Thursday, September 7, 2006


Yesterday B was scheduled to go to UM to be part of a research study. To make the trip worthwhile, I looked up for a site near the University. I had read an article about letterboxing and had visited the site a few days ago. The idea is that people hide little treasure boxes wherever, then post the clues to find them on the website. Now the "treasure" inside is not going to be gold coins or other riches, but instead just some little trinket, if that - at the least, a journal book and a rubber stamp, with which you are to stamp your own journal, then stamp the letterbox journal with your own stamp. I guess this is one of those "the journey is the adventure" kind of things. It's the precursor to the current geo-caching, same concept but using your GPS gadget. So, I gathered a blankbook and some rubber stamps and an ink pad, then picked the girls up from school and went over to the University fo B's study. She did that, then we began our letterboxing - I brought clues for 2 boxes.

Letterbox #1 - Went to the library as directed for the frist, went in, up the elevator, found the stacks, wandered thru the aisles - and apparantly the library has been remodeled or reorganized b/c after going to the shelf, taking so many paces, and looking on the book shelf - there was no book as indicated. Disappointment. Went on to box #2.

Letterbox #2 - Exit the library, find the school mascot out front, go 50 paces, turn left, up the steps, around the trees, across the street, around the building, across the parking lot, follow the tower in the distance, find 2 silver boxes, look in the north corner. (A good mile or so). Nothing. There was a tree, looked un the tree - there was an old gym bag with some clothes hanging out of it - not even with a 10' pole was I going to touch it. We're batting 0 here as the letterboxes go. We reversed our steps, back across campus and ate in the Student Union, they liked that.

But during our walk, we challenged ourselves to see how many statues of the school mascot we could find - and then took a picture with each. We got about 11 (the kids say 17 but that's because we passed a few of the same ones again). And then there was the 1 in front of Starbucks that we had jump out the car, and run across the street to take its picture.

2 hours and 2 1/2 miles later, I'm not to thrilled about this. And the kids aren't either - in the movies, you never see the pirate NOT find the treasure. I've got directions for a couple more letterboxes. We'll try maybe 2 more and if they don't work out, we'll have to chalk this little game up and find something else for all our spare time.

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