A Ton of Boxing Fun

Friday, March 23, 2012 Road Junkies 0 Comments

On the History Highway, Day 9 

LYNCHBURG, Virginia—As we ventured north on US-29 this morning, we were buzzing with excitement.  After finishing yesterday with 1,993 letterbox finds, we were pretty confident that F-2,000 would happen today.

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Despair
Despair who?
Despair tire is flat.

No, no, we didn't have a flat tire.  That's just a free knock knock joke that came with the clue to our first box of the day, planted fittingly enough by a boxer called Flat Tire.  Six more to go...

Angler's Park, Danville, VA  (See close-up of dog sign below!)
After correcting a false start on the wrong trail, we still hit a snag in Danville, Virginia, when we couldn't find the location of the next box we searched for.  Two miles of walking and an hour later, we were still at F-1,994.  Our efforts in the little town of Altavista didn't fare any better.  Zero for two, when both turned up missing.

Our bravado was wavering as we arrived in Lynchburg.  Luckily for us, Lynchburg seems to be a hotbed of letterboxing with more than 90 boxes listed in this city of 75,000.  "If we can't make it here..." I sang as we renewed our search.  Two boxes were said to be hidden near the "LU Monogram."  The what? 


Our confusion was banished when we saw the 500-foot Liberty University monogram dominating the top of Liberty Mountain near the campus.  After we tracked down the route to the top, we soon found ourselves at F-1,996.  Maybe this history would be made today, after all.

Two highly rated letterboxes by the creative North Carolina planter Wee 3 looked like good candidates, so we made our way to the former home of Anne Spencer, a poet of the Harlem Renaissance.  In addition to her successful career as a writer, Spencer committed great energy to the civil rights movement.  In her Pierce Street home, she entertained such notables as George Washington Carver, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, and W.E.B. DuBois.


Somehow, Spencer also found time to indulge her passion for gardening. And what better place to plant a letterbox than in a beautiful garden?  Except that when we arrived at the hiding spot, the ivy that was supposed to be concealing the box had all been removed, and apparently the box had also.

Still stuck at F-1,996, we found the other Wee 3 box we were seeking at a local park, but when we opened it to stamp in, we discovered that someone had removed the contents and returned the container to its designated spot, something we had never seen before.  Both the afternoon and our enthusiasm were about depleted, and it was beginning to look as if tomorrow might be our momentous day, but we decided to take one more stab at 2,000 on the grounds of Spring Hill Cemetery.


Established in 1852, Spring Hill Cemetery became a center of action during the Battle of Lynchburg in 1864.  General Jubal Early, the Confederate commander, led Southern forces to victory from his command post in the southwest corner of the cemetery.  When he died thirty years later, then retired General Early was buried near the spot where his headquarters had been.

Things were much quieter there today than on that tumultuous day of conflict.  So quiet, in fact, that before we knew it, we had found one, two, three, four letterboxes.  F-2,000 at last.  And fittingly, the image in box #2,000 was a dog wearing a party hat ready to help us celebrate.  He even had a teeny tiny flask of champagne.  OK, there was no champagne, but he was wearing the party hat.

Now that we've made a little personal history, it's back to the history highway tomorrow as we visit Appomattox on our way to Richmond.

More Photos from Today
View from the LU Monogram
Best Dog Sign of the Day (Angler's Park, Danville)
Anne Spencer Garden
Gruesome poster of the day