Monday, November 26, 2012

Letterboxing in Key West, Florida


Key West is my Moby Dick.

When I first learned about letterboxing and before I ever went out on my first letterboxing adventure, I thought - cool, I bet I could do this travelling... I wonder if there are any letterboxes in that place I just got back from - Key West.  And there were.  At all the places I visited.  I was a little irritated that I didn't know about letterboxing and that I didn't get a chance to go find them.

So, flash forward a couple years to a time when my marching band gets invited for a festival in Key West.  Awesome.  It is on.  Those boxes are so mine.

I didn't have a lot of time in KW, but I had some great letterboxing times.  Some beautiful boxes are down in Key West!  So I rented a moped (what fun!) and headed out for a wonderful day of boxing!

The hens and roosters really were everywhere!
On the whole, the letterboxes in Key West were great.  Good hides, nice carves, and wonderful logbooks.  The logs were really interesting because I think a lot of other boxers come through on vacation, so there were some really interesting entries in the logs, and plenty of them.

Cock of the Walk was amazing in this regard because it was an older box with many, many entries.  I loved reading through them.

Key West apparently passed a law almost 100 years ago forcing the release of chickens that were being used in cock-fights.  Not sure of this, couldn't confirm online... But in any event, there are hens and roosters roaming freely all over the island and there are municipal laws prohibiting anyone from molesting the chickens.  Molesting.  Moving on.

I particularly liked the magnetic box that I found at Bo's - where I stopped for some delicious food and a few drinks.  Bo's broken down truck was fantastic - and I remember seeing it last time I was down. I actually didn't find the box on my own, mostly because I have issues sticking my hands in places potentially hiding spiders.  Ick.  Fortunately, a brave noxer I was with was not similarly afflicted and found the box for me.  Awesome. Drinks all around.

Later, I found what I think might be my favourite letterbox to date: it was in the cemetery in Key West - a place that specifically prohibits letterboxes - so I'm not posting the box link here.  With any small of amount of sleuthing, you'll find it.  Fantastic cemetery, with lots of amazing sights.  The hide was fantastic - I loved it.  Location - not style of hide, which was fairly typical.  I don't want to spoil it for future finders, so I won't comment other than to say this one gets my solid seal of approval.  The stamp was great and the log was facinating.  The cemetery had many beautiful sights and I left a box of my own.  Huge lizards abound, and I actually found a toad inside a toad abode.  So cool.

A toad abode...

With a toad.

So here it is: Key West Cemetery prohibits letterboxing. But geocaching is allowed? I would have loved to be at city council when this ordinance was passed. Maybe one day I'll hunt down the staff report recommending this... This is crazy.

I visited Hemingway House to find the Hemingway Cat box... Cat with thumbs? They're trying to take over the world!
These cool trees make interesting places to hide boxes...
The festival was great... This is probably the most tame picture I took and the only one that I would post on a blog for what is often a family based activity...

Thanks Key West!


  1. Are you going to adapt the cemetery box and plant something similar here? I'm intrigued.

    I thought that city sign was a photoshopped spoof. I'm shocked that it's not. =\

    1. Tragically, it's not photoshopped. It really says no letterboxing. Given the relative obscurity of letterboxing compared to geocaching, I wonder what happened in Key West's past to have the City pass such an ordinance.

      I can't really adapt that box and plant a similar one here; the physical box itself was fairly typical, but a great box (solid L&L, great logbook, lots of entries, what more can you ask for?) but it was its hidey-hole and location that made it so great. But if I can figure out a way to bring the Conch Republic into our confederation, it might be easier to get there...