After slacking for months, I've been back in high gear since Christmas. Seriously, if you don't count the two big events, I've found more boxes in the first two weeks of 2012 than I did in the last five months of 2011. And more importantly, I'm doing a bunch of maintenance on my own boxes, and will be getting some missing ones replaced and new ones out there soon. But the thing that has me feeling really good was just flipping through the logbook of one particular box.
The Heart Of The Sleeping Dragon was the very first box I ever planted. Sure, I planted six the same weekend, but I consider it the first. Sure, they all contained the clues to a box in Michigan I'd actually planted months before, but it couldn't have been found before these were and it wasn't going to be listed.
I kept up those six for a long time. A couple lasted for a few years with no problem. One lasted two weeks. But I learned from the mistake and the replacement lasted for years. Another I retired after a few months and eventually planted a new box that contained its piece of the bonus box clue.
But keeping them up became a hassle. One that initially lasted two years before going missing, had four replacements that lasted less then six months each. Another lasted three-and-a-half, but once the hiding spot was discovered the replacement only lasted a few weeks. One had not just the bush it hid under removed, but the bushes on the entire block. So I gave up and retired them all, and just listed that bonus box as a mystery box back in Michigan. It lasted a little over a year longer, then it too went missing.
Through all that, however, The Heart Of The Sleeping Dragon never had a problem. When it was a year old I carved a new stamp of the same hand-drawn image on the pink stuff, since the original on Speedy Cut was breaking apart. When it was three years old I added a second logbook because the first was full. I changed the container at least once, the baggies a few times, and even replaced the red ink pad after four years. But it is essentially the same box I planted, and has been in place continuously for six years.
Planted on Friday the 13th, 2006 and now I sit flipping through the logbooks on Friday the 13th, 2012. I count logs on 75 different dates by at least 175 different people (not always sure how big a group is) with lots of stamps, thumb prints, and notes that this was the first find for many. The feeling of pride this box gives me makes me want to keep planting for years to come.