Thursday, September 27, 2007


Alright I know my mother posted something about the gathering a little while back but now its my turn. I have a contest for everyone including her. When you were little you were always told stories of how everything originated. Well I would like to hear them. between the time of the gathering and now either email me a copy or bring a typed copy of a story. The story must obviously be about halloween and it has to be emailed or given to me by the time of the gathering. Even if you just make up a story it is always good to see what others can come up with. Wether it be about how pumpkin carving came about or how trick or treating came to be. If you complete this task i will give you a little something at the gathering. (wonder what it could be) you'll just have to wait and find out. If you are going to bring a copy to the party email me and let me know so that I have a count on how many people want to enter this contest. everyone who enters gets something but we will vote for a winner who will get the GRAND PRIZE! So have fun!


Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I should have thought to include pictures of the clues....

the one to the left is a rather dark image of the hole in the bottom of my might be able to make out two smaller holes also, one on either side....

and the one on the right is, of course, the can of Off spray with the blue sticky substance in view at the top and bottom of the can.

I don't know if the poor quality of these pictures is the result of an inferior camera or the inadequate skills of the user...but I'm blaming it on the camera. :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

An interesting phenomenon

We're heading to Boston tomorrow for a conference, and I spent a good bit of time this afternoon printing and researching clues for that area. I'm almost ashamed to admit that I just peeked inside my letterboxing backpack for the first time since arriving in Maine...and to my surprise, I discovered something lurking in there even more interesting than a cootie...

I'd like to get your opinions about what it might be...

My first clue was a blue sticky substance on my fingers as I got near the bottom of the main portion of my backpack. I then noticed this substance on some of the contents I had just pulled out. Oddly, it wouldn't come off when I tried to wash my just spread out as it was smeared around. I went back to the backpack and continued to empty it, and one of the last items to surface was my can of Off bug repellent. That's when I noticed the second clue...a sickly smell accompanying the stickiness on the can. My assumption was that the can of Off had leaked, although that didn't explain the blue color.

As I tried to clean the stickiness off my backpack with baby wipes (unscented, of course), I discovered it wouldn't come off, just as it hadn't come off my fingers. I got a sponge and a bottle of Soft Scrub and started scrubbing, and that's when I noticed the third clue...there appears to be a hole in the top layer of material in the bottom of my backpack, about 2 inches in diameter.

My theory is that the Off leaked out of the can and ate a hole through the blue backpack material, which created the sticky blue substance I encountered. If my theory is correct, the potency of this chemical boggles the mind!

I'm curious to know what you all think about this.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Just In Time

Just in time for the St. Louis event, there will be a new box on the way from the West. The box is not actually in place yet, but will be around 9 a.m. when the business opens. I planned on having it planted yesterday, but our son has been sick and all time has stood still since Wednesday. At any rate, if it's too late to grab on the way, perhaps on the way back will suit you better. This is a permanent box, so if you miss it, it will be there waiting for you.
The box title is "Just What The Doctor Ordered."

Larry of the 5-B's.


Anyone traveling to St. Louis this weekend knows that given enough time in the car, you will get thirsty. To quench that thirst, I suggest stopping at the "Double Arches" in Kingdom City on your way to the city of a single arch to pick up "Tortuga." And as a special surprise, come on inside and ask for the Captain or his First Mate (Larry or Robin.) You must then (in your best pirate voice) say, "Why's the rum always gone?" Perhaps you'll get some to go with your Coke...
For those of you that have already gotten your rum, the stamp has been updated and version 2.0 is aged much better.
Drink up!

L of the 5-B's

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Dwarfs Refuse to Leave Mid-MO!

Several weekends ago the Mid-MO LB Society hosted a dwarven send off party for a fine series of LBs based on Tolkien’s The Hobbit, which are bound for Grand Junction Colorado. A feast was held as is the common practice within the society and the dwarfs were stamped-silly as each person who entered the contest was permitted to stamp the little fellows. What contest you say? Well dear friend, I had thrown out the contest shortly before the send off party. The task was to create a fabulous FF prize for the series. All the entries would be bundled up with the dwarfs and sent to CO. Once there they will be placed in a box at the end of the series and folks get to choose one. BUT, they’ll all be wrapped and they’ll not know what they’ll get until they open it. AH! The temptation they’ll suffer with not opening all the wonderful little packages!

In all we ended the day with six entries. Fox-Fyr was our grand prize winner for her hand crafted set of rune stones. What did she win? Not telling…at least not yet. Everyone who entered did get one of these (see pic below). Perhaps you’re thinking, ‘Lnd-Crzr, I want one!’ Well friend, you’re in luck. You see, the dwarfs have refused to leave just yet and will most likely winter here in my own Hobbit hole. So while the contest is over, it’s not too late for you to send along your own FF bonus and receive your own gift of thanks. Rules are simple. It must be related to The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien and it must fit inside an ammo box. Handmade is preferred, though not a must. Please ensure that your trail name and contact information is somewhere on the item.

In a nutshell: The Dwarfs refused to leave.

Will winter here in Mid-MO.

Fox-Fyr won the contest.
Want a fancy Hobbit quote like the one above? Send me a FF prize which must be realetd the The Hobbit, preferably hand crafted.

Thanks to everyone who came and entered the contest. All entries are greatly appreciated!


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Walk the plank

Aaargh, maties. It be National Talk Like a Pirate Day. Shiver me timbers!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Haunted Letterboxing

The air is getting crisper and the leaves are starting to turn. This is my favorite time of year. The McMonkeys would like to share a favorite holiday with all our trail buddies. The Haunted LB party will be held on Saturday October 20th. The party will start at 4pm. Bring your LB supplies. You never know what the haunted woods will hold! ;) Wear a costume. We will have a contest featuring a new car, I mean logbooks, as prizes. (Just wanted to see if you were paying attention!) Of course, this will require a potluck (Please, no nuts)so bring a dish to share. If you play an instrument feel free to bring it along. I love singing by the fire. We will have after dark surprises as well.

The party will be held at our house. I do not want to post directions here and need a head count. Please email me at for directions. I REALLY want to see you all there. We have a HUGE backyard and plenty of room for everyone. If you have ideas or prizes to share let me know.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The K.C. Gathering - A Real Fiery Affair

For anyone who was unable to attend the Urban Gathering in Kansas City you missed a good time. Several LBers from the around K.C. along with a few of us from Mid-MO converged on Loose Park near the heart of Kansas City of Saturday. The morning greeted us with true fall weather and was a bit chilly until the sun made its way from behind the clouds.

There was plenty of good food and great stories to go around. Over 20 temporary boxes were planted just for the event so there was plenty of finding and stamping to go around. There were so many boxes even I did not have time to find them all. And for those of you who think urban boxing not comparable to a walk in the woods, do I have a story for you for we had quite an exciting time on one hunt in particular.

McMonkey Mom and I were hunting a single box hidden right at one corner of the park. We were looking over one of Lnd-Crzr's wonderful picture renditions trying to determine exactly where the arrow was pointing when I notices a truck turning the corner shooting what appeared to be flames out from under it. Now being used to the city, I expected the car to be souped up with some special flame shooting exhaust so I nudged McMonkey Mom with my elbow so she could take a look. As the truck cornered and came closer, it became apparent to our horror that this car was not rigged to produce these flames but was rather spewing gas directly from the engine and leaving behind a fiery trail in its wake.

As you can imagine, we were both somewhat taken aback at first, but after a second I was able to yell "HEY MAN, YOU CAR IS ON FIRE!" (A definite first, and hopefully last for any gatherings). Luckily they heard me and pulled over very quickly and ran from the car. They looked dressed to the nines (perhaps for one of the many weddings being held in the gorgeous park). The fire department was quickly called in and dispatched the flames soon enough, but Lnd-Crzr who didn't see it all unfold quickly came rushing down to make sure that everyone had made it out of the car safely, a true sign of his selfless commitment and rescue training. Just another reason, we are lucky to have him in our midst. As the fire was being put we were even able to use the distraction to obtain the box of choice. (Afterall remember the LB credo, neither snow, nor rain , nor gloom of night, nor flaming vehicles shall keep a boxer from their targeted letterbox.)

All in all it was a good time. I had to leave early but I hear the gang hit the Crown Center area and had even more good food and fun including dinner by train.

For all of you who contributed boxes, thanks so much for making this event a success. I have returned with them all, so please contact me to arrange a drop off. We had so many contributions (including an 11 box series that Lnd-Crzr just had lying around his house) that a few of the larger boxes did not even get hidden due to the nature of the park. Thanks again to everyone who helped out and I hope to see some of you next week in St. Louis. Hopefully there will be nothing on fire this weekend.

My camera batteries were dead so I didn't get any pictures, but if anyone would like to post a link to theirs that would be great.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Letterboxing 101

On Saturday, October 20 from 9 a.m. to noon, I am teaching a Letterboxing 101 class to up to 25 Cadette/Senior Girl Scouts (teenagers) as part of a program they requested of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park Staff. While I don't go out of my way to advertise or promote such programs, Ichose to do this one because they came to me rather than me going to them.

I am looking for assistance with two aspects of the program:

One, I would like to borrow carving tools for that day (they will be returned to you). Since letterboxing is first and foremost an art, the girls will be carving simple home-made stamps as part of the program.

Two, pending approval from the Girl Scout leaders, I need several volunteers willing to go with a small group of girls when we split up to do hunting, so that they have an experienced letterboxer with them. If you are not already a park volunteer, you wouldneed to fill out some paperwork in order to volunteer.

Our general agenda for the day is to introduce letterboxing and explain whatit is, why people do it and how it has evolved. We will go over etiquette include the art of stealth and discretion, proper re-hiedeation, how to sign a logbook and contact the placer, what hitchhikers are and whatto do with them, how to solve clues and how to use a compass. We will then split into five or so groups and look for temporary boxes planted in Rock Bridge State Park. Our goal is to fulfill come of the requirements on the High-Tech Hide-and-Seek Special Interest Badge. If interested in loaning tools or helping with the event, please contact me at difoxfire (at) hotmail (dot) com. I will be doingthis program again in March for upper elementary aged Girl Scouts.

Friday, September 14, 2007

KC gathering

I unfortunately will not be able to attend this event but a couple other monkeys will be at the event. I am sending a little something with those monkeys. Take advantage of what they have for it is a sneak peek at things to come. I hope the event is a fun one.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

K. C. Gathering - Update

Hello all! The ring leader of the Outdoor Girls has done a bang-up job of scouting the park and has come up with more details regarding the gathering this Saturday.

We’ll try to meet at the picnic table next to the large stone fireplace at the north end of the park near the playground. There is parking on the semi-circle drive and there is parking along West 51st Street near the playground. As these picnic tables are non-moveable and are available on a first come first serve basis, I ask that everyone who can, bring tables and chairs. The more the better as some of us driving in from out of town might not have the space to haul such furniture.
Liz has included driving direction, so if you need them, please let me know.

Also she has included this suggestion for additional fun. For those coming in with kids and plan to stay through dinner, there is a great place at Crown Center called Fritz’s. A train delivers your greasy cheeseburger to your table. It is a fun place for kids! There also is a Crayola CafĂ© there at Crown Center. I believe Ethan and I will be heading over to Fritz’s for a root beer when the festivities are over. Anyone and everyone are invited to join us!

I’ll attempt to get there early and snag the table for us. Look for the pirate flag, but if it’s not there yet, don’t worry. Just go ahead and grab a table. You’ll know a fellow Letterboxer by their conspicuously full backpack.

Looks like we’ll have beautiful weather!

Please feel free and e-mail any questions.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

In the land of Mainiacs

Greetings friends!

After 24 hours of driving with a three year old, we arrived in Maine on August 19 with most of our sanity intact. We were immediately welcomed by beautiful cool weather, friendly neighbors, no internet connection and no cell phone reception. We’ve since gotten connected to the web, but finding a cell phone that picks up a signal inside our house is an ongoing saga. However, there has been plenty to do to take our minds off the phone calls and messages we’ve been missing….I’ve finished the unpacking but am still trying to find a place for everything in the house, and the garage is overflowing with the overflow. We’re having a garage sale later this month….road trip, anyone? You’ll be just in time for a New England Fall….some of the trees are already starting to be tinged with color. I could make a special letterbox for the event….anyone?

We haven’t been out to letterbox yet, but we did manage to find a box on our roadtrip here….Goat Island, hidden at Niagara Falls. It was fun searching in the midst of such a huge tourist attraction, and we were impressed that the box was still in place. However, those of you who have had the dubious pleasure of letterboxing with us will understand the horror I felt at discovering my camera battery was dead as I was trying to take pictures of our quest. No record for posterity! If you have no pictures, does it still count as a find??

I’m looking forward to sharing our letterboxing adventures with you all when we start having them…in the meantime, I’d love to hear a report from the Tolkien contest/gathering. Pictures would be even better!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

K.C. Gathering

For those planning or thinking about attending the K.C. gathering that is scheduled for this weekend here is an update. Perdu is still MIA from all message boards and email. I have heard that both her husband and one of her daughters has been in the hospital but know of no specifics. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

With that in mind, we are assuming that the event probably won't go off as she had originally planned in her blog and she just has not had time to update any information or cancel the event on AQ. But without hearing anything there still is some chance that she may have everything set up.

There are 22 people who have signed up and after some discussion with many of them we have decided to set a backup event plan in motion just in case. Lnd-Crzr will be creating a seperate event sign-up and will be contacting everyone who signed up for the original. I don't think Perdu had anything reserved at Loose Park but I am looking into this and will update attendees on Thursday or Friday.

If you do plan to attend, please let me or Lnd-Czrz know. I am not sure if Perdu will have a chance to release the clues to the boxes she had planted for this event, so we are looking for boxes to take and plant either temporarily or permanently. Even if you are not attending, if you have a box that we could use and return to you after the event, please let me know and I will make arrangements to pick them up.

Please check back here on Friday night as we should know more then. Thanks for your help.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Good trouper needed for the troopers

Here is a request from a Girl Scout troop that I cannot help with. My advice to them is pasted below the message. I don't think we can hope to prevent groups from letterboxing so it is probably very important that we provide a bit of guidance and encouragement.


Dear Clyde -
We have met a couple of times through my husband, Charles Davis.
I believe you are involved in "letterboxing" and I need some help. I am looking for someone (on short notice!!!) who could tell my daughter's girl scout troop a bit about this hobby. The short notice: the meeting is Sept. 12 from 3:45 - 5:00!
We are hoping to find someone who could also guide them through making their own stamps. Our plan is to make stamps & decorate journals at the first meeting. At the following meeting we will go hunt a couple of boxes located near our meeting place. (We meet at Grant Elementary School next to the Columbia Public Library.)
Can you put me in touch with anyone who might be willing to do this?
Many thanks,
Julie Davis

I teach a class at exactly that time, I’m afraid. Let me see who else might be available, but I’m afraid most of them work at that time. I will post a note on our Web site,, which also has a good set of informational articles on the right-hand side.

Do you have stamp carving material? Most carvers use the gray or pink stuff sold at craft stores but you can also cut out stamp shapes from thin craft foam and glue them to a block. I suggest that you carve only the personal stamps the girls will use to identify themselves. We recommend that you wait until you have found four or five boxes (on separate outings) before you try hiding one yourself. Finders all have a trail name or a name that they share with their family or group. I use C2B2 with my wife, Cecile, because we share the initials “CB.” We like groups to stamp onto a single page of the box logbook so it doesn’t quickly use up the paper. I saw a Girl Scout troop stamp in near Kansas City in a neat way — their combined stamps formed a picture on the page. I have seen families that do that, also.

The major challenge of letterboxing with Girl Scouts or any group is the stealth aspect. The prime rule of letterboxing is to not let “muggles” see what you are doing or to find a trail to the box. So a group cannot troop to the same box without being obvious. Worse is when someone shouts with excitement at finding the box. However, the hobby can also be both a great lesson and a fun activity for young people. Many of our boxes are focused on history and ask you to ponder the surroundings. Others have mathematical codes that require real problem solving. And many, many of the local stamps are pure art. It is the art of the stamp carver that makes letterboxers so nervous about having unappreciative people look for boxes.

There are many boxes in Columbia, including several in the downtown area, as you will find at But I would suggest a weekend outing to look for the “FB” series of about a 20 boxes That is the Favorite Book series of boxes planted by Lnd-Crzr. He and his son found their favorite young-people’s boxes and created clues that relate to the stories in the books. Ron is an incredible artist with a carving knife and so his stamps are worth finding. The fun here might be to have the girls pick their favorite books from his list. The easy way to find the whole list is to go to and the search for boxes page. Enter Missouri and Boone and then (in the clue name slot) “FB”. It will give you the full list.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

City of Columbia Website

For those following the discussion of city/state policies on letterboxing, you may be interested to know that under the "What's New" heading on the the City of Columbia website (, there is a subheading titled "Geocaching & Letterboxing". The link will lead you to a policy section, a downloadable placement permit, and a Finder's Note to include in boxes.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

St Louis Event

The time has arrived for the St. Louis Letterboxing Event!!!
We will be meeting at Castlewood Park in Ballwin, MO on Saturday Sept 22nd at 10Am. You will be looking for the picnic area right after the horse/biking areas (look for balloons) on the left. There are bathrooms nearby, a playground, and the river. At the end of the street is a beach where you can float, sit or swim in the Meramac river, so if you want to cool off after hiking, bring your swimsuit, chairs and floaties.

There are four classes scheduled (piano hinged logbooks, regular logbooks, intro to letterboxing, and a cypher/code class). Through out the day you can participate in our match up the invention with the inventor game and the first one with all the matches correct will win the trophy basket. There will be several other prizes given so come prepared to play hard, have fun and meet new people. There are also 4 KIDS ONLY boxes with prizes for the kids that find them as well. Clues to all boxes will be made available at the event.

This is a potluck so bring your favorite food item to share. (along with your plates, silverwear, and drinks) The hotdog bun is associated with the Worlds Fair held in St. Louis so it is only fitting that BBQ hotdogs will be served. We’ll eat around 11:30/12:00.

We hope to see you there!

(If you would like to donate towards the prize basket, please contact me at Also if you had planned on carving a box for the event, I need them to reach me by Sept 16th so they can be planted in time for the games.)

Directions: From I-44 westbound, head north on 141. Turn left on Big Bend and then LEft again on Ries Road. When it dead ends at Keifer Creek, turn left into park and drive until you see the picnic area on your left, tucked into trees by the river. There is parking across the street or in the next lot up.

From Columbia, head east on 40/64 then South on 141. (You'll go quite a ways on 141) Turn Right on Big Bend then Left at Ries Road. Turn left into the park on Keifer Creek and drive until you see the picnic area on your left. Look for the balloons and a white pop up pavillion. Park across the street or in the next lot.