Campfire Stories  LbNA # 24713

Placed DateAug 18 2006
LocationAshland, MO
Found By I dig toasters
Last Found Jul 22 2011
Hike Distance?

There's nothing like the inviting glow of a campfire, set amidst dark woods and encircled with laughing friends, to warm the heart - or cold fingers and toes in winter months! It often invites sharing of stories, creation of traditions, and, of course, cooking food that always tastes way better than it would if not cooked out of doors!

This letterbox is an ode to the connective power of campfires. Its warmth brings old friends closer and has the power to "spark" new friendships - rather like letterboxing! I've met some wonderful new people through this neat little hobby, and have even shared a campfire with a few of them.

Venture out on this short, easy hike suitable for all, your own ink in hand, and huddle around this little fire in letterbox form. Share your favorite campfire stories, traditions, and recipes...or make up new ones, so that we can all come a little closer!

I planted this box in one of my favorite spots to build a campfire. Close enough to Columbia that my friends and I can easily drive out after work, but far enough away to be "in the woods", Pine Ridge Campground in Mark Twain National Forest is the perfect gathering place.

From Columbia: Take HWY 63 north to the Ashland/Route Y exit. Take a left at the top of the ramp and head east on Route Y. Go 7 miles to the entrance of Pine Ridge Campground on the left. Go all the way to the back and find a parking spot near campground #3, which is the very back spot.

Find the trail that leads away out of Campground #3. Though this is a public use trail, be sure to ask permission before walking through an established camp site if someone has chosen #3 prior to your arrival. There shouldn't be any trouble with this, but its always nice to ask.

Head out along the trail and shortly notice an offshoot trail to the right. Continue straight on the main trail. Curve your way right then back left as the trail winds through a wet weather creek. Find two fallen logs across your path. Hop the first, then the second and begin counting paces. From the second log, head 8 paces down the trail. Notice a large fallen tree about 10 paces off the trail on the right. Head for this tree, walking along the trunk to the end furthest from the trail. This end points toward the root section of another fallen tree. From under this base remove the stone, dead wood, and leaves that carefully conceal the glow of a small fire.

Please re-hide completely as this is an often traveled path. Replace the stone and piece of dead wood that hide the box from prying eyes and protect it from being carried off by well-meaning but ill informed woodland creatures.