June 6, 2009 - Walden Park Preserve - Bangor, Maine
Brand new letterboxes hidden just this week!!! This is an exciting development as there aren't a lot of letterboxers in the area. Fellow local newbie Tri-Colored Paws hid her first series Maine's Hidden Treasures on a trail we'd never been to - the Walden Park Preserve (though it borders City Forest at the Veazie railroad bed, previously mentioned in last week's letterboxing adventures). We set off down the trail on a beautiful Saturday morning, quickly finding the first letterbox, "Taking Flight." The second box was a bit further on and we located it fairly easily - just as we found it's spot we had to wait for some muggles to pass, so we pretended to be photographing some nearby ladyslippers (well I guess I actually photographed it as you can see, but that was not the mission!) - so we waited as the man with the dog passed. And then we saw someone else approaching from the opposite direction. But wait! She is carrying papers - and who else but letterboxers would carry computer printouts on a stroll through the woods! As she approached she called out "don't look so suspicious!" - and we knew we had encountered our first fellow letterboxer on the trail! She introduced herself as Teacup, and we knew right away who she was, as we have seen her stamp at lots of previous finds and also seen some of her postal hitch-hikers during our postal exchange with her usual boxing friend, MudFlingingFools. Today Teacup traveled alone as her husband was in the area for business and she ventured up from coastal Maine to find new letterboxes in our neck of the woods.
So we all found the second box together, "Earth's Precious Treasure" - which appropriately is a ladyslipper. Then we set off for Box #3. This we also found pretty easily, "Working for a Living" - which is absolutely adorable. But this is where we began to go wrong - and wouldn't you know, once again it involves the Veazie railroad bed! Here's what happened - the series was posted by Tri-colored paws on Thursday with 4 boxes. On Friday she hiked it again with her mother (who beat us as 1st finders!) and planted a 5th box. The clues were amended, but in the description there were two boxes labeled #3. After we found the real 3 we skipped a paragraph of clues to where it said "After you've found box 3 ..." which would have told us to turn left along the railroad bed. We turned right. The clue then says "you'll walk for a long time" until a sidetrail branches back into Walden Park. Well we walked for a LONG time. Check. no side trails. lots of mosquitoes. swamp. and finally about an hour later - a twenty foot section of trail covered by bog! This is where we said "surely if we had to ford a bog, the clue would have said something!" and we realized we had gone horribly awry. Surprise surprise, the score is now Veazie Railroad Bed:3 - Us:0.
By this point we were exhausted and confused as we retraced our steps back to box 3, but couldn't figure out where we'd gone wrong, so we headed for the car (and Taco stand lunch treat!) .... A frustrating end to an otherwise lovely day of letterboxing, but it was nice getting to know Teacup while we were lost!
Someday we'll go back and find the other two boxes now that the clues are updated and we know what we're doing - just as soon as i recover from the trauma of finding a tick attached to my head the morning after our walk through the woods.