Friday, July 28, 2006

A Challenge: Now you see me, now you don’t


The recent talk about lost boxes combined with my own thrill at finding Fox Fyr’s downtown mystery got me thinking about “camouflaged” boxes. There is a sub-specialty in letterboxing in which people craft boxes with such cunning they can hide them practically in the middle of the road.

I’m leaving Mid Missouri for a few months to teach in our program in London. Tough duty, but someone has to do it. So before I go, I thought I would throw a challenge to you (and even offer a special prize).

Season of the Unseen


This contest will run from now until Dec. 30, 2006. The prize will be hand-crafted box for your letterboxing supplies. You can look here for a sample of the other boxes I have made.

The aim is to develop the skills that conceal our letterboxes from all but those who have the clues. Boxes will be hidden in heavily frequented places and as we are still learning this art, may indeed be stolen. The key to success will not only entail camouflage, but clues that only a real letterboxer can break and clear instructions on how to retrieve and replace the box with stealth.

Here are the rules:

--All boxes must be placed by Sept. 1 to take advantage of the fall boxing season. But no one will argue if you fudge a little.
-- All boxes must be placed within 10 feet of a trail, pathway or thoroughfare. That doesn’t necessarily mean a hiking trail – it could be a sidewalk, parking lot or even a very public building. Just somewhere where the untutored might stumble upon it.
-- At least 7 people per week must pass the letterbox. The more the merrier. The intent is to test your hiding skills.
-- The box, its covering or camouflage must be visible from the trail (no hiding behind a tree or other barrier). It could be under a rock, etc, but not in a place that you would have to leave the pathway to retrieve it. Again, the intent is to hide the box in the most obvious place possible.
-- Boxes can be camouflaged in any way including outer boxes, fake rocks, camo paint, Klingon cloaking devices, invisibility cloaks, etc.
-- All boxes must be listed on LBNA. Mention something about the contest in your clues. All finders should log their finds.
-- All placers must assume that there is a reasonable chance that box will be stolen or vandalized in the period of the contest. Don’t get so attached to your stamp that you cry when it is gone. Push the envelope – or the box.
-- Take a picture of your box and a picture of its setting in case the above happens.
-- If you lose a box, post a note to the Mid Missouri Letterboxers site.

Of course, the main criterion for judging is that the box survived the test period. But you also get credit for the size of the box, the actual amount of activity on the trail and the creativity of the camo job. Chutzpah and daring will pay. We will vote on the winner at our winter gathering.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Addictions

Well, it may not surprise you to know that I have other obsessions besides letterboxing- I know it is crazy but besides letterboxing I am passionate about birth (namely homebirth) my children and hubby, books, pottery, and way too many other things to mention here. I finally made the jump out of Boone county and planted a box and a bonus box in Cooper County where I grew up that highlights another couple of addictions/obsessions- old houses and cemeteries. If you are up for a little jaunt check out the Ravenswood LB-

http://www.letterboxing.org/BoxView.php?boxnum=24072&boxname=Ravenswood

hope you enjoy- know of any good old house I should see???-

Saturday, July 22, 2006

South East Missouri LB Tour 2006

How addictive is letterboxing? Read all about Lnd-Crzr’s and Fox-Fyr’s 2006 whirlwind letterboxing tour of Southeast Missouri (and southwestern Illinois), and judge for yourself. Despite the heat index of 102 degrees or higher, and no chance of rain, we set out Saturday morning July 15, 2006, with camping equipment, extra clothes, letterboxing gear, two road maps, a full tank of gas and clues to about 15 boxes scattered throughout southeastern Missouri and southwestern Illinois.

Our first stop was actually not letterboxing-related. We stopped by Hermann, Missouri (which has two LBs we visited last fall) to begin our adventure with a visit to the excellent Hermanoff Winery for a basket lunch of bread and cheese and sausage. A short detour to Deutschheim State Historic Site and a visit with its superintendent revealed an excellent opportunity to check out the town’s German heritage (and, of course, scope out some possibilities for additional LB hiding places).

Next it was down Highway 19 through Cuba, MO (home of the excellent Missouri Hick BBQ, though it was too early for dinner so we didn’t stop) and then south past Dillard’s Mill to Elephant Rocks State Park. Though the clue for the Elephant Rocks box (placed sometime in 2004 by Know Future) has disappeared from LBNA, we were lucky enough that Lnd-Crzr had visited it on his 2005 tour of the Southeast. The black 35mm film canister was exactly where he remembered it to be, and still in excellent condition, though the entries numbered only about a half dozen. Elephant Rocks State Park is Missouri’s only state park with a Braille trail, designed with guide ropes, textured walkways and Braille signage specifically for the blind visitor. Thankfully, the Braille is translated so the rest of us can enjoy reading about the giant glacial erratics. We hoped t hike its newest trail to a historic ruin, but perhaps one had to be blind to see it.

Next it was off to a remote section of the Ozark Trail near Ironton to look for the “Price’s Invasion of 1864: Pilot Knob” LB. This is another Wyld Blueberries special with a Civil War design homemade logbook and homemade stamp. This Kansas City due also planted the “Prices Invasion of 1864: Hermann” LB which we visited last fall. The Pilot Knob LB had lay quietly undisturbed in the area for about a year. We were the first finders, and Lnd-Crzr collected a nice first finder’s bonus to add to his logbook.

Since we were so close to Taum Sauk State Park, we decided to check on Lnd-Crzr’s box at Missouri’s highest point. Despite that fact that no one had used LBNA’s “Contact the Placer” link to report the box as found, there were several entries in the logbook, including an Oct.., 2005 entry from a family from Columbia, MO (Maddie, Zack and Stuart) though neither Lnd-Crzr or Fox-Fyr recalled ever seeing those names in any Columbia-area LB. Has any one seen these folks in any mid-Missouri LBs?

Fox-Fyr discovered an unexpected surprise in the Taum Sauk box: the Banana Hitchhiker (released 2004) which will soon be making its way to a box somewhere in Mid-Missouri. We didn’t have the time to checkout the other two boxes on that trail (Mina Sauk Falls and Missouri’s Hardest LB) as we were running out of daylight and wanted to reach Hawn State Park (our camping destination) before too dark. Hot and exhausted, we were fortunate enough to find a vacant campsite in the beautiful and popular Hawn State Park (which is twice the size of Rock Bridge State Park and donated to the state park system by a schoolteachrer). We set up camp and enjoyed a long shower, a quick meal, and a pleasant sleep.

Daybreak saw us up and about on the two-mile Pickle Creek Trail In Hawn which is without doubt the most popular trail in the park (since the other two main trails are four and ten mile loops). The scenery along Pickle Creek was lovely and nicely shaded with mini shut-ins, similar to Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park but on a much smaller scale. We saw a water snake, red sunfish, a few other fish, and lots of potential for a LB series.

Our true quest, however, lay about 10 miles down the road in Pickle Spring Natural Area, an area of such incredible natural features that the area is nationally recognized. On the Trail Through Time (what a great name for a trail), we learned a new word—hoodoo—which is a term for sandstone formations which nature has shaped into fantastic forms resembling such things as such as turtles, beehives, mushrooms and giant cauliflower heads. The trail was well marked, and dunking our heads in periodic waterfalls helped keep us cool.

The box placer, Know Future, had the Pickle Springs LB listed as missing but the hike sounded worth the trip anyway, and lo and behold, when we got to the box location, the LB was exactly where we expected it to be. Another 35 mm film canister, this one had suffered water damage, and the logbook was beyond repair. It appeared to have about six entries (including that same family from Columbia, MO who had stampedinto the Taum Sauk box). We replaced the logbook with a few sheets of paper from our own logbook, then resealed and replaced the LB for the next finder. We would have enjoyed this hike even if the box had been missing, but we were glad to have found it.


Our next jaunt took us over the border into Chester, Illinois, home of Popeye the Sailor Man (or at least of his creator). A quick stop at the Popeye Statue, which is visible as soon as you cross the Mississippi River into town, would have saved us some time as the area also contained a map of the city. Instead, we saw quite a bit of Chester as we meandered about looking for the town’s only city park. This series of six boxes was planted by the duo of Leaping Lizards from Wisconsin (who visited about 20 mid-Missouri boxes last winter). Here we ran into a bit of a struggle as east was sometimes west, and left was sometimes right, and all the trails look like game paths, some quite faint. Still, with excellent letterboxing detective work, we found four of six boxes. One was reported missing by several other finders, and the other, well who knows? Four of out six, all excellently hand-carved, was a good haul.



From Chester, we crossed back into Missouri and headed south to the middle of nowhere, aka Altenburg, to Tower Rock Conservation Area along the Mississippi. Here’s another box that even if the box is missing, the view is worth the drive. The clues led us to an overlook of Tower Rock, one of two such places named by Lewis and Clark (the other being in Montana, which is the home state of the placer, Chickenman, yet another out-of-the-region placer). (Does anyone who plants boxes in Southeast Missouri actually live in that portion of the state?) We were amazed that the box was still there, given that it was clearly visible to the casual onlooker. Perhaps not many people had ventured up to the overlook since the box was planted last April. We claimed another first finders on this box (though the main prize was the view and the photos we took). We re-hid the box so that no part of it was visible, and set off for one more for the day.

Our last and seventh box of the day took us south to Trail of Tears State Park. It’s a good thing Lnd-Crzr is not allergic to poison ivy or there was no way we were getting this one. He braved about 150 feet of thick, waist-high poison ivy to recover this box (and had to venture back through it to replace it). It’s a good bet that a Muggle is not going to accidentally run into this LB and steal it anytime soon. It’s a good thing we planned on camping that night so Lnd-Crzr could avail himself of the showers. As it was Sunday night, the campground was just about deserted except for the few hundred mosquitoes zeroing in on the few remaining campers.
Monday morning began with a visit to the Trail of Tears visitor center to learn about the Native American tribes who passed through the area on their forced march to Oklahoma (hence the name Trail of Tears). Fox-fyr had a pleasant chat with one of the state park staff members who plans on planting a letterbox in her park as soon as she finds a good location and carves her first stamp.

Next it was off to Jackson, Missouri, to search for yet another of Chickenman’s boxes (he also planted Trail of Tears). The hunt led us to old McKendree Chapel, a remarkable building built in 1800 a few years before Lewis and Clark passed through the area, and when the region was still governed by Spain. This was yet another location we would likely have never visited had not been for the fact that a letterbox had been planted there. While it took us awhile to find the signs directing us to the chapel, we were well rewarded by the quality of the site. The chapel was unlocked and open to the public and judging by the guest book, a popular place for weddings. The site is also home to two of the state’s champion trees.and an old log cabin, whose story was preserved in a brass plaque. Again, our luck held out, and the box was exactly where it was supposed to be, guarded by a few spiders and webs. Our fourth first finders this trip.

Though it was late morning, and our bellies were reminding us we hadn’t yet had much breakfast or any lunch, we set off for Bollinger Mill and Bufordville Covered Bridge State Historic Sites to search for another box planted by Chckenman. We got a personal tour of the four-story Bollinger Mill (took advantage of the July special: buy-one-tour, get-one-free) and went back in time to days when the industrial revolution was young, and the machinery surprisingly advanced. We learned the origin of the phrase “show your mettle” (people who “dressed” or shaped grinding stones often received small chips of stones in their hands. A “dresser” looking for work would often be asked to “show his metal” to indicate how much experience he had.).
While the tour of the mill was excellent, our luck in finding the box was not so good. We searched some likely hiding places for about 30 minutes before concluding that it was probably missing.

Still we had some daylight left, so off to Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park (with a quick side trip for pork tenderloin sandwiches, fried clams, friend mushrooms and ice cream and yet another black cherry vanilla coke from the cooler). Black Cherry Vanilla may replace Rootbeer as the drink of choice judging by the amounts we consumed in three days.

No letterboxes hidden at JSI, but lots of memories and the awesome view of the destructive power of billions of gallons of water harnessed for power but breaking free from its artificial enclosure. When the AmerenUE dam broke last December, it sent a flood of water rushing down the mountainside into the park, leaving a swath of destruction in its path. We both had visited the park prior to the dam breaking, and the difference was amazing. Of particular interest were the yellow bands park staff had placed in the trees to show the height of water in the park during the flood,andthesheer amount of trees missing. What was once forest was now stripped to basically bare rock.

We left Johnson’s Shut-Ins in the late afternoon, with Fox-Fyr vainly attempting to steal back her carkeys from Lnd-Crzr who had apparently had enough of Fox-Fyr’s inability to drive smoothly around the winding, twisting backroads of the southeast. With Lnd-Crzr now at the wheel, we set off for one last letterbox at Beaver Creek Conservation Area. As we neared the area, Lnd-Crzr recalled that he had actually visited this box before almost exactly a year ago. Perhaps he will make this an annual pilgrimage. A pretty easy find, with only about half a dozen entries, the last being from a pair of Muggles out walking their dog who happened accidentally upon the box.

All-in-all, as we headed back to Mid-Missouri and the Land of Plenty, about 700 miles and two tanks of gas later, we marveled at our luck: we found 12 of the 15 boxes we’d searched for, many of them more than two years old, plus a Hitchhiker and four first finders. In addition, Fox-Fyr hit her 100th box found on this trip, and Lnd-Crzr reached about 106 finds. A thoroughly excellent adventure. Addicted? We certainly are.

Fox-Fyr

Side Note: I (Lnd-Crzr) did a SE MO LB Tour 2005 and found only about half of the 8 or so LBs I looked for. SE MO is certainly one of Missouri's richest regions for historical and natural sites. I've spent a many days, over many years exploring this region and feel I have only scratched the surface of what it has to offer. Now it appears that it is also becoming a worth-while trip for die-hard LBers. If you're ever in search of an erea to explore, I highly reccommend south east Missouri. I'd be happy to point out some hightlights and must sees if anyone is interested.

Article written by Fox-Fyr with pictures and publishing by Lnd-Crzr.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Blueberry Vacation log


We got back from a vaction in June, and I thought it would be fun to share some of the letterboxing fun we had along the way. (It's not Mid-missouri, but hope you enjoy anyway.) We made it from KC to the tip of Wisconsin and back with no major disasters, unless you count getting drenched a few times.

On our first day we stopped in Britt, IA and visted the National Hobo Memorial. We wanted to go to the Hobo Museum but it was closed. On the way out we stashed one of our Hobo Signs boxes. This one was Nice Place to Catch a Train.

Next it was the land of 10,000 lakes, so of course we visited the natural beauty of the Mall of America. We did take the light rail to find some cool urban boxes in a total downpour while finding the Minnesota History boxes. We later placed the Hobo Signs:Telephone box in Duluth.

We also had a chance to bop over to River Falls, WI and place a box in honor of Chief's Training Camp.

We then headed North for camping in Wisconsin, and the weather was just beautiful for it. The letterboxing highlight of the trip was finding the Washburn Fire Tower box in Washburn, WI. While we were finding the box, we came across an entire hillside of
wild blueberries (see the picture). Until then our trail name had been a theory - but that day we earned it!

By the time we made it back we had placed boxes in four new states (counting a quick jaunt into Michigan for the Season for Everything box.

Getting to Know you... LB

I'm new to Letterboxing in the area, so for my first box, I thought I'd give the local letterboxing community a small introduction to who I am...in the form of clues to this letterbox! This box is located on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus. If you find this and you have any tips for me, let me know!

Special thanks to MamaRoots...she "previewed" this LB for me before I posted it since it was my first.

CLUES:

You will use three websites to find clues for this box. I will give you the URL for two of the webpages you will use:
http://honors.missouri.edu
www.google.com

Go to the first website and find the staff member in the Honors College that enjoys “backpacking and rock climbing” (that’s me).
Now, go to google.com and find the homepage for my undergrad (the name has since changed). With a little investigation, you should find the name of the mascot at my undergrad. It’s a “tall” order, but this clue should “point” you in the right direction.

Now, circle my place of employment (on the MU campus) until you come upon a landmark that shares the name of my undergraduate mascot.

LB is about three feet off the ground on the:
O/
/
(/)

The LB is a micro in a mini-M&Ms container. It is in a high traffic area, so you may not want to attempt this between 7:30am and 5pm on a weekday unless you are in super-stealth mode. There are many nice shaded areas nearby where stamping and logging can take place.

I work VERY nearby (as you'll soon find out). Feel free to stop by my office, say hello, and tell me what you thought of this LB.

The stamp is very small and very delicate. Please contact me when you find it, log the find with LbNA.

Let me know how it's holding up!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Letterboxing Policies

LETTERBOXING POLICY: THREE ISSUES
1) SALES TAX AND MISSOURI STATE PARK LETTERBOXING POLICIES
Tuesday, August 8, 2006 is election day and on the ballot will be Amendment 1 which is the proposal to renew the state parksand soils1/10th of one percent (this would be the continuation of an exisiting tax currently set to expire in 2008 if it is not renewed). This tax provides the majority of the funding (75%) for the Missouri state park system.(for more infor visit www.amendment1.org)

What doesthis have to do with letterboxing? Well with the election so close, state park official are paying particularly close attention to any comments they receive from the public. As mostof you know, state parks have a letterboxing policy which require all letterboxes to have an approved permit from the respective area managers. The current policy (whichwas written without public opinion from any letterboxers) limitstheboxes to one permit per every 200 acres. Each permit MAY have up to five boxes, though some park managers interpret this to mean (at the discretion of the park manager). Thus RockBridge State Park is currently allowed 11 permits and no more than 20 boxes total. This number also includes any geocaches within park boundaries.

Additionally, the policy states that the permit may be renewed after one year. After the2ndyear, the boxmust be removed, or relocated (anda new permit applied for) or allowed to stay in the same place if you re-apply and are approved.

While I have no problem with area managers requiring permits to ensure that boxes are not placed in sensitive or dangerous areas, and so that they can manage the area to prevent the creationof new trails, I personally believe that the policy of one permit per 200 acresis far too restrictive. Not only can some areas can accomodate a lot more than 1 box per 200 acres, it can be done so with minmal impact to the surrounding lands, especially if the visitation to the box is low (as it is in the majority of the state), or if the box is located close to an existing trail.

If you have the same or other concerns, please send an e-mail (preferably before August 8) to the Division of State Parks. The initial contact person for policy concerns is Angie Even, the state park web coordinator. Her e-mail is Angie.Even@dnr.mo.gov If you mention the state parks sales tax renewal somewhere in the letter, it will be sure to catch their attention (For example: As a voter and a supporter of the upcoming sales tax renewal, I would appreciate it if some consideration would be given to reviewing the stae park letterboxing policy, with respect to my concerns below . . . I would be happy to discuss the matter with you and can be reached at...".) Feel free to use any of the text above. If you would like a copy of the state park letterboxing policy, I can post it here or send it to you by e-mail.

2) CONSERVATION DEPARTMENT AND GEOCACHING
I recently saw a survey put forth by the Missouri Department of Conservation asking, among other things, if readers of their monthly publication, The Conservationist, would be interested in seeeing an article on geocaching. The last time I checked (sixmonths ago), MDC did not have an official geocaching policy. The fact that they're considering publishing an article tells me they are likely to establish one soon (if they haven't already). Like state parks, they may simply lump letterboxing in with geocaching and may or may not seek opinions before creating such a policy. In any case, if they do publish an article, it's gonna impactletterboxing one way or another, as The Conservationist is one of the most widely read publications in the state of Missouri. By addressing concerns with MDCbefore they go to press, we may be able to influence their policy-making. I do not have an official contact person but you would be able to contactthem through their website which I believe is www.mdc.mo.gov If that's not correct, you cansearch for them by typing Missouri Department Conservationin you web browser.

3) CONNECTICUT LETTERBOXING
Lastly, on a slightly similar note, you may wish to check out the Connecticut Division of Forestry's Page. Connecticut is a hotbed of letterboxing and has hundreds (if not thousands)of active boxes in the state. The CtDiv. of Forestry has planted 30 letterboxes (one on each state forest) and sponsors a patchprogram for collecting at least five (and a walking stick if you collect all 30). I've sent them a letter to request information on what kind of impact letterboxing has had in CT after the implementation of thisprogram. their website is : http://www.dep.state.ct.us/burnatr/forestry/centen/letterbox.htm

To respond to any of these issues on this blog, select the Post a Comment option.
Fox-fyr

Saturday, July 01, 2006

TYPES OF HITCHHIKERS AND HOW TO KEEP TRACK OF THEM: by Fox-fyr, Columbia, MO 6-1-06

Since planting the Mid-Mo Hitchiker Hostel: Bed and Breakfast, I thought it prudent to include a few comments, tips, and etiquette about Hitchhikers (HH) and other travelers.

WHAT KIND OF TRAVELERS EXIST?
There are various kinds of Travelers, and the exact definition of a Traveler differs from person to person. Three common types of Travellers in the U.S are Hitchhikers (HH), personal travelers and postal letterboxes..

Hitchhikers (HH)

As most of you are aware, a HH has its own book and and its own stamp and sometimes its own container, all of which is usually inside a Ziploc bag. HHs are designed to fit inside a host letterbox. Once found, the HH is then carried to another letterbox (LB) and dropped of for another person to find. A few Hitchhikers come with their own waterproof box and are designed to be placed alongside a Host LB rather than in it.

Personal Travelers
Some people use the word Traveller to mean a traveling LB. These are sometimes called Personal Travellers. These travelers go with a specific person or group from place to place and you must find that person(s) to find the traveler. An example would be a LB that travels with theatre company, music group or military organization from town to town.

Postal Letterboxes and Postal Letterbox Rings
Postal letterboxes (PLBs) consist of one book and one stamp which are mailed from person to person, usually along a designated mailing list, before it finally returns to the sender. In a Postal letterbox ring, each person in the ring creates a book and stamp, and mails them to the next person on a designated list. Eventually and ideally, all the PLBs in the ring will be stamped by each person on the list before they returns to the senders.

Cuckoo Clues:
A Cuckoo Clue is a clue for one letterbox that’s been planted in another letterbox. Some cuckoo clues (like the clue for my Alley Cat box) are designed to move from box to box. Other Cuckoo clues (such as those written in the back of host LB logbooks) are designed to stay in the same box. Some Cuckoo Clues may be passed from person to person.

HOW DO I KEEP TRACK OF THE TRAVELERS I’VE RELEASED AND FOUND?
This question came up a few times at the Mid-Mo Spring 2006 LB Gathering. LBNA has a relatively new option of logging Hitchhikers and other Travelers.

To Record a Traveler You’ve Released:
If you’ve released a Traveler and want to log it into LBNA, go to the LBNA Homepage and select “Add a Traveler” or go to Member Services and select “Add a Traveler.” You will be asked to select the traveler type (Hitchhiker, Personal, Postal or Other). Add in the State and nearest City in which it was released and the release date. If you were at the Gathering and gave me a traveler for the Hitchhiker Hostel, the release date is May 6, 2006 and the nearest city is Columbia, MO. Since travelers move from box to box , you cannot put in an actual clue. However, you can add a description about the traveler (why you made it; what it represents; what’s special about it; what town or location you’d like to see it travel to, if any, etc). See my Purple Fox HH and Stargate SG-1 HH as examples.

To Record a Traveler You’ve Found:
On LBNA, from the Home Page select the Travelers Link. You can search for Travelers by name, type, date and/or placer. Once you’ve found it in the list, you can record it as found. Keep in mind that since this is a new feature, not all travelers are listed with LBNA. You can also try searching for them on www.atlasquest.com
Be sure to copy down the name, address and e-mail of the placer before you release the HH in the next LB so you can at least let them know the progress of their HH.

HITCHHIKER TIPS AND ETIQUETTE

HITCHHIKER TIPS
Protect your HH.Hitchhikers often get much more wear and tear then regular letterboxes. If possible, use a strong Ziploc bag (freezer kinds work best). The thinner bags tend to tear as HHs are carried in backpacks and from place to place. If you find a HH with a poor Ziploc, it is usually good etiquette to replace it with a better bag.

When stamping in, follow the same routine in the same order each time. Variety is not the spice of life in this case: Be sure to stamp the HH stamp in the host LB and stamp the host LB stamp into the HH. Both stamps also need to make it into your own logbook and your stamp needs to make it in both logbooks. While you can do these steps in any order, it’s helpful to come up with a routine and stick with it each time you find a Hitchhiker to avoid leaving out any steps, especially if you have more than one HH you’re picking up or dropping off. Here’s an example.
Take care of the regular letterbox first:
1) Stamp the host LB stamp into your personal logbook
2) Stamp your signature stamp into the host LB.

Then, make sure whoever dropped off the Hitchhiker, also did the following two steps:
3) Stamp the host LB stamp into the HH logbook
4) Stamp the HH stamp into the host LB logbook.

Finally, add your input to the HH:
5) Stamp the HH stamp into your personal logbook.
6) Stamp your signature stamp into the HH.
7) Write down the contact information about the placer so you can let them know you found their Hitchhiker.

8) Be sure to leave a little note in each logbook. Since HH often go to places their creator may never get to visit, please share a bit about the location and box in which you found the HH. When you drop off the HH in a new location, don’t forget to follow steps 1-4 above.

HITCHHIKER ETIQUETTE
► If you found a HH in a LB but do not plan on finding any more boxes in the near future, it may be best to leave the HH in the LB and let the next person take it.

If you find a HH that you do not plan on taking, should you collect the stamp and should you stamp into the HH? This dilemma occurs most often when finding Hitchhiker Hostels which may contain multiple Hitchhikers. If a HH logbook has many pages, it is probably okay to stamp into it even if you do not take it. If pages are limited, however, stamp only into the ones you actually take. This keeps the logbook from filling up with multiple signature stamps while the HH itself never actually moves.

I found a HH. Which box should I drop it off in? The main goal is to keep the HH moving as much as possible. Before dropping off a HH into a particular box, you may check to see what kind of activity the box receives. If the box is in an obscure location or has difficult clues that limit the number of finders or is an older box that no longer gets much traffic since all the local letterboxers have already found it, you may wish to select a different box in which to leave the HH unless it is your HH and you don’t care that it may sit in the box for a long while. Newer boxes with easier clues are often a good choice as you can expect that they’ll get some visits in the near future.

►How canI get Hitchhikers to show up in the boxes I planted? If you want a HH to show up in a box you plant, you can include in the description that your box is big enough to accommodate Hitchhikers. Converse, if your box is too small to accommodate a HH, you may wish to make that notice as well. Hitchhikers are often released in Hitchhiker Hostels (HHH) as well, but keep in mind that people like the surprise of finding HHs in regular boxes, so don’t release all of them in HHHs. As the owner of a HHH I plan to keep tabs on how long each HH has stayed in the hostel and move them myself if no one drops by to collect them

► How do PFX counts work with Hitchhikers? Rules for P(planted), F (found) and X(exchanged) vary. Here’s my philosophy (yours may differ): Count as Planted only the ones you’ve created and released. Do not count as planted when moving someone else’s HH. Count as Found only the HH you find and take (unless it’s your own). If you find a HH and do not take it, it may be acceptable to collect the stamp image but do not count these images in the F-count. Count each HH as found only once (even if you find it again in another box). Remember the joy of letterboxing is in the hiding and finding boxes and sharing artwork; it’s not a competitive sport.

Remember: Keep ‘Em Moving. Hitchhikers were designed to travel and when faced with various choices, choose the option that keeps em’ moving.