Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief  LbNA # 55266

Placed DateAug 22 2010
LocationFairfax Station, VA
Found By JustMeVA
Last Found Mar 10 2013
Hike Distance?

he series was carved and completed by two avid lovers of the Percy Jackson series who will be starting 3rd grade this fall as well as with a little help from a 5 year old brother. This was part of an 8 year old birthday celebration - carving and planting these boxes at the park in which we began our love of letterboxing. We hope you enjoy the series and look forward to completion of more letterboxes of the other books in this series in the near future! PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU KEEP LETTERBOXES CONCEALED AS THE CHILDREN ARE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THEIR FIRST BOXES.

Notes: Please bring a compass, step = adult steps, pace = two adult steps. This series is based 100% on the book (not the movie - which falls quite a bit off the mark).

Drive into Fountainhead Regional Park off 123 (Hampton Rd.). Pull into the first parking lot and start your Quest on the Bull Run - Occoquan Trail which is designated by blue blazes.

1. Minotaur
Shortly after beginning your Quest, you will see a cemetery on your left hand side. No worries, your Quest will involve much scarier monsters than the mere mortals that are buried on this plot of land. You will reach a sign that states Horse Trail with an arrow and a blue horseshoe hanging on a tree. In order to enter Half-Blood Camp, you will need to take a compass reading to search out the Minotaur. Take the path that travels at 30 degrees. You will come to a Y in the trail. Directly behind the tree carved with the initials LM (Leo Minotaur? Lena Minotaur? Lisa Minotaur?), you will see a tree that has split in half. Look up into the crack and be prepared with all your mediocre skills as a newly designated half-blood to find the Minotaur. Will you succeed in obtaining the Minotaur's Horn?

Please make sure you cover this letterbox well so that it cannot be seen from the white blazed trail. Return to the blue blazed trail and continue on your Quest with the knowledge that no new Half-Blood has ever fought so successfully with a full-grown Minotaur before.

2. Chiron
Half-Blood Camp has been very enlightening and one of your favorite people at the camp is the centaur, Chiron. In honor of our half-horse friend, continue onto the 2nd horseshoe on the trail after you have returned to the blue-blazed trail. (The first horseshoe would have been at the intersection when you reentered the blue trail.) Walk 45 steps until you are right before the carved beech tree and the trail marker. Directly north (right), walk 15 steps off the trail to a large oak with holes near the base. Chiron can be found playing pinochle with our "friend" Mr. D at the base of this tree.

3. Exploding Toilet
Return to the trail and continue on your Quest. Although you have been stuck in Hermes cabin for the time being, there has been signs that you are the child of a far greater god, possibly one of THE BIG THREE. You will be passing a sign that states Bull Run Marina/Hemlock Overlook/Bull Run Park. Your anger with a girl at camp named Clarisse is coming to a head and you are seemingly not able to control your rage toward her. Pass a beech tree with an N surrounded by a square carved into it and continue to walk to the next blue horseshoe hanging off of a tree. Walk back from the horseshoe 7 paces in the direction you have just come. Take another compass reading and at a 250 degree reading, you will see a tree that looks like it has a teacup handle. Walk to this tree and look to the right of it. There is a large fallen tree with protruding roots. Look to the root system and you will find the source of the tree's fall. Your anger has finally come to a head and you have managed to explode a toilet, taking down a tree and covering Clarisse with filthy water. The clues are definite: you may be a child of the god of the sea!

4. Poseidon's Trident
Return to the trail and pass a sign "Maintained by Potomac Appalachian Trial Club." Take the switchback trail down toward the water. You will cross two bridges in order to determine your true father. You will pass a blue marker on the left with a pig nose knot on the bottom. Walk up the four steps. You will pass a small sapling in the middle of the trail with a blue blaze. Walk 12 steps further and look to the left to the tree you can almost reach with your hands. Hiding behind the tree under some rocks, you will find the clue that will help you understand your Half-Blood lineage and the reason you are who you are!

5. Flying Shoes
Now that you are confident that Poseidon has claimed you as his son (or daughter) by using his universal sign, the trident, you can go forth on your Quest with the knowledge that he will help you in ways you never dreamed possible. You can now travel through water without getting wet (on the trip back you can test this in the creek!). You can talk to horses and understand them since Poseidon made horses out of sea foam. If only we had our Flying Shoes Luke gives us to get to the top of this hill. However, being Poseidon's son and worried about getting Zeus his lightning bolt back, we probably should walk up the hill to see if we can find the shoes for Grover. Being in the air and an enemy of Zeus is never a good thing. Pass the blue blaze on a beech tree. When you come to a log sawn in half to make room for the trail, take a 150 degree reading. Walk 43 steps. You will pass 2 beech trees to a tree with a hollow in its base. Look up into the hollow area and you will find the Flying Shoes!

6. Riptide
Return to the trail and follow it until you pass another blue blaze and a huge fallen tree on the left. Chiron, your trusted instructor and centaur, is waiting to give you your magical ball point pen. Pass another blue blaze on the right. Walk 17 paces to a huge fallen tree on the left. Go halfway down the fallen tree on the right side to find Riptide, the ball point pen that will always return to your pocket no matter where you leave it and will magically turn into a bronze celestial sword by clicking it. You will need Riptide to help you in the next portion of this quest!

7. Medusa
In order to truly kill a monster, you can only cut off their heads with a bronze metal. Luckily for you, bronze does nothing to mortals, so you will not have to worry about where you swing your sword. Continue on the path until you reach "Auntie Em's Garden Emporium" on your right. There is group of rocks on the right that if you look closely are broken stone statues of frozen satyrs, mortals, sheep, half-bloods and fairies. Medusa must have known you were coming with Riptide and knocked over all her stone statues in her haste to escape. Be brave and continue on your Quest to kill another monster on this journey. You will see a blue trail head marker on your right. Directly to the left, you can tell Zeus must have knocked down some trees in order to help you capture Medusa (he must not be THAT angry at you). Continue 28 steps up the path to where Medusa has turned a group of hikers into stone and once again knocked them over. However, something must have trapped her in her haste. You will see a tree that has a hole at its base. We found a turtle that must have been in its shell when Medusa flew by and therefore remains living since his eyes did not view the horrid sight of her face. To the right of this tree you will see a group of the broken rock hiker statues. Under the rocks you will find Medusa.

8. The Arch
Wow! You are true hero now - you have taken the head of Medusa. Beware! Even though she is dead, she can still turn people into stone if they view her deadly eyes. This may become a wonderful weapon to you in the future or you could just send it care of the gods at Mount Olympus. Continue down the path until you reach a tree that has two blue blazes. Take out your magical compass for a reading of 350 degrees when you reach a T in the path. Follow the reading so that you remain on the blue-blazed trail. Cross over the tree that is cut in 1/2 to make room for the trail. Take 17 steps. Look to the left to see the tree that looks like an upside-down Arch. If you look under the tree's elbow and remove the rocks, you will encounter Echidna and Chimera - make sure your trusted Riptide is ready to fight. You may not succeed, but thankfully due to the fact you are an offspring of Poseidon, the fall into the Mississippi River will not harm you.

9. Mount Olympus / The Empire State Building
After your terrifying fall from the St. Louis Arch, you have now retrieved the lightning bolt (which no one wanted to carve!) and are ready to take it to the gods at Mount Olympus. The journey will be strenuous, sweaty and hard from here on out (just joking), but we know you have come this far and cannot turn back now! Pass a blue blaze on your right. Pass another blue blaze. Watch out for the violent storm clouds and the monsoon like waves as Zeus and Poseidon come close to a full-out war over the missing lightning bolt. You're almost there and will be able to calm the gods and turn the weather back to normal! Pass a blaze on your left. You will reach the 1 mile trail marker that is shaped somewhat like the Empire State Building. Take a compass reading of 70 degrees and walk 28 steps to a fallen tree. At the base of the tree, look inside to reach Mount Olympus - the 600th floor of the Empire State Building. If your eyes follow the tree to the top, it looks like Zeus is giving you the thumb's up for a job well done.

Return to the path and come back the way you came. Don't forget to follow the blue blazes all the way back!

Hope you enjoyed our letterbox and we highly recommend reading the book if you have not done so!

E.C.B., M.R.G. & A.N.B