Saturday, June 30, 2012

And another thing...

I recently went to a work event and as a gift from the company organizing it, they gave a nice Starfrit salad lunch kit thing to everyone. Upon taking my seat and seeing this, I exclaimed, "Wow, this is perfect - I need something like this to take lunch to work." to which my companion replied, "But don't you have that huge stack of Tupperware at your house?"

Slow blink. She meant all my Lock 'n Locks.

"Yes." Quick change of topic.

This wasn't the stack she was talking about.  This is today's new addition to the stack.

Yet another letterboxing adventure in Guelph

Burns Conservation Area boardwalk
Finally, I had a chance to get out and do some actual letterboxing of my very own.  All I had to do was take a day off mid-week to do it.  Vacation days well spent, I say.

In terms of proximity and number of boxes, Guelph is still my go-to place as there are so many boxes available.  I suppose in time, I'll catch up and have to venture further out into pure Kitchener/Waterloo area.

Anyways, I got up last Tuesday, clues in hand, music for my car, and bopped away on the 407, Guelph-bound to go look for Fiddleheads' new box Fey Folk of the Forest.  The forest was gorgeous in the morning, and the walk was beautiful and refreshing.  I don't want to say too much about this box for other letterboxer's sakes, but if you are able, you should definitely make your way out to Burns Conservation Area to see the great things that our Fiddleheads has been up to.  Definitely worth the trip!

The final resting place of John Arkell
Next, I drove right into Guelph to visit Farnham Cemetery where Lone R's box was waiting.  The interesting thing about this one is that it is essentially across the street from the Arkell Research Station where I spent a good amount of time during my undergrad.  That's where I learned to inseminate turkeys.  True story.

Anyways, in this tranquil cemetery lies the final resting place of Arkell family members for whom the Arkell Research Station was named.  It was beautiful and calm... And all I could think of was harassing birds.  Moving on.

I decided to take another crack at Gee Bee Z, which I had gone to before but decided against given the huge "DO NOT ENTER" signs.  This time, I pushed on, and found the letterbox exactly where the clue indicated it was.  Except, the tree where it was placed had started to eat the thing, so I had to use all my upper body strength to extract it from the tree's hold. Another great Kirbert plane carve to add to my collection.
Guelph Arboretum map

Next, I was off to the Guelph Arboretum, one of my favourite places to visit, to find a letterbox by a new pair of letterboxers, Calvin and Mira.  The Gryphon Dynasty letterbox took me on a fantastic stroll through the arboretum to a well made letterbox.  I hope to see more boxes by Calvin and Mira!

While at the University, I headed back to the McLaughlin Library to hunt down Lone R's OPAL 2012 boxes - Winter Woodcut in the Library and Coffee in the Library.  These started with the solving of two virtuals - my first - and led to a satisfying conclusion.  The campus and library look so similar to what I remember, despite all the new construction and renovations, so I was feeling awfully nostalgic while wandering the campus.

Just up Gordon Street, I found the parkette containing Earth Diver and Arabesque's School series. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find the Goldfish due to some construction work and muggles hanging around, but was successful finding the Betta.  I suspect I'll be back for the Goldfish at some point!

Osprey nest
To make my feeling of nostalgia complete, I next headed further uptown to find Osprey.  In my final year of university at Guelph, I wrote a policy background paper on osprey.  I love these raptors so I was delighted to head up to this empty park to see a beautiful example of an osprey nest and stamp in while mother osprey stared at me coolly.

Whooooo are you looking for?
I headed back down to the centre of town to visit my old branch of the library to find Be the Dove of My Heart.  Fantastic clue and find... I may have harassed the wrong person for this box first.  Serves me right for not reading the clues correctly.  Another fantastic carve by Fiddleheads!

While visiting this library, I happened upon an interesting piece of art full of owls.  Three owls, looks like it was either a large woodcut or linocut.  Made me smile either way.

Next, I headed out to St. Joseph's Cemetery for another of Lone R's cemetery boxes.  Although just as fantastic as the others, this one was slightly sullied by the fact that I watched some strange guy walk into the cemetery, and, obviously not seeing me, continued to walk up to a bush not 10 metres away from me and start peeing.  Very classy.

Blair's Sheaves Tower
Fortunately, this was made up for during my trek out to another of her boxes, Trees. While the letterbox and its carve were fantastic, the experience was made supreme when I came across the path of two new letterboxers, mmmtika and sillychick.  Both were great ladies and I hope we can meet up for a longer visit sometime - and both are becoming prolific planters as I see from my AtlasQuest notices.  If you see this, keep up the great work ladies!

Next, I knocked off another box that I had attempted many moons ago - Harold and the Purple Crayon.  Exactly where it was supposed to be.  Delightful.

I finished off with another box that I had attempted recently - Lone R's Blair's Sheaves Tower. Also exactly where it was supposed to be.  This one is also a lesson in how different areas can look from early spring to mid-summer.  The place was so green and lush - if it weren't for the red mill, I wouldn't have even recognized it as the same place.

Finally, I got started with my own letterboxing this summer... Looking forward to more!

Under the bridge at Blair's Sheaves Tower

Friday, June 29, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Spoiler: I finally climbed my Everest

This is it.  It is done.  The event stamp is done.  My ridiculous idea to carve the Flammarion Engraving is finally done.  Probably sunk in the neighbourhood of 30 hours into this sucker - starting way back in March.  A little here, a little there... and it's finally done.

Here it is in all its glory.  This is just a picture of the stamp itself.  I've seen the registration it makes, and I love it.  If you want to see it too, all you have to do is show up at BoxON! 2012.

Now off to carve some of the event series stamps... Happy trails!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Spoiler: a little more progress

But that last background bit is going to take a whole lot longer than I thought. Huh.