I've been having such a nice visit with my sister. She flew into Charleston, WV on Tuesday afternoon and we've been doing a lot of talking, walking, and eating ever since.
At some point, she got into a "hobby" called letterboxing. Don't know how many people are familiar with that - I had never heard of it. But it's been going on since the 1800's apparently! The way it works is someone leaves a "letterbox" sequestered away somewhere in the world and posts clues to its whereabouts on the internet site of the group he/she belongs to. Other letterboxers can search that site for letterboxes that might be in their vicinity or in a place they plan to visit and then try and find them. If you find one, you open it up and there's a little book where you put your stamp, where you're from, and the date.
So, before she came to West Virginia, Chinch looked to see if there were any letterboxes near me and, by darn, there were! Yesterday, we had our first search and will do another one today. Yesterday we had quite a hike up hills, through woods, etc., etc., pretty much freezing cause it was cold!
This photo on the left is where we parked looking back down some of the road we just drove up. We were way up in the hills at this point. In the photo on the right, Chinch is started up the stairs towards that observation tower above her. We had some trouble following the clues to this point, but finally got ourselves on the right track. From the tower, there were two or three more clues taking you to the point where you think the letterbox should be. We had to poke around for a while, going downhill over here, back uphill and then downhill over there, and finally...
All in all, quite an exciting morning and quite a workout for the old legs. I think the one we're going to try and find today should be somewhat easier. It's somewhere in Ritter Park and from the sounds of the clues, should be on flat ground rather than up in the hills. We shall see...
I'm curious, if this was being done back in the 1800's, how it worked. The internet makes it easy to learn where a box has been hidden and to let the person hiding the box know that you've found it. But back then, it seems like it would all have been kind of accidental - just sort of coming across one, entering your info in the book and then figuring that at some point the "hider" would be checking the box to see if anyone had found it. My sister's letterbox group is called AtlasQuest and there's probably more information there on the history of letterboxing which I will read sometime. Also, if this appeals to any readers, that would be a place you could visit to see if there would be any letterboxes in your area that you could try to find.
- Mary Lynne
- West Virginia
- When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!
P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).
I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.