Ponderosa Enormosa  LbNA # 17436

OwnerRubberband Man    
Placed DateJul 10 2005
LocationMissoula, MT
Found By Half Empty
Last Found Aug 3 2013
Hike Distance?

This month’s box is called the Ponderosa Enormosa letterbox. The clues will lead you to the biggest tree I’ve seen in the Missoula area, which I have unscientifically renamed. To figure out the destination, though, you’ll have some puzzling to do.

The letterbox is hidden in a place whose name consists of two words, six letters apiece. On a piece of paper, write down the postal abbreviations for the following states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Nebraska, New York, and Pennsylvania. The letters from these abbreviations can be used to spell out your destination. Some letters represented only once in the abbreviations can be used multiple times in the destination’s name. Others represented more than once in the abbreviations can be used one time. In addition, each word in the destination will start with a state’s abbreviation.

Once you get that sorted out, go to this place. Find the main road into the heart of this place (there’s a big sign). Once in, you’ll have to drive for a minute to get to the right parking spot. Go straight until you hit a fork dividing Unit A from Units B and C. Go to the right and park at the “Information Unit B” sign. Now you’re ready.

Head out straight through the picnic area toward the mountain. You’ll find a dirt path; stay on that until you intersect an overgrown jeep trail leading left and right. To the left is the Mystery Wall letterbox placed by Rockmover and Quiltmaker (this is a very cool historical letterbox; check out letterboxing.org for the clues and, ultimately, the answer to your destination puzzle). To the right is your path.

After a minute, you will pass several small trails close to one another. The jeep trail peters out, but continue in the same direction. You’ll cross five trails, pass a clump of trees on the right, and stop on a trail which is covered in grass to the left (but still clearly a trail) and dirt to the right. To the right, you should be able to see in the distance a wooden post with red on top. Turn left and the grass should clear up and become a solid dirt trail.

This is your trail. While there may be a few side trails, stay on the main trail for about fifteen minutes. You should pass one blue diamond with an arrow on it, and a few minutes beyond you’ll be there. On your right will be a clearing with the Ponderosa Enormosa. It takes at least three adults holding hands to wrap around its trunk. Along with being huge, this ponderosa has the most intense vanilla fragrance I’ve ever smelled. Don’t pass it up without taking a whiff.

From the trail looking toward the tree, you should see a big rock to the back left in a patch of plants. Behind the rock is a patch of needles, and underneath those you’ll find a letterbox!