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, May 23, 2008

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

While you are out and about this Memorial Day weekend, we hope you will remember the troops all over the world keeping us safe here in the US.

And remember those who have given their last full measure so that we might live our lives. Never forget their sacrifice and the fact that they have given us the ultimate gift - their lives.

Have a great weekend!

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, May 23, 2008

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Vermont Morning

Friday night Sue & I ventured to Vermont for a meeting I had on Saturday. Driving up Friday night in the rain was such an effort - heavy rain with fog and mist combined with the fatigue of another busy week here in Pineconeville. This was the very last thing we wanted to do!

Waking on Saturday, I found an unexpected and glorious morning taking shape - with the sun shining and the birds singing - weather that was not predicted. In the quiet of the morning on our deck, letting freshly brewed coffee clear out the night's cobwebs, the following reflection popped into my head and I thought I would share it with you.

Vermont Morning

The morning quiet -
A symphony of solitude.
Then, a sudden burst of breeze
brings forth the rustling of leaves.

Amidst bright blue sky overhead,
I plan my day - coffee in hand.
A protesting bird reminds me that I am
but a guest in this unspoiled, untouched land.

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, May 18, 2008

Heard a Letterboxing Rumor . . . .

Amidst all of the excitement of the Spring into Boxing Gathering, I forgot to mention that our sharp reporter's ears picked up on a rumor that day.

It seems there is a "series" of what some are calling "hole plug" letterboxes that have shown up around CT. These little devils have no clues but are located around the state in "likely places."

Have you ever seen something amiss as you walk along the trail? You know there isn't a clue for a box there but you overturn a rock or move that pile of leaves and voila - a letterbox! These "hole plugs" are planted in the same fashion - no clues but in hidey holes where you might expect there to be a box - and somewhat in plain or easy view from the trail.

Sue & I found one such "hole plug" box when we did Noah's Ark back several weeks ago. We heard at the gathering in East Hartford that there are 14 more of these boxes-without-clues out there in the state! Have you found any???

So, get out there & box and turn over some rocks!!!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, May 18, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Special Email from Der Mad Stamper!


I'd love it if you could let everyone know how much we appreciate the huge response we've been getting for our "We Live and Breathe Letterboxing" event. We'll be posting a list of attendees sometime soon, but for now let me just say that we're really excited about how many people have already registered to attend! We do still currently have space available, both as overnighters and Day-Trippers, but if people want to attend they shouldn't wait much longer to register. Nobody's gonna wanna miss out on all the fun we're planning in celebration of the first ten years of American letterboxing!

I'm thrilled that we're holding this event in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest. The region is known not only for its breathtaking scenery, but also for its highly creative letterbox clues. This gathering is going to be a perfect chance to get a taste of the beauty and innovation that make the PNW such a special place for 'boxing. There's gonna be picture clues, narratives, puzzles, riddles, and rhymes... not to mention plenty of straightforward, easy-to-follow clues for those moments when your brain just needs a little rest. You may also want to polish up your orienteering skills and be prepared for some old-fashioned, Dartmoor-style, compass triangulation clues.

Oh... did I mention night-boxing? I'm totally pumped about the night-boxing!! We're completely taking over a huge residence camp and its adjacent old-growth forest for the entire weekend, so there won't be anyone telling us that we're up past curfew and need to go to our cabins. We're gonna have a special series of letterbox clues that you'll only be able to decipher after dark with the help of your trusty flashlight! It's a slumber party in the woods... doesn't get much better than that!

But don't forget, this isn't just another letterboxing event. It's a freakin' celebration... a full-blown PARTY!! On Friday night there will be a fabulous barbeque to welcome everyone to the camp, followed by a special campfire circle with music, laughter, and (of course) S'mores! And throughout the weekend there's gonna be lots of fun and games, including frisbee golf, a swimmin' hole, and plenty of other indoor and outdoor activities. I promise we're gonna have something for everyone, regardless of whether or not they're into letterboxing.

The highlight of the celebration will be Saturday night, when we're hosting something we like to call the "Letterboxer's Masquerade Ball." We'll be encouraging people to dress up as their trail personas, favorite 'fantasy' characters, or whatever else they want to be for the night. There will be dance music, prizes, special performances, and even a little bit of karaoke thrown in just for laughs. The concept is that all the entertainment will be provided BY letterboxers, FOR letterboxers. So, if you've got any hidden talents, please step up and share them with your peeps! It's all in the name of FUN!!

For all the details, be sure to visit our official event website and check out the FAQ section.

I'm really looking forward to seeing you and Sue again, along with all the other people who are going to be attending this full-tilt blowout shindig. It's gonna be a blast!

Your Friend,

Der Mad Stamper

posted by Mark and Sue at Monday, May 12, 2008

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What a Day . . .

Saturday was quite a day for us!

Sue & I attended the Spring into Boxing 2008 gathering in East Hartford. This gather is always one of our favorites as it is organized by MayEve, RTRW, Music Woman and Wild Rover, which means great boxes and a real good time.

We arrived at the gather at about 1:30 and noticed that the room was pretty full - about 100 people had signed up and exchanging and general stamping was well underway when we arrived. Tony, Veronica, Butterfly and Donutz arrived as we did so we said our hellos and gave our hugs.

After stamping the event stamp - another stellar effort by RTRW, we stamped our name badges with our sig stamp and stamped 2 entries - one per person - for the raffle. The organizers decided to copy Astrii and Celtic Root's idea of not selling tickets for the requisite raffle but to let everyone have 1 entry per person. With the wonderful gifts on the raffle table at the Spring into Boxing gather, it worked out that every boxer went home with something.

As we greeted our hosts, Wild Rover made mention that I might like the raffle item on the right corner of the raffle table. There, in a protective plastic sleeve was a mint, April 1998 edition of the Smithsonian Magazine - the edition that featured the article that started letterboxing in the US - "They Live and Breathe Letterboxing." I tried to picture myself going home with this treasure but was realistic enough to know that my chances weren't that good! Funny, just yesterday I told Sue that one of the letterboxing items I would like to own someday would be this historic piece of boxing history.

Sue & I then waded into the letterboxing pool of exchanges and table top boxes. MayEve, who along with her brother, Wild Rover, are very creative and table toppers were a cut above the norm. Many of the table toppers were posted on AQ the night before but the bulk of them had a story that went with them. You felt like you were finding something special. There is always something special at this gather. Scarab sent part of Boch's Circus; which included several new boxes that weren't with the original circus when Sue & I proudly brought it to the Michigan gather several years ago so it was fun to stamp those into our journal.

Wild Rover several weeks before had let me in on a special series that he was planting with help from the rest of the committee. The series, Hospital Rock, would make its debut at this gather, and told about the history of healing done on Rattlesnake Mountain in Farmington. In the late 1700's, several physicians took the position that administering a smallpox vaccine, which was innovative at that time, would help protect people from contracting this dreaded disease. A makeshift hospital was established on Rattlesnake Mountain and treatment began, including prominent families from Farmington, Hartford and other parts of CT. Many of those treated enscribed their names in a flat rock near the hospital. While the hospital is gone; the rock remains. This series is a must do and Sue & I plan to head up there the first open weekend day we have. I venture to say that this series is one of the most exciting ones to come to CT in a long time.

Sue & I were so pleased to see Rubaduc! We haven't seen the Duc since our first Dartmoor trip, we believe, although we do correspond via email. It was great to see her and to finally meet her new beau, Gizz. He seems to be the perfect match to her and the Duc had a glow on her that we've never seen before! Another old friend we saw from our first Dartmoor trip was Alexis, Talking Turtle, from NY. It was great to see Lex and catch up a bit on our lives. Patrick & Amy showed up mid afternoon with their 2 sons and I even held Sam for a bit. He wanted to come to me to examine my mustache - which he grew tired of very quickly and went back to the welcoming arms of Bookworm!

The time came for the raffle and our name was called for a homemade tissue box cover. And we waited a bit, ever watchful of that Smithsonian Magazine. We assumed correctly that the magazine would be the final prize given away. Some time mid-raffle, our names were called and I won a headlamp - which suited me fine because I know it will come in handy for our night boxing at the We Live & Breathe Gathering coming up in September in OR.

Speaking of that gathering, I heard from Marmalade who was supposed to attend this CT gather but was sad to inform us that her business trip to Boston was canceled and she would not attend the gather. She mentioned that there is still room to join the rest of the hearty for this historic gathering in September. Be sure to book soon. Info can be found here on the gathering website. Be sure to register and if you have any doubts, poke around the website for the weekend schedule of events and Funhog's whirlwind tour of area attractions. We hope to see you there!

Anyway, as disappointed as we were at not getting the Smithsonian, we were happy to have the headlamp that we would have had to purchase for the September gather. We watched the rest of the happy faces as the raffle continued. Then, drum roll, the last name was pulled for the Smithsonian Magazine and Music Woman was the winner. Lucky her!

A group of us helped the committee clean up, fold up the chairs and some of the tables and Sue, RTRW, Bookworm, Brandy and myself left the gathering with a promise to join the group at the restaurant for the post gathering celebrations. But first, we were headed a few miles away to get the Spongebob Squarepants series carved by RTRW. After fighting the mosquitos the whole way, we found the 5 boxes and headed to the restaurant to join the rest of the group.

Once settled at our table, the late kids ordered and Wild Rover came over and sat next to me. "I was going to do this at the gather but I didn't want to embarrass you so I thought this would be better here." He showed me a folder and said to me "This is a lifetime achievement award for you" and he handed me the folder. Everyone at the table stopped to see what was inside.

And inside was a pristine copy of the April 1998 Smithsonian Magazine! I struggled to keep my emotions in check but this unexpected tribute and surprise was way more than I ever dreamed or deserved. I look at the minor things we do for letterboxing as our treat - I love this hobby and I've always said that I get way more out of it than I give. And here was that coveted magazine in my hand - not only pristine but as a tribute of sorts.

I hugged Wild Rover and thanked him with what words I could muster. RTRW was quick with her camera and grabbed a shot of the magazine between the two of us. I was still in shock. Wild Rover reminded me that he has asked me in an email if I had the magazine many weeks previous when we were emailing each other about the gathering, Hospital Rock and several other items. When he heard that I didn't have the magazine, he proceeded to purchase 3 of these historic volumes from a dealer - one for the gathering raffle, one for himself and the third for me.

Words are not enough to convey the thanks and the gratitude that I feel. This is one of the nicest gestures I've ever received. Even today, as I rode around the yard on my lawnmower some 24 hours later, I still could not believe I own this magazine - and through the kindness and thoughtfulness of Wild Rover and his family. It is truly a day I will long remember. And never will I look at this magazine without remembering all that this game means to me; the wonderful adventures of which we've been privileged to experience, the various places along the way, our unfolding love for all outdoors and the true blessing that nature is but, most of all, the friends - true friends - that we have met along the way on this journey. Thanks Bill & Laurie, Gilly and Liam for a gift that I feel is totally undeserved but so thankful to have received!

Yes - it was truly a special day for Mr. Pinecone; one that I won't ever forget!

posted by Mark and Sue at Sunday, May 11, 2008

Friday, May 09, 2008

A New Personal Traveler . . .

For those of you
with a wild side,
check this out!

posted by Mark and Sue at Friday, May 09, 2008

Thursday, May 08, 2008

News, News, News . . .

There are a few stories on which we'd like to report and thought that this format might work as a vehicle by which we can convey that info.


That was the battle cry this morning and throughout the day as waking boxers clicked on the Northeast regional talk list, looking for the latest posts.

What did they find? Nothing - nada - zero - bupkus!

It seems that this beloved talk list has gotten deleted through no fault of the moderators/owners, TeamGreenDragon. In an email to Lori this afternoon, she wondered if her weekend problems with her Yahoo email was the reason that Yahoo decided to pull the plug on this historic group.

Thanks to Jay Drew, our mentor, a new LBNE talk list is up and ready to go. It's unfortunate that the posts from the old talk list may be forever lost. Brian, of TGD, has posted that he has sent an email to the Yahoo people asking them to restore the old group. We'll keep you informed of the result. In the meantime, those of you hankering to rejoin or join the new list can do it here.

Thanks to Jay for his quick-wittedness and to TGD for trying to correct the mistake that some trigger-happy dweeb has made!

Update: I just received an email from Lori of TGD with additional news on the old LBNE talk list. She and Brian have been on the phone and email all evening with Yahoo and they "hope to have it restored soon. We'll post the "big list" once we know what is going to happen."

Thanks, TGD, for the latest news on the LBNE. Watch the big list for the announcement.


This should serve as your reminder to attend the annual Spring Into Boxing gather in East Hartford, CT this Saturday, May 10, between 1 and 5pm at the East Hartford Community Cultural Center with a communal pizza feast immediately following at Charlie's Pizza and Fine Food.

This gather is a joint effort by CT boxers extraordinaire: MayEve, RTRW, Music Woman and Wild Rover. Watch the major clue repositories for new special boxes that will debut at that event on Friday night. At last check, 114 people had signed up, including Sue & I, who wouldn't miss this event for anything!

Don't just read about this gathering on Sunday - attend it and be part of the story!


Sue and I returned last Saturday from a wonderful week spent at the House of the Mouse - Walt Disney World. We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in the park and were enthralled with the vistas of animals living as they would on the savannahs in Africa. We enjoyed our morning coffee on our porch, watching zebra and long horned cattle, giraffe - included a knock-kneed newborn, born at 6 feet in height so they can reach their mother to nurse, gazelles and numerous other creatures.

While there, we found and planted our first Florida boxes, 2 of which we've already published and one more to come. The new published boxes are Nelson! and Hitchhikin' Mutt.

We finished our idyllic week with a meet & greet arranged by ThreeHearts with the central FL boxers. Since this was such a small group - about 15 to 20 - we brought along our Pepe-cones to share with the group. During the day, we added 3 more pinecones to our collection finely crafted by ThreeHearts, Sits N Knits and Kilroy.

It was great to meet the boxers whose boxes we had found during that previous week. Thanks to all who attended and a special thanks to ThreeHearts, who played hostess, arranged the meet & greet and took us to Dartmoor West for the day and to Sits N Knits, who came along with us on Friday as well. Y'all made a couple of Northern pinecones feel right at home!

posted by Mark and Sue at Thursday, May 08, 2008