Monday, August 18, 2014

What happened to the summer?

What happened to the summer?  This past winter was, quite frankly, traumatizing and I expected a nice hot summer full of summery activities to lift my spirits.  Instead, we got perhaps a couple of hot days and then a coolish summer that is now almost over.
I didn't even have time to put away my winter coat.
Yesterday, I even smelled fall in the air.  It's still mid-August and I could smell autumn. I love the fall - love it - but that it is here already is distressing.
I've not even been out for a good letterboxing adventure this season.  I have a find from down in San Diego I haven't logged yet, but otherwise, nada.
But... but...
I have an idea... It's in my noggin.  I can't get it out.  Gears are turning... I miss 2012.  Could it be? Should I do it? I have an idea, a place, a timeframe... Should I?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Desconstructing the Devil's Advocate, Part V: The Devil Himself

Okay, this might be the last of my very spoilery posts for a while, but once again, danger - spoilers!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Desconstructing the Devil's Advocate, Part II: Jail Bird

Danger! This box is still alive, and able to be found and logged.  Nevertheless, the clues is mostly broken down below.  Spoilers ahead...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Deconstructing the Devil's Advocate

Okay, so it really shouldn't be news to anyone who boxes in Ontario that the Devil's Advocate is an alias account that I have and that the four boxes were actually mine.

Unfortunately, for various reasons, I had to pull the Devil's Advocate box which makes the whole series of the puzzle impossible to solve.  Nevertheless, I really enjoyed putting that puzzle together, it was great fun, but for anyone who didn't get the chance to hunt them (or for anyone looking for inspiration for future puzzle boxes) I've decided to deconstruct the making of this puzzle series as well as the solution to it all.

In case you do *not* want to be spoiled or still think you can solve these, I'll try to put the content after a jump break.  You have been warned.

I love creating puzzles.  It's incredibly fun and part of the massive allure of letterboxing for me.  I'm not so great at solving ciphers in particular and can get notoriously frustrated, but I love putting them together and watching others.  It's the same feeling I get when I get an awesome Christmas present for someone.

I've been making tricky boxes for a while, but I had been wondering about how to make a clue that was based on an actual stamp itself.   Leave bits of clues everywhere and let the fun begin!  This, to me, is like the ARGs that I love so much (again, I follow them on the sidelines because I get notoriously frustrated).


Saturday, July 5, 2014

I am the letterbox thief

The Grande Hermine {The Big Weasel} Jordan Harbour, Jordan Station, Ontario
Warning: spoiler photo at the end of this post.

Before I ever started letterboxing, another local boxer had done great work and had (has) marvelous boxes planted all over the province.  One day, without notice, she deleted all the clues, deleted the comments, and retired all of her boxes.  Why? I'll never know.  Those were some of my favourite boxes, they contained the amazing history of letterboxing in Ontario.  And now they're gone.  Poof.  This happened over a year ago, so I'm not sure why I'm whinging about it now...

Except now I've done the unthinkable.  I've taken someone else's letterbox.  On purpose.  With intent. Not to relocate because of danger, not to repair due to damage.  To keep. 
My log from 2010.

This particular box had special meaning to me; when I found it, where I found it, who I found it with. I was gutted to think it was gone when that letterboxer deleted the clues and retired the whole lot.  But I had this niggling suspicion that told me that there was no way she had physically pulled so many actual boxes given their geographic spread.  I pretty much knew that these boxes still existed.  I just had no way to find them, or even re-find the ones I had already had logged.

Nonetheless, after moving back to Burlington, I had decided I was going to replace the one box.  It's the perfect location, the perfect theme, and it's perfect to stop at if you're traveling along the QEW back/forth from Canada/US.  So I created a box and headed out today to replant with the hopes that even without the clue, I'd find the box.

I found it.  In perfect condition.  I took it and literally planted mine in its place.  I have it, it's mine.  The log is dry and only half filled...  Its clue is gone and the owner retired it.  This baffles me.  And those lovely boxes are still out there, lonely and unloved - abandoned.  Does anyone keep old clues?  I never have, and now I'm sad because I'll never be able to retrace my steps to some of these now lost gems.

Have I committed a letterboxing crime? I'm not sure.  I plan to show people this box and its contents, I plan to maintain my new replacement box (or at least not destroy it for future finders should I decide to retire from boxing...).

I hope you and future generations of letterboxers enjoy my replacement box.  If you ever want to see the old one, please let me know...

In with the new...

Out with the old, in with the new...

I know Fiddleheads would be disappointed with me if I didn't regularly recarve my signature stamp.  So with the move back to the area of my letterboxing roots comes a new stamp!

Old at the left, new at the right.

Hope you're all out on the trail this beautiful weekend!

Happy trails!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Letterboxing in High Park

What a gorgeous day.  Finally, out on the trail.  Though I was largely unsuccessful, I had a great time and am looking forward to some more letterboxing in my future.

I had plans with friends downtown, so I took the opportunity to then head to High Park to try and find some of the many boxes there I have yet to find. I can't recall how frequently I've posted about this, but I have a terrible time with the old High Park boxes. They are so hard but I want them so bad!

For those new to Ontario boxing, an event was held in High Park in September of 2009 (almost five years ago!) which, for the record, was before I started letterboxing.  Many boxes were planted, lovely, and are still sited to this day.

Nonetheless, High Park being the size it is, changes with time and trails and foliage undermine clues fairly uniformly.  As much as you spend in the park, you never really get a full sense of the whole of it and it's full of difficult plants.

I started with a Fiddleheads box and came across the most intriguing entry in a logbook that I've ever seen, here it is:

Sooo... besides the message, if they weren't looking, why did they have a stamp? Anyone read Mandarin?
Anyways.  I had a massively unsuccessful time next doing one of Gwynlais' first Smokin Festivals series.  Here's the thing: I actually got lost.  Lost.  Lost.  I didn't find a single box in the series and I'm glad I knew High Park as well as I did or I would have panicked when I got so turned around.

So I ended up back near the Grenadier Cafe, so I tried the Stockyards box and found it full of water.  Like full, full.  Like full of blue water, full.  And in a log with a bee nest in it.  So, yeah.

Full of water.  Full.
It was a beautiful day and a lovely walk through the park, so I'll consider it a win.

Hope you all enjoyed your first day of summer!
Happy trails!

Friday, June 20, 2014

In the mood...

I'm feeling the letterboxing itch.

I think it's time to finally pull out my gear, don't you?


Happy trails!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

In the news...

I love reading about letterboxing in the news, and it's amazing to hear non-boxer's perspectives on the hidden world of letterboxing.  For posterity, here's a lovely one with a great plot, great characters, and an excellent ending:

Schenectady City Hall mystery turns out to be a letterbox, by Kathleen Moore, The Daily Gazette.

It's officially spring, my peeps.  I'm wondering how my boxes have fared this winter...

Happy trails!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Missing the trail...

Hello all.

It has been quite the new year.  I moved, and it has been non-stop busy since.  I haven’t been able to slow down for even a second to catch my breath.  Favourite part of new home:  <30 minute work commute.  Worst part of new home: already have to replace the brand new floors.  Miss that?  Let me repeat: I have. To replace. My brand. New. Floors. Gawd.  I have no money for this.  My car also just decided to rot and I just put a few grand into it.

Sigh.  I’m whining.  My apologies.

I’ve even been so busy, I haven’t been keeping up with the goings on at AQ... (Anyone care to give me a quick summary in the comments? Any drastic changes I should be aware of?  Did Webfoot finally release some orange? Did the community come down on magnet-only boxes? Anyone finally oust Jiggs?)

Also, as everyone is aware, this winter sucks. Hard.  I’m so over winter.  I long for the trail. I have boxes to plant so I desperately need this snow to melt.  I’m also back in Burlington, so I would really like to go revisit some of my old boxes (and cull, maybe)...

Anyways, sorry for this whiny post.  I will be back.  I’ve got projects in my head and places to see.  Hopefully, we have a good letterboxing season ahead of us.

Happy melting trails!