Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Thank You And Our Story

First of all, I must say "Thank You" to C2B2 for the invition to blog on this site. I have read all the previous blogs and learned a few things that I did not know. My name is Adam and along with my family, we make up the "ABS Family". We are a family of five. My wife and I have three children. Boy-7, Girl-4, Girl-1.

We were introduced to LBing by my older sister who lives in central Ohio. We were out there visiting in October of 2005 and we went to Hocking Hills State Park and we had so much fun. We found two boxes there in the park. When we got back to her home, I checked the web and learned that Rock Bridge State Park had several LBs. We visit RBSP at least twice a year because we enjoy the outdoors. Funny thing is, we took my sister and her family there when they were here over the summer of 2005. After that first day, I was hooked. I have always enjoyed treasure hunts or scavenger hunts, so this is really fun. The problem we have is that with three children, we cannot just go. It has to be planned and a decent day. I am always chomping at the bit to go but my wife pulls me back to the world of responsibilities. Hopefully, with spring coming we will get out on the path more often. We have only been hunting three times with 12 finds.

We have made a personal stamp and we are know using it. It has alot of meaning for me. My family, generations back, were originally from Canada and we have a flag with a seal. I carved out our family seal which appears on the flag. It is not perfect so I will probably try to carve it again. That is the main reason we have not planted any LBs. We have clues and themes, it is just that the stamp does not meet my approval. C2B2 and LND-CZR have both told me not to worry about the stamp. People just want LBs to hunt, so saying that, the next free day we get we will plant our first box. I am excited about it.

My next blog, hopefully soon, will be about our letterboxing adventure we had on last Saturday. Until then, don't let your inkpad dry up!!

ABS Family

Monday, March 13, 2006

Mid-MO FF Tome

Recently I was unable to attend Clyde and Cecile’s most excellent LB Gatheirng. As mentioned, I did manage to send along a prize in the form of a First Finders Tome. Within the Tome were 10 previously unpublished clues to LBs scattered about Mid-MO. Also included were instructions on how to use a Key Word Shift Cipher (which have I used often) and a Caesar Code (which will be used often).
The winner, our most eteemed JennyJ, was given one month to claim First Finders before the clues were published. The thirty days have expired and I am pleased to say that JennyJ claimed 7 out of 10 FF. Now the time has come to publish the clues. I have published those that I can at the LBNA site, but several need pictures or diagrams so I will publish those here and post links at the LBNA sit to here.

Mid MO Mystery

Use the clues in the picture to uncover the starting location.

From the parking lot take the main trail through the field until it enters the woods and you find a lonely gate. From the left side, follow a bearing of 210° 20 paces and find a pair of upright trees with hollow bases. A guardian stone protects the mysterious in one. Please replace it when done.

Aesop’s Fables; Book Three

From Fulton take hwy H west through the small town of Carrington. Stay on H until it hits hwy J. Take J to the left (south) until you find the red barn in the picture, on the east side of the road. Standing at the main barn door, north side, follow a bearing of 70°. You’ll pass a pile of scrap on your left and a corner fence post on your right. Continue as your path narrows and drops downhill into a bottom valley. Just as your path levels out and the field opens, look to your left for a large, healthy shag bark hickory tree. It holds a story for you. Please replace the stones.


An agent of the sinister Baron Von Krackhousen has been captured and with him ciphered text and a clue which may lead to the location of Krackhousen’s fabled safe.

Use the intercepted diagram to find the answer for ‘?’. Use that number and a Caesar cipher to break the code and discover the location of the safe. Bring your wits and your safe-cracking skills. Have you got what it takes to be a Safe-Cracker?


Take the trail due south. Descend a long hill passing fields on your right after which the trail turns sharply to the east (left). Find trail on the left side which enters the woods. Take this trail and head the wooded hill. At the top of the hill, on your right, a swayed oak leans to the right the straight up again. Just past this swayed oak the trail opens to a field. Go right (east) skirting the field with woods on your right and field on your left. The trail that ruins around the perimeter of the field runs east, and then turns north. Continue until another row of trees come from the west to meet you and makes an entrance to another large field. On your right will be a massive tree. Stand on the north side of the brush which surrounds this huge tree. From here go 100° to a small clump of trees standing alone in the field. From south east side of this cluster, go across the field 110° to a medium oak on the edge of the woods. From this tree go 100° 24 paces to a large oak with an old fence still clinging to it. Find the hole on the north side.

A few additional
comments regarding the
Safe-Cracker LB

This is a wild and beautiful area typical of Missouri’s northern Glaciated Plains. Bring your binoculars and bird identification book as birding here is excellent.

Trails here tend be what most consider gravel roads or wide swaths cut into the woods and fields.

On your way out, stop at Crane’s Country Store in Williamsburg. They have a great food and an excellent variety of drinks, including several different brands of Root-Beer. I’d suggest trying a Fitz’s Root-Beer. They also have some amazing ice cream. Friendly folks make this a wonderful place to stop and take in a cold one.

Aesop’s Fables; Book Two

This dell has become my favorite hiding spot. Even though I first visited it in the dead of winter; it was lush with ferns and moss. I can’t wait to return to see it in all its glory in the spring.

To discover the location, solve the riddle at the end of this clue.

Find Millersburg half way between Columbia and Fulton. Head east on Hwy F towards Fulton. Take the mystery county road north to a small parking area and gate. Pass the gate and follow the trail into the woods. Go down a gentle slope and find a meadow on your left and a creek crossing the trail just ahead. Cross it to the far side (west) and follow it on a meandering course into the forest. Keep on the right side and follow it until it intersects another little brook. Follow it to the right (westerly) down stream a short distance until you see another small stream entering the main stream from the north. This small creek has a lovely small entrance to a beautiful tight valley full of ferns and mosses and the charming little creek that twists its way back and forth through it. Cross the main brook and follow the smaller creek into its romantic little dell. Explore the creek on its right side, until you find a point where a two foot waterfall might be if enough water is present. To the left side of the creek, and back down just a bit is a tall, fat snag with a trunk laying beside it. Peer inside the hole on the trunk to the left and you’ll you’re your story.

Additional Comments
Regarding the
Tome of FF Clues

Here are a few guidelines and thoughts to consider when searching for these boxes.

-I use the old Roman Legion Army pace. That is one pace is equal to two steps.

-Many of these LB are hidden in areas where public hunting is allowed. Make yourself aware of hunting seasons, especially gun season for deer, and act/dress accordingly.

-Being Missouri, protect yourself against poison ivy, mosquitoes and ticks.

-Again being Missouri, before sticking your hand in a dark hole of a place, use a stick to shoo away any critters that may be lurking inside.

-Unless otherwise stated, all my LBs are BYOI (Bring Your Own Ink).
-Please be discreet in your Letterboxing and prudent in your re-hiding. Remember, only you can prevent Improper Re-Hideation.

-After you find each LB, please drop me a quick e-mail letting me know of the boxes condition and any stories of your adventure you might wish to share. I love hearing people’s tales.

The Caesar Cipher

This cipher was actually used by the Roman emperor Julius Caesar.

The Caesar cipher is also a shift cipher like the Key Word cipher, but utilizes a single number to make all shifts. That is, all letters will be bumped an equal distance in the alphabet. This makes the Caesar cipher mono-alphabetic because each letter will appear as the same encrypted throughout the message.
To de-code, you must have the key number, for example 3. Write out the entire alphabet, then above it, write it again, but bumped three spaces.

D E F G H I J K L…
A B C D E F G H I…

To code or de-code, simply look at the letter on the bottom line to de-code and the letter above to encode.