Sunday, April 15, 2007

Tiny Little Hike

Today... well, I guess by now it's really yesterday, since as I write this it's 23 minutes past midnight, although I never really consider it to be tomorrow until after I've woken up from having gone to sleep for the night... Arrgh!

Anyway, on Saturday afternoon April 14th, Kenji and I went and did a little bit of Letterboxing. If you do not know what Letterboxing is, then please go visit the link I just gave you. In short, Letterboxing is like going on little treasure hunts for rubber stamps that people hide in all sorts of places for other people to find. A more primitive version of Geocaching if you will. Kenji and I have found many letterboxes in several states, including Hawaii, Washington, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, and most recently, New Jersey. The letterbox we found today was at Turtle Back Rock. It was a very easy find. The picture on the right is the page in my letterboxing book where I put the stamp (lower right).

Our first clue was to follow the orange and white blaze trail to the right away from the parking lot at Turtle Back Rock Park:

The deer were not part of the clues, but we took a picture of them anyway. It looks like they are molting in preparation of warmer weather, which doesn't seem to be in any hurry to get here this year.

Anyway, after following the white/orange trail for about three tenths of a mile, we spotted the large cut stump referred to in the clue...

And the nearby rock with the number 13 painted on it...

A short ways past the 13 rock, we encountered a place where the trail passed between two large boulders, which we neglected to photograph. Immediately before the boulders, the clue instructed us to take ten steps up the hill to the left, and uncover the letterbox from beneath a pile of small rocks and leaves.

And there we have it. :)

I'm glad the clue also mentioned to look around at the rocks in the area, as they have been carved by Native Americans long ago in such a way as to resemble the markings on a turtle's back. Sadly, we might not have noticed this if I hadn't re-read the clue one last time.

From the thirty seconds of research I did about this, it seems the markings may have been meant to serve as directional guides. Thirty seconds of research really didn't produce many articles on it... only a brief mention in this one page.

So anyway, after we re-hid the letterbox and examined the carvings, we spent a few minutes playing on the rocks and looking down at the cars passing by on Northfield Avenue below. Then we left and went on our merry way. The End.

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