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Letterboxes

Placed by

Daughter of the Old Dominion

Virginia Boxes

Georgia Boxes

I-95 Rest Stop Boxes

Virginia Boxes
In the Park Series - 3 boxes
Dead Authors Series - 5 boxes
Rusty - 1 box
Two By Two - 3 boxes
Tribute to the Woods - 4 boxes
The Bear Went Over the Mountain - 1 box

Dead Authors Letterboxes (5)
Northside Park
Vienna, Virginia
Fairfax County
Placed by Daughter of the Old Dominion
November 2, 2002

This is an undeveloped park with trails, no restrooms, and no picnic tables that I've been able to find. Dogs on leash OK.

You should be able to find all the boxes in under 2 hours.

Directions to Park:

You need to get on Route 123 (Maple Avenue) which is the main street through Vienna. You can get there from the Beltway (Route 495) or from the other direction from Route 66. Once on Maple Avenue, turn north on Glyndon Street, between the Mobil Station and the Shell Station. Pass Glyndon Park and drive to the end of Glyndon Street, past the No Outlet sign. There is a small gravel parking area and a sign for Richard S. Black Trail.

Clues to Boxes:

A bunch of Dead Authors were sitting about God's Country one day talking about their earthly days. Mark Twain said he sure missed the Mississippi River and wanted to see it again. "I think I can hear it now." (Being dead, he had lost track of geography.) He jumped up and started walking up the trail. The rest of the group followed him, with Lewis and Clark bringing up the rear. Although Lewis and Clark weren't authors themselves, they liked to hang around with the literati (we don't know why), and they always carried a compass.

"280 degrees" said Lewis. But nobody paid attention.

Near the top of the hill they reached a wide path. "Let's go this way" said Mark Twain, and everyone turned. "240 degrees" said Clark. But nobody paid attention.

They hadn't gone but 15 steps when Louisa May Alcott spoke up. "Gentlemen, I cannot take another step in these slippers. I fear I will have to sit and wait your return." Everyone looked around but there was no chair or bench in sight. Directly to their right they spied a tree stump, just about rump high. All the men produced clean handkerchiefs from their pockets and spread them on the stump. Miss Alcott sat, pronounced herself comfortable, and sent the group on its way.

Box 1. Louisa May Alcott's Box

As Louisa May sat and waited, she thought about the treasures she had brought into the world. To find Louisa's treasure, continue on the path for 40 steps. Two lone trees should be on your left. Standing on the path, looking between these trees into the woods, you will see a decayed stump. (If Lewis or Clark had been here they would have told you to look 210 degrees) Beneath the stump, covered by a piece of log is Louisa's treasure.

Meanwhile, the group had reached a T in the path. "Let's go this way," said Mark Twain and off they all went. "208 degrees" said Lewis, but nobody paid attention.

When they reached the bottom of the hill, the group turned toward the sound of water. "120 degrees" said Clark, who by this point, was talking only to Lewis. The group walked until they saw a bridge. Mark Twain was already standing on the bridge. He surveyed the water and all gladness left him and a deep melancholy settled down upon hisspirit. This could not be the monstrous big river he remembered. But it still looked like a fun place for boys to have adventures and to find treasures.

Box 2. Mark Twain's Box.

To find Mark Twain's treasure, from the bridge return down the paved path. Stop at the end of the black railing. Walk straight up the hill to the widest tree (it is obviously the widest tree); it is almost a double trunk tree but the fork starts too high up to be one of your regular double trunks. Still facing uphill, look to the right for a decayed fallen tree that looks like it has fallen over decayed logs. Where they cross, on the downhill side, under the tree portion, is Mark Twain's treasure.

After playing on the hill and tossing rocks into the creek, the group decided to move on. They retraced their steps on the trail up the hill. They were so engrossed in their conversation, they completely missed the turn that would have taken them back to Miss Alcott.

"We turn here" said Lewis and Clark in unison. But nobody paid attention; they just kept walking straight. Either Lewis or Clark could have told them they were walking north, but who would have listened?

The wide path turned, but our adverturers wanted to explore the narrower path. "280 degrees" said Lewis. But no one heard because they had already gone ahead and were debating which direction to take at the fork. "Let's go this way" said Washington Irving - which turned out to be 310 degrees, as verified by Clark. This was probably a bad choice because the descent was a little steep at the end and would be muddy after a rain.

They all made it safely to the bottom of the hill. Across the small clearing they saw a bridge and, of course, crossed it. Here the path split. They went single file down the grass path through the brush. "North," said Clark. But no one listened. The narrow path followed the creek downstream and widened after the brush. The group continued following the path downstream. After a short while they T'd into a wider path. Directly to the right, there was a fallen tree touching, but not crossing the path.

It was here that Washington Irving said "I've had enough walking. I'm just tired through and through. This puts me in mind of someone I once knew who slept in the woods. I think I'm ready for a nap myself."

Box 3. Washington Irving's Box

To find Washington Irving's napping place, follow the fallen tree up the hill. Continue in the same direction -- 230 degrees, if you were to listen to Lewis -- until you reach another fallen tree that is perpendicular to your uphill direction. The trunk is too wide here to use as a headrest so go towards the narrow end of the trunk. When it is sufficiently narrow, look behind the log. Snuggled under it beneath a blanket of leaves and sticks is Washington Irving's Box.

Nobody else wanted to sleep outside but they were getting pretty tired of all the walking. James Fenimore Cooper was still thinking about the rocks he noticed on their hike to Washington Irving's Box. The rocks are grey and some are lichen covered. Cooper thought, "If I were a person who needed to hide,this would be a good spot." (Being dead, he had lost all sense of proportion. Anyone else would think it was a bad place to hide because the rocks are only about ankle high.)

Box 4. James Fenimore Cooper's Box

To find Cooper's hiding place, start walking back to the wooden bridge. LOOK CAREFULLY. You will pass a small holly on the right (about 3 feet tall in November 2002). You will come upon a second slightly taller holly (about 5 feet tall in November 2002). If you reach the brush area, you've gone too far. About 10 feet away at an uphill angle from the second holly is a small pine (3 feet tall in November 2002) and directly between these two evergreens is a tree that has a thin hairy vine on the creek side. Stand on the uphill side with your back to the tree. On a bearing of 210 degrees take 5 steps. Cooper's Box is behind a rock and beneath a rock.

Back on the path. After recrossing the bridge, no one wanted to climb up the hill so they decided to take the easier path around the hill. "50 degrees," said Clark to no one in particular. Right past the juncture with another path, the group saw a tree that had fallen across the creek. "Aha, look at this bridge to that island over there" said Robert Louis Stevenson. Lewis and Clark said "that's not an island, that's just the other bank of the creek." But no one listened. "Follow me, mates" said Stevenson as he walked boldly across the fallen log. His more cautious companions looked up and down the creek until they could find another way to cross.

Box 5. Robert Louis Stevenson's Box

To find Stevenson's treasure, go to the "island". At the end of the log bridge are other segments of rotted logs touching the bridge. Under the longest, at the end furthest from the bridge, is Stevenson's treasure.

Everyone was now ready to call it a day. They all returned to the "mainland". They decided not to backtrack and continued on the easier path. By now, even Lewis and Clark had gotten tired of taking compass readings. They kept the houses on their left and followed the curving path where it kept meeting up with larger and larger trails. In no time they were back to the path leading to the stump where they had left Louisa May Alcott. They went to collect her and then finished the walk down the hill. Everyone had a great day of walking and talking. Everyone, that is, but Lewis and Clark.

In the Park - Sports Series
Oakton and Vienna, Virginia
Fairfax County
Boxes placed September 25, 2002
by Daughter of the Old Dominion

This series is about sporting activities in some parks in Oakton and Vienna, Virginia. The directions are given so that you can easily drive from one park to the next.

LETTERBOX 1. This is a mini-letterbox.
Oak Marr Recreation Center and Golf Complex
3200 Jermantown Road, Oakton, Virginia
Restroom facilities inside the REC center.
Dogs on leash OK on outside paths.

At Oak Marr Recreation Center you can swim in the heated Olympic-sized indoor pool, dive in the diving complex, play racquetball, walleyball, or use the fitness center. At the adjoining Oak Marr Golf Complex, you can play on a 9-hole golf course, or practice at the driving range or putting greens. For more information see: http://www.co.fairfax.va.us/parks/rec/omrec.htm.

Directions to park: From Route 66, take the exit for Route 123 north. Turn NNW onto Jermantown Road. The Oak Marr Recreation Center and Golf Complex is on the right.

Directions to letterbox: Park in any parking lot. Walk back to Jermantown Road. At a bearing of 50 degrees, walk on the sidewalk past six streetlight poles. Turn onto the paved path just ahead. After about a five-minute walk, the pavement ends but the path continues to a T. Take the west path. Soon the path will hug the black fence for 50 steps. When it no longer hugs the fence, take 35 steps. Your treasure will be at the base of a "three for one" tree. Don't let the neighbors see you!

LETTERBOX 2.
This is a mini-letterbox. MIA October 23, 2002; Replaced and moved November 24, 2002
Blake Lane Park
Blake Lane, Vienna, Virginia
No facilities. Dogs on leash OK.
Difficulty: VERY easy. A drive-by box.

This small neighborhood park is basically just soccer fields, a dog park, and a recyling center. The box has been moved away from the soccer area to the recycling area which is busy at times. You might want to bring some newspapers to recycle so that you don't look out of place.

Directions to park: From the Oak Marr Recreation Center, turn left onto Jermantown Road. Cross Route 123. At the next traffic light, the road changes names to Blake Lane. Do not turn - stay straight on this road. Soon on your right, on the corner of Blake and Bushman Drive, you will see a grassy field. Slow down because Blake Lane Park is the next right and it comes on you fast. There is a big sign but you can't see it much in advance of the turn because the trees on Blake Lane obscure the view.

Directions to letterbox: After parking your car, notice the layout of the recycling dumpsters. At the right is a wooden fence. Follow it to the end and make a U-turn about a yard back along the fence. You are in an evergreen "forest". Tangled with the first evergreen tree are twisted branches from another tree. At the base of that other tree, at about the 5 o'clock position, is the mini-box.

No one will see you pick up the box but people might hear you and peek around to see what you're doing. So please be quiet when stamping in or just take the box back to your car to stamp in.

LETTERBOX 3.
Nottoway Park
9601 Courthouse Road, Vienna, Virginia
There are restroom facilities and water fountains.
Dogs on leash OK on paths.

At Nottoway Park you can play tennis, basketball or volleyball, garden, picnic, work out on the fitness trail, or enjoy the quiet solitude of the nature paths. There are ball fields and soccer fields and a playground. The Fairfax Connector Bike Trail goes through a corner of the park and right next door is another dog park. For more information see http://www.co.fairfax.va.us/parks/omp.htm#25

Directions to park: From Blake Lane Park, turn onto Blake Lane. At traffic light, turn onto Sutton Road. At flashing light, turn right on Courthouse Road. The park is on the right.

Directions to letterbox: After entering the park, proceed past the volleyball court to the left parking lot. Park. At the southeast corner, follow the bike trail to the conspicuous path, by a trashcan, into the woods. Cross the wooden bridge. Immediately take the path to the left, crossing the ditch to stay left. Keep looking left, 10 yards deep, until you see a forked path that is crossed by a fallen tree. Carefully standing on the fallen tree, go towards the treetop, stepping over the first crossed limb. Stop before second limb. Look at your feet!

To complete the circuit, return to the bridge and walk in the original direction out of the woods to the paved path. Turn towards third base and you will return to the parking lot.

Rusty

Town of Vienna Dog Park
Vienna, Virginia
Fairfax County
Placed December 23, 2002
by Daughter of the Old Dominion
Level of difficulty - Easy clues, easy walk

This box is in memory of The Georgia Peaches’ little dog Rusty. On Thanksgiving Day 2002, he dug a hole under the dogsitter’s fence and was hit by a car. We miss him.

This is a temporary box. When the log book is full, the box will be retired and sent to The Georgia Peaches. Even though you never knew Rusty, come visit him and maybe even say a nice word about pets we’ve loved and lost. It’s a small box and small log so bring your small stamps.

Directions to Park: From I-66, take Nutley Street toward Vienna. Turn left at light on Courthouse Road. Turn left into the first parking lot. If you reach Nottoway Park, you’ve gone too far.

Directions to Box: Take the main path past the enclosed dog area on your left. At the fork, take the left path. You will reach a sewer cover on the left of the path. Stand on the word sewer, with your toes toward Fairfax. Look off into the woods at about the 11 o’clock position. You will see two V trees. Make your own path to the trees and stand between them. Ahead of you is a boxwood. The box is under the north edge of the bush.

Please be careful that you are not observed searching or stamping in. It would break my heart (again) if someone stole Rusty.

Two by Two Letterbox

Southside Park
Vienna, Virginia
Fairfax County
Placed January 11, 2003
by Daughter of the Old Dominion

Directions to Park: From I-66, exit at Nutley Street toward Vienna. At first light, make a right on Marshall Road. Make the third right onto Ware Street and go to end, past the No Outlet signs. Park in parking lot by ball fields.

Directions to Box:

Noah looked at his list. Ark. “Check.” Rain gear. “Check” Food for 40 days and 40 nights. “Check” Two of every living thing of all flesh; fowls; and every creeping thing of the earth.

“Hmm” thought Noah, “This is going to be a problem. They won’t line up in alphabetical order. And they keep moving around. The only way to make sure they are all here is to put them on the ark now.” So he loaded them up, checking his list carefully.

And when he was done, he found that ANIMALS WERE MISSING! Noah knew he would have to track them down and hurry them to the ark. The skies were already darkening.

Box 1. The Playful Pair

Noah walked on the hard surface, between a building and the sporting field. At the fork, he headed left, reaching colorful structures and devices. Leaving the hard surface and passing through these peculiar things, he reached the creek and crossed the bridge. He made a right turn, seeing he could take either the high road or the low road, and continued walking with the creek on his right. He crossed a downhill bridge and continued on the earth path. There was tremendous barking on his left, but he ignored it. He came upon a cement path. “That’s not the right way,” he thought and went down into the cement creek and continued following the path on the other side. He passed through a fallen tree and made a right at the fork. He stopped at the 2x4 “bridge” and made his own path right to the creek. He turned left, following the creek. He moved carefully here because the bank was eroded. He crossed the creek on a board that was laid across the thin stream. Straight ahead some 30 yards, rising above the undergrowth, were two giant trunks that, upon closer inspection, were actually one tree. He made his way to this tree. To the left were the hollowed remnants of a fallen tree. He found the Playful Pair under the hollowed end, just above the hollow.

Noah shoved the pair in his pocket (but you need to leave the pair where they are hiding), gave a worried look to the sky, and feeling a slight drizzle, hurried after the second pair.

Box 2. The Long Distance Travelers

Noah retraced his steps to the building and the sporting field. He turned left and passed between the two sporting fields and turning right, saw another bridge crossing the creek on the left. He crossed it. He took the stairs down and followed the creek. He passed a boxwood-like bush on the right touching the path. He saw a second boxwood on the right, set back from the path. He then came to a 3-in-1 tree on the right. From here he took 16 steps to a path on the right. The path led to a magnificent barkless tree by the creek. He went behind the tree, and made his way carefully down one level to the path. He turned left and immediately saw a decayed fallen tree. On the creek side of the tree, under a piece of horizontal bark, he found the Long Distance Travelers.

Noah picked them up and, carrying one under each arm, walked as quickly as he could back in the direction of his ark. (But you need to leave them where you found them!)

Box 3. The Pair that Was Left Behind

By now it was raining furiously and water was covering the ground. There was still another pair of animals that was MISSING. But Noah had no more time and had to run back to the ark.

Although Noah did not find the last pair of animals, you can. After you recross the bridge, make a left, following the fence on your right. When you reach the basketball court, you will see another bridge ahead. Cross the bridge and go up the two sets of treads. Turn left into the grass, following the treeline. Go to the second sewer cover. Go South to the Tree of Seven Trunks. Nestled in the tree is the Pair that Was Left Behind.

Tribute to the Woods

Daniels Run Park
Fairfax City, Virginia
No. of Boxes: 4
Placed by Daughter of the Old Dominion on March 15, 2003
Dogs on leash OK

There are several ways to get into Daniels Run Park. We’re going to use the Estel Road entrance. From 495, exit at Little River Turnpike (Rt 236), towards Fairfax where the road changes names to Main Street. You know you are getting close when you pass Pickett Shopping Center and Fair City Mall. After the light at Whitacre, turn right on Estel Road which is in the Little River Hills subdivision. Go to the end of the road and park.

Box 1.
Enter park. At the first fork, go left. Follow the sign toward Queen Anne Drive. Walk to the bridge but do not cross. Go left, keeping the creek on your right. Cross the creek on the notched log, again keeping the creek on right. Step over a log, duck under a fallen tree, climb over a fallen tree. Immediately in front of you is a root ball of another fallen tree. Go to the opposite side. Find the scaly fungus by the roots. The box is hidden there.

Box 2.
Return to the main path. Go right. Cross the bridge. Go 70 normal walking steps for a 5’3” woman. Find the tree on the left that says RK ET 4 EVER. Go to the top of the hill behind that tree. Find the bumpy tree. Find the tree that it is hugging. Stand between the trees and find 232 degrees. Walk 15 steps; it’s not a clear path but do the best you can. You should be at a mound of dirt in front of a double tree. Go to where you can see the roots of the tree. There it is!

Box 3.
Return to the main path. Go left. Pass the playground. Follow the sign to Heritage Ln. At the bottom of the hill, take the dirt path on the right. Walk until you see a 5 foot high skinny holly tree on the left. Look beyond that and you’ll see a clump of little holly trees. Line up the two trees and look beyond them. You’ll see a rotten stump. Poke around under it. You found it!

Box 4.
Return to the main path and walk back in the direction of your car. Take the path toward Saint Andrews Drive. Go 70 steps and you’ll see a wood-chip path on the right. Take it. You’ll soon see a golf course on your left. Keep walking. Then ahead of you you’ll see white tanks for the petroleum place. Keep walking. At the fork, take the high road. You’ll see houses but keep walking. The path takes you back towards the golf course. Keep walking until you see the pond ahead of you through the fence. Stand by the “cracked” tree. Look left to the fence. There’s a tree on the fence line. To the left of this tree, parallel to the fence is a long piece of bark. You found another one!

The Bear Went Over the Mountain

Riverbend Park
Great Falls, Fairfax County, Virginia
No. of Boxes: 1
Placed by Daughter of the Old Dominion on April 20, 2003
Dogs on leash OK
Short walk, good for children

Directions to Park: Riverbend Park may be reached by taking Beltway Exit 44 which is Georgetown Pike west to a right on Riverbend Road. From Riverbend Road turn right on Jeffery Road and follow for approximately 1 mile to the park entrance. Follow the signs to the Visitor Center parking lot.

Directions to Box: There is no bear and it's not much of a mountain but it's a fun song to sing when you're walking uphill. With a song in your heart, if not on your lips, take the stairs up the hill towards the Nature Center. When you reach the sign “Nature Center 1/4 mile” look left to see another path. Go over to that other path; it goes uphill and swings right. Cross the grass area, pass two bird houses, and the roofed park sign, which you’ll see from the back. Continue in your original direction. At the curve in the path, you’ll come upon a bramble covered huge mound of dirt on the left. Stop. Face the mound and take a couple of side steps left so that you can see around it. About 20 yards into the woods, you’ll see an 8 foot stump. Walk to stump. Between the two fallen trees, near the base of the left tree, under a decoy log, is the Bear.

I-95 Rest Stop Boxes

VA South 108 Rest Stop
NC South 99.5 Rest Stop
SC North 171 Rest Stop
NC North 99.5 Rest Stop

I-95 S, VA 108 Rest Stop
Nearest Town: Ladysmith
Caroline County, Virginia
No. of Boxes: 1 microbox, bring ink pad and small stamp
Placed by Daughter of the Old Dominion on May 16, 2003
Easy, Drive By

You can find this box by going south on I-95 and stopping at the rest stop at mile marker 108 in Virginia. From the brick building, go past the Pet Rest Area to the northernmost grill. Look towards I-95. You’ll see a large overturned stump. Tucked under the roots is the film canister microbox.

If you find this box, drop me a line at daughteroftheolddominion@yahoo.com.

I-95 S, NC 99.5 Rest Stop
Nearest Town: Selma
Johnston County, North Carolina
No. of Boxes: 1 microbox, bring ink pad and small stamp
Placed by Daughter of the Old Dominion on May 16, 2003
Easy, Drive By

You can find this box by going south on I-95 and stopping at the rest stop at mile marker 99.5 in North Carolina. Leaving the refreshment building, find light pole H2 30. Continue in same direction away from building. You’ll come upon a carpet of pine needles. Find the sway back tree. From there, go to the fence line and walk in same direction. In about 30 steps, you’ll see a sling shot tree that curiously has a dog leash and collar around the base. Nestled between the fence and the tree is the film canister microbox.

If you find this box, drop me a line at daughteroftheolddominion@yahoo.com.

I-95 N, SC 171 Rest Stop
Nearest Town: Florence
Florence County, South Carolina
No. of Boxes: 1 minibox, bring ink pad and small stamp
Placed by Daughter of the Old Dominion on May 21, 2003
Easy, Drive By

Walk north along the sidewalk continuing on the curve between two picnic tables. Beyond the table on the left are three huge gum trees. To their right is a double trunk pine. Set back, and between the gums and the pine, are two slender trees with a stump between them. Behind the stump is the minibox.

If you find this box, drop me a line at daughteroftheolddominion@yahoo.com.

I-95 N, NC 99.5 Rest Stop
Nearest Town: Selma
Johnston County, North Carolina
No. of Boxes: 1 microbox, bring ink pad and small stamps
Placed by Daughter of the Old Dominion on May 21, 2003
Easy, Drive By

Go to the back of the rest area and follow the fence line south. When it reaches the barrier of shrubs that prevents forward walking, follow the shrub line for 22 steps. If your steps match mine, you’ll be at the first tree on the right (Pine Tree). Put your right hand on the pine tree and extend your left arm. You should be touching a tall bush (maybe a Mountain Laurel, I’m not sure). At the base of the bush buried beneath pine needles, on the north side, is the film canister microbox.

If you find this box, drop me a line at daughteroftheolddominion@yahoo.com.

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