Stone Cold Letterboxing

Wednesday, April 08, 2009 Road Junkies 0 Comments

Spring break arrived in Atlanta and we happily joined some friends on a four-day trek to Stone Mountain Park with four gifted teen boys. The trip was designed as research for a doctoral dissertation on the benefits of outdoor adventures for bright young people. Our role in the event was to teach them the art of letterboxing and lead them on some letterboxing hikes at Stone Mountain. Despite the fact that it was spring break, it was quite chilly most days. One day we even had a few snow flurries, adding to the excitement.

The young men were a delight to be with, and we enjoyed watching them quickly develop letterboxing skills and intuition. Yet one box eluded all of us, even though we were so "certain" this was the gnarly cedar tree described in the clue. Happily, even though we were in the wrong place, we stumbled upon a different box anyway. The benefits of boxing in a place that is as saturated as Stone Mountain Park!
We all hiked the walk-up trail to the top of the mountain, a first for us. The view from the top was beautiful and we were able to locate three letterboxes at the summit. This was the second day of the trip and Ken had already started his role of picking up after everyone and carrying others' things that they didn't want to tote (like a half-eaten box of popcorn).
The Georgia Bubble Man was entertaining people in the park with his spectacular bubble making prowess. Knowing when to keep a good thing to himself, he declined when asked to share his bubble juice recipe.
Many metro school districts had spring break this week, so SMP had lots of special activiites available for the kids. We never found out if the hair sculptor was there only for the week or permanently. These two clients were happy to pose with their new 'do's.
As we trekked our way around the granite monadnock that is Stone Mountain, pools of wildflowers greeted us occasionally. Even on top of the mountain, these tiny plants took full advantage of all the soil that was available.
Over four full days, we hiked 20.7 miles and found almost forty letterboxes. We are optimistic that these enthsiastic novice letterboxers found a new hobby, and the research will benefit other young people like them.