Learning to Letterbox
I didn’t know what I was in for when planning my first letterboxing trip, but I was blessed with the help of an old pro that goes by the trail name of Granny Butterfly.
I expected to venture down a short trail to find a shabbily hidden Tupperware container containing a store bought stamp. Instead, I found intricate clues with underlying themes, artfully crafted hand carved stamps, hidden in homemade watertight containers and lots of thorn bushes.
Laura works on deciphering clues to find her letterbox.
Prior to meeting with Granny Butterfly, she warned me to wear sturdy shoes and comfortable clothes. I was glad for the warning, because not expecting the activity to be so strenuous, I almost sported business casual for the interview.
Also to my advantage, Granny Butterfly supplied me with a walking stick, which proved to be invaluable for poking around in holes that could contain a letterbox, or resting critters and brushing thickets of thorns away before stabbing my exposed ankles.
I had more difficulty deciphering the clues than I expected and I relied on Granny Butterfly’s expert eyes to guide me in pointing out key landmarks. We neared the supposed destination of the letterbox and I anticipated the embarrassment of not discovering it in the presence of a seasoned veteran.
I cried out with joy when I found the box, only to be immediately silenced by my mentor, reminding me of the secrecy of the hobby. I stealthily marked my makeshift personal signature stamp, my thumbprint, and my trail name, which will rightfully remain a secret, into the box’s logbook.
I proudly stamped the box’s beautiful stamp, hand carved by Granny Butterfly’s husband. Coffee Mug, in my logbook. I’ll keep that stamp as secret as the location though, because the number one rule of a letterboxer is never ruin it for someone else.
**To learn more about letterboxing check out Laura's letterboxing story in the next issue of Southeast Ohio Magazine!