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Kelsung's Letterboxing Journal
Coal Canyon

Today I became a real letterboxer. I'll explain.

KatPau has been putting out some new plants, and I went on a five-mile hike for one today. It was a cool day and an easy hike most of the way. Toward the end I'm hiking up a dry creekbed, and I stopped to rest in the shade of a tree growing half-way into the creekbed. As I drink some water, I reread the end of the clues, and realize I've coincidentally stopped by the very tree it mentions. I soon find the box and log in.

But the clues take you up to a small waterfall, then tell you to find the tree on the way back. I'm a lazy guy. With many letterboxes, I've researched and worked out short-cuts and alternate ways to make it easier on myself. So, now having found it, I would usually just head back. But I've come to enjoy longer hikes, and appreciate finding the location that the planter intended. So I continued on.

Almost immediately after the tree, the creekbed began getting damp, then muddy, then a trickle of a water could be seen, then a stream, and eventually a bubbling creek. The walls of the canyon rapidly got closer and higher. I rounded the final turn to enter a secluded grotto with a peaceful waterfall. I sat with my back against the rock wall just listening to the water for at least ten minutes. What an amazing spot, and I would never have known about without letterboxing.

It started, for me, as a bunch of fun puzzles, but I've slowly grown to appreciate what true letterboxing is all about. I have no problem with the people who love the art of stamp carving, and realize that postals and letterbox-trading-cards have a place as a hobby. But they are a long way from a calling card stuck in a bottle at Cranmere Pool.

Today, I felt one step closer.

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