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)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Boxin' & Cruisin'

Imagine our surprise when we checked to see which of our blog pages were the most popular and found our Letterboxing Cruise page right near the top of the list! It seems there must still be some interest in this cruise and we're happy to say that there's still time if you are interested.

This is what you do:

1) Visit our Letterboxing Cruise page and determine which of the 3 room styles suits you best, noting prices, etc.

2) If you are interested, visit our Atlas Quest event page and sign up there.

3) We will contact you after you sign up on Atlas Quest with the URL to our cruise attendees only Yahoo Talk List so that you can begin the reservation process. Post #45 has detailed instructions as to how you make your reservations with the cruise lines and get your group rate.

4) Once you've made your reservation and have paid the $250 per person deposit, you will be assigned a room number. Record that room and your name(s) in the database set up for that in the Talk List.

5) Then, if you are located in New England and want to be part of the special chartered party bus to the cruise ship in NYC and back, sign up in the appropriate party bus database.

6) Payment info:
a - $25 per person holds a space for you - deadline January 2, 2008
b - $250 per person lets you get a room assignment - everyone must pay their $250 per person by the deadline of March 22, 2008. Many pay the $250 right away to choose their rooms early.
c - Balance of the room must be paid for by the deadline of May 1

And that's all there is to it! Currently there are 52 people signed up even though the event page show 49. We would love to see you join us - a beautiful cruise ship, the pink sands of Bermuda and letterboxing - a winning trifecta!!!

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Wishing you all a safe Halloween.

While we couldn't drop some candy in your bag, we thought we'd leave you a virtual treat or two!

Treat #1 Treat #2 Treat #3

Treat #4 Treat #5 Treat #6

Treat #7 Treat #8

And a trick!

The above photo is courtesy of Cape Cod Letterboxer, who took this photo but has no idea we put it on our website . .

Gotcha Diane!!!

Great carving job (as usual!)
Click the photo to see a larger size!

And another trick!

This one on Archimedes Screw!
Big Papi never looked so good
She calls this "Red October, Again!"
The Screw carves pumpkins like her stamps - Excellently!

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Winning Formula???

So I get this email from Deanne, the Lazy Letterboxer where she makes the stunning observation that in 2004 we go to Dartmoor and the Red Sox win the World Series - the first time in over 80 years and the Curse of the Bambino is finally lifted.

And, she goes on to write, we went back to the moor this year (as if you didn't know!) and the Sox again wear the World Series crown. Is there a winning formula here?

In the same email, the lazy one asked if I know how many other Americans have garnered the Dartmoor 200 patch besides the returning members of Bakers Dozen.

Last night a quick email was sent to Stephanie and Roger Paul in the UK. You will hear more about them later in our Dartmoor Diary but a reply received this morning held the surprising news that our group - those that were members of the original Baker's Dozen - are the only Americans that have ever reached the 200 finds status in the Dartmoor 100 Club!

Very cool if I do say so myself!

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

Another Dartmoor Diary Entry is Ready!

I just completed the entry in our Dartmoor Diary for day 2 - Sunday. You will have to scroll down below day 1 since the journal is written in chronological order.

Day 2 includes our visit to historic Ducks Pool as well as a surprise visit by a special friend.


posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, October 29, 2007

Not All Geocachers are Bad!

Yesterday Sue & I spent a wonderful day letterboxing with half of The Schmoopies (the other half of the Schmoopies were home nursing a bad back.) Our game plan was to have a Bandaid marathon - hitting as many of Bandaid's boxes as we could in the Redding, CT area. We have wanted to visit that part of the state for the longest time so plans were made many months ago which resulted in our having to beg off from the invite to attend Music Woman's letterboxing shower that was held at Bluebird's on the same day.

When planning the day, I noticed 2 series of boxes along the Housatonic River in Shelton that looked interesting so we started out our day there after leaving Southington at about 9:30. While we were going from the first to the second box in the first series, we encountered a father and his young son, papers in hand, who said to us "Are you doing what we are?"

It turns out they were geocaching, not letterboxing, since this park held not only 7 letterboxes but, as he told us, about 10 geocaches as well. Now we understood why the first box we found, and all of the other 6 afterwards, had little notices in them that said "This is not a geocache" but went on to include a geocachers log as well. Everything made sense then.

He asked if we had found the "Charter Oak" box since they had just replaced it. It seems they search for both letterboxes and geocaches. "Replaced it?" I asked. Then he told me how they were out Saturday (the previous day) in the pouring rain (geocachers are nuts as well!) and after finding this letterbox, noticed kids hanging around where the box should be replaced. Instead of risking the box getting stolen, he said, he decided to take it home overnight and had just returned it in its proper place. I wondered how many letterboxers would have thought to do the same?

When we went to search for this box - there it was - safe and sound in it's hidey hole. The moral of this story is that boxers & cachers can peacefully coexist!

Suffice it to say that the rest of the day was just as remarkable as we hunted around the hills of Redding looking for all things Bandaid! Parts of Redding reminded us of Hartman Park in East Lyme. It was a great day that yielded many humorous moments; sunny and cool weather sprinkled with some great boxes and a story or two to tell. The perfect ingredients to remind us why we do this thing - and how important it is for us both physically and mentally to . . .

Just Get Out There & Box!!!

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, October 29, 2007

And the Winner is . . .


Boston Red Sox

on the victory
over the Colorado Rockies.

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, October 29, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

Day One of our Dartmoor Journal Complete!

Well, I did it! The first day (really our Friday night departure and all day Saturday in the UK) of our Dartmoor Journal is now complete - pictures and all. I hope to have another day ready for later this weekend. Hope you enjoy it. (By the way - the graphic on the left is Japanese for "Accomplishment.")

And thanks to all of our friends who dropped an email about our "Under Pressure" post. I think Don of Don & Gwen hit it on the head - "It's time for you to retire!" If it was only that easy! Thanks to all who shared some thoughts and showed understanding.

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, October 26, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Under Pressure

In advertising, they say one letter or email might represent the opinion of up to 100 people who just haven't taken the time to write but feel the exact same way. Well, we've heard from 5 people in the last week asking if everything is alright - are we sick, etc. Might that represent 500 of you???

I realize that I started the Dartmoor trip journal and quite a few weeks have passed without an update (although I have finished the first day now but need to put some pictures with the text.) I have been working mucho overtime at work and really don't feel like spending more time on a computer after 10 or so hours at work; and we've been in VT the past 4 weekends when I normally would have caught up on the blog and I'm a Red Sox fan and haven't missed a playoff game or will not miss a game of the pending World Series.

Phew! I guess those 3 things have kept us more than busy. It's funny - even when I'm busy I get this niggling feeling that I'm not doing what I should! "Update the blog," that little guy in my head says. "Your readers are waiting!"

Sure, at times, there really is nothing to write. Not now, though. Many of you have sent us updates on our boxes to be recorded and first letterboxing finds. Our Dartmoor journal should be updated since we ended after only our very first day! I have most of an interview with Daniel Servatius finished. While Daniel may not be a household boxing name, he has contributed much to this hobby working side-by-side with Erik Davis in those very early years.

So - give me some time to adjust. Something happened to me in Dartmoor this last trip. No, it wasn't Irene from Hikers & Hounds! Really - she was a pleaure! It was the realization that our lives are much too hectic - not just Sue & I - but we Americans as a whole. That sense of peace and the beauty of the moor hit home more than ever this trip. It was truly life-changing for me. My coworkers remarked how good I looked after our return to work after the Dartmoor trip and I have to admit that I felt different. More relaxed and almost like a changed person. I can never remember feeling so much at peace as after our immediate return from the moor.

Well, that didn't last once life's pressures took hold. But there is a rebellious spirit in me that says "I don't want to return to life as normal" And that, my friends, is what I've been struggling with over these past 4 weeks. Looking back, this blog was born in December of 2002 as a fun pastime; initially our way of recording our finds. Never in our wildest dreams did we think that anyone would actually read it! We've made so many great friends through this blog and some of those friends have accompanied us to Dartmoor and have made lasting impressions on our lives. Such was the case this trip as well.

In an email to Silent Doug tonight I expressed the option of taking a hiatus from this blog - maybe until after the holidays. I still may do that. But first I want to finish our Dartmoor trip journal and publish the interview with Daniel Servatius. If I didn't, that guy in my head wouldn't leave me alone!

After that - who knows where my head will take me. Rest assured that we appreciate the loyalty of our readers and those that take time to write. One of the coolest things ever was all of the emails Sue received after I published her new email addy. Many from friends but many from new people we haven't yet met. I think that's why I feel that little guy telling me to "write, write, write . . . "

So - if you were wondering where we've been, you know now. We're here - partially, and the rest is in Dartmoor among the ponies and the boxes and the wonderful boxers we met and the tors and the brilliant blue skies and the sheep and the gorse and the . . .

Dreaming of Dartmoor
Photo by Mark Pepe

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

And the Dogs Keep Walkin' . . .

The add-ons to our Dog Walk series has increased again! There are now a total of 9 add-ons to our original 3 boxes. And watch for our newest bonus box to be added on to one of the add-ons after next weekend! Our bonus is called Home Sweet Home and its clue will be placed in one of the add-on boxes.

Thanks to all who have added on their favorite breed to this growing series. Bicentennial Park in Kensington is a large park and there is plenty of room for more dogs. Who know where this will end!

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

Wanna Dance???

While this has nothing to do with letterboxing - I just couldn't resist. My sister, Linda, has the same crazy sense of humor as I - go figure, right?

Well she sent this link to me today and it's the funniest thing I've ever seen. Enjoy!

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, October 15, 2007

Sunday, October 14, 2007

So Where's the Rest of the Dartmoor Diary???

Some of you have written; some of you have wondered - where the heck is the rest of the Dartmoor Diary?

Well, our return to work from our Dartmoor trip has been quite hectic (and has taken a bit more of adjustment that we thought after the wonderful week spent on the moor!) That, coupled with a few weekends away playing in VT, has led to a slightly longer delay than we had first anticipated.

Sue & I returned to VT again this weekend and used the cool, crisp weather as an opportunity to do some box maintenance on our boxes there as well as plant a new box.

Our new box is called Vermont View and is a tag-along of sorts to our early Birds of a Feather series. While the photo above was taken in VT, it is not associated with the letterbox or its location. It was from a trip taken to Thetford, VT the previous weekend - a weekend where Sue & I completed about 10 Valley Quests and took some pictures of many more Vermont views. We hope to put those photos up on a page by themselves this week or next.

Speaking of Dartmoor - we also posted a little series of boxes that the group left in Dartmoor - a collaborative effort by The Moor Tor-ists. While we had originally planned to plant a series of boxes called Pirates of Penzance in Penzance, the whole group just couldn't tear itself away from the moor.

A small group of us - Deanne & Dave, Silent Doug and Sue & I planted this series of 3 boxes called Talk Like A Pirate Day Series since we planted it on September 19 and it was the only link to the pirate subject that we could find!!! We hope you will look for this series if you are ever Dartmoor bound. While we're pleased to host these clues on our blog it was a joint effort that features the carving of 2 boxes by Deanne, the Lazy Letterboxer and 1 by yours truly; clues and grid references by Silent Doug & Sue; hunting places by the complete group; and scavenged boxes along the planting route by Dave, the Letterboxing Ham!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, October 14, 2007

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Have You Walked Your Dog???

It seems our challenge to area letterboxers to add on to our Dog Walk Series has been quite successful. As of today, we have 6 boxes that have been added on to our original series of 3. Thanks to all of our friends who have added to this series. Now if only we could tempt a few more of you to plant . . .

Can we throw you a bone?
Look for a new box that will planted by us very soon. It's clues will be found in one of the add-on boxes!

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Sue Enters the Digital Age!!!

Sue has finally entered the digital age and has agreed to let me open her own email account. She's not sure if she'll get any email!

Well, I'd like to fix that! I told her I bet she'd gets lots of email!!! :-)

If you have a moment, please contact her with a few lines. I just love it when a plan comes together! And thanks!

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Thursday, October 04, 2007

We're Going to See the Mouse!

Sue & I are heading to Florida the end of April and the beginning of May of 2008. It's been a while since we've been to Florida so we're pretty excited about it. In fact, I think the last time we visited was BB - "Before Boxing!"

So, in preparation of our visit, I posted on the Atlas Quest Florida board about our trip plans and asked if anyone wanted to get together for a casual meal to meet and exchange. One thing let to another and before we knew it, there was a mini event scheduled!

Thanks to 3H for spearheading the effort and Kilroy for copying and pasting our AQ post to the Central Florida talk list. Sue & I are looking forward to meeting all of the central Floridians that turn out at the mini meet.

That leads us to another thought. Someone mentioned pinecones and it got me to thinking about the Pepe-cones that some of our good friends made for us back a while ago. We've kept them in a safe place in our home; never wanting to plant them for fear that they might go missing. At the same time, they are great carvings and should be shared.

So, beginning with the Florida mini meet and every gathering we attend thereafter, you just have to tell us what Don (of Don & Gwen) called these little pinecone gifts and you get to stamp into the entire collection (minus the stamp carved by daelphinius since it's our VT house box!) If you whisper that word to us at a gathering, we'll turn over the Pepe-cones to you. There will also be a beautiful home-made logbook that Brian of TeamGreenDragon made for us that you can stamp your sig stamp. We've decided to call this collection Pepes' Passel of Perfectly Produced Pinecones. Love the alliteration, eh?

It seems that a few of the Florida boxers are planning to make more pinecone stamps for our traveling collection. As you can guess - we never have enough pinecones!

Hint: the solution to this clue is found somewhere on this website. Don's term has since gone on to be used again and again for stamps that are unsolicited. Good luck!

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, October 04, 2007

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Another Pinecone Production Hits the Trail

We were asked by both Marmalade and Maiden to carve a stamp for the upcoming Willamette Valley Wine Stroll that takes place on October 13. It was pretty dicey there for a while with the Dartmoor trip but we're happy to say that our stamp is finally carved - although not our best effort - and ready to mail tomorrow.

The box, which will be permanently placed for us is called The Sights, The Sounds, The Tastes. Look for its permanent placement soon.

And to those revelers on the Stroll - we wish you a great time and know that Sue & I are sooooo jealous!

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, October 03, 2007

More to Come . . .

Thanks to all of you who have jotted us an email that you have enjoyed our Dartmoor trip diary. You'll have to hang in there as we're headed to VT for a long weekend to peep at some leaves, find some boxes, and enjoy the unseasonably warm great weather predicted. Hopefully, we'll be on track for the continuation of our Saturday evening and our Sunday outing on the Moor on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

As an aside - or as RTRW says "Background information that you don't need to know" - our first installment of the diary took me about 4.5 hours to get ready. And - I had already written the text which I did each day or so while in Dartmoor before the "fuzzies" set in after we returned home. All of the photos used were from Lobsta, who sent each one of the trip attendees their own personal set of cd's with photos. She pared down the list from 1300 to about 600!

Have a great weekend!

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Monday, October 01, 2007

First Installment of Our Trip Diary is Ready!

We've spent most of tonight recording the first few days of our recent Dartmoor trip with The Moor Tor-ists. While we've run out of steam, the first two days are almost complete. There is a little more to add that we'll take care of in a night or two. For now, we hope that you enjoy our account that you will find located here.

If you click on the individual pictures, they will enlarge to their full size. This will be most beneficial once we post the pictures on the Moor and its environs.

Special thanks to Lobsta - Bonnie Pease - for always being there to take the shot. While several pictures are our own, most of the shots were taken by Bonnie - who always seemed to be there to capture and preserve a special memory. Thanks for everything, Lobsta!

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, October 01, 2007