August 21, 2009


Nine photos is more than I usually post. The photos are not particularly good because it's not easy being a photographer when you're tramping through woods and fields with a seven year old boy.

For those who don't know, letterboxing is a "treasure hunt" style outdoor activity. Letterboxers hide small, weatherproof boxes in publicly-accessible places (like parks) and post clues to finding the box online on one of several Web sites. We used Phillip and I were letterbox finders not the hiders.

Letterboxes usually contain a log book, a rubber stamp (often hand-carved) and sometimes an ink pad. Finders make an imprint of the letterbox's stamp on their personal log book and leave an imprint of their personal stamp on the letterbox's log book. You can add your trail name and date next to your personal stamp imprint that you've made on the log book. You can also add a personal comment about your experience finding the letterbox.

Okay....I'm getting too wordy.

Phillip & Grandma Donna.
I'm Holding The Hair Off His Eyes.
He's Eating Red Licorice.
Our Hiking Bag Is Pack With:
Rubber Stamp - Pen
Log Book - Ink Pad - Compass.

Follow The Gravel Trail
Due South.

Take The Footpath To The West.
Do Not Bear To the South.
Stay Along The River.

You Will Approach A Clearing
On The South Side Of The Path.
Stop When You Reach A Point
Where You Are Fully Abreast
Of The Clearing.
Bushwhack To The Lone
Pine Tree In The Clearing.

Underneath It
Covered By A Bark Cap
Is The Box You Seek

Remove The Forest Leaves
Ash Stamp From The
Letterbox And Make
An Imprint On Your Log Book

Leave An Imprint Of
Your Personal Stamp,
The Eagle, On The
Letterbox's Log book.
Include Your Trail Name,
Skull, And The Date.

Once You've Finished "Stamping Up"
Replace The Container
As You Found It
Under The Bark Cap
Flash A Smile.
Mission Accomplished.

The clues were obviously more detailed than what I've put with the photos. Lots of opportunities to use the compass and count our paces.

Looking this over it doesn't sound all that interesting, but trust me the experience was priceless.


  1. It really does sound like lots of fun, but I've always heard it called geocaching. Good old fashioned treasure hunt is more like it! I don't have regular milkweed growing in my garden, I have swamp milkweed. It was labeled as Butterfly weed, but it's flowers are pink.

  2. Phillip is a cutie. Sounds like a good time.

  3. Msrobin - One of the differences is that geocaching uses a GPS unit and letterboxing uses written clues and a compass to find the treasure. Other differences, too. Same idea though.

    MissyM - Hope you got my email. I'm unable to leave a comment on your blog:(

  4. How fun! I'm going to see if there are any near here. I know my girls would love to try it.
    Phillip is so cute, and what fun memories he's going to have. It seems like you're always doing something fun with him.

  5. I just came back to tell you I've bookmarked the site. There are quite a few near us, thanks for the info!

  6. how fun was this and your pictures to document the walk/hike were fabulous !

    we didn't do things like this when mine were little :(

    but as adults we have done it....what they call cacheing if that is spelled right....and wow, is it ever hard !

  7. Very fun! And what is Grandma Donna's trail name?!

  8. Very interesting, I'd say, both the Letterboxing AND the Grandson's Adventure.

    I think DH saw a Geocacher or Letterbox person a couple of years ago. An SUV was stopped at the crossroads, and a young teenager was coming from the edge of our woods. He couldn't imagine what she was doing. I'll have to check the sites and see if our area has one.

    You might not have seen Janie's entry on my blog, but she revealed the bait for attracting me in the fall and spring -- Purple Tulips! If those boys plant tulips in your garden, I'll be your reader forever.

  9. That looks like fun!

    Did you see that everyone who entered the drawing on my blog for the cobrahead hand weeder wins one? Please email so I can send you email with details on how to get yours!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  10. I love letter boxing! Thanks for the reminder of a fun thing Jim and I need to do again, soon. My mom was written up in the Destin Log several years ago for a letterbox she placed on a little island there.
    Looks like you had fun!

  11. Hi sweet Donna, glad to see you posting again. I'm way back with reading all the blogs but I'm at ease reading yours every single time. Can't find the spirit today to comment on you last ones so I just leave it at this one.

    What a busy life you had the last couple of days. Great to see you mom so vivid and seeing her with her best buddy is wonderful.

    Your garden look stunning as usual and you grandson's are sweeties. Love that letterboxing thing. But I don't know if it would ever work out here... people might steal it along the way.

    Have a great sunday my friend.
    Hugs Dagmar

  12. I hadn't heard of letterboxing before. It looks like fun. You are a great grandmother, doing so much with Phillip.

  13. You are sweet grandma to take little Philip letterboxing, I love the way you showed us the trail and let us see him stamp his book. Very cute!
    You live in a nice, woodsy area!
    Fun for adventures!

  14. Catherine@agardeninprogress - Made me happy to know you found some letterbox locations in your area.

    Beth - We didn't do things like this either. Played kick the can and starlight, moonlight.

    Sue - My trail name is Dexter and my stamp is an ant.

    Nell Jean - I have not one tulip growing in my yard, but I'll go out right now and buy some bulbs to plant if it will bring you north:)

    Carol - I did see that we were all winners and I emailed you. Can't wait to rid my yard of every single weed. Thanks, again.

    ArtCricket2 - Very interesting to me that you and Jim do letterboxing and also your mother. Sounds hard to me to hide the box and come up with the clues.

    Barefoot from Heaven - I know you've been through a rough time and I wish all sunny skies for you now. Nice to hear from you.

    sweet bay - I don't know about being a "great grandmother" but I enjoy it more than almost anything else.

    Rosey Pollen - Every time I'm with that child, I feel happy and forget everything that's bothering me.

  15. Wow, you are much braver than I would be. I can't imagine trying to keep up with my five year old grandson on such a deal as this. Too much energy!

  16. We do think alike when it comes to flowers! I now have four phlox, David, Laura, Nicky, and Petite Miracle Grace. So far, Nicky is the winner in beauty. I don't have the orange butterfly weed, but wish I did. I have the pink one, the swamp milkweed. But I now have three monarch caterpillars living there, so I don't mind one bit that's it the pink one!

  17. I love this idea. I've never heard of it before. I'll have to check out the website.

    How clever!

  18. Brenda - I know what you mean about the energy thing. When he leaves, I need a good 24 hours to recharge my battery.

    Msrobin - Your comment reminds me that my butterfly weed is blooming and I need to take a picture of it.

    Lindalou - We all know how clever I am. ha-ha (I'm not clever at all)

  19. What a fun time together. He really is handsome guy. What a fun post. Thanks for sharing.

  20. I hadn't heard of that. You and Philip sure find fun things to do together!

  21. Bonnie - I have a sister named Bonnnie. Luv that name.

    Sue - Letterboxing is new to me, too. We hope to do more of it.

  22. My wife and daughter (and occasionally, me) have been letterboxing for three years. We've planted our own around Buffalo and elswhere. My wife has found letterboxes in Europe. There's one in the store outside the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam (you have to ask for it!). Some of the stamps are well-crafted and quite beautiful.

  23. The post and the pictures are so great I keep coming back and reading and looking over and over again. What a fun thing to do!

  24. You surely had fun with your grandson! It looks like great fun! Perfect 'hunt' for a young boy. It reminds me (a little) of an activity my son did w/Boyscouts a few years back. He's 12, almost 13 now...but would still enjoy it, I'm sure. Phillip can learn so many things about gardening, trees, and nature from that activity. Just be sure to put lots of bugspray on, because since I've had lyme disease, the need for that has become more than apparent to me. In fact, I haven't gone outside in my yard without feeling paranoid. I'm not having as much fun as I used to because of it! Hopefully I will be able to get rid of this but it can be a very serious illness. Kids need to learn about nature and be able to enjoy it though, and I still highly advocate that!

  25. What a neat idea -- I had never heard of letterboxing. I did a search and found we have some here in our city. I'm going to learn more about it and try to take my younger son. Great photo story!


For you to take the time to leave a comment means a lot to me. You make my heart happy.