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)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Connecticut Boxers Rule!!!

OK - so we're bragging and maybe just a little proud but the breed of boxers that hail from CT have been planting up a storm - even in winter! All one has to do is visit "What's New" on and you'll see a plethora of plants in our fair state - 10 in the newest 25!

Rubaduc has been on a planting roll since her retirement from work and hooking up with Gizz. This couple has been mighty busy planting all over the state this fall and winter. Her newest boxes are Don't Be One Two and Elephriend.

Flutterby is also a planting maniac and has contributed many puppies to our Dog Walk ever-growing series. Her 3 new mysteries are: Scents of Summer, Maude's Grave plus Celtic Butterfly.

Sadie & Russ, that fiendish and very creative couple from the southern part of CT, are known for wonderful carvings and boxes with more twists and turns than a back country road. They didn't leave us hanging with their newest addition called Fish Tale.

J. Peter has been planting for years in the south west part of the state and adds to his cache with a series of 5 called The Roosevelt Bugs and a unique, new, visual mystery called The Crossroads Letterbox.

Trailhead Tessie rounds out the current crew on "What's New" with Short Beach.

With the ongoing snowstorm raging outside as I type and the 6 to 10 inches of white stuff around the state at the storm's completion, some of these goodies will have to wait for warmer weather but we are thankful to all of the above boxers who take the time and effort to contribute wonderful boxes to our local CT community!

Keep up the great work!
Collectively, you are what makes CT such a great state in which to live and box!!!

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, February 22, 2008

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Will You Live & Breathe Letterboxing History?

That huge buzz that you might have heard the past several weeks humming around the letterboxing community most likely was centered around the upcoming September gather in Oregon appropriately penned "We Live and Breathe Letterboxing."

This joint effort of a committee of dedicated local boxers is spearheaded by Der Mad Stamper, one of the original US letterboxers, and is set for the weekend of September 12 through 14th in Colton, OR. This gathering name was penned as an homage to the name of the original Smithsonian Magazine article that appeared some 10 years ago. This article is widely credited to introducing letterboxing to the masses of the new world. And what a proper tribute since the first US letterbox in the US, Prayer Rock, and thus letterboxing, is celebrating it's 10 year anniversary this year!

This past Saturday at noon PST was the hour that many letterboxers across the country sat with bated breath in front of the computer monitors; awaiting for the registration form to appear on the official gathering website. Manned by some of the committee members, the online registration form has been one of the most awaited events in recent memory and Sue & I would be out of town - and possibly on the road in our car!

Sue & I were invited with 8 other letterboxers to the home of Deanne (the lazy letterboxer) and Dave (the letterboxing ham) in MA to spend an evening playing the dice game, Bunko, with a group of letterboxers. While Sue & I planned to arrive earlier than the group, we gave specific instructions to Deanne that if for some reason we didn't arrive at their home by 3:00 pm, that she should go ahead and reserve a deluxe room for us or face the wrath of the Pinecone Pair!

The letterboxing gods shined down on us and we arrived at their home in plenty of time to make the online registration debut. After unpacking and getting settled, Sue asked Deanne if she would mind setting her cooking timer for 2:55 so we wouldn't get distracted talking and miss the beginning of registration. And you all thought I was the obsessed one, right?

At the appointed time, we all convened around the lazy monitor and waited as the magic hour approached . . . and nothing happened! And then, at 3:02 by Deanne's computer, the registration form was there! Deanne, with nimble fingers, clicked on the registration form and entered our 4 names and the other requisite information that would enable us to attend this memorable event.

After two tries at her PayPal login (I contemplated throwing her out of her chair and taking over if her second try at her password didn't work,) we were in and received a notice via email that our rooms were confirmed. Luckily we registered at the very beginning as it seems that in 10 minutes time all of the deluxe rooms had sold out. But as of this posting, there are still some beds available.

This is going to be an event that you really don't want to miss. The creativity of Mitch and his group is known nationally. Sue & I, along with Dave & Deanne, had the pleasure to visit OR several years ago and experience the talent of that local letterboxing community. Twists and turns were around every corner and we are sure that this special weekend will offer more of the same.

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank the committee for all they have done thus far and for what they will do in the ensuing 7 months until letterboxers from around the country convene at Coulton, OR and celebrate the 10th anniversary of letterboxing. It will be one amazing weekend chocked full of letterboxing memories to last a lifetime. And don't you want to meet all of those boxers you've seen post on the talk lists?

We hope that you, too, will reserve your space soon before you are locked out. Attendance is limited due to the size of the location. More details including the schedule of events, some photos and FAQ's can be found on the official website.

Please register soon. You can read about the fun on this blog but wouldn't you really rather be there and experience it yourself???

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, February 17, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day!

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Very Busy Saturday . . .

Sue had a baby shower to attend Saturday so I made good use of my time "alone!"

I spent the morning letterboxing with Bookworm across the street from our house getting a few of the dogs from our Dog Walk Series add-ons. My simple challenge to the local boxing community has turned into at least 25 additional add-ons plus some mysteries! I had the opportunity to plant our long overdue bonus to the series Home Sweet Home. (By Sunday, 5 of the locals had already found it!) After a quick cup of tea to warm our bones after the sudden rain and snow showers, the Worm & I headed to Astrii and Celtic Roots' gathering in Berlin called Winter Solve & Carve.

The gathering was a very low key delight which was located at the Peck Memorial Library in their community meeting room. The fact that the attendance was limited to 60 people due to fire regulations turned out to be a blessing in disguise since this gathering was forced to remain small and quite intimate. And therein lay the charm along with the ability to renew old friendships and make some new ones. It was wonderful to travel only a few miles to a gathering in our own hometown!

Several friends expressed their concern at our posting hiatus at the gather. One our dear friend, Butterfly, sent the following email the day before:

"I know how long a mile is; I know how long a year is; I know how long a week is. I don't know long a hiatus is. I miss you."

After reassuring several of our friends that Sue & I were fine, happy and healthy, we spent the rest of the gathering exchanging and meeting new boxers and talking with old friends. As always, the potluck snack buffet (the gathering was held from 12:30 to 3:45pm) was as bountiful as any we've seen with every imaginable munchie represented. I had offered and arranged for an after gathering pizza dinner at a local pizza house so the munchies really fit the bill.

There were a few memorable occurances that we'd like to share. One being the carving of 12 year old who goes by the trailname of T2 . I predict that this young man will eventually be one of the premier carvers in this country. He is that good. His mom told me that her 12 year old son carved their sig stamp after I admired it. "Go ask him to see the ship stamp." After we exchanged, I went over to the table and introduced myself and asked to see the stamp that his Mom had sent me to check out. After our exchange, he stamped it in my book. It was a small image of a masted ship carved with surprising precision. If I didn't know better, I would have thought it was carved by Brian of TeamGreenDragon or Archimedes Screw. His mom later told me that she had recovered it from the wastebasket. Justin threw it away because he was not happy with it!

Another memorable event was a trio of senior women. (Am I allowed to say "senior?" I've been thinking long and hard about how to write about their age!) One of the women came over to the event stamp table and explained that she was a newbie and asked what were we doing. We explained the event stamp process and I introduced myself. "I'm R" she said, "Not very original." It seems R is the first letter in her first name. Later on, R came back to me to exchange and said "Spannerman" which is the secret word to get my personal traveler - an Easter stamp carved by Spannerman of Dartmoor and gifted to me on our first UK trip.

In conversation, I asked R how she came to hear about letterboxing. "A long time ago" she explained but she never did anything about it because she "didn't need letterboxing as a reason to get out and hike and enjoy the outdoors!" Several years later, a friend and their children discovered letterboxing in VT and came back raving about it to R. It was then that she started - last year at some point - and brought her other 2 friends who were also at this gather into the fold as well. "I've been reading your blog," she whispered to me. "I really enjoy it - especially the interviews." Needless to say, R is my new best friend and has been added to our will!

This was a gathering like those when Sue & I first starting letterboxing. Not a lot of boxes planted at the event - just time to exchange and socialize; renew friendships and begin new ones. Some of the letterboxers were from the Kensington area and it was great to meet new locals - some with whom we've corresponded and others whom we didn't even know existed! Also boxers traveled from MA, NY and RI.

Thanks to Astrii and her parents, Celtic Roots, for putting on a most enjoyable afternoon. It was just what the letterboxing doctor ordered for a snowy February afternoon! The only element missing was Sue - who joined the group later for the after gather pizza.

We'd also like to thank all of you who have emailed us with your concerns when we first posted about our hiatus. The 50 or so emails we received were unbelievable - from friends and strangers alike. In watching the hits this blog has received in the days we didn't post, there was no appreciable decline in visitors. It seems that many of you used the time we were away to further explore our site - discovering the goodies hidden here and there. That was a real gratifying statistic to discover.

One of the activities we've pursued while on hiatus was sitting in front of the television enthralled by the election coverage, the debates for both parties and the ensuing primaries. And - never too far from letterboxing - this election hobby has fostered a few new sets of ideas for boxes that should make their way to a hidey hole soon. As you know - everything eventually has a letterboxing tie-in with the Pinecones!

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Passing of One of Us . . .

I heard from MayEve today via email of the passing of her dear friend and fellow letterboxer, Ruby Tuesday at the young age of 56.

We would like to respectfully ask that you keep a good thought or prayer for her family and friends that she left behind. Ruby's online obituary is located here.

"There's no time to lose, I heard her say
Catch your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time
Lose your dreams
And you will lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I'm gonna miss you..."

Image courtesy of TeamKing

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, February 11, 2008