Rustic Park in Lost Nation, Iowa is a wonderful little gem in Clinton County. There are two entrances to the park the northern one will take you over a one lane bridge with a wonderful view of the creek and tunnel. The southern entrance is the one you want, its shorter and will have you pointed in the right direction.
The first 4 boxes are small with no logbooks, the 5th box is the only one with a logbook.
I hid these boxes in 4 inches of snow and 10 degree weather, I hope its warmer when you come out to find them. Another side note, the first box in this series, "Lost Patience," was my 100th plant!!
Box #1: Lost Patience
Box #2: Lost Compass
Box #3: Lost Sig. Stamp
Box #4: Lost Hope
Box #5: Lost Mind
On December 25, 2006 (our one month boxing anniversary), this would have been our 13th find. It was cold, the twins were not even a year old and the girls were ages 2 & 4. We decided to read ahead in the clues to see if we could drive any closer to the boxes location, instead of walking around the perimeter of the park.
It was the moment we turned into the park that all 4 kids decided to fuss and scream, all the while we were trying to decipher clues. This has been the case time and time again, inevitably we would just pull into a park and the kids will take their cue and all heck would break out.
Thus, before we even open the car doors, before the hunt would even begin our patience would be gone. Yes, I've lost my patience and typically it would be before we even hit the trail.
Likewise, before you hit the "official" trail (just beyond the red gate ahead), you will walk alongside some telephone poles laying parallel to the walkway to your left. The 2nd telephone pole has three little buddies standing just behind it. You will want to sit on the pole and regain your patience with the little box hiding between the 2nd and 3rd little stump. Please tuck this box as far under the pole as possible and if you are there during the spring/summer please find some foliage or bark to place on top of the box.
On May 27, 2007 we found two boxes at West Lake Park in Davenport, IA. As I remember these were the first boxes we ventured to take the twins on -- in the double stroller up and down hills, boy did we get a workout. After finding the two boxes we headed south to Muscatine to find a box in Wild Cat Den State Park and required a compass. We looked and looked to no avail -- no compass. We did manage to find the box at Wild Cat, then we drove back to West Lake and managed to locate the compass laying face down in the middle of the trail.
On September 7, 2008, we were looking for a RaqsEnigma box in Rockford. The girls and I crossed a little bridge, when they stopped to look over the edge of the bridge. I thought this would make a great picture, so I squeezed behind them to snap a picture -- my backpack brushed up against the other side of the bridge and I heard a "PLOP" . . . it was my new compass dropping to the bottom of the creek. I did manage to get a cute picture though, http://hartx6.blogspot.com/2008/09/rockford.html (its the second one down).
Now continue on down the trail to the red gate, I hope you didn't lose your compass for this one. Standing at the gate walk 5 steps @ 150 degrees, 15 steps @ 40 degrees & 7 steps at 320 degrees . . . you will find my compass behind.
On June 23, 2007 while on our way to Oregon, we stopped in Crook County, Wyoming to find a yooperann stamp. We had driven about 20 hours straight through at this point and we were all on the edge. I walked about a 1/4 mile in Sundance, found the stamp and sat down at a picnic table to log in . . . just to find, I couldn't find my Signature Stamp!!! Not just mine, but Skeeter's & Bug-a-Boo's too!
My heart stopped, not the signature stamps! In the world of Letterboxing they were our identities. I ran back to the van and told Becki that I had to retrace my steps and find them -- need I remind you that we were already at the end of our ropes??
I ran all over the place, frantically searching . . . and then, laying in the tall grass . . . a zip lock bag with our Sig. Stamps within!!!
Continue down the trail to the first bench on the left. Have a seat and look behind you, just over your right shoulder to the multi-trunk tree with a fallen tree resting between two of the trunks. The box (containing our old sig. stamp image) is on the up hill side under the end of the fallen tree.
On June 16, 2007 we attempted a box in Peoria, IL. Skeeter and I looked and looked. We spent way to long and still came up empty handed. Then on November 8, 2008, the girls and I attempted this box again . . . we walked about 3 miles down two loop trails and still came up empty handed.
Hopefully, out third time will be a charm. There were a few times while reading and re-reading the clues and then reading them again where I just give up hope and I end up looking like the image on this stamp.
Walk up towards the tree hanging over the path ahead, about 25 feet BEFORE you get to this overhanging tree look to your right and to the top of the hill. Don't give up hope as you climb the hill to the dead and broken tree at the top. The box is in the hollow at the bottom of the tree. Watch out for nettles!
Ok, back to the path.
On November 29, 2008 we took my Dad (visiting from Oregon) to Macomb, IL to find some boxes. We were on a roll and after lunch we pulled into a small cemetery to find another box. The clues involved a headstone with the name BURKE and an evergreen tree. There were many Burkes and not more than a dozen evergreen trees. Dad, Becki and I looked at EVERY evergreen tree in the cemetery.
After much time we decided to move on to the next couple boxes. We found them right off and went back to the little cemetery across the street. We continued our quest a little longer when a car pulled in to pay respects to their loved one. We headed out.
I was ready to head home, and did just that. Becki convinced me to turn around and keep looking, I for one was going crazy.
Back to the cemetery we went, were we all losing our minds? How can 3 grown adults miss the clues that badly?
Dad convinced me to read all the headstones toward the back of the cemetery, there were no pine trees, this was nuts. I started reading, and soon found the Burke we were looking for and a stump . . . a freshly cut stump, perhaps an evergreen stood here?
Dad was sure they would have sent the tree through a chipper, I headed to the tree line. A small cemetery like this would have just ditched the tree in the woods. Sure enough, laying there in the woods were 3 small evergreens, one of which held the intact letterbox!!!!
Before finding this box I was sure I was going mad. So, to find the last letterbox head to the very end of the trail where the paddy wagon is waiting for you. Just before the red gate to the right is a multi-trunk tree with the box waiting within.
There are lots of nettles and thorns be careful. Also, please make sure no one is there, this is near where the city dumps their yard waste.
Hope you enjoy this series, I know I enjoyed re-living some memories of being lost, getting lost & loseing things.