Green and Orange and Gold
Just about three weeks ago, Teagan and I went on a Girl Scout Letterboxing Adventure. I’d always enjoyed hiking, walking through a forest, being outside. As long as it’s not too hot. Then it’s not fun at all, and I’d rather be by a pool. But it was a lovely day, and combined with the treasure hunting aspect of letterboxing, we all had a fun time.
I’m not quite sure why it’s as fun as it is. You go hiking with some clues and try to follow them to find a plastic box hidden under leaves and rocks. The boxes are often dirty and there are spiders and bugs and stuff. But it is like a treasure hunt. Inside each box is a stamp, usually hand carved. Often, the stamps are fun, sometimes they are beautiful. That’s probably why Teagan liked it, she had permission to get herself dirty and dig around for “treasure.” I liked being outside and enjoyed the challenge of solving the clue enough that I didn’t mind too much.
For whatever reason she liked it, and I had enough fun to humor her when she asked to go again. So I told her we would see what we could do, and looked at the websites listed on the simple logbook they gave us on our adventure. And I found letterboxes around us. And more letterboxes around us. And it was more fun finding boxes “in the wild” instead of planted for a bunch of girl scouts to work on a badge for the day.
We all went letterbox hunting. Even Stu tagged along, though I think he’s indifferent about it.
Ashin’s Log Book After Our Mystic Hunt
As Teagan, and I, both enjoyed it so much, I looked around for books for us to use as log books instead of pieces of paper. And once Ashlin expressed how much she enjoyed it, and how excited she was to make her own stamp, I ordered a book for her too. She was very, very happy to get it and put her first stamp in it.
We’ve gone out almost once a weekend since then. Sometimes even after school if the boxes are close by and the clues seem straightforward enough.
I’ve even gone out myself a few times. I admit it. I love hiking this time of year. It’s just the right temperature – not too hot, not too cold – and the forests are almost magical. Like today. I went to a park not too far away – Alice Newton Street Memorial Park – and walked almost two miles looking for letterboxes. I didn’t notice that I walked through lunch. The park was so beautiful. It felt cared for. Not necessarily cleaned or maintained, but that it was groomed and encouraged to grow. Almost magical.
I have a few more boxes in my log book than Teagan, and of course Ashlin. Some of the trails aren’t quite suited for a five year old, though don’t tell her that. Some of the trails, like yesterday, although pretty, I wouldn’t want Teagan on either.
But trails like today, I would go on again, and again, and again. Even though I have already found all the boxes that forest contains.
Panorama from the top of a cliff – Yesterday
Super tall cliff – Yesterday