Tuesday, April 1, 2014

2014 -- week 10 of #projectlife -- letterboxing


i think it's safe to say we all know what a big nerd i am, right? i mean, look at how i introduced myself in the 4th grade: "victoria bodanyi. b is for books." (to be fair, it's hard to come up with a word that starts with a v when you're 10 years old. or when you're 29 for that matter.) but at any rate, i'm a nerd, tried and true. i love office supplies, reading, and (more recently) crocheting. so when we were out at gates pass recently, i was super psyched to discover that there is something else totally nerdy that i can get into: letterboxing!

letterboxing is a lot like geocaching: someone hides a container that holds a notepad and a stamp and then posts clues on how to find their container on a website like letterboxing.org. when people find the bottle or box, they're supposed to mark the found notebook with their own personal stamp, and to mark their personal notepad with the found stamp. over time a record of who's been there and found the letterbox is compiled, because as each person or group finds the container they leave a little note about themselves with their stamp mark.

i was picking up trash around broken rubber boulder and late boulder when i accidentally stumbled upon a letterbox at gates pass. it was hidden under a palo verde tree and i thought it was someone's lost water bottle. i was surprised when i picked it up and saw a stamp and note pad in the container! we didn't have a stamp, a pen, or any paper, so we couldn't document that we'd found it, but we used the back of a alcohol pad and a little water and dirt to make a copy of the stamp for our own records. then we put the container back under the palo verde tree and made a mental note to look into it later. when we got home i discovered that there are letterboxes hidden all over baja arizona. so we bought two erasers, a stamp pad, and a note pad, and we're going to keep them with our climbing, camping, and hiking equipment so that we can find more letterboxes around town. now we just have to figure out what our personal stamps are going to be and make them!

ps. apparently there are letterboxes hidden all over the world; to find some in your area be sure to check out this map.


side note: gates pass is an awesome place to go bouldering; it's right off the highway with lots of VBs, V0s, and V1s. the only thing to keep in mind is that it's in full sun, so it's more of a winter destination than a summer one. if you do want to check it out, which i highly recommend, make sure you bring lots of water, snacks, and sunscreen. if you want to find out more about the problems at gates pass visit old pueblo bouldering, an amazing new site that documents a lot of the bouldering in tucson. it's still in its early phases, but it's updated often and it's a great resource for climbing in baja arizona.