Sea Kelp  LbNA # 23063

Placed DateMay 28 2006
LocationFulton / ???, MO
Found By (hidden)
Hike Distance?

Confirmed in place: 4/13/2011

Now onto the clues. . .
Difficulty level: Above-average. Compass is highly recommended.
Distance / Terrain: Lots of driving. Walking portion is about ¾ mile round-trip, mostly whacking over uneven ground with about a 40-foot elevation change.
Paces: One pace = two steps

BACKGROUND: This box was the winner of the Mid-Mo Spring 2006 Gathering two-cup letterbox contest (the contest was to design a letterbox using a two-cup Ziploc Twist-and-Lock container). The clue for this box begins at the State (mental) Hospital in Fulton (when you find the box, you’ll realize why I chose this starting location) and ends at TRGPT< VPMDRTBSYOPM STRS (if you tocuh-type, you might wish to shift to the right a bit). Because I put so much work into it, the clues are heavily encrypted. You’ll also have to do some driving; I also recommend going online to print a map of the area before you start your journey. In case it takes you more than one trip to solve this one, I recommend you check out Fulton’s other letterboxes while you’re in town.

PART ONE: This letterbox encryption uses a 5x5 grid Playfair Cipher (for details on using this cipher, see my FoxHunt letterbox). To begin, park at the State Hospital in Fulton at the intersection of Route O and Wood Street. Walk to the Stinson Creek Trail sign. Starting with the fist letter after the numbers .54 write down the letters in the order they appear on the sign omitting any duplicates (when you are finished you should have 23 letters). Then add the letters F and J at the end of the list to make an even 25 letters. The letter Q is not used. Using a spiral pattern, enter the letters into the grid in the order they appear on your list. Start at the top left corner, go across the top, then down the far right column, then backwards across the bottom, then up the first column, etc.

Now use this Playfair Cipher grid to find the location to which you need to drive next:


Once you have the starting location, you may wish to download a map from the web. Maps are also sometimes available at various trailheads in the area. Then continue with the clues below:

From the entrance sign, go 14 paces 225 degrees to a break in the hedge. From the center of this break go 190 degrees to folded hands and cross.
Next fill in the blanks below with answers as directed below:

___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

1) Speak with Henry Harve, Elwood C and Freda A. When you know their common last name, write down the first two letters in blanks 4 and 5 above:

2) Go 4 paces to visit Addie Lee and Isaac Mike. In the first two blanks above, write down the only two-letter combination that appears twice in their last name:

3) Go 4 paces to McClelland, 1869-1945 and 1888-1960. Their first names share the same second letter. Write down this letter in the third blank:

4) Go five paces to Shane Lewis Wilson. Write down the last letter of his mother’s middle name in the penultimate blank:

5) Go four paces visit with the Rose family. Find the words “in Memory Of” and the dates 1920-1968. Write down the first letter of the first name in the 6th blank:

6) Go 4 paces to Thomas D. and Rosa Etta Hall. Write down the first letter of bottom phrase on stone in the last blank:

Once you have filled in the blanks above read the letters backwards. You’ll need this word below.

PART THREE: Next, from the Twin Seater, head to the Two-Holer. Continue into woods and veer SE downhill until you come to the main drainage which flows between this ridge and the next ridge to the east. Travel down drainage a LONG WAYS until you near the edge of the property. You may notice a fence, a grassy field and boundary signs to your left as you near the edge of the property. Also, the steep ridges on either side of thedrainage begin to level out. Continue in creek until you come to a narrow section with a cedar on the left bank and, directly across on the right bank, a sycamore with a partner on the right bank. Notice a large, flat, white stone at the base of both the cedar and the sycamore. Stand in creek, facing the field and put cedar on your right.

Go 140 degrees 14 paces to a grapevine bound __________ tree with hollow base (fill in the blank with the word you discovered in part two above). Your prize is inside.
A bonus (in a separate container) awaits the first dozen finders. As of 4/13/2011 there were still five prizes left.

Please note that while the opening of the tree's base is small, the hollow space within the tree is large. When re-hiding, be careful to not push the boxes in too far to the point where they cannot be retrieved. Please also carefully replace stones on and in front of boxes to prevent an animal from dragging away the box or a person from stealing or vandalizing them. This area is frequented by hunters. Once you get back to civilization, please contact me using the “Contact the Placer” link to let me know of your decoding process, your letterboxing adventures and whether or not you, too, need some SeaKelp.