Sunday, April 25, 2010

Brigham Young

Date Placed: April 25, 2010
Letterbox: Traditional
Carver: GreenJello
Planters: GreenJello and Teancum
Location: Brigham Young Historic Park (State Street and North Temple), Salt Lake, Utah

Status: Active

Brigham Young was an American leader in the Latter-Day Saint movement and a settler of the western United States. He was the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1847 until his death, and was the founder of Salt Lake City and the first governor of Utah Territory.

Brigham Young Historic Park is a beautiful, green area just east of Temple Square featuring statue memorials and a pioneer feel with a water wheel spinning through the free-flowing City Creek. Located at the southeast corner of State Street and North Temple, the Historic Park occupies land that once belonged to Young as part of his farm.

Visitors are welcome to Brigham Young Historic Park throughout the year, but during summer months the park is especially popular. Between June and August, Tuesday and Friday evening concerts feature local and internationally known musicians, and are free of charge to the public. The concerts begin at 8:00 p.m. in June and July and at 7:30 in August. Additionally, Wednesday evening talks on various subjects are given during those same months.

Directions: Walk behind the quarry stone men, heading for the southern gate in the upper section. Look to the north from the gate, and see three grey rocks next to the cement path. Next to them is a red rock by a large, flat grey rock. Between those two rocks lies Brigham Young.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Moab Essentials: 4-Wheel Drive

Date Placed: April 18, 2010
Letterbox: Traditional
Carver: GreenJello
Planters: GreenJello and Teancum
Location: Gemini Bridges, Grand, Utah
Distance:  15.6 miles, round trip (driving)
Status: Active

Some of the most beautiful sites around Moab aren't available for viewing from paved roads. Jump into your 4-wheel drive vehicle, and bump your way into some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world.

The Gemini Bridges 4-wheel drive road is suitable for beginners. There is a well-marked path to the Bridges, so it is unlikely you will become lost.

Directions: From Moab, head north on Highway 191 about 10 miles and turn left at the "Gemini Bridges" sign. You will pass a parking lot, cross railroad tracks and turn right uphill in less than a mile. Follow the brown BLM signs that clearly show the way to Gemini Bridges. Climb up the twisting shelf road as it continues south. Descend into a wide valley and continue south past the distinctive Gooney Bird Rock (just after the campground). Turn right at the "T" intersection and climb a steep, sandy hill. Stay to the right at the next road intersection, left at the next one, and left again at the final intersection before your destination. You will shortly come upon an area that is cabled off; park in the first parking area to your left as you come in.

From the Gemini Bridges Overlook sign located in this first parking area, walk east 4 steps. Follow the yellow dashed line in front of you to its end. The center of the tree holds what you're looking for.

Return to the Gemini Bridges Overlook sign when you are finished stamping and rehiding the box. Take a quick walk over to see the Bridges from a distance by bearing 142 degrees and taking 90-100 meandering steps to the edge of a large shelf of rock. The Bridges are at about 225 degrees from this point.

Go back to your vehicle and continue the direction you came from. The road ends in a large parking area. Park your vehicle, and head over towards the sign to walk down and see the Bridges up close and personal. The trail is clearly marked. You can even walk over the tops of the Bridges, if you're daring!

Notes: Do NOT attempt to drive on this road in a 2-wheeled vehicle!!! Even though the rock grinders have tamed this road significantly, you still need higher clearance for the rocky parts and the ability to drive up a steep hill covered in sand. Please use the restrooms before starting this journey (sometimes there is a port-a-potty in the parking area at the beginning of the road near the Highway, but not always). Remember also that this is desert country. Always bring adequate water with you whenever traveling.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Moab Essentials: Mountain Bike

Date Placed: April 17, 2010
Letterbox: Traditional
Carver: GreenJello
Planters: GreenJello and Teancum
Location: Klondike Bluffs, Moab, Grand, Utah
Distance: 9.5 miles, round trip
Status: Active

Be sure to bring your mountain bike to Moab! You'll want to ride the famous Klondike Bluffs Trail to reach a remote part of Arches National Park. This trail is considered to be a beginner trail (well, beginner for Moab, anyway...), and has a little bit of everything: sand, slickrock, dinosaur tracks, fantastic downhill, and incredible views.

If you need to pick up a mountain bike while you're here, I know where you can find one.

Directions: Drive 17.5 miles north of Moab on Hwy 191 and turn right on Klondike Bluffs Road (watch for signage). Go across the cattle guard and proceed 3 miles to the trailhead, staying left.

Begin biking up the trail, which is easy to follow. (If you aren't quite sure where the trail is after you hit the slickrock, look for painted white dashes on the rock that mark the path). Not long after you reach the beginning of the slickrock, there will be dinosaur tracks on the left hand side, encircled with small rocks. Be sure to stop and check them out! Continue all the way to the end of the trail, where you will find a bike rack. Park your bike and enter the walk-in gate to Arches National Park. It is a short hike to the overlook from that point (no dogs or bikes allowed within the Park boundaries!).

After you've enjoyed the amazing views from the top of the bluffs, head back to the green gate and return through. Turn around and face the fence. Stand with the boundary sign directly to your left. Sight the tree at the top of a small incline at 200 degrees. Follow the trail parallel to the fenceline to reach this tree. You can look down and see an entrance to an old copper mine. Continue past the tree and stop at the twisted log. Sight the tree out in front of you at 290 degrees. You will find a mountain bike parked behind this tree under some rocks.

Notes: This trail is also a 4-wheel drive road, suitable for most off-road motorized vehicles. However, I do not recommend taking in full-size vehicles, due to some of the size constraints of the trail. ATVs and dirt bikes seem more fitted, should you choose to use a non-human powered form of equipment. I also observed hikers on this trail, but please note the distance involved (9.5 miles) is in desert country, most of it in full sun. No matter which way you choose to enjoy this trail, please bring adequate water and sun protection with you!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Moab Essentials: Hiking Boots

Date Placed: April 16, 2010
Letterbox: Traditional
Carver: GreenJello
Planters: GreenJello and Teancum
Location: Mill Creek Parkway, Moab, Grand, Utah
Status: Unavailable

You can't hike the red rocks around Moab without proper footgear. You'd better pick up a pair of hiking boots before beginning your trekking adventures.

If an Anonymous person wanted to find some boots on the Mill Creek Parkway, they'd head south a short distance to the red railings and walk down the east stairs. Once on the Parkway, they'd look for a monument honoring farmstead history. The hiking boots can be found in back of and under the adjacent large rock.

When finished stamping, please rehide deeply under the rock and camouflage with debris.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Save the Date!

To celebrate the second annual Rocky Mountain Plant A Box Month in June 2010, there will be a gathering held in Utah! Please come and eat, swap some stamps, share some stories, and just hang out for a while with your fellow letterboxers! Families are welcome. We will meet at Wines Park, in Lehi (500 N. Center Street), on Saturday, July 10th, 2010. From I-15, take the Lehi Main Street Exit (#279), and head west. Turn right on Center Street, and travel 5 blocks north to the park.

You can sign up for the event on Atlas Quest here, or contact me through this blog directly. If you are planning on planting a box (or more!) during June, I encourage you to sign up on Atlas Quest (just 'cause it's fun and why not?).

Feel free to bring a picnic lunch with you-- we have the pavilion near the playground reserved for our use. Watermelon will be provided, in copious amounts, for everyone!

If you would like to contribute a stamp to a future Garden Box plant, please bring that with you, too (or carve on site). Flowers, plants, vegetables.... anything garden related welcome! (Also, after receiving many requests, I will be demonstrating how to carve stamps with an x-acto knife for those interested.)

Get out your carving tools, Lock & Locks, and dust off your hiking boots! Sharpen your clue-writing skills, and join those of us who (so far) have committed to planting at least one box during the month of June. Let's all try to plant letterboxing seeds around the state to encourage our hobby to grow!

See you there!