Wagon Wheel (Mid-MO)  LbNA # 24664

Placed DateAug 18 2006
LocationColumbia, MO
Found ByMO UR4Me
Last UpdateMay 3 2014


This is the first letterbox I have ever placed. I hope you have as much fun finding it as I did creating and placing it. I have always loved the area that is home to this LB. It is a rather short hike and very kid friendly. No bushwhacking. BYOI.

This box has been placed with permission of the Missouri State Parks.

Directions: Take I-70 to highway 63. Head south on 63 to the AC exit. Head west on Grindstone Parkway for a few blocks and turn left (south) onto Bearfield Road. Take Bearfield all the way until it ends at a small parking lot for a trailhead. This is in a lesser used area of Rockbridge but there is still some foot traffic, so please be discreet in your LBing and follow proper rehideation.

On the southeast side of the parking lot is a large covered kiosk with information about the area. Pay close attention to the page in the upper right hand corner that describes the namesake of this trail. Remember to make a note of the name of the old farmsite on which it is located. You will need this to crack the cipher below. Follow the directions on the sign and find the wagon wheel.

Once you have found the wheel, you will probably wonder like I do. Who's wheel was it? How did it get there? I'm sure it has an intriguing story behind it.

This clue is encrypted using a Key Word Shift Cipher. Here is a common explanation of how to solve the code.

A Key Word Shift Cipher uses, a key word, such as Frank. The key word secretly hides the solution to breaking the cipher text. Each letter of 'Frank' represents a number. It does so by each letter representing the order in which it appears in the alphabet. In the context of this word, 'F' appears second, 'R' fifth, 'A' first and so on. By finding the order in which the letters appear in the alphabet, you find a series of numbers. In this case, 'Frank' becomes 25143. Now that you have the number and the encrypted clue (cipher text) you're able to decode the clue. Do this by placing the number sequence over the code. Subtract the number from the letter by counting letters backwards. For instance if the code is HWBRN you'd go back two letters from H to get F. W goes back five places to find R. B moves back one to A and so on and so forth. Write the numbers out above the code skipping all spaces, but keeping the sequence of the numbers. Tricky, eh? This type of code is referred to as 'polyalphabetic' because the same letter in the cipher text could be several different letters in the plain text, that is, when it is decoded. Being polyalphabetic makes an encryption extremely difficult to crack.

Using the 7-letter name of the farm (from the sign) as the key, crack the following cipher to uncover the remaining directions:
(Added note on 8-23-2006 - for those of you who went searching for this prior to this edit, I apologize for leaving out one letter near the end which threw off the rest of the cipher. And for those of you who found it and told me of the mistake, congratulations for finding regardless of my poor encryption. The error has now been corrected. Lesson learned : always decrypt your own encryption to catch errors)



Look under the farthest corner amongst the leaves.

Please rehide well and look for the clue to the bonus box.
The bonus box is placed in the spirit of the "Now You See Me...Now You Don't" contest described on the Mid Missouri Letterboxers website at: http://midmoletterboxing.blogspot.com/

If the box is missing or damaged please contact me at ahistory (at) centurytel (dot) net or through LBNa.