California History LbNA # 13060
|Placed Date||Jan 12 2005|
|Location||Portola Valley, CA|
After exiting 280 at Alpine Road and driving toward Portola
Valley, Margot, the intrepid letterboxer and California history
buff, glanced once more at the clues clasped in her hand. Her
odometer noted 2.4 miles so she knew a left turn was imminent.
"Hmmm," she mused as she passed the Alpine Swim and Tennis Club
and spotted her turn, "That's an odd name for a road. I know
there is a dorm on the Stanford Campus with the same name and
someone told me it meant 'gateway' in Spanish." However, Raoul,
her handsome and mysterious confidant, said there is no such word
in Spanish and is probably a misspelled derivation of a nearby
creek which was once called "Arroyo de Las Trancas". Then again,
another had person told her it means "big steps".
After driving on that ambiguously named road for 1.9 miles she
again turned left and began a steady ascent of the road, which
brought back heady memories from her youth. For this road shared
the same name as the thrillingly romantic novel which had so
captivated her one long, hot Arkansas summer. She smiled to
herself and thought that even though Helen Hunt Jackson wrote it
in 1884 it still makes a pretty good read. She fanned herself
with her clues as her mind briefly drifted toward Raoul who
reminded her of Alessandro, the book's hero.
When the road ended she saw she must either make a right or left
turn. Checking her clues again she saw a left turn was
indicated. Once on the new street she glanced to the left at the
rolling green hills of Palo Alto Foothills Park. Referencing the
name of the street she was now on she opined, "How apt! It is
indeed a lovely "green view" but, of course, the street name is
the Spanish translation of that phrase."
Shortly she came to the first cross street. Turning right she
could not help but wonder why someone would name a street in San
Mateo County after the arduous thousand mile trade and
immigration route that ran between Santa Fe and Los Angeles.
At the first left turn she mused, "This street must have been
named for the post-gold rush California bandit 'Murietta', at
least it is the same as his first name." Carefully she began the
steep decline to the foot of the road.
Near the bottom of the road she pulled her car to a stop and
began to read the final clue. "Take the date that California was
given statehood and add the four digits. That will give you two
digits. Now add those two digits together. Find the mailbox
that has that number on it and stand in front of it facing down
hill. Look to the sign which points in two directions. To its
right and slightly behind it is a small tree. At its base under
several small rocks you will find your objective.
Brushing her hair back from her face with her well-manicured hand
Margot resolutely began to walk to the foot of the hill as she
murmured the words uttered by letterboxers throughout history,
"This is so cool!"