Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
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Boxes and Bugs

Filed under: Folkcat & Gryphon's Geocaching Adventures — folkcat at 5:10 pm on Monday, August 1, 2005

This is going to be a picture-heavy post – remember that you can click on any image to see the full-size picture.

Gryphon and I haven’t been out geocaching in a couple of weeks. We’ve been kinda stressed and strapped for cash, too. But we wanted to do something other than mope around the house this past weekend.

We started by considering a geocache in the Monson Village area. There was mention that there were letterboxes in the same place as well, so I hopped over to the Letterboxing website to check it out. (Search for letterboxes in New Hampshire in Hillsborough County to see the listings.) When I looked at the list and realized that there were actually a couple of letterboxes right near our Milford Memory Box, we changed our plans quickly and decided to go the low-tech route this time.

The first one was called “Extra Cheese“, and is located about 30 feet from the Milford Memory Box. There’s a story with that name, but it’s not mine to tell – go to the listing and you’ll read all about it. This was an easy find, and if you’re looking to multi-task your geocaching and letterboxing, it’s a natural go-with for the Memory Box.

The letterbox can be found somewhere within the area pictured here:

Extra Cheese hiding place

If you knew what you were looking for, you could almost see where the Memory Box is stashed in the background.

What made this letterbox a little more exciting for us was, when we sat down with the box to log our find, we realized that there was a man moving oddly through the woods. We watched for a moment in case it was a Muggle; then we realized, it’s a geocacher looking for the Milford Memory Box! We gave him a moment to really find it, then went over and introduced ourselves. This was the first time we’ve actually met another geocacher, and we were thrilled!

There was a little activity in the park that day that highlighted why it’s important to be discreet. This location is often used for concerts and other special events, including weddings. The day we went to find the letterbox, there were chairs being set up for some occasion.


No Audience or Performer Yet – But Just Wait

The second letterbox we went after was close by. We could have walked to it from where we were, but we chose to drive around to Keyes Field instead, which was where the directions for it were written from. It’s Not Easy Being Green is the name, and the only story here is that it’s the first hidden by a letterboxer who calls themself Wandering Muppet.

Keyes Field is a set of athletic fields and facilities in Milford. Some of the special amateur sporting events in the area happen here. What I don’t think most people realize, though, is that it’s also along the Souhegan River Trail, which starts near the west end of town and runs all the way to the Oval.

As I mentioned, the letterbox in question is near Keyes Field, putting it at the end closer to the Oval. This was a very well hidden box – in fact, Gryphon and I have walked past this spot several times, and never had a clue it was here.

If you get nostalgic for old-time America, this is a great spot. The letterbox is near a classic swimming hole, complete with a rope swing hanging from a tree with boards nailed to the trunk for climbing.


Ready for a dip?

It only took a moment for us to pull the box from it’s hidey-hole:


Gryphon with our find.

We sat on the convenient log (covered, appropriately, with green fungus) to make our log entries (sheesh, there’s no way to say that without it being a pun!), then wandered back towards Keyes Field to admire the river some more.

The woods along this trail are full of interesting and unusual configurations of trees. Obviously there’s been a lot of harsh conditions here that force the plant life to do unusual things to survive. We saw many trees along the bank where erosion has removed large portions of the soil directly under the trunk, leaving an appearance like a cage of roots below the tree.


Too open for a geocache hidey-hole!

Other trees grew with multiple trunks entwined like lovers against, I presume, the winds and weather.


How close can trees be?

Back at Keyes Field, we were able to get right down by the river. It was so covered with water striders that it looked like it was raining everytime they moved. There were so many, you can even see them in this picture:


Surface Tension in Action

We also saw a pair of ducks in the river while we crossed the bridge. I tried to get a picture, but they weren’t very cooperative, and only one of them was ever really in range of my lens. Here’s the best I was able to manage.


Shy Ducks on the Souhegan

All in all, another successful day out geocachingletterboxing!

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