Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Letterboxing Road Trip Part 1

If you ask me what I want to do on Mother's Day, the answer is LETTERBOXING. 

I used to go on the London Free Press Shunpiker, missing very few over the years, since I was young (a long long time ago).  But over the past few years they have become very commercial and too many people are going on the tour.  IMHO, they need to go back to the good old days when you lined up on York Street and LFP employees (volunteers?) handed you a bag full of brochures, treats, give-aways, brochures and the map of the tour.  It was a real mystery tour and I enjoyed them so much then.  Now you can download the map and, while it makes the tour accessible for many more people, that also is the downfall in increased traffic, lack of parking, long lineups and less fun all around.

So I go Letterboxing!!!!

We took the seats out of the van and packed in an air mattress, cook stove and cooler and off we went.  We left home at 8 am on May 7th, stopped long enough to pick up a Tim Hortons coffee . . . and we were on our way.

We passed Courtland Bakery in Courtland (of course) but we didn't stop.  I'm so proud of us . . . LOL . . .

Halism:  Teeterville . . . home of the undecided voter?

Our first stop was Small Town Festivals:  Waterford Pumpkinfest and we were the First Finders. 

What a great way to start the weekend.  Loved the location!  I wish we had arrived a little later in the day.  Perhaps the quilt store might have been open.  I love that it's a renovated train station.

On our way to our next box we traveled through Boston, ON.  I had never heard of this little town.  It was comprised of a church, school, general store and a few houses and totally cute.  Check it out here, and go to street view for a look around.

Our next stop was Mohawk Chapel in Brantford, ON.

The Mohawk Chapel is the first Protestant Church in Ontario.  It is on a beautiful property.  We weren't allowed to photograph inside the church so when you go looking for this box you will need to take a few minutes out to go inside and see the gorgeous stained glass windows.

We were not able to locate the box despite our best efforts.  Apparently Lone R tried later on the same weekend and she didn't find it either.  The planter has since checked and the box is still there . . . so we definitely need to go back and give it another try. 

Our net attempt was Out for a Fly in Hamilton, ON.  We must have done something wrong, because we see it was found the very next day by another Letterboxer.

Our next stop was Albion Falls, also in Hamilton, ON.

I have been wanting to find this box for so long. It was muddy and slippery and I lost my footing and fell flat on my back, knocking the wind out of myself. Hal was busy yelling at me (as men do) while I was trying to gasp air back into my lungs. It hurt pretty good but I didn't want to give up. I promised to stay at the top and Hal made the climb down himself, crazy man that he is. Several sets of young people saw the old guy climbing down and followed him. I guess they figured if he could do it, they most certainly could too. We never did find the box but I'm so glad we were able to see the falls and get some great photos. The final indignity was getting changed into clean, dry clothes in the parking lot behind the sleeping bag that Hal held up for cover . . . LOL . . .

We stopped at a pharmacy and picked up some extra strength muscle relaxers because the muscles in my back were beginning to spasm quite bad.  Hal read the directions to me incorrectly, which turned out to be a good thing (sort of) because I was taking way too much medication and didn't know just how badly I had hurt myself.

We were a little frustrated after our third attempt but determined to keep trying.  Our next stop was Literary Cats in Hamilton, ON.  We spent quite a bit of time sneaking around and solving the clues without alerting staff or patrons.  We were only able to locate one stamp.  But at least it was a find and we were happy with that.

While we were at the library we used the Internet to check our mail.

Note to self:  next time we are in Hamilton we need to factor in time to visit the Farmers Market and Dundurn Castle.

Our next attempt was Down by the Water, Hamilton ON.  We kind of had an idea we wouldn't be able to search the box when we saw the number of muggles in the area.

The weather was wonderful and fisherpersons were everywhere, including right where we needed to look.  We will be back perhaps on a weekday.

We did find Pretty Birdies which is also in Hamilton.  The Aviary is only open on Sunday so I think I would like to come again for a visit with the grandsons.  The stamp is fabulous.

Next stop was Small Town Festivals:  Dundas Cactus Festival in Dundas, ON.     This was a nice easy find.  We just had to out wait 3 girlish muggles who were sitting on the bridge.

Next stop:  Dundas, ON where we found Unless.  Imagine our excitement to find clues to a bonus box inside.  We were not able to locate the bonus box but later received an email from the planter that they had fine-tuned the clue a bit.  I bet we find it next time.

We decided to try for one more box before calling it a day, but we should have just quit I think.  We went on the search for Don't Believe Your Eyes in Burlington, ON.  I think we were just too tired and too hungry and the sun was beginning to set.  We will try again with fresh eyes and minds next time.

We stopped at the very interesting Bayview Park and Model Airplane Airport for supper and to get out a map to decide where to spend the night.  We heated up Chili Con Carne and Mexican Rice on our lovely little cook stove.  Hal even did the dishes.  We decided the place to pull over and sleep would be the 5th Wheel in Grimsby.

More to come . . .

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