Fortitude and Fortune

Sunday, April 29, 2012 Road Junkies 0 Comments

On the History Highway, Day 46:  Exeter, NH to Kittery, ME (and back)

After we spent a couple of hours on the computer investigating New Hampshire mystery letterboxes on Atlas Quest, we left the hotel for a day's adventure.  Unfortunately, at just the moment we walked out our door, the guest next door decided to depart with her Bassett hound, who aggressively charged at me, growling loudly, struggling against his leash. Strangely, the dog's owner found it humorous that I was frightened by her out of control pup.

Whatever.  We didn't let the dog's bad behavior deter us from our goal, which was to slip over the border to find and plant letterboxes in the scenic state of Maine.  With helpful guidance from our GPS, we drove into Kittery, ME, where we had a few letterboxes to find.  After locating a couple of boxes in town, we headed to Fort McClary State Historic Site.

Fort McClary State Historic Site
Built in the early 1800s, the fort was used throughout the nineteenth century, primarily to protect the approaches to the nearby Piscataqua River.  The old blockhouse has been renovated and now houses a museum, which had not opened for the summer season yet.  The popular park was busy, but not enough to prevent our stealthy location and logging of three letterboxes within its boundaries.

Fort Foster  Park
Of course, one fort wasn't enough, especially when there were more letterboxes to be found, so we made tracks for Fort Foster Park.  Another of Maine's historic coastal forts, the park is now part of the Kittery parks department.  Seaside hiking trails and picnic pavilions are among its offerings—and a few letterboxes, of course.  Though we didn't recognize the name of the park, we both realized when we drove up to the park entrance that we had visited and letterboxed there when we came through the area two years ago.

Orchard Grove Cemetery
Before we left Kittery—and Maine—we needed to plant a letterbox, part of our goal of leaving a little treasure behind in every state we visit.  The Orchard Grove Cemetery proved to be just the right place.  A beautiful burial ground, Orchard Grove was large enough to offer some wooded areas where a box could hide without disturbing the residents.

After finding another couple of boxes in the Kittery area, we set our sights for Portsmouth, NH, where some letterboxes were waiting for us, including a mystery box with an unusual carve from one of our Georgia letterboxing acquaintances.  He hardly ever carves; we couldn't miss that.  And we didn't. 


Finally around 6:00 we decided it was time to stop looking for "one more box."  We finished the day with ten finds, a very satisfactory result and returned to our hotel in Exeter tired and looking forward to seeing some of the town tomorrow.

More Photos from Today

Fort Foster Park
Fort Foster Park
Coastal Trail, Fort Foster Park
View from Fort McClary Historic Site