Bridge-Hopping  LbNA # 17648 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateJun 24 2005
LocationSouth Milwaukee, WI
Found By ShoeHound
Last Found Sep 9 2005
Hike Distance?

Difficulty Easy/Medium
Length About 1.5 miles
Time 45 minutes to an hour

As of 05.17.06 this box is MISSING.

Soon to be updated; as soon as one of our members returns from her vacation.

NOTE: This box was created in honor of one of our groupmate's 24 birthday. It was placed without her knowledge in late June and registered by a fake group called Left at the Sign Post for others to find. We were hoping that a couple of people would find it and leave messages by the time we took our friend to "find" it. Luckily, a bunch of Letterboxers did! We had about fifteen groups find it, and three Hitchhikers had been left and picked up by the time we took her out.

We've left the box there and though her birthday has passed, it'd be cool if you left a message for next year. Thanks!

Getting Started
This letterbox involves a nice stroll through Milwaukee County's fantastic Grant Park, along the Seven Bridges trail. The trail is mostly paved with stone, there are a few staircases, but nothing too strenuous. This letterbox is perfect for beginners or those with young children.

To do this trail it is best if you have an orienteering compass but it is not necessary. If you have a compass like the one linked to above, set degree dial (with the bearing you've been given) to the point on the compass base plate "Read bearing here." Then rotate the compass housing until the north orienting arrow of the compass housing lines up with the red magnetic needle. This is referred to as "boxing the needle," since you want the needle to be inside the box defined by the orienting arrow. The north orienting arrow must be pointing in the same direction as the red (north) magnetic needle. Now head in the direction indicated by the "Read bearing here" arrow.

If you do not have a compass, try this--North is 0 degrees, East is 90, South is 180 and West is 270. You can estimate bearings from that basic knowledge.

You may also want to bring along bug spray because you will be walking in the woods, and if it is a particularly hot day, some water and sunscreen may be required.

The Clues
1. As you arrive at the location you will be issued both an invitation to enter the woods, but also a warning of what dangers lie inside. Don't worry too much though. Your journey begins at this point.

2. As you walk along this first bridge, you may notice that many people have recorded their presence on the wooden posts. The bridge, like many spots throughout the park, provides a record of the park's visitors and it is interesting to note the names and dates that people have marked down. You're looking, in particular, for a note by "David -n- Nicole."

3. Once you have found "David -n- Nicole" add the digits of their respective dates, and then subtract the sum of David from the sum of Nicole. Take that sum and add those digits together to get the answer. Record that answer as (A:______).

4. At the end of the bridge you will have reached a crossroads. Since you're not going to want to head back towards where you came from, you now have three options of where to head. And, have you noticed the placement of the trees in the road? Think back on your answer for (A:_____), taking the trees into account, and take the other path.

5. Walk along this path until you reach a rock on the right side that has been decorated with the initials MP. If you think you've found it, look closely at this clue again to make sure it meets all the requirements.

6. Count off 98 paces from that rock until you reach the stump at your right. Take a look at the hole in the middle--wouldn't that be a nifty place to hide a letterbox? Unfortunately it's mainly used for garbage.

7. From this stump, take a bearing of 90 degrees. That's where you want to head; however, unless you can fly, you're going to want to keep following the trail you're currently on for another 42 paces (from the stump) until you reach the crossroads ahead.

8. If you've successfully determined your bearing, then you know which path to take. If not, then take a lucky guess, but be careful, the path gets a bit steep.

9. You have now reached the second bridge of your journey. Cross it, but do please count the planks across as you go and record the number as (B:_____). Once you've crossed the bridge count off (B:_____) paces away from the beach. (You may encounter some stairs--each step counts as one pace.)

10. You've now reached a fairly steep stone staircase. Instead of climbing up, keep on the path until you reach the stone bench built into the stone wall. If you're a bit winded, here's a good place to take a moment's rest. While doing so, note the holes that keep popping up in the wall. Those too would be an interesting hiding spot for a letterbox, but unfortunately, not practical ones. Those are drainage holes used to divert water from the higher ground toward the crick you're currently standing next to. It helps protect this beautiful park from suffering too much erosion. If you've rested enough, then continue along the path until you reach another crossroads.

11. In front of you is a wooden staircase. Count the number of wooden steps (yes, someone's going to have to climb the staircase) and record that number as (C:_____). Then divide (C:_____) by (A:_____) to get (D:_____).

12. While standing in the center of the crossroads, take a bearing of (D:_____) degrees and head off (D:_____) paces in that direction. You've now reached the 6th bridge that you will see on your journey. Follow this path until you reach the seventh bridge and find another stump with a large hole in the center. Don't worry, no letterboxes hidden here either.

13. Remember the first bridge you crossed and all the carvings and writings on it? This bridge also suffers from the same fate. Find version (for the opposite sex) of one of the names that you saw on that first bridge. From that point, take a bearing of 345 degrees and head in that direction.

14. Follow the path until you reach the point where one tree forms two bridges across the small river. Count 122 paces from that point.

15. You've now reached the old waterfall (on the left) made out of the same stones as everything else in the park. Unfortunately, the waterfall only works if there has been a heavy rainfall recently. If you're interested in seeing it up close, turn around and head 7 paces in the direction you just came from. You should see a path that you can take to the top of the waterfall--a beautiful sight, if I can offer an opinion. If you're not interested, then continue along this path until you reach a fork in the road.

16. At the fork take a bearing of 160 degrees and head off in that direction. Ignore the side paths and stay on the main one until you reach the point where white stone becomes dirt path again. Follow this path for (C:_____) paces.

17. You should be standing in the middle of a dirt crossroads. Take a bearing of 65 degrees and walk in that direction. Watch where you step!

18. Okay, the waterfall was something, but this sight sure beats it, right? The sunrises you can see from here are absolutely amazing.

19. You should be standing on a cliff overlooking Lake Michigan. Don't worry, I'm not going to send you down the cliff. Take a right and follow the wooden fence until you find initials that look like PR or PB carved into it. (Boy, people are sure into graffiti here, aren't they!)

20. Take a bearing of 235 degrees. That's the direction that the box is hidden in. Just a quick hop over the fence, about 3 paces, and you should reach a small (and I do mean small) clearing to the right of a large tree. See the fallen log? Search in the spaces under that for awhile and you should come away with the letterbox.