Gooble Gobble's Circus Series of Letterboxes: 5 years in the making!
Yes, you read that right, I've had some of these stamps lying around for over 5 years, it's time they made their public appearance. The very first stamp I ever carved is one of these stamps. His name is Vincent.
I do need to apologize for the fact that these stamps are carved out of Speedy Carve. I didn't know any better when I first started letterboxing as many newbies don't. Please treat them gently, you know how fragile and delicate that junk is. That being said there are some special things about this series I should tell you about before you go:
1.There is a series specific H.H. in one of the boxes. This H.H. STAYS IN THE SAME BOX YOU FIND IT IN!!!!!!!!!!!! It's a very important H.H., PLEASE don't move it!!! There is no logbook for it or way to “track” it. Just stamp it and put it back please.
2.Some of these plants are really buried under things, you might have to look harder than normal and make sure to re-hide them just as you found them. That includes digging out any debris that fell into the “hole” the box came out of before replacing the box. Hint: use the flat part of your compass to “dig” out the area. I use my compass to dig all the time and it works quite well.
3.This is a LOOOONG hike. It can be from 7-12+ miles depending on the route you choose to take and other factors. Be prepared! This is not a typical series, it could take you the better part of the afternoon to find all these boxes, you have been warned!
4.Since these are some of my first carves the artistry leaves a little something to be desired, but their historical significance should make up for any lack of skill displayed. Don't get me wrong, they're not “crazed beaver” carves, but if you've seen my more recent carves you'll notice the difference : )
5. There are three different “trails” to take at this park, you can do them in any order you like. One of the trails has three boxes on it the others, two each. One of them is longer than the other two, but I'm not saying a word. You'll eventually have to do them all, right? I guess I'll leave the decision making up to you.
You are about to embark on an epic journey to visit with some of the creepiest, craziest miscreants ever to perform in the Big Top. Their ringleader Vittorio mysteriously disappeared a while back and no one has seen him in months. Some speculate he's dead, some say he's on the lam, others say he's locked up in the looney bin. Your guess is as good as mine - let me know if you have any ideas on his whereabouts; I know some people who would like to “talk” to him.
A little history about this circus you're looking for. Vittorio was brought up very poor in a small Italian neighborhood right outside of Greenwich Village. He came up running numbers and dope for a local gang of thugs who thought they were a lot more influential and tough than they really were. Vittorio, as a result, always had dreams of grandeur. He'd dream the day away thinking about being a ringleader in the circus. From the first sign of peach fuzz on his upper lip he started growing out his mustache. He fancied a grand mustachio and loved to comb and style his lip hair.
As the years went by, our boy Vittorio got deeper and deeper into running with the wrong crowd. The amount of dope he was transporting became too much to easily hide from the cops. He needed a plan, a cover if you will. Enter Vinny, one of the gang's biggest, baddest henchman. Vinny was hardened to anything that life could throw at him. He was brought up an orphan and ran away to a life of crime on the streets at the tender age of 11. “No more gruel and 7:00 p.m. bedtimes for me,” he said one night and left the group home never to return. He immediately found a “family” to adopt him. They loved and cared for him as any family would. They taught him how to read and write, how to add and subtract, and how to break a man's patella with a Louisville Slugger. This was Vittorio's right hand man. The “brawn” to Vittorio's “brains”.
Vittorio hatched a plan one night to help conceal his “business” and realize his lifelong dream of being a ringleader. Hence, the Cirque du Miscreants was born. Vittorio and Vinny set out to find the crew they needed to move the product and to entertain the crowds at the same time. I wish you could have seen them in action before everything went awry. They were fantastic. The Greatest Show On Earth it was, without a doubt.
The tale of their downfall is shrouded in mystery and superstition. I know the story and I could tell you the whole thing.....but then I'd have to kill you. I'm sure you understand.
Your goal is to re-unite this band of miscreants for one final show. A show that promises to bring down the house. The only problem is that they have been on the run for awhile and no one knows their locations for sure. I have included some clues that might help you a little, but in the end it will have to be up to you. Be careful out there, you don't know the kind of people you're dealing with here. Needless to say, you'll be out in the middle of the woods and no one will be around to help you if something should go “wrong.” Capiche?
At some point you'll need a ticket for this Circus. Trust me, you don't want these ushers to find out you've sneaked into the show. No need to worry though. Most of the time they don't check your ticket until later in the show so you really don't need to have your “Admit One” ticket right away. If you would like to get it right away to assuage your uneasiness of being at a mob Circus then you'll have to start out going down the trail to the right of the trail map. I suppose knowing the right park to be at in the right city might help too.
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Return to the bench and go for something more difficult. TCZZCK HVS
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CT HVWG HFSS WG KVSFS MCI'ZZ TWBR JWBQSBH, AM TWFGH QFSOHWCB. Vincent is a little different than most of the other miscreants due to the fact that he's a cyclops. What is a cyclops doing in a circus you ask? You're about to find out. You need to turn the box sideways to get it out, it's a perfect spot for a box, the fit is just right. Please replace the box AFTER removing the debris that fell back into the tree. Replace the debris on top of the box and add a little more on top of it please for good measure. Vinny thanks you for following the freakin rules.
As I was writing these clues a local boxer commented that my plants sometimes made them feel like they were on an aboriginal walkabout, you're about to see why.
After leaving Vincent and returning to the trail go right on the path and right again at the fork you'll come to at the bottom of a hill. It's time to send you “paching.” After your legs are ready to fall off and you're cursing my name in the middle of the woods (just think, there are 5 more boxes to find)
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Here you will find what you were sent “paching” to. While not quite a performer in the circus this little token was on display in the entrance of the big top to remind visitors to not misbehave while at the circus. Imagine waking up to one of these under the covers in your bed. Vinny's watching, don't do anything freakin stupid.
After repaching up the contents of this box go back to the trail. Decision time, you're smart, you'll figure out what to do next.
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Assuming it's after ten and you want to find this legendary clown, DO NOT say anything about his red nose or he'll break yours.
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EFHSFFT. Stand still and be rustle your feet in the leaves or rustle the branches, Vinny doesn't like surprises. A little bit more about this infamous clown while you announce your arrival. No one really knows this and DO NOT! Let on to Vinny that you know this story or it's curtains for you. The legend goes like this; After leaving the orphanage Vinny was taken in by the mob and raised as one of their own (this you already know). A day after Vinny's 14th birthday he was doing Vittorio a “favor” that involved a rope, a chair, and gasoline. Well this snitch Vinny was taking care of got up out of the chair, (Vinny wasn't the best at tying knots) on fire nonetheless, and took a crowbar to Vinny's knees. Our boy Vinny got popped pretty good and wound up losing his knees in this “accident”. Vinny was rushed to a special doctor right away but was told bad news, he'd never use his knees again. The doctor said the only way that he'd ever walk again was to have knee replacement surgery. Vinny knew just where to find a good pair of knees, his burning man friend wouldn't be needing his anymore. So Vinny put out the word to some of the boys and they procured his recycled knees from the snitch. Here's the part that still makes Vinny furious to this day, he's 4 inches shorter than he used to be. The surgery required a little more work than the doctor anticipated and he had to “re-size” Vinny. The doctor, by the way, has the nicest set of cement shoes you'll ever see. So please, I implore you, don't laugh at Vinny's long torso and stubby legs. Because if you do your whole family will be fitted with matching shoes just like the doctors.
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If you choose to find the Big Top this crazy circus takes place in start at
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Decision time, which way to go?
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HKPF ITTTTT YGFIGF KP DGVYGGP VYQ VTGGU. Our tiger of the circus Grrrrr comes from Moscow. He was horribly treated in the Russian circus but he is a lovable cat. That “I will kill you if you look at me wrong” look in his eyes is only from the cruel beatings he sustained in Moscow. He really is a very nice kitty. Don't try to pet him though, even though Grrrrr wouldn't mind, Vinny would kill you; it's his freakin' pet so tuck him away nice and tight when you're done. Follow the heading that got you to where you are now to get out of the woods if you haven't already seen the trail.
After finding Grrrrr hang a left on the trail and continue on up. Go right at the top of the next hill. At the bottom of the steep slope you'll eventually come down find the trail map and stand with it on your left. You're looking for the two sweethearts of the circus, Vicki and Vance. Together since high school they've known no other love. How they came to be here is another story, not so lovely though. As you can see by looking at them they have stripes on them. Those stripes are scars, scars from Vicki's dad. Vicki's dad caught Vicki and Vance making out one day in the garage and freaked out. He never did like Vance too much. Vance came from the “right” side of the tracks and had everything handed to him. You'd think that a man would be happy his little girl wanted to marry “up”, but not Vicki's dad. He prided himself on being from the “wrong” side of the tracks and wanted his little girl to stay true to her roots. Well dad comes in and grabs the first thing he sees, a jar of hydrochloric acid (remember we're dealing with the mob here and HCL does make things disappear if you know what I'm saying), and hurls it across the garage at Vance. He got Vance alright, but he also hit his baby girl with it. You can see from the image that they are both pretty disfigured. Dad never forgave himself for this act of short tempered insanity and ever since that day has loved Vance like his own son. Since these two lovebirds were so disfigured the circus is the only place where they could make a living. Please don't gasp in horror when you see them. Vicki is Vinny's niece and if Vicki hears you she'll have Vinny kill you. That being said,
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I hope you enjoyed your little walkabout in the park today and you haven't made Vinny angry. Congratulations on bringing this group of entertainers together again for one last show. It's too bad Vittorio couldn't have seen this, it would have brought a tear to his eye, but like I said, no one knows his whereabouts. Oh well, a story for another day.