So besides a letterbox and some cheese, this boxer made a long lost family connection and will attend a family reunion. Oh the places you will go . . .

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Monday, September 03, 2007

New Look & New Poll

We've have a new look to our Letterboxing Poll, thanks to a new service called Poll Daddy. Also - to kick of the new look and since our coming Dartmoor adventure is on our minds, there is a new poll dealing with which, if any, of our letterboxing trips you might find interesting. Please vote in the usual spot - the right hand lower column. Thanks.

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, September 03, 2007

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Plans and More Plans . . .

We haven't been posting much because we've been planning - making final plans for our upcoming Dartmoor trip; preliminary plans for our June 2008 Letterboxing Cruise and initial plans for our November 2008 Bed & Boxing weekend in Jackson, NH.

Dartmoor is just a week and a half away and already I've had trouble sleeping nights! We have 7 full days planned for the Moor Tor-ists; our band of 16 letterboxers who are anxiously awaiting the trip as well.

7 of us are returning members from our original Bakers Dozen trip and 9 are newbies to to our trip with 7 being new to Dartmoor as well. This trip presented some challenge as 5 of our group are arriving from several days to a week before the core group of 11 travel on Friday, September 14. One of the highlights planned for this trip besides 3 to 4 days on the moor is a day trip to Lands End and Penzance, where we hope to leave a new series that we've all been carving called "Pirates of Penzance." We'll publish clues here on this website when we get home.

Silent Doug, one of the Dartmoor newbies coming with us along with Clueless, is bringing his laptop with him on the trip. I may be forced to post a line or two while we're away if I can sneak off behind Sue's back! If I do post, it will be just a few brief lines without pictures and the usual doodads with which we usually spruce our stories. If all else fails and we don't post during our trip, rest assured that there will be another day-by-day diary similar to our last trip. I'm taking our diary from last trip to add this year's trip's notes for that very reason.

The letterboxing cruise plans are progressing. As of this writing, we have 46 members in our party. If there are some of you that haven't signed up and are still interested, email us. We can book rooms for the cruise until January 15, 2008. The Atlas Quest event listing is located here.

There is still time if you are so inclined. How can you miss - boxing at sea and on the beautiful island of Bermuda with time for yourselves as well! We plan to hunt and leave some boxes on this pink sand island. And, like all cruises, half the fun is getting there!

Our newest Pinecone Adventure, Bed & Boxing, will take place in November of 2008. I spent Thursday evening on a conference call for about an hour making plans with the 3 inn owners as we brainstormed and filled in some needed blanks. There will be more on that after we return from Dartmoor. Signs ups are available. You will need to pay a 50% deposit by July 1, 2008. Again, more on that after we return from Dartmoor.

We have negotiated special pricing for our group for the two nights at one of 3 inns. Also planned, at an additional charge, is a private special Kick Off buffet dinner to take place the Friday night of our arrival. An organized pub dinner on Satuday night is also in the works. Both of these meals will be an additional price to the weekend stay package but will be priced affordably. If all goes well, we hope to make this an annual event with new boxes being added every year for our group.

Needless to say, while we our presence on this blog has been limited as of late, things are going crazy and much is happening in the background.

posted by Mark and Sue at Saturday, September 01, 2007