S.O.U.L. Letterbox #1  LbNA # 33652 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateJun 21 2007
CountyNew Haven
LocationWaterbury, CT
Planted BySoulSister    
Found By astrii
Last Found Jan 1 2010
Hike Distance?

S.O.U.L. Letterbox Hike at Peterson Park on Mad River Road in Wolcott CT.
Peterson Park is home to the beginning of the Mattatuck trail, a 35 mile hike that winds its way up to Mohawk Mountain, in the Litchfield Hills.

Welcome to our first SOUL Letterbox Journey. We’ve made this one quite simple and with small children in mind. Watch for roots, but other than that it should be very easy. There are 7 boxes: one group box and then one created and placed by each of the current families in the group. These boxes are also quite close together. We don’t recommend strollers; it’s not long enough to require one. We do recommend bringing a change of clothes and shoes that can get wet, since we have had trouble keeping the children out of the stream. Also allow extra time to enjoy the playground.

Please be sure to rehide the boxes carefully. If one is missing or if there are problems please report them to s.o.u.l.letterbox@gmail.com

Start by crossing the field between the two playscapes to the paved trail. Turn left on the trail and follow it to the bridge. Cross the bridge. Turn left to walk along the stream. Immediately, you will find a bench to sit on. While sitting on the bench, look back at the bridge. Under the bridge behind the pillar closest to you, you will find SOUL (box #1). S.O.U.L. is the Society of Unschooled Learners. We are a group of homeschooling families who meet regularly and have formed a community committed to learning and experiencing new skills. We started doing letterbox hikes in the fall of 2005 and have enjoyed it so much that we wanted to contribute to the fun.

Stand up and turn around to face the bench. Looking at about a 45-degree angle to the left, spot the double trees. Walk about 24 adult/29 child paces toward those trees. Look behind the trees and under a rock to find Grace (box #2). This stamp was named after the youngest member of our loving family.

Retrace your steps back to the path with the bench. Continue on the path to the right, away from the bridge. You will pass a sandy area followed by an place where the path splits then reconnects. When the path reconnects you’ll see some fallen branches and another double tree. In between the trees you’ll find Sandstorm (box #3). Our family chose Sandstorm as our letterbox stamp for two reasons: #1-My son chose to make our stamp of a road runner- one of his favorite birds and to call it Sandstorm;
#2-We have good friends who are moving to the south-western part of the US and we wanted to honor them and wish them well on their journey near the "desert", where both sandstorms and road runners are common.

Then Meander Leisurely Locating the three tree doorway. At the foot of the open twisted tree by the stream you’ll find Charlotte (box #4). Our stamp is a picture of a pretty girl and her name is Charlotte because we watched Charlotte’s Web and Charlotte is a very pretty name.

Continue on the path. If the season cooperates, check out the weird mushroom like fungus on the tree and the spiky fallen tree by the stream. Next, cross over the fallen tree in your path. Turn back and away from the stream and you’ll find Painted Desert (box #5) between some rocks under the fallen tree. This handmade stamp was made at one of the last SOUL events we will attend, as we are moving away from CT in the Fall.

Return to the bridge the way you came. Cross the bridge to return to the paved trail and turn right. Locate the boulder on the right side of the trail. Look beneath it and behind some rocks to find Franklin (box #6). Our family chose Franklin because we adopted a Red Earred Slider Turtle named Franklin. We found out recently that she is in fact a female but since turtles generally don’t care what they are called, we kept her name Franklin. We’ve learned much from Franklin. She has an incredible personality and always greets us as we walk into the room with her enclosure. She is supposed to eat lots of fruits and veggies but like some others in our family, she isn’t fond of them. We have to feed her the fruits and vegetables first otherwise she won’t eat them. She loves to go out for walks in the yard when it’s warm.

Continue further down the paved trail, past a rocky stream bed. On the left side you will find Mystic (box #7) in a field of rocks. Mystic is behind the tree at the side of the path, under a branch and in a cluster of rocks. Bonus: Mystic has two stamps. Our family choose Mystic quite naturally; my 5 year is attracted to anything spear, knife, axe or any Medieval tool and my daughter loves fairy/ fantasy type themes.

This ends our journey. You can return to the playground area or continue the walk. The trail does not end soon; there are more bridges and a waterfall to explore much further down the trail. Thank you for playing with us!