A friend introduced me to letter boxing on Memorial Day. The kids and I checked out the website and chose a few boxes to search for in our old town. On Saturday, the seven children and I took off for our first letter boxing adventure. The first box was easy to locate. It was in a crowded location, so I told Steve and Joe to discretely walk to the box and return to the van with it, because the 8 of us would have been very noticeable.
Steve and Joe got a little carried away with themselves. Both boys made pretend guns with their index and middle fingers as the approached the box. They hid behind trees, ducked behind shrubs and looked like spies ready to take out the bad guys. Amy and I laughed so hard! I know that they weren't exactly unnoticeable, but they were having fun. After everyone had stamped their books, Madelyn and the boys returned the letterbox to its hidden location. Enthusiasm was running high.
We made a brief stop at the credit union for cash and continued on to our second letter box. As we approached the location, we noticed that a huge chain-link fence was completely surrounding the entire block. We had to forget about collecting from that box today.
The next box was located in one of our favorite parks. The children were all excited about seeing this park again. We followed the clues faultlessly and reached the letterbox's hidden location. Madelyn and Katie reached in and discovered empty zip lock bags. Someone had stolen the box!!! We were disappointed, but continued walking through the park until we returned to the van. Most of us were covered with sweat because the humidity was near 95%.
To keep everyone's tempers mellow, I stopped at a nearby fast food place and picked up bags of food. We drove to another park that contained a letter box and had a picnic. Everyone was now filled-up with food from the dollar menu and ready to tackle another challenge! After following the directions carefully for a 1 mile walk, we could not locate the letter box. The box was located in a heavily wooded area and we were covered with sweat from climbing hills. The mosquitoes were thrilled to see us! We searched for a long time and eventually walked back to the van.
Not to be defeated, we decided to follow the directions one more time. Once again, we climbed hill after hill. Once again, the mosquitoes enjoyed a feast. Once again, we couldn't find the stupid box! Finally, we decided to cut our losses and head for home.
The children were discouraged. I really wanted everyone to have fun, so we could letter box regularly over the summer. In desperation, I drove to one final box. The directions looked easy. There was no wooded areas. The walk was short.
The children grudgingly got out of the van. Katie read the directions as we all listened attentively. Everyone searched diligently, but without result. With a chorus of "I need to use the bathroom" playing in the background, I decided to let the youngsters off the hook and return to civilization (and bathrooms).
We only got one stamp, but everyone had fun for part of the time. I managed to get some exercise. Not a bad day.