This box was placed 30-Sept-2004 by Timbertoes, and adopted for care and maintenance by Kermit on 29-Apr-2011. Timbertoes passed away in 2007, and this box is maintained and cared for in honor of her memory.
Time: 1.5 hours
Difficulty: Gently rolling terrain
The Winterfall Summerspring Letterbox is located in Richard Bong State Recreation Area. The Rec Area is part of the Wisconsin State Park system and visitors are required to pay an admission fee to enter the park. The entrance to Richard Bong State Rec Area is located on Hwy. 142 about 1/2 mile west of the intersection with Hwy. 75. A trail map of the park may come in handy.
[Note from Kermit: We found this park to be heavily infested with ticks. Please take appropriate precautions, and check yourself and your pets well after hiking!]
Once upon a time there lived a princess known as Summerspring. Princess Summerspring had all she could wish for - a beautiful kingdom, untold riches, devoted subjects, an extensive wardrobe and looks that would never fade because her beauty was also on the inside. The one thing she was lacking was someone to share her abundance with. She thought of all the things that made her happy, and what stood out most in her mind was her love of the outdoors. So Princess Summerspring decreed that she would marry whoever could bring her something that reminded her of the sun, for she thought to herself that this remembrance could keep her happy no matter how dark her days may become.
Not far from Princess Summerspring's kingdom lived a prince known as Winterfall. Prince Winterfall was also blessed with abundance - a majestic castle surrounded by forests teeming with wildlife, beautiful lakes and rivers filled with every kind of fish you could imagine, loyal followers and more wealth than he could ever hope to spend. Prince Winterfall also possessed a steadfast heart, although a lonely one, for he longed to win the love of the beautiful Princess Summerspring.
Now Prince Winterfall had recently heard of Princess Summerspring's decree and set about making plans to find what she sought. He knew he was not the only suitor to be pursuing the princess and, making haste, he set off.
To find out where Prince Winterfall begins his search, you'll have to solve this puzzle first. Using each letter of the alphabet just once, finish the words below, placing one letter in each blank space. There will be one leftover letter.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
1. _ UAR _
2. _ UZ _ _ E
3. _ E _ _ LATE
4. _ O _ D _ R
5. _ I _ EN
6. P _ AR _ A _ Y
7. DI _ NI _ _
8. _ EWOR _
9. T _ M _ ER
10. UN _ _ ST
Leftover letter: ____ = parking lot where you begin your search
Beginning at the trail head, Prince Winterfall started off in the direction of the rising sun. He walked through a meadow and, looking about, saw much loveliness, but nothing that reminded him of the sun. Although he was unsure what to look for, he was confident that if he kept his wits about him an idea would come to him.
The prince approached a bench on the right with the initials K.H. upon a shiny brass plaque. He followed a bend in the trail to the right. Soon the trail entered a woods. "Of course! Wood for a fire to warm yourself by - like the sun!" he cried. Taking several pieces of fallen branches with him, he hurried to the princess, sure that he would win her heart by nightfall. Sadly, she was not impressed by his resourcefulness and sent him back to try again.
Continuing on, he ignored the road to his right (they didn't have asphalt in once-upon-a-time). After a time he came out of the woods. Looking ahead, he saw a red barn in the distance and thought to find shelter there for the night. As he made his way, he entered a second woods, this time made of poplar trees and a few very large oak trees.
At last, a bench to rest upon, with a plaque bearing the initials D.K. Leaving the woods behind, he continued on. Quite soon he heard a quiet burbling. A small stream wound it's way along, sparkling in the sunlight, it's source a large pond on his left. "This is it!" he cried, "The water shines like the sun itself!" He collected some of the clear, sweet water in his cap and carefully took it to the princess. Upon seeing the prince for a second time, she hid her sorrow (for she secretly cared a great deal for him) and again told him that no, this was not what she was searching for. (Now, you may be wondering why Princess Summerspring would not accept the prince's gifts if she cared so much for him, but the princess was wise beyond her years. She knew that unless Prince Winterfall could bring her exactly what she was seeking, there could be no hope for a future together.)
So the prince walked and walked, despairing of ever winning the fair princess's heart. He found himself ascending, ever slowly, up, up, up. Another bench relieved his tired feet, one inscribed with the initials L.L.R.R. He passed through a third woods, this one small and dominated by a huge oak on the left. Further on he passed a bench on the left that appeared to be facing the wrong way and bore no initials to mar it's surface.
The trail began to rise again, as did his spirits, for the beauty that surrounded him was captivating. Inspired by the beauty, Prince Winterfall finally realized what would win the princess's heart. As he entered the fourth woods, he stopped at the trail marker to his right. Taking 24 paces forward, he reached the middle of three large oaks on his left. Near a rock was a lichen-covered, twisted log. Just behind the rock, under the log, Prince Winterfall found what he had been searching so diligently for. He collected the image to take to Princess Summerspring and re-hid the box to be sure it was not visible to any of his adversaries.
With a song in his heart, the prince carried his precious gift with him as he made his way through the woods, coming upon another bench inscribed with BSA #228. Proceeding onward, leaving the meadow behind, he continued along the trail as it took a left bend into the lowlands. As he found his way homeward, he was careful to continue straight ahead, even though twice new trails beckoned to the right (he knew this was where the dangerous Dragon lived and, in his joyous mood, didn't want to have to slay the beast).
Reaching his destination, he presented the image to Princess Summerspring, who immediately threw herself into his arms, promising to love him for the rest of their days. For Princess Summerspring knew that those who share images with others will forever bring joy and happiness through their efforts.