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, April 23, 2008

Lost Roman Coin Post = CLUE!

Thanks to all of you who sent heartfelt emails of concern over the loss of my good luck piece - my Roman coin. I wanted to carry this caper a little further but I felt guilty duping you all like that. I'm amazed at how many of you were concerned!

I first thought of clueing this box in this fashion after a recent post on the big list by Silver Eagle, that veteran boxer from TX. During one of his posts, he brought up the subject of giving better directions to clue locations. SI thanked all who took part in the discussion after the thread had run its course - many with differing opinions (moi included!) but the tone stayed civil. SI said that he thought the big list was dead and wondered before this incident, why Randy bothered keeping it going. That got me to thinking about the days when I read every post as if it were a clue; then at its face value!

I wanted to use this post - Please Help Me! - as a method to re-introduce the talk list as a clue repository. "Back in the day," when Sue & I first joined letterboxing and the big list, clues were hidden within the context of certain posts. New boxers ask all the time - "Are there any other places to find clues other than LBNA and Atlas Quest?" I hope our little excercise helps prove that there are many ways - creative ways - to post clues for a letterbox other than the mundane methods we all currently use by simply putting them on one of the 2 sites.

Nothing I've done here is very innovative; it's all been done before many times by those much smarter than me. It's just another method to clue a box called Roman Coin that might show a little creativity and raise the bar a bit. I hope you will all join me in challenging yourself to come up with new and different methods of clues so that this game remains fresh and keeps us on our toes (both on the trail and mentally!)

If I can do it; anyone can! This hobby will be all the better for it!

posted by Mark and Sue at Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Please Help Me . . .

The following was posted to several letterboxing talk lists:

Hi Boxers,

Sue & I walked to Timberlin Park in Kensington, CT tonight after
supper to get a few letterboxes. And sometime during that walk, I lost
a rare, Roman coin that was a gift from my college roommate. This coin
has been with me as my lucky charm in Dartmoor and many other places.

I had it in my pocket when I found Astri's monthly boxes and it was
there after we found Butterfly Suzy's new Yo-Yo box. After that, I
noticed a huge, debarked stump that it looked as if the woodpeckers
had visited and that was the last I remember it being in my pocket.

I'm sick about losing it and I know, in the past, others have posted
about lost hats, glasses, etc. I hope the letterboxing community will
come to my aid.



My Rare Roman Coin

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Picture Perfect Weekend~

Sue & I headed to VT for the weekend and had a wonderful time. The weather was perfect - not a cloud in the sky on either day and temps in the low 70's.

Vermont is at its best during mud-season - we think! Very little mud this weekend, thanks to warmer than normal temperatures the previous week. Many of the locals are on vacation this time of year and the other property owners in our complex stay away this time of year so it was like we were the only people around!

We found time to enjoy the birds and could hear the loud tap-tapping of the pileated woodpecker. While we never caught a glimpse of them, we could "hear" their progress up the side of the mountain, as they advanced their way from tree-to-tree. Very few bugs are around this time of year and the beautiful blue sky was a joy to behold.

Fairly early on Saturday, Sue & I headed out to find a very special letterbox! After a few chores on Saturday afternoon, we enjoyed a nice dinner and capped off the night while sitting around the firepit on the deck - planning our spring and summer adventures - including our upcoming FL trip this coming Saturday and our fast-approaching Letterboxing Cruise!

We hope that whatever you did this weekend, you enjoyed nature's beauty and the wonderful weather that we were graced with in New England and that you had someone special with which to share it!

Have a good week!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, April 20, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008

It's The Journey . . .

One of the first questions we're asked when we meet people is what we like best about letterboxing. Without hesitation, our answer is the title of this little narrative - the journey. Now the "journey" can be taken two ways - the hike to the letterbox or our overall journey in letterboxing. Either way, we love the journey!

Many times while boxing with Sue and others, I'll be bird-watching or enjoying the scenery - the rushing Metolius and grand peaks in the distance in Oregon, the patchwork-like "quilts" of Dartmoor with its majestic, granite Tors, the 360 degree views at Putney Mountain in Vermont or the stunning beauty of where rock meets sea on Mt. Desert Island in Maine. I clearly remember Funhog and Don (of Don & Gwen) laughing at me as I seemed to be disjointed from the quest at hand. I was too busy taking it all in! I was enjoying the journey! As we approach our 6th letterboxing anniversary, I began to wax poetic!

It might seem, at times, that I'm just along for the ride and I guess - maybe I am! It's the smell of the pines and the song of the birds, the passing of rumors and sharing of special WOM clues with other boxers, the views, that weird-shaped rock, the awesome blue of the sky - all of the sights and sounds that add to the memories of the journey.

Our memorable personal letterboxing journey began on June 16, 2002 when I took Sue away for a major milestone birthday that she was less than pleased about reaching! "Consider the alternative," I told her but to no avail. So I secretly made reservations at a B & B in southern CT for the weekend. "Pack your bag for a weekend," I told her and we were off to Essex, CT. Unbeknownst to Sue, I had purchased a commercial stamp of a pinecone and a ruled journal (both items that I was to learn much later we not the best choices!) and ran off some clues in Essex by a family called The Drew Clan. I was intrigued with their website and secretly packed this little packet of clues, stamp & logbook.

The morning of June 16, we headed off for our first letterboxing hunt - Sue was very excited. Many months previous she had spotted an article in the Hartford Courant that had a picture of eagles and the accompanying story about letterboxing including the reference to the now famous Smithsonian magazine article. She thought it was something we might do together and we talked about it briefly but put the article on the shelf "for the future."

We had the clues in hand for Zoom Zoom Zoom by the Drew Clan. We followed the clue - passed the library, crossed at the crosswalk, etc. And we reached the end of the clues. Now - what was a juniper? We figured it out but realized early on that we had to study up on our trees and all of these sisters! Two sisters, three sisters . . . We made mental notes to check out the internet for a primer on trees but at this moment we savored the view and the victory of finding our first box!

Several personal traits proved to be very useful in our letterboxing journey - Sue always loved a challenge (she married me after all!) and is very persistant. I am curious by nature and love to search and wonder "why?." With some of those traits in hand, we found the big talk list and some individual clues that were hidden in all the nooks and crannies of the internet. This letterboxing thing was getting interesting!

Our first big jump into the letterboxing ocean was one cold January Saturday in 2007, when Sue & I attended our first gathering with our 2 nieces. We arrived at the first Moose Hill gathering and saw many cars in the parking lot. Once inside, we were amazed at the people! After dropping off our potluck item (chili, I think) we headed upstairs to the restrooms. There, at the top of the stairs sat a man who said simply "Welcome - I'm Jay Drew." Oh my God, I thought, this is Jay from the Drew Clan! I had been to his website at least 100 times!

We all walked downstairs and starting exchanging with others. What a crazy scene it was! People of all sizes and shapes and ages! We then ended up going outside in the 17 degree weather to find some of the letterboxes on the grounds and were met by a couple who had a young son with them. "We are TeamGreenDragon" they said and thus a strong friendship developed that has lasted since our first words of introduction. That day we met many special people who would remain close to us over the years: Deanne the lazy letterboxer & Dave the letterboxing ham (although I don't remember them from that gathering,) Butterfly and Lobsta, RTRW and Bookworm, our hosts CSCM and RustyPuff, Pine Tree and a whole host of others too numerous to mention.

Since that first gathering, Sue & I have had the pleasure to attend 2 special gatherings with Godfrey and Anne Swinscow in Dartmoor National Park, several events in Oregon with our porcine host and great friend, Funhog and Der Mad Stamper; a Detroit area gathering where we met SpringChick and others; VA Beach where we ended a vacation with a small gathering overlooking the beach and hosted by Shell & BullDawg; a lovely lakeside gather in Ithica hosted by Angele and other gathers in Maine with Phyto, the Cape gather hosted by "the girls," and who knows where we'll show up next! And at each stop, we met boxers who were strangers at first but became part of our extended letterboxing family.

The next stop on this continuing journey takes us to the Orlando area in Florida in a week and a small gathering set up for us by Three Hearts on May 2. Although we've been to Florida many times, we're looking forward to getting our first Florida exchanges and boxes! After that, we hit our Letterboxing Cruise on June 22 for an awesome week at sea and on the immaculate, pink sands of our favorite island - Bermuda with 35 boxing friends. May is time for Spring into Boxing hosted by MayEve and Wild Rover. August brings us to the Murder Mystery gathering at the Austin Hill Inn in West Dover, VT! September and the cooler weather brings us out to the mother-of-all-gathers, We Live and Breathe Letterboxing in Oregon - a gather that we and the rest of the country are awaiting. We end the year with our Bed & Breakfast gathering that will be happening in November. Whew - that's 7 scheduled gathers in CT, VT, NH, Bermuda, and OR. Do you think we're addicted?

Now matter where we roam and how long this letterboxing journey lasts, Sue & I relish every minute of it and we're so thankful to those who have befriended us along the way and all of the planters from around the world whose boxes we've found.

It's been a great journey thus far and the future looks even better!

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, April 18, 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Boatload of Fun!!!

Sue & I spent 6.5 hours today in East Hampton, CT doing a series called Noah's Ark. This 29 box series, coordinated and planted by Flutterby, features pairs of animals carved by some of CT's best carvers as well as a handful of other carvers from across the US, including the Ark and Noah and spouse!

As if these 29 weren't enough, several other boxers decided to fill in with missing animals not in the original series so they have added their own to the menagerie! Two-by-two we found them; hither and yon!

The series is hidden in Salmon Brook State Forest - an unspoiled natural habitat of ups and downs that is host to some ancient trees of all species. While the weather looked iffy this morning before we left, we only ran into a few very brief showers and really enjoyed boxing in the cool temps.

It was a wonderful day that found our pedometer reading 5.16 miles when we finally returned to our car and our logbook showing a record 44 finds in one day! While we don't generally count our finds, we were naturally curious as to how many different pairs we had found - including the Beatnik HH by Wisconsin Hiker. It sure was a blast and we thank Flutterby and her many carvers (and those other creators who filled in with missing animals!) It was a great way to begin the week!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Finally - A Whole New Twist . . .

Ryan/Green Tortuga of Atlas Quest fame, has finally done it! He's taken letterboxing to a whole new level and we're excited! Let's face it - this new venture will probably bring thousands of new, eager letterboxers into the fold.

Atlas Quest has partnered with the hamburg giant to produce a new letterboxing website for the masses - McLetterboxing, if you will!

So visit the site, click on the links and join in the fun! Check out the drive-bys in your area.

I'm lovin' it!

posted by Mark and Sue at Tuesday, April 01, 2008