We recently discovered a very interesting activity called letterboxing. Letterboxing involves searching for hidden boxes using clues provided by the individuals who created and hid the boxes. Inside each letterbox you will find a rubber stamp, an ink pad, and a small journal or pad of paper. Usually the rubber stamps are hand carved and represent a theme, or a personal symbol unique to the carver.
When you find a letterbox, you use the rubber stamp in your own scrapbook, journal or piece of paper. Then, using your own stamp, leave an image on a page in the letterbox’s journal! You can also sign your name or leave a personal message for the letterbox creator. There are several websites that serve as databases for letterbox locations and clues all over North America, just type in your location and choose from the list provided.
Today, we were visiting Edgefield Lodge in Troutdale, Oregon. After lunch, we searched the atlasquest website and discovered a letterbox had been placed right at the lodge grounds! The letterbox was titled “Kelly and Steve’s Wedding”. We quickly gathered our materials and read the clue:
Clue: To find the loving tribute to their marriage look for Blackberry Meadow where they were married. Stand in the middle of the meadow and look for the water tower. Walk towards it and you will see an old white barn. Find the path on the right side of the barn. There should be birdhouses in the trees on the right side of that path.
On the left side of the path you will see a huge rusted boiler with plants growing out of it. Look under it for the lock’ n’ lock box!
Since we had been walking the grounds before lunch, it wasn’t long before we found the blackberry meadow and white barn. The kids very quickly found the location and M got down on all fours and pushed aside the plants to find the letterbox. From under the boiler he pulled a very tiny plastic container that held a picture of the bride and groom, and a hand carved stamp with their initials, and the date of their wedding. We were so excited to stamp our book, and to leave a stamp in theirs! We will have to get a special book just for our letterbox adventures, but until then the kids are using their journals.
B and I spent some time designing and carving our own stamps a couple of weeks ago, and I designed a new one tonight that has our travel blog information. Speedball makes a very user friendly carving medium that I highly recommend. It is soft, easy to carve, and can be trimmed with a scissors. We purchased all of our materials at Michael’s craft store. Many people use rubber erasers for carving as well! Here is our collection of hand carved stamps so far: