Thursday, August 23, 2007

Missouri Skies

Howdy Ho Neighbors,

Have I got a box for you. A new box name Missouri Skies has been placed in Columbia for a limited time only. After Aug. 31st it will be re-located, and probably not in Boone County. I just wanted to give everyone a heads up in case your itchin to go somewhere close.
Have fun!
Larry of the 5-B's

Missouri Skies

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Dwarfs! Contests! and AC!

Greetings good friends! As some of you may have read, or heard, on our adventure to Colorado we ran across a series of Tolkien boxes planted on aptly named Mount Doom. We were very fortunate to meet the owner who started this series. Most of you will recall my own love of Tolkien and perhaps a few of you may recall the ‘There and Back Again’ gathering of 2006. Always looking to keep busy I asked if I could create a few boxes to add to her already fantastic series. The offer was taken and I began carving as soon as I returned. Now the stamps are turning out very well in my opinion and I started becoming a bit sad to think that I wouldn’t be able to share them with all the fabulous folks that make up the Mid-MO LB community. Then I had an idea. I propose to have a dwarven (and possibly a few others, to be sure at least one hobbit) send off party! No need to grow your beards long, but there is a catch! We all love FF bonuses and I have often left FF bonuses for the first 5 folks or so. Your mission (or we could call it you admission!) to this little dwarven send off party is to create at least one FF prize related to The Hobbit. Naturally, we’ll make this a contest which we’ll vote and award fabulous prizes (as always, don’t think new car fabulous). The FF prizes will be bundled up along with a special Dwarven Send Off Party logbook and sent to Colorado. Those that complete this series will find a final box with our logbook and all the prizes of which they can choose one (one prize) and look through the party logbook and catch a glimpse of our fabulous community. All FF bonuses will be wrapped, so picking one will be like opening a surprise present. Please be sure that your name and contact information are included in/on your entry.

So what happens at a dwarven send off party? Well, everyone who attends, and brings a FF prize will be entitled to stamp the stamps I’ll be sending to CO. Just how many? If you know the story of There and Back Again you’d know that it is at least…wait! I sense a contest here. The first 3 folks who send me the correct guess of AT LEAST how many stamps will receive a special prize. Can you claim these stamps as finds? Hmmm…I’ll leave that up to each individual, though you won’t see any of the logbooks at this point, which we all know can be half the fun. We’ll also do a quick vote and prize awarding for the contest.

Time, date and location have been confirmed, though the out of town visitors we thought might make it, won’t. Date is Saturday September 1st at 11 AM in the Columbia Library, Conference Room B.

If you can’t attend, but the thought of stamps of short fellows with beards has you salivating, don’t worry! I’m willing to open this up even to mail in entries. So if you can’t make it, go ahead and make you FF bonus for the contest (remember, these will be sent along to CO and must pertain to The Hobbit), send them to me (or make arrangements for delivery)and in return I’ll enter them into the contest and stamp the stamps and send them to you. How easy am I?

In a Nut Shell
Saturday September 1st 11 AM Columbia Library
Dwarven Send Off Party
Want stamps? Enter contest.
What Contest? Create FF prize related to J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’.
We’ll vote on the FF prizes. Winner receives something groovy.
ALL FF prizes will be shipped to CO along with the dwarfs, so be prepared to part with it.
Potluck! Dwarfs like good grub.
Got a clue regarding how many stamps? E-mail me.

Time is short!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

POLL: Fair Play?

Please read the following then answer the four poll questions at the right side of the blog. The poll is explained at the end of the post. Your answers will help me propose changes to the state letterboxing policy.

Limits on duration
The Missouri State Park system currently has a one-year limit on the permit before a permitted letterbox or geocache has to be relocated or removed.
Two main reasons for the time limit on the permit:
a) to help limit or prevent damage or other negative impact to the area (erosion, new trails being made, etc) by not allowing boxes to remain long-term.
b) If boxes were allowed to remain permanently, then once a park reached its limit of permits allowed, then no new boxes (or geocaches) would be allowed until someone decides to retire their permit.
Limits on quantity.
Currently the limits on the number of permits is one permit for every 200 acres. For example, Rock Bridge State Park has 2273 acres, and can issue a maximum of 11 permits. Please note that this maximum is the combined total of letterboxes and geocaches. One person is limited to two permits at a time.

Reasons for limits on quantity:
1) National parks won’t allow any. Missouri state parks decided to allow some, but impose a limit as when the policy was written, both letterboxing and geocaching were fairly new in the area and no one knew the potential impact.
Letterboxing and geocaching essentially violate the “Leave No Trace” philosophy. Containers, even when hidden so no part is visible, are still left behind in the parks and can becomes litter, especially when they not maintained or are dragged out of their hiding spot by animals, vandals or forces of nature.
Three state parks already have an incredible amount of paperwork, and not having a limit on the number of permits would be a huge headache.
4) Imposing a two-pemits-per-person limit allows for variety in boxes placed.

If you could re-write the state parks letterboxing / geocaching policy:
1) How long would you allow a box to remain in place? One year, two years, two years with option to renew each year thereafter, five years, permanently, or other?
2) Would you rather see boxes and geocaches remain long-term, even if it meant not having new ones in the area for a long time, or would you rather have boxes forced to retire after a certain period of time so that new ones can move in?
3) What would you see as a fair number of permits allowed in an area so that a) the area does not become over-saturated and b) so that the state agency is not overwhelmed with paperwork?
4) How many permits / boxes should one person be allowed to have in any state park?

These are seemingly simple questions, but keep in mind that there are 83 Missouri State parks and historic sites which represents an incredible variety of resources, and the policy has to be able to be fair and applicable throughout the entire state park system for both letterboxes and geocaches.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Honestly, it's just a clue

The letterboxing "honesty" poll results are in: We fudge a bit more than keep on the straight and narrow.

Only six boxers dared to answer the question "How often have you "cheated" (by your definition(on a letterbox) clue. Two said never, one said once and three said five times.

It's worth discussion what constitutes "cheating" and whether it is a function of the way clues are written or the goals of the boxer. By some measures, I cheat on almost every box -- I very seldom pace off the distance and find I usually can find the box by just looking for landmarks (or a flash of Rubbermaid blue). I also never decode a cipher -- I either let Cecile do that, just figure it out from other parts of the clue or find another box.

My other main shortcut is to look at a map and determine the shortcut that the placer probably took. I only do this if the hike to the box looks unappealing, as the walk into the unfamiliar is the best part of letterboxing to me.

So what do you think? Is it fair game to take shortcuts?

The next poll, by the way, is about how frequently you letterbox.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A little chaos, a little mayhem, and a lot of Colorado!

Written by Lnd-Crzr with occasional creative collaboration and editorial advice from OneMeanGreenBean.

As many of you know, OneMeanGreenBean and I were fortunate enough to spend two dazzling weeks roaming through Colorado this summer. Our only plan was to go Colorado and be back by July 30th, the rest was foot loose and fancy free. Our original intent was not to box our way completely around the state, but to simply hike, climb, backpack and visit old friends, and if a few boxes were hit along the way, so be it. Our first stop was at an old HS chum’s house in Evergreen, just northwest of Denver. We found the LBs there aplenty so we couldn’t help ourselves. We started with a long series which looped about the area highlighting many of the local points of interest, both historical and of the natural wonder kind. In Golden, we had prearranged a meet-and-greet with some of the locals and were surprised to meet seven splendid boxers from the Front Range. They regaled us with fantastic tales of wondrous boxes in the hills near Grand Mesa and of a legendarily nasty pirate whose boxes are as stupendous as her swashbuckling skills. After a few days of boxing around Golden, accumulating 22 boxes, we headed west with our sights set on Mount Doom, high atop Grand Mesa. After a few stops along the way, we found ourselves camped within the realm of a hotbed of Tolkien inspired boxes. Adventures ensued and we descended off the mesa and Mount Doom having claimed another 7 boxes. An all too brief meeting with the magnificent pirate herself proved to be a highlight of the trip. 5 boxes more and we were again on the road, our next destination…Durango. Durango provided another meeting of two more wonderful local boxers and the opportunity to find a plethora of boxes. Two days later we had visited the beautiful mountain town of Silverton, explored Durango in depth, and bagged another 12 boxes. It was somewhere near this point that we counted the boxes we had found. Including stragglers, we realized we were at 49 boxes found. Neither of us are the sort to dash through and gobble boxes, but Letterboxing was fast proving to be a fabulous way to explore the state. Nearly every box lead us to beautiful and interesting spot that we would have never seen otherwise (which happens to be one of our favorite aspects of LB). We decided that seeing 100 interesting spots would be grand! And thus we named our quest the Chaos and Mayhem tour, during which many boxes were snagged, many adventures were had, and many turnoffs were driven by and quickly regained via a maneuver known as the ‘U-ie’.

So intrepid reader, did we manage our goal of seeing 100 terrific spots which happened to hold hidden Lock n’ Lock? Did we resort to living off snack crackers due to lack of funds? Were gators seen in the desert? Did Bob Dylan serenade us as we battled rattlesnakes in the dark? Tune in next time for the next installment of The Chaos and Mayhem Tour; CO 2007.

St. Louis Event

Hi all, It has been awhile since I've posted on anything due to being an old sick pregnant lady, but I wanted to remind you of the St. Louis Event in September. I am trying to nail down particulars. Hot dogs will be provided (since the bun was introduced at the Worlds Fair in St Louis) and then everyone just bring something to share. Please RSVP on AQ or at least on the blog so we know how much food to bring. Also, if you signed up or agreed to carve the inventor/invention stamp, please email me so I can start to get those, so Rozebud and Mo UR4 Me and I have planty of time to hide them. More details will follow, but please come and enjoy our friendship as we begin to build this area up. Thanks, The B Hunters

Permits Expiring

FYI, there are several boxes at Rock Bridge State Park and related sites whose permits will be expiring this fall. Essentially, the park superintendent has allowed the boxes to remain in place for two years (which is twice as long as they are normally allowed to stay in one location according to the permit). However, I do not think he will allow them to remain in the same place for a third year. Therefore, if you have not yet found them, you may wish to make finding these boxes a priority. They include Jenny J's Box of Leaves #1, the last part of my Five Star Drink series, Buried Jewells, and possibly others (check the placement date on LBNA for anything about to reach two years old or older placed by Lnd-Crzr, Ahistory and/or Webfoot).

Ahistory and I (and anyone else who is interested) are working on submitting suggested revisions to the policy. I have spoken with Barb Wilson who is on the Division of State Parks policy committee and is the primary contact for any revisions to this policy. She is willing to sit down and re-examine the policy, but given the nature and speed of state agencies I doubt if any changes will become effective before the permits on the above-mentioned boxes expire. Please let me know if you are wanting to work with us on suggested policy revisions. I hope to have something available to submit by September. Let me also know if any of you are willing to rite letters, and we can discuss letter-writing tips and suggestions.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Back From Wis

My Mother (McMonkeyMom) and I have returned from our "northern adventure". Well actually we have been home for over a week now. But this post is to tell you of our adventures boxing. We got a box which was on the land of a historical marker. It had to do with a Tornado of Fire. Many people ran into a field at this Historical marker and were burned to death. A little intense if you ask me but it is history for this fire changed Door County from lumber making to agriculture. That is how drastically things changed with this fire. The stamp in this box had 2 stamps. You colored half of it red and half of it orange. then the second stamp you put on over it. it was all black and so it make the image has background color in it. I thought it was a wonderful idea. The Shipping canal series we got was right down the street of a coastguard station. We walked along the water with my Aunt and uncle and their cute dogs Truman and Isabel. we had to do some bush waking on the first box due to the fact that all of us walked right past the box and didn't realize it. then we continued down the road to get the remaining 2 boxes. The last one was 2 pill cases taped in camouflage. We hit a box at Cave point which is a basically cliff into waters down below. but there is plenty of room from the parking lot to the water. This box is the oldest box in Wisconsin and it was placed I believe in 1998. It had all of its original log books in the box. We got a couple on an island (Washington Island) We had to hike quite a bit for those but that was ok because it was worth the hike. I also tagged along with my uncle to do some geo cashing and let me tell you geo cashers have it made. They use a GPS which uses satellites to tell you where the geo cash is. EXACTLY where it is. so they know if they are in the wrong place. Laugh Out Loud. Anyways all and all Wisconsin was a blast. I know some of you guys went on adventures of your own. Let me know or better yet post something to let everyone know. I want to hear how every one else's little Quests went.


Monday, August 06, 2007

Reminder: Short,Sweet and Sassy contest

This is just a reminder that you have about a month left to comeup with an entry for the Short, Sweet and Sassy contest. See July post for details. The prize is a first-finders tome with clues to several new boxes in the area. So far there are only two contest entries, one by Ahistory and one by Lady in Red. I think these contests are a great way to develop letterboxing skills (and it means more quality boxes for mid-Missouri as well).--Fox-fyr

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Silent 401

I don't know if anyone noticed but according to an LBNA search of the state, Missouri jumped to 401 boxes today. If you started boxing today, you could find one box a day and it would be next fall before you found them all and with the pace of plants continuing to increase it could be 2009 before you get done. And we all know there are a bunch of WOM clues and uncounted boxes not tracked on LBNA or only found on AQ. So I estimate there are at least 500-600 actual boxes out there. And that's just in our home state. Yeah sure, some clues are lame, some stamps store-bought, and some hunts, well they just plain suck; but, a journey is exactly that and the experience is more often than not, well worth the effort. Anyway, I just wanted to say a big CONGRATULATIONS for passing 400 to all the boxers who have planted in Missouri. I mean we are no Maine with its 643 boxes but we're getting there. LOL. Way to go guys!!!