Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Treasure Hunt

Last Thursday as I was camped out on the couch recuperating I read this post about letterboxing and immediately thought, we have got to do this! I've been wanting to go geocaching for quite some time and this, to me, was like geocaching the old fashion way. So I looked on Atlas Quest to see if there were any letterboxes in our area and guess what, there's not only one, but quite a few!  And one of them was hidden on our running trail.   

I thought this would also be a perfect tie-in to one of the items on my Fall Soul Season list, take pictures during fall colors.

The basics of letterboxing are this: a small plastic box is hidden in a public area.  Inside the box you will find a log book and a stamp. The letterboxer also carries their own log book and a personal stamp.  After printing out your clue (I got ours off of Atlas Quest) you set out in search of the box. Upon finding it you leave your stamp and comments in the letterbox journal and you use the letterbox stamp to record it in your journal, along with any notes you want to write about the hunt.

After printing out our clue we gave it to the most responsible person in our party to keep it safe while we loaded everyone up and headed to the trail.   

(he took his job very seriously)

Our clue said to take a short walk down the trail until we came to the bridle path...

Our walk took a little longer than anticipated because we had to stop often to take in the sights and smells...

but finally we came to the bridle path, which led us into the forest.

We hiked into the woods, pushing branches out of the way and stepping over fallen limbs.

Well, most of us hiked.

After following our clue, which included directions such as "take 12 steps North, and then turn and take 24 steps to the East" we finally came upon the area in which the box was hidden.

(I should note here that Collin's paces were right on, while mine and my mom's were WAY off - thankfully he was with us or we might still be looking for that box.)

We looked and looked..

...took some stumbles...

...and looked some more.

Collin and I could practically taste success, we knew that box had to be right under our noses, but we couldn't find it.  My mom was ready to give up when we both got down on our hands and knees and started moving leaves and picking up limbs. Hutt was strapped to my chest, which made digging a little difficult, but there was no way we were leaving without finding that box.  And then all of a sudden there it was, clear as day.  We were pumped!

After reading through the journal and seeing who had been there before us we packed it back up, re-hid the box, and trekked out of the forest.  The trees, which I've been pretty disappointed with this year, suddenly looked more vivid, the breeze was warmer, and we were already making plans for our next treasure hunt.


Em said...

Yay, letterboxing! I already did a search to see if there were any in our area. There are quite a few, so hopefully we can make this a fun and FREE family activity. :) Great pics in this post. I loved the one with the most responsible person in your party...hehe. Thanks for sharing!

Kira said...

I love this idea...we may have to try it!

Patten Family said...

Greg and I went Geocaching when we were dating and lost in the woods! The sun was setting and I was getting more and more nervous. But we survived (obviously).

PS: I find it so funny that we both don't find out the sex of our babies, we both have the same bouncer and now I see we both have the same carseat for the babies. PS: Hutton looks JUST like Keaton!