Well, we finally did it! We finally went letterboxing! What a day. It was gorgeous and sunny here in Michigan so we decided to take "The Beast" on the adventure. We picked a trail on the way up to the grandparents cottage (can't miss a free Sunday dinner!). Prior to leaving, I packed backpacks for the kids with their adventure stuff, e.g., binoculars, sunglasses, a compass, a snack and water bottle.
My backpack included a notepad, stamp, ink pad, a water bottle and camera (of course, the batteries died right after taking the photo at the right). In addition, I had the printed out clues from the letterboxing website.
The trail we picked was at a park on a lake. It was breathtakingly beautiful. I'm so bummed that the batteries in the camera died so I couldn't share it with all of you! We pulled our clue sheet out and headed down the trail. Walking through the woods with the kids was fantastic. They were brimming with excitement looking for clues under every rock, tree and leaf.
Despite our best efforts, however, we didn't find the letterbox :( The clues to this particular trail were particularly tricky. It was hard to discern which sentence went with which clue as they mixed compass readings with verbal cues, e.g., "go 270 degrees" followed by "Indian Joe knew what he was doing, he was always right." All right, which is it? Do we go 270 degrees or do we go right?
There are a couple things we would do differently next time. First, we would pick a shorter trek. I'll be the first to admit that I am out of shape, but when the kids started dragging we knew this was too long of a hike being first timers. Second, we would pick an easier letterbox to find. Most trails are rated by difficulty level. I picked this trail since it was on the way up to the cottage. I'll re-think this next time.
Our adventure today was one of our efforts to complete the Total Attention Challenge. I must say that the activity received a resounding thumbs up from all involved. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that we were getting much needed exercise and having fun doing it (I never thought I would write exercise and fun in the same sentence). Being out in nature was invigorating to say the least. All in all, we had at least four hours of uninterrupted fun with our kids. We are hooked and will definitely go letterboxing again.
Have you been participating in the Total Attention Challenge? It's never too late and I promise you that you will be happy you did. We are only on day three with four to go and I'm looking forward to every minute :)