Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mmmm... Doughnuts!

Date Placed: August 23, 2009
Letterbox: Traditional
Carver: GreenJello
Planters: GreenJello and Teancum
Location: 2 North Main Street, Kamas, Summit, Utah
Status: Active

The next time you're driving through Kamas, be sure to stop at the Chevron on the corner of Center and Main. There, you will find a delicious array of freshly made doughnuts and treats. A Chevron station may be an odd place to find a bakery, but this particular gas station is famous for excellent doughnuts, particularly their incredible apple fritters. They are about the size of a dinner plate-- a really fluffy dinner plate.

No, I'm not exaggerating. And they're bigger on weekends than weekdays, too!

Directions: Get yourself to Kamas, whichever way suits your fancy. Once there, it's pretty easy to find the Chevron. It's not exactly a huge town. :)

After you pick out your treats, look east behind the gas station. You will see a very large apple tree against the back fence. Head on over, going around to the left side of the tree. Underneath the branches, near to the trunk, you will find a large rock with some smaller rocks in front of it. Move the smaller rocks, and the box will be revealed.

Note: They sell out of their apple fritters very quickly in the mornings, especially on weekends. If you call ahead the morning you're heading up there (435.783.4375‎), they will save one for you.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Jack Attack

A bulldozer has decided to come and level the nice, large pile of boulders. After much moving of boulders, we could not find Jack. Still can't find Jack. So I carved a new Jack to find! :)

Date Placed: August 21, 2009
Letterbox: Traditional
Carver: GreenJello
Planters: GreenJello, Teancum, Moon Spirit
Location: Cottonwood Heights, Salt Lake, Utah
Status: Retired

Our daughter has decided to change her trail name, and henceforth, her signature stamp. So we're going to retire her old stamp (one of my very first carves) to a favorite location of hers.

You seek the haunted ruins just down the road from where swine soak (and maybe get a bit tipsy?). Find the gravel trail across the street. Follow it north-ish until you see a large pile of boulders to your left. One roundish rock stands out, more so than the others. Behind it to the left, in a hole under the rocks, a flat rock hides Jack. Hunt at night with flashlights for a spooky experience!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Up, Up And Away! #1

Date Placed: August 16, 2009
Letterbox: Hitchhiker
Carver: GreenJello
Planters: GreenJello and Teancum

A little hot air balloon launched this evening. Maybe it will float by a letterbox near you. :)

Known Stops:
1. Salt Lake City, Utah (started)
2. Grantsville, Utah
3. Hollis, New Hampshire
4. Carlisle, Massachusetts
5. Webster, Massachusetts
6. Sutton, Massachusetts
7. Orlando, Florida

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Spaghetti Bowl

Date Placed: August 15, 2009 (recarved March 2010)
Letterbox: Traditional
Carver: GreenJello
Planters: GreenJello and Teancum
Location: ???, Salt Lake, Utah
Status: Active

Rod hated figuring out which lane went where in the 'Spaghetti Bowl'. Such a perplexing tangle of roads! "Petunia, darling, which freeway do I need to get on again?"

Petunia, who had been sitting on the directions, lifted up her skirt a little to pull the paper out that she'd been covering. "Um... I think it's I-15 North. Wait-- I-80 West." She seemed uncertain as she looked at the paper. "Actually, it seems they merge into one through here."

Rod pulled over in the Home Depot parking lot and looked at the paper. "It's not very clear, is it?" he grumbled.

"Why don't you just go inside and ask for help?" Petunia suggested.

"If I ask for directions at a 'man store'," Rod responded, "they'll think I'm square."

Petunia sighed. "Fine. Then at least pull in to the Conoco across the street. We definitely need to shed a little light on this."

Notes: Please be VERY discreet finding this box. It is in a high traffic area! Do NOT ask employees of the location if they have any knowledge of this box, as they do not know that it is placed there.

Hobo Hitchhiker #1

Date Placed: August 15, 2009
Letterbox: Hitchhiker
Carver: GreenJello
Planters: GreenJello and Teancum

Hobo Hitchhiker #1 has decided to hop a train and see the world. Maybe the two of you will meet someday.

Known Stops:
1. Salt Lake City, Utah (started)
2. Salem, Oregon
3. Springfield, Oregon
4. Carolina Beach, North Carolina
5. Doyle, California

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Best of the Bakeries: Flour Girls and Dough Boys

Date Placed: August 12, 2009
Letterbox: Traditional
Carver: GreenJello
Planter: GreenJello
Location: 35 N. Barratt Ave, American Fork, Utah, Utah
Status: Active

Flour Girls and Dough Boys is a wonderful little bakery and cafe, located in American Fork just off Main Street. Everything is made from scratch, with only the best ingredients. Breads, pastries, cookies, sandwiches, soups, salads, cupcakes, brownies... They use real butter for their baked goods and pastries, so the taste is fantastic. (There's no calories in the treats if you're a letterboxer, of course!)

My favorites? So hard to choose.... I'd have to go with the chocolate-chip shortbread cookies, and the creamy tomato basil soup. If you want one of the shortbread cookies, be sure to come earlier in the day. They go fast!

Directions: Take the American Fork Main Street exit (#278) and head east off the exit. Keep driving down Main Street until you reach Barratt Avenue (about 150 West). If you pass the movie theatre, you've gone too far. Turn north on Barratt, and the bakery is just up the road on your left.

To the right of the main entrance outside is a window, with seating in front of it (during the warmer months). At the left edge of the sill, there is a skinny, vertical rock. It can be removed to reveal a micro-box behind. Please be very stealthy in finding and replacing this box!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Hobo Hitchhiker #2

Date Placed: August 8, 2009
Letterbox: Hitchhiker
Carver: GreenJello
Planters: GreenJello and Teancum

I placed my first hitchhiker today. I think he has some wanderlust.

Known Stops:
1. Salt Lake City, Utah (started)
2. Onondagua, New York
3. Leroy, New York
4. West Seneca, New York
5. Brockport, New York
6. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Friday, August 7, 2009

Jordan River Parkway - Utah County

IMPORTANT! There is a small section of the Jordan River Parkway that is closed, due to construction. It is possible to detour around this area of the Parkway by going through the neighborhoods to bypass the construction zone. At this time, the closed part of the Parkway is between boxes 6 and 7.

Date Placed: August 7, 2009
Letterbox: Traditional
Carver: GreenJello
Planters: GreenJello and Teancum
Location: Jordan River Parkway, Utah, Utah
Boxes in Series: 10
Status: Active

The Jordan River Parkway begins at Utah Lake, and eventually will stretch to the Great Salt Lake when completed. The Utah County portion of the Parkway begins in Saratoga Springs, and ends in Lehi. This is a series of 10 boxes placed along the Jordan River Parkway in Utah County. You will find them over a nine-mile stretch of paved parkway along the river, so a bike is very highly suggested if you want to find them all in a day. Please note that there is very little shade on this stretch of parkway, so it is best to go in the early morning or late afternoon/evening if the day is going to be hot. Bring plenty of water!

Each box is numbered in the order you will find them. Key words will be contained in the first nine boxes, which you will use to fill in the clue for finding the last box (box 1 has key word 1, box 2 has key word 2, etc.)

Box 1: _______________
Box 2: _______________
Box 3: _______________
Box 4: _______________
Box 5: _______________
Box 6: _______________
Box 7: _______________
Box 8: _______________
Box 9: _______________

Boxes 1 through 9 will contain only stamps and key words. A logbook and large hand-carved stamp will be in the 10th box, for those who persevered and made it through the entire series! :)

With all the boxes-- please be VERY discreet! This is a busy path, especially in the mornings and evenings. Also-- many of the boxes are hidden under wooden benches along the parkway. We have eliminated all the wasp nests we've found underneath (and have sprayed the undersides to discourage future building), but please LOOK before reaching! (If you do find any wasps, please let me know where so we can go take care of them.)

Directions: Take the Lehi Main Street exit (#279) and head west. Continue on through old town Lehi, the roundabout (straight through) until you see Willowcreek Middle School on your right. At the stoplight next to the school (2300 West), turn left. Follow this road, which will turn to the west. Just off the second turn, you will see a parking area on your right. (If you've gone too far, you will pass Inlet Park on your left. Turn around and head back the way you came, looking for the parking area on your left just as Inlet Park ends.) Park your vehicle, unload your bike/dogs/children/spouse/water/sunscreen/insect repellent/letterboxing gear and find your way to the Jordan River Parkway.

A map of this section of the Parkway is available here.

1. Wetlands Park

Known by enthusiasts as the "Model Airplane Park", Wetlands Park has been developed and completed for the most part by local area radio controlled model airplane enthusiasts. Runways have been paved and staging locations constructed. The surrounding flat, treeless landscape makes this an ideal location for this activity.

To find where the model airplane has landed, head up the Jordan River Parkway until you see a bench on your left. You may need to do a partial loop-de-loop as you look under the bench for the stamp.

2. Mosquitoes

The Jordan River is home to many species of creatures, including buzzing ones. One of the most plentiful insects to be found here are our blood-sucking friends, the mosquitoes.

If you're quick, you can slap the mosquitoes out of their hiding place. At the next bench you see, smack those pesky mosquitoes out from underneath and into your logbook. When you're done, continue down the path and head through the first underpass.

3. Bird Habitat

The small side loop in the Jordan Willows subdivision is worth the little extra time to walk through. Many different species of birds make their homes here, as well as those passing through while on their migration routes. Ducks seem to be the most plentiful in this wetlands area year round, though.

Approach quietly, and you should be able to scare up some ducks for yourself! After you go through the first underpass, count two benches. The ducks are quietly nesting underneath the second.

4. Willow Park

Willow Park spans across 50+ acres, offering many amenities for individual, family, or group activities. This park is developed around a large group of aged Willow trees and wide open grassy areas that afford a vast number of options of recreation and relaxation activities. Utah County has also constructed a canoe launch onto the Jordan River thus allowing the more adventurous water enthusiasts quick access to the winding river.

To find a newly planted Willow tree, follow the Parkway as it goes through a second underpass. Soon you will come through the white gates, signaling your entrance into the park. The Parkway morphs into a main road through the park. Continue straight down the road until you see the Parkway heading off to the left. Walk down the parkway until you round the first bend. Look at the base of the tree you're rounding. After you've replanted the willow, continue on the parkway.

5. Wildlife Park

This area of land is dedicated to wetlands use only, and will remain in its pristine condition accessible only by the Parkway running through it. The Wildlife Park is located all along the "U-turn" in the path and ends at the old bridge.

The wetlands along Utah Lake and the Jordan River have been inundated with a non-native species of a common reed known as "phragmites". You can recognize them by their broad leaves and bushy tops.

The Wildlife Park is very full of phragmites. They have invaded just about everywhere you look! If you count two benches from Willow Park, you will find the phragmites have even managed to get a foothold under the bench.

6. Old Lehi Bridge

Viewable at this location is the near-century old trestle bridge spanning the Jordan River. Constructed prior to World War I, this single lane bridge served the farmers and families who lived here and provided quick and necessary access to the grazing lands and canyons on the County's western side. The old bridge was replaced some time ago by a modern structure, but this historic landmark remains.

On hot, sunny summer days, you can watch daring swimmers jump off the bridge and plunge into the water below.

As you approach the bridge, you will see a bench on your left. When people aren't looking, you can jump off the parkway for a quick plunge under the bench to find a box underneath.

7. Jordan River

As you continue along the Parkway, you will soon see a footbridge spanning the river. This is the first of two bridges that golfers use. Continue past the bridge until you see a bench on your right hand side. Sit for awhile and enjoy the beauty of this marvelous river-- the hills, the greenery, the fields, the water and the mountains behind.

Seems that part of the Jordan River managed to flow under the bench you're sitting on.

8. Thanksgiving Point Golf Course

A championship caliber course, the Golf Course at Thanksgiving Point is 7,714 yards long and covers more than 200 acres, making it the largest golf course in the state. Ranked in the top ten new courses in the country by Golf Digest in 1997, it was recently named the number one public golf course in Utah by Golf Digest and one of fifteen "hidden gems" in the country by Links Magazine.

The course spans the Jordan River Parkway, with two access bridges built to ferry golfers from one side to the other.

Looks like a golf ball went missing! You can search for it as you round the bend and see the second footbridge. A bench will be along the parkway before you reach the bridge, waiting for you to look under it for the errant golf ball.

9. Thanksgiving Point Gardens

Most people who have been to the Thanksgiving Point Gardens will tell you the Gardens are the biggest surprise that Thanksgiving Point has to offer. Spread out over fifty five sprawling acres, they represent some of the most vivacious terrain in the West. The individual gardens are organized like the rooms of an immense estate, with thousands of trees, shrubs and grasses serving as living barriers between spaces, creating a sense of wonder as guests pass from "room" to "room." Within the grounds, there are 15 separate themed gardens. Add to that 13 acres of turf grass, a quarter million tulips, seventy varieties of roses, and the largest manmade waterfall in the Western hemisphere, and you can understand how the Gardens keep its staff of twenty-six seasonal gardeners and six full-time staff members busy.

Although precious little of the Gardens can be seen from this vantage point on the Parkway, I hope the small garden I've planted will encourage you to go visit the incredible offerings just over the fence.

To find the miniature garden, continue down the Parkway. You will soon come across an historical marker that talks about the ferry. (Please let me know if it has been re-graffitified so I may clean it off.) After the little information session, you will head around the corner and up a small hill. At the top of the hill, there will be a "No Trespassing" sign. In front of the sign is a S.P.O.R. Move the top rock, and you will discover the hidden garden.

10. Indian Ford Park

Located near a bend in the Jordan River near the Salt Lake County line, Indian Ford Park is still under development. Indian Ford takes its name from historical accounts that claim this narrow area in the Jordan served as a crossing point for local Native American tribes. When developed, Indian Ford will offer picnic tables and other amenities. For now, it serves as a crossing point on the river for the Jordan River Parkway.

Using the words you've collected along the way, fill in the following to find the final box:

Continue heading north on the parkway. When you reach the ____________(9), find the ____________(3) that leads to the ____________(6) and head that way. Immediately turn ____________(5) on the ____________(3) of ____________(7). From the ____________(2), count ____________(1) ____________(8) next to the ____________(3). In front of you and to your ____________(5) is a ____________(4). You will see several ____________(8) next to it. Move away some of the ____________(7), and you will see the box hidden between the two ____________(5) hand side ____________(8).

I hope you enjoy this series of stamps! Please come back and leave a comment to let me know what you thought. :) Happy Letterboxing!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Banana Tree

Date Placed: August 5, 2009
Letterbox: Traditional
Carver: GreenJello
Planter: GreenJello
Location: American Fork Hospital, 170 North 1100 East, American Fork, Utah, Utah
Seasonal: This box is only available Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day
Status: Available

Only available Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day!

Nestled in the middle of American Fork Hospital, there is an amazing place known as "The Healing Garden". Flowers, trees, shrubs, rocks, and greenery of all kind await your pleasure. Even a small waterfall soothes the tired soul!

But the most amazing thing about this hidden garden are the banana trees. Banana trees in Utah, you incredulously ask? Yes, I reply. Banana trees. With bananas growing on some of them.

If you want to go see banana trees, American Fork is the place to be.

Directions: Take the American Fork 500 East exit from I-15 (#276). Head towards the mountains off the exit. Take a right on State Street. Take a left on 1100 East. Follow the road until you see the hospital on your right. Enter in the first hospital entrance, on the south side of the hospital. Go east through the parking lots, through the stop sign, where the road will then turn to the north towards the Education Center. Park in the parking lot near the Education Center. After parking, walk towards the hospital. Go down the sloped road, where the dumpsters are. To your right, you will see a sidewalk headed off to the northwest, going through and under the building. Follow that, and you will find yourself in "The Healing Garden".

Find the "Reaching" statue. From there, follow the retaining wall to an uphill slope that leads to a flagstone path. Next to where the path starts, you will see a large black rock. Behind this rock, under the bush, will be the letterbox.

Notes: This area is very busy during lunchtime (11:30-1:30pm). Please be discreet! Bring your own lunch with you (or get something in the next door cafeteria), and sit for awhile.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fly Fisher

Date Placed: August 2, 2009
Letterbox: Traditional
Carver: GreenJello
Planters: GreenJello and Teancum
Location: Vivian Park, Provo Canyon, Utah, Utah
Status: Active

Provo River is known as one of the best trout fishing rivers in the United States. Brown trout up to two feet long are regularly caught along this river.

Directions: From I-15, take the Orem 800 North exit (#272). Head east off the exit. Follow 800 North until you're almost to the mountains; take the left lane when the road splits to head up Provo Canyon. Follow the signs to Vivian Park (a little less than 6 miles up the canyon).

To locate the fisherman, park and go find the Provo Canyon Parkway. Follow the railroad tracks to the end of the line. Cross the bridge. Immediately to your left will be some large rocks. Move some smaller rocks out from underneath the largest rock, and you will find the box tucked up underneath.

Bridal Veil Falls

Date Placed: August 2, 2009
Letterbox: Traditional
Carver: GreenJello
Planters: GreenJello and Teancum
Location: Bridal Veil Falls, Provo Canyon, Utah, Utah
Status: Active

Bridal Veil Falls is a double waterfall, over 600 total feet in height. It is an easy access waterfall, with no hiking required to enjoy its impressive beauty.

Directions: From I-15, take the Orem 800 North exit (#272). Head east off the exit. Follow 800 North until you're almost to the mountains; take the left lane when the road splits to head up Provo Canyon. Follow the signs to Bridal Veil Falls/Nunn's Park. There is a parking lot just off the exit to your right. You may park there and walk down the trail to the falls, or continue down the road straight ahead for the parking lot at the base of the falls.

After parking, find the bridge that crosses the Provo River (it will be on the southeast side of the parking lot). You will see a sign on a rock that says: "Utah Valley Rotary Club's Legacy Bridge Project". Cross over the bridge and go to the far side of the paved walkway. (If you're taking the walk from the first parking area to get to the falls, walk east through the picnic area, past the falls and the remains of the tram buildings, where you will see the bridge.)

Head east along the path for about 100 steps. Look to your right-- you will see a trail through the trees leading to a wooden pen. At the edge of the pen, there is a boulder. Under the rock edge nearest the gate, move a smaller rock to find the letterbox hidden underneath.

Notes: I highly recommend taking the walk from the first parking area. It is lined by trees and makes for a beautiful short walk.