Thursday, May 31, 2007

Devil's Icebox Wild Cave Tour

Since the letterboxers' tour of Devil's Icebox Cave was cancelled this spring due to flooding, we will try again for the summer/fall season. For those of you who missed the original invitation, I can take up to 10 participants (and two assistants*) on a day-long adventure-style tour through Devil's Icebox Cave at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park in Columbia, MO. *Only Lnd-Crzr and Touch-Trek are allowed to fill the assistants' slots since assistants must be park volunteers either already certified or in the process of becoming certified as a park Wild Cave Tour leader.
Ahistory, E-volution, McMonkey Mom and Mr. McMonkey have first dibs on four of the spots as they originally requested to go on the spring trip. Other letterboxers* and guests* may request to fill the other slots. *If you missed the original e-mail, please read the tour info at the end of this message before contacting me to request a spot.

The date of the tour has yet to be set. It must be a weeknight (Monday-Friday) starting at 5:30 p.m. and finishing a little after midnight. It must be sometime during the next cave season (August 1-October 8) though it cannot be the first Friday of August as the following day is a required training day for Wild Cave Tour leaders and assistants, and it would be foolish and physically exhausting to schedule two cave trips back-to-back.
I would like some suggestions from those interested* on which dates you would be available to go. The sooner in the season, the more chances we have to schedule a raindate. (*Again, please read the tour info before contacting me to sign up).

Oh, and an event stamp will be available following the tour, but no letterboxes are allowed to be placed within the cave.

Tour Info:
The tour is $25 per person (paid in advance). Participants must be physically fit and able to carry a 65-pound plastic canoe 1/4 mile to or from the cave over rocky and hilly ground, up or down some wooden steps, and over several short portages within the cave. The tours consist of a half-mile canoe trip including some low-ceiling sections requiring you to lie flat on your back in the canoe to fit through (not a trip for the claustrophic). At the end of the water passage, participants will leave the boats and continue on foot over rocky, muddy and uneven ground, sometimes wading in water, stooping, crawling on hands and knees or your belly, or climbing. The underground portion (jncluding the 1/2 mile water passage) consists of 2.5 miles and takes about 5.5 hours (to give you an idea of the difficulty). We will stop atsome point during the tour to eat dinner (bring your own). All tours exit as they entered and participants carry the boats back to the parking lot. A clean-up session follows. An orientation session precedes the tour. The whole tour thus lasts about 8 hours from start to finish. No prior experience is necessary, but you MUST be in excellent physical condition as it is a strenous tour.

Participants must provide three water-resistant battery-operated lights (including at least one headlamp), warm non-cotton clothes (such as wool, polypropylene, neoprene, etc), shoes with excellent ankle support and tread (rubber sports cleats recommended), lunch, extra batteries, and a small pack to carry your gear. The park will provide the canoes, paddles, lifejackets, and helmets. Participants must be at least 14 years old.
Additional details are available at

So look at your calendars and let me know within as soon as possible so I can get it placed on the calendar and avoid some of the scheduling conflicts of the spring season.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dance Gypsy

I'd like to invite you all to an upcoming "dance event." Three of them, actually. I will be teaching and calling an American contradance Friday June 1 (that's this Friday) from 7-10:30 p.m. at the First Christian Church in Columbia (park at 9th and Ash). I will also be performing two original Irish ceili dances on the Main Stage at Art-in-the-Park at Stephens Lake Park in Columbia on Saturday at 4:15 p.m. Third, I will be dancing (and maybe teaching) at an Irish ceili dance on Friday, June 8, also at the First Christian Church.
If you do you're homework (i.e. conduct a little research on LBNA's traveller's page), you MAY have a chance to pick up a rare personal traveller stamp (rare because its only available only at a "dance event.")

The two Friday events are $6 and $5 respectively, though if you don't want to pay admission, you could simply show up and stay just a few minutes: find me at the break which is usually at 9 p.m. for the contra, and scattered throughout the evening for the ceili. The Art-in-the-Park performance is free but you have to be on time (or early) because I'll be dashing off to work immediately after. Allow plenty of time for parking because it will be crowded, and you may have to park some distance away and walk. Leave some time to check out the festival as starts in the morning and ends around 5 ot 6 p.m. I think. I would love it if you wanted to come and dance with me on either Friday (though it's not required to earn the stamp) experience is necessary, all the moves and dances are taught, and it's really fun; there's a beginner's lesson at 7 p.m. for both of the Friday dances. Wear soft-soled shoes to protect the floor, and light-weight breathable clothing. Hope to see you soon.

Box Maintenance Update

Just FYI, I hope to by the end of next week have all of my boxes pulled for flooding back in place. Currently, Burr Oak (part of the Katy Trail Series), Torbett Springs and Wild Mushroom #3 have yet to be replanted.

Also, I was driving by Charlotte today and noticed she was completely missing her top. I am not sure how, but the top suffered some minor damage and would not fit properly in place causing it to fall off completely exposing the logbook and stamp. Talk about in plain sight, geez. Luckily no one had taken anything, and I was able to retrieve it all. I hope to fix the broken top and have her back in place by the weekend in case our guests were planning to visit her. In the mean time, if you drive by and notice that Charlotte has no top, do not be alarmed, she is safe for now.

Letterboxing at the library and Sylvester

Hi all I was just browsing through the Public Libraries cover to cover program and it looks like they are doing a program on Letterboxing on June 12 from 6:30-8. Anyone have more info- is it someone from the mid-mo crew doing it?? hmmmm-

Within the next week or so Mr. Sylvester will be re-placed, he was heroically saved by OMGB (thanks for dropping him off!!) and I need to find a new home for him- see, sometimes wishes do come true- a fresh stock of magical pebbles will be enclosed!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Stamp and Logbook Classes

Starting in July, I will be teaching Stamp Carving and Book-Binding Classes at Michael's Arts & Craft store in Columbia. The stamp carving class will learn how to transfer a design onto the carving medium, how to use stamp carving tools, and how to mount your finished stamp onto a wooden backing. The class will also include chances to practice carving on a variety of materials.

The book-binding classes will learn a variety of book-binding techniques, depending on which class you sign up for. July classes will learn the Japanese geisha-style binding (similar to my Hitchhiker Hostel logbook) which involves a folded flap held closed by a dowel rod or two (Note: this is not the piano hinge style which uses a dowel road as the spine). August classes will learn three styles of Japanese stab binding (which involves a decorative stitching pattern on the spine). Later classes will learn Piano-hinge, button-accordion and cloth-binding, and other styles.

If you or anyone you know are interested, stop by the store to look at project samples and to sign up. The classes are $15 per person plus cost of supplies, and the dates are as follows:
Stamp Carving
Sat July 14 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Mon July 16 4-5 p.m.
Wed July 25 4-5 p.m.
Sat July 7 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Sun July 8 3-5 p.m.
Mon July 30-4-6 p.m.


Columbia in a day

Hi all,

We just had some friends move from St. Louis to Columbia, so we'll be taking them up on their offer to stay in about 2 weeks. We can only get away for a day and wanted to hit as many boxes as possible in a one day setting. Since we are not from there, would any of you like to speak out and help us out. Which areas are near by each other and provide maximum boxing opportunities? We'd love to complete a few series and get boxes from several different carvers. IF you have any advice. Please let us know. The B Hunters

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Meet and greet?

I would really like to hear any report from the mini meet on Saturday. How was it? Where were THEY from? Cool stamps? Wallace and Grommit? Just curious how things went for our guests.
My kids are in Tennesse this weekend with family while I work. AJMonkeyman is DERTERMINED to get an out of state box before his mother. LOL! Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Hope everyone get a chance to hit the trails!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

LB's in Jeff City

My family and I were worried that there were no LB's in Jefferson City. So we planted four at Binder Lake. This is our first experience at planting. We are so excited and have planned where else we can put LB's in order to bring some of the action south of the river. You will have to check South Eastern Mo in order to view Cole county.

I also wanted to say thanks to LND-CRZR for answering my many questions about making and placing the boxes. We hope you all enjoy the series.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Missouri Letterboxing Patches

In my travels across the country letterboxing, I have had many opportunities to meet other letterboxers and they have given me patches from different regions. I talked to LndCrzr and he said none had been made for this area. I have contacted Lock Wench on AQ and have some information. I would like to create a patch for the Missouri area and then they would be available for purchase for roughly 2 dollars each at events or through the mail. The minute profits would go towards supporting the costs of future events.

Is there any interest out there for a few Mid Mo patches?

I want to open it up to our local LB artists (I have no drawing or design capabilities) to submit their ideas to me via computer scan of the art and then we would post them all and take a vote. The winner of the design competition would get a free patch (and the notariety of it being their design.)

If you have any interest in participating in the design aspect, please contact me through AQ for the details of size requirements.

I would love to order a bunch (as the price goes down significantly) but don't want to get stuck with a lot of leftovers either. If you have interest in buying a patch, please let know. They are fun to trade, give out, and leave as special gifts. Thanks for any interest...

The B Hunters

Meet Me At The Worlds Fair in St. Louis

Hi there! We loved the Mid Mo Spring Event that we were able to attend and wanted to thank everyone for allowing us the pleasure of your company. We have set a date and time and theme for the grand St. Louis event and would love to have you come out and enjoy some boxes this direction as well as a fun party. Let us know if you can make it!

The B Hunters

Monday, May 21, 2007

New LB Family

Just wanted to introduce my family to the group. There is my husband aka Turbo, and myself Bean-Lover, and our two daughters Shorty and Tadpole. We started letter boxing last year but only found 1 of the 5 boxes we were looking for. So we tried again this year with better luck. We have found most of the Fav Books (both series) and Scooby Doo series. Since we travel regularly we have been looking for boxes in other areas as well. We have also been lucky enough to find hitchhikers and cuckoo clues too. That was pretty exciting.

We will be busy for the June gathering but look forward to a gathering in the future.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Short Notice Mini-Meet

Certainly everyone has had time to repack their cutlasses and eye patches, and posisbly heal a few bumps and brusies from a weekend of swashbuckeling!

I (and possibly others) have recently been contacted by an out of state LB crew who will be in Columbia June 1 thorugh June 4. They'll be boxing away, but I also wanted to throw out the opportunity for a min-meet and greet in Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. Date will be June 2nd, 12 noon at the devil's Ice Box parking lot of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park in Columbia. Just look for signs 'o pirates.

This is a great way to see a log book from another area and since there won't be the traditional gathering boxing business, it might also prove an excellent opportunity to browse through some local log books that you haven't had a chance to see yet.

If there's enough interest, we'll make this a potluck luncheon. And who knows...I may have a few surprises up my sleeves. Wasn't there something about a '2nd Year Anniversary, 100th box Planted and celebration of Friends Quest' mentioned a few months ago?

If you think you can make it, even just stop in for a few minutues, please post a comment below.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Blog membership update

If you have been participating in our virtual community but find you can only post to the blog via "comments," here is an invitation.

Send a note with your real name, your trail name, the town you call home and your email address to I will send a Blogger invitation to you that, if you answer within three days, allows you to post in the normal manner.

You will be required to register at first. This establishes a "dashboard" for you listing all the blogs you create or with which you are affiliated. Each blog on the dashboard has a button that allows you to craft a new post.

Any member of the blog can also post photographs to the blog. To do so, you just click on the small icon that looks like a picture. Then you choose a photograph or piece of artwork from your hard drive. Any photo will work, but huge photos take forever to upload (the trick is to change the resolution to 72 dpi if you can). Once the photo is on your page, you can drag it around to where you want it. Here is an example.

Links are similar. Highlight a word you want to become a link, then click on the little icon shaped like a chain, type or paste in the URL. The link word now becomes blue. You can do this to link to a Flickr gallery, for instance.

Note that while all letterboxers are welcome at the table, this blog is primarily for those of use who ply our hobby in Mid Missouri. But if another cluster wants to set up a blog, let me know and I will help. The other administrator who has the same ability to add folks and delete untoward posts is Lnd-Crzr.


Monday, May 14, 2007

Newly minted

Curiously Hidden Mint (see this link) was released at the gathering, but we forgot to put it in LBNA. It is there now.

By the way, it was created for the mini-box contest in the Fall 2005 contest.


Upcoming Diversion

Good morning, letterboxers. Have you recovered from having your swashes buckled at the gathering last weekend? If so, you might want to check out the Spring Into Art Fair & Festival at Access Arts (located at the corner of Old Hwy 63 and Mc Alester St.) on Sunday, May 20, 3 to 7 pm. Lots of fun stuff is being planned, including music by Los Desterados and B-Sided, good eats, art activities (Make-A-Mug and Pinhole Photos), demonstrations by instructors and students, a raffle, a silent auction, and sales of artwork, art supplies and excess equipment. The purpose is to raise awareness of all that this little art school has to offer the community, and to have a bit of fun at the same time. For more than 20 years, Access Arts has been providing grassroots art experiences to everyone, young and old alike.

So if you have a little free time next Sunday, stop by and see what's going on. I plan to be there, weaving up some "Missouri Trouble" and will have Part 2 of the Thrums series on the premises. Truth be told, I had it with me back at our winter Gathering of Games, but the clue was perhaps too subtle, and only a very few hawkeyed letterboxers picked up on it. For a second chance at this LB, drop by and tell me whether or not you wove potholders on those small "looper" looms when you were a child. Not too hard, eh? Maybe I'll see you on Sunday... but please leave those sabers, swords and scimitars at home!

Friday, May 11, 2007

How I had Fun

A grand time fer sure mates. Thanks to all me fellow LB crew.

Ok, I can't talk in pirate that well anyway, so I'll just be me! It was an awesome weekend. One that will go down the books fer sure. I loved every minute of it. It was so much fun to see the faces that I knew. I loved meeting the new crew as well. Kansas City area was well represented by Perdu and The Duckland Gang, Joey and Craw and The Outdoor Girls. (Did I miss anyone?) Fairy Princess Fiona came from the other end of the state, hailing from St Louis. Lots of the good Mid Mo crew were also there. People traveling through on a easterly Route were treated to a special box, "Tortuga", to get in the mood. (On good word, it's still there!) It was well worth my while to stay Saturday night. Fajitas, Stories, After Dark Acitivies, Songs and Glow as well as some midnight rambling left this McMonkey with lots of great memories. I feel a box coming on...see you on the trail!

I haven't figured out how to add the link yet! Try this? I hope it works! Comment, please!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Post Gatherin' Argh! Argh! Arghs!

From comments made it appears everyone had a grand time at Mid-MO’s 3rd annual spring gathering. It was wonderful to see old friends again and equally wonderful to meet so many new . If only there was more time to simply chat and down nice cold root-beer.

So many things to say and people to thank, but for now, let me just say thanks to EVERYONE who came and made the day such a fun event. I’ve said it often and continue to say it, Mid-MO is indeed a world class LB community. A friendlier more creative group would be hard to find.

I’ve loaded a batch of pictures onto my flickr account. To go there, simply click HERE. A word about viewing the pix as a slideshow; for some reason it does something strange at about the 30th picture, it loops back. So as you’re watching be aware when a white prompt appears above the pictures asking if you wish to continue (or something to that affect). Click yes and the slideshow will continue.

With me best pirate voice,'Ye all deserve an extra draw from the root-beer keg!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Fast heels and high water

Just a quick heads up, as several of you have been nice enough to warn me, the Big Muddy and its many tributaries are projected to breach their banks later this week due to past and predicted rainfall. So instead of resting up from a wonderful activity filled gathering weekend, I had to race out and pull a few of my boxes to avoid them being washed down to the Gulf. If you plan on hunting any of my boxes in the near future, please check LBNA that day before heading out.

So far, I have only pulled Sadako which was totally submersed but managed to survive yesterday's flash flood. I also grabbed my Wild Mushroom #3 which was only 2 foot from the rushing water. I may need to pull a few others if the projections get any higher. I will put everything back in place, once this threat has diminished.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Photos, me shipmates!

What more could you ask for? Pleasant weather, even more pleasant company and great grub. Oh yea, and letterboxing!

The pirate-themed Mid-Mo Spring 2007 Gathering at Graham Caves State Park was as rollicking as any scurvy tar could imagine. Lot's of eye patches, scarves and "arrrgh." And the kids were dressed up, too.

Captn' Ron del LndCrzr plotted the course with his usual skill, sending teams of scallywags tromping through the forest in search of his pieces of eight (well, eight treasure boxes anyway). Then he topped that by demonstrating he was even better at cooking fajitas than carving stamps. That's powerful praise, indeed.

Here are a few pictures the I snapped. More are in a gallery you can see by clicking here. The captions (click the middle of a photo) are a bit unclear, but I'm sure you will correct me.

The Clyde half of C2B2

Friday, May 04, 2007

ah . . .the gathering at last

hello mates- looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow- anyone else up late tonight working on finishing up stuff for tomorrow . . . searching for personal travelers to come . . . ??? Though my crew won't be camping I look forward to a day of sloshing around in the water and catching up with some folks-

off to snooze land-mamaroots

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Tortuga Clues

My fellow shipmates!

Tortuga is definitely a spot to wet ye whistle and grab some gruel! These pictures will lead you to a featured box to start your gathering spirits!

Indeed, as a true treasure map - X marks the spot! This is a highly highly visible and busy spot! I would recommend parking next to the large hamburger shaped stone and heading north 5 paces to grab your booty and give it a stamp!

Also, if you find the five B's at the gathering and join a rousing chorus of '15 men...yoo-ho-ho and a _____________' fill in the blank for a bonus treasure!

See you there!

Oh and if you need an additional visual clue...head on over to my blog for an extra hint!

Spring Gathering Newsflash!

Graham Cave State Park is wet. After a full day of trompsing about, I feel qualified to assure everyone that every inch of the park is indeed wet.

In the event everyone hasn't caught on, inside me is a ten year old who loves sploshing his way thorugh creeks. Everyone should come prepared to do more than a bit of their own sploshing given the current conditions. Besides, a good bit of sploshing is good for the soul.



This post was an error. I was trying to post to my new mushroom blog and accidentally posted it in here. I deleted the text but does anyone know how to delete the actual post? Or C2B2, perhapos this is something only you guys can do.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Below is the long awaited final part of the clue for the GLO NODECVIPER EXERTBOLT letterbox. I gave out hard copies of the clue at the Fall 2006 Arts and Craft Letterbox Gathering, and meant to post the clue within a month, but then it took me months to figure out how to scan and post pictures (it didn't help that my computer also crashed in the interim). Before hunting for this clue, check out the GLO NODECVIPER EXERTBOLT listing on LBNA in Boone County, Missouri (NE Region) then review the following:

This clue uses four different kinds of ciphers. It is up to you to determine which ciphers are used.




Happy hunting! --Fox-fyr

Gathering Tips and Reminders

Here's a few last-minutes tips and reminders to review before the Gathering.

SPEEDING: Don't speed when you reach the park. The posted speed limit in the park is only 20 mph. The park ranger has been known to issue speeding tickets to a vanful of nuns traveling less than 5mph over the speed limit (I'm not kidding!) and has even stopped park staff for the same reason.

CAVE TOUR: If you're signed up for the Letterboxing Devil's Icebox Wild Cave Tour May 11, don't forget to bring your $25 and all your gear so that I can look at it (this includes three lights including at least one headlamp; several layers of non-cotton clothing; footwear with ankle support and traction; a daypack; spare batteries; and anything else you are thinking of bringing). So far, the people I have scheduled for the trip include Ahistory, One Mean Green Bean, Touch Trek, Mr. McMonkey, E-volution, and possibly Drag-a-Long for Fun and Lnd-Crzr. Anyone else interested needs to contact me ASAP at and see details about the tour at

I'm bringing a guitar and my copy of "Rise Up Singing." If anyone else has copies of the songbook (or similar songbooks) or other appropriate musical instruments (no grand pianos, please), please feel free to bring them. I'm also bringing some night activity surprises for after dark.

FIREWOOD: In an effort to stop the spread of invasive species such as the emerald ash borer and gypsy moths, Missouri State Parks has requested that campers either purchase wood as locally as possible for campfires or, if bringing their own, to burn everything they bring and quickly so that any insects that might travel with the wood do not escape into the park.

Steer a clear course! --Fox-fyr


All right mates! This is a heads up!

Tortuga was the infamous pirate hangout. This is important for you because there is a box located at mid-MO's version of Tortuga!

Where are the clues you say? Check back here tomorrow for your pictures to the clues!

Hint: if you know what the McMonkeys and thefiveB's have in common, then you will find Tortuga!

See you at the gathering!