Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Ron on the air

Ron Danuser provided Mid Missouri with an introduction to letterboxing via a superb radio interview on KBIA in Columbia. Darren Hellwege, host of the public radio station's Thinking Out Loud, not only asked all the right questions, but went into the field with Ron. We had the experience of hearing Darren's excitement as he found his first box in Rock Bridge State Park.

Go to Hellwege's program site to listen to the whole interview. But then poke around in the site to hear the long version of the box hunt and enjoy several good links.

Thanks, Ron. I think the best promotion of letterboxing has been from public broadcasting and similar print sites, such as Smithsonian. Whether it is the audience or the format, it seems to excite people who not only enjoy the hobby but treat it with respect.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Fall Gathering

Good coffee, good conversation -- and REALLY GREAT letterboxes!

Those of us at the Fall 2005 gathering of the Mid Missouri Letterboxers had lots of reasons for celebrations. Not only did eight of us -- including little Jedidiah -- spend an afternoon talking to folks who actually understand our hobby, but just a mile away the mighty Mizzou Tigers beat the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

While the crowd at Farot Stadium tore down the goalposts, we were excited in our own, admittedly more sedate, way as we shared our experiences and expertise.

Attending were Ron, Jenny, JT & Sandi & son, and Clyde & Cecile.

Ron had supplied us all with empty mint tins with which we were to make microboxes. Sandi took the prize with here incredibly beautiful box-within-a-box. Her prize was a copy of "The Letterboxer's Companion" donated by Ron.

Jenny challenged us to a spooky Haloween Hitchhiker contest and suppled hand-crafted and lovingly filled supply pouches. Cecile won "most original" for her tiny box tucked into a plastic eyeball. Jenny's own Jaberwocky was voted "people's choice," but she passed her prize to Ron for his Great Pumpkin.

We spent three hours laughing, exchanging stamps and learning about ways to make books, carve stamps or write clues. We left with four new microboxes to place and three hitchhikers to tuck into other boxes, so even folks who couldn't make the gathering came out winners.

You can look at a gallery of photos take at the gathering by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Get a Higher Education

(This box was missing for a few weeks, but the person who stumbled upon it graciously returned it. It has be re-hidden in a less obvious place and the clues updated. 11/6/05)

ake the Tiger by the tail during this weekend's gathering of Mid-Missouri Letterboxers. Our Higher Education box is within walking distance of the Cherry Street Artisan, but will leave you scratching your head like a freshman at midterm exams.

Remember that the University of Missouri-Columbia was founded in 1839 as the first public university west of the Mississippi River and was the first public university in Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase territory. It is steeped in traditions and pride. Search for the box with respect and honor.

To find this letterbox, you’ll use a map, clues and a replacement code.

Use this link to locate a map of the Francis Quadrangle (north). (

Use the following clues to navigate to your destination. To locate the box you’ll need to decipher the code. When you find the box, snap your photo with the enclosed camera to let us know you’ve mastered this academic challenge. When we develop the film, we will post them at our Flickr site.

Begin at Elm Street, near Peace Park.
O Drive ->
Francis []
Face E
Uphill to large []

Now, decipher the code to find the letterbox.


Instructions for breaking the code:
Your Key Word is the seven-letter word for the most visited landmark on the MU campus.

--Locate the letter in the word that comes first in the alphabet, and assign that letter the value of 1.
--Locate the letter that comes second in the alphabet and assign it the value of 2.
--Continue until all seven letters have been assigned a number. Example: In the word cat, C =2, A=1 and T=3. This is numerical sequence is your “decoder”.

Using this number sequence, assign each letter in the coded message above.

To decode the clue, start with the letter in the coded message. Use the number assigned to that letter and move backwards through the alphabet that many letters. This is the “decoded” answer. Complete decoding the message and follow the clues.

Here’s an example of how this code works:

Key Word: BLUE
Decoder: 1342 (B appears first in the alphabet; E appears second, L appears third and U appears fourth)

Apply the decoder to a phrase.

1 3 4 2 1 3 4 2

Count backwards to find the answer.

H (move back 1 = G)
R (move back 3 = O)
S (move back 4 = O)
F (move back 2 = D)
M (move back 1 = L)
X (move back 3 = U)
G (move back 4 = C)
M (move back 2 = K)

Have fun

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Ghoulish Games Planned for Fall Gathering

Sharpen your carving tools and dip into your imagination for a haunted hitchhiker exchange at the October 22 Fall Gathering. To join the fun, create a hitchhiker based on a spooky, creepy or scary character. For inspiration, think of movies, books, cartoons, comicbooks, or fashion a figment of your own imagination. In addition to the carved stamp, make a logbook including all the necessary traveling information, so that eventually your creature can return to you. (Hint: Hitchhikers should be on the small side, as they must squeeze into letterboxes that are often quite full.)

Bring your HHH and logbook in a sturdy ziplock baggie to the Gathering. Those in attendance will vote on their favorites, and fabulous prizes will be awarded.

After the judging, we will exchange HHH's and place them in regular letterboxes to begin their spine-chilling journeys.

For more information, contact Jenny J.