Thursday, February 26, 2009

Letterbox Hybrids

Over the past 8 years of caching, I've found four letterbox hybrids. In my opinion though, I've only really found one true letterbox hybrid. Looking at what says is a letterbox, I guess I'm partially correct.

"A letterbox is another form of treasure hunting using clues instead of coordinates. In some cases, however, a letterbox has coordinates, and the owner has made it a letterbox and a geocache."
A letterbox, according to Letterboxing North America, is a water proof container that has a logbook where a person can stamp their personal stamp in the logbook and collect another stamp from someone else's collection. Clues are given instead of actual coordinates to find the letterbox.

I've found three actual letterboxes that had been posted on the Letterbox North America site. Two of them I happened to stumble upon while out finding geocaches in the same area. The Hunt for the Borg Cube, is a letterbox that I found, while looking for a cache spot for my Bad Swag cache. I had my eyes set upon hiding Bad Swag near this beautiful oak tree. When I got up there on one of my hikes in the area, I found a cairn of rocks and the Borg Cube. I decided that two such caches of different types that close together wouldn't necessarily be the best thing, so I decided to look elsewhere for a spot and found a nice spot for Bad Swag. I could see where people might get confused, possibly finding one and thinking it the other.

That actually happened on one cache that I found up near Lake Arrowhead. Looking at logs on that particular cache, you can see that people have logged one cache, or perhaps the letterbox based upon their descriptions. I actually found the letterbox first, then with the help of my daughter, found the real cache a couple of minutes later.

Getting back to my original premise however, I've always been under the impression that a letterbox hybrid was a geocache where you had to find it via clues and that it would have a stamp pad and stamp in it so people could trade stamps when they found the cache. As I noted above, only one of the four letterbox hybrids that I've found fit that bill having both a stamp pad and stamp and the clues leading to the cache. The other three had the clues, but were micro sized caches that couldn't have held a stamp, let alone a stamp pad.

This was one of the reasons I wanted to created a letterbox hybrid that was a little bit more involved that the one that I found where all you had to do was stand at the back porch of an old abandoned house and look to the corner of the yard where the cache was hidden. I wanted my letterbox hybrid to be a little bit more lengthy with several clues needed to find the cache. I hope I've succeeded with Yogi Berra's Fork.

At the same time the Tadpole was hiding his two caches, I was also hiding the letterbox hybrid. The premise behind it was that Yogi Berra dropped some forks at forks in the road, leaving people clues that would lead a cacher to the geocache. I took pictures of forks in the forks in the road (got that?), but they didn't come out exactly the way I wanted. I was hoping to make this more of a visual type of cache, with cachers using the pictures to find their way, but after looking at my pictures, I decided to utilize some PhotoShopping and also tell a story. This would also allow me to add some more Yogi Berra malapropisms into the story.

There's been two finders of the cache thus far and apparently they both enjoyed the cache, so I'll take that. The one note to the cache seems to indicate that the cacher who posted the note was able to figure out where the cache was using Google Maps. I can see where that would be very possible to do, especially with the quality of the satellite images that are on that site today. He'll still have to hike the trail to get to the cache as there's not an easier way to get to the cache site even if you do use Google Maps. As a lot of cachers probably do, I view Google Maps as another tool to use while geocaching.

Anyway, I hope this particular cache lasts a long time. It was fun creating it. It was a forkin' good time to do.

Pictures were taken at or near Yogi Berra's Fork - by Webfoot

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1 comment:

Tee said...

I really enjoyed this post. There's just something about a fork in the road...which way do we go? I found a flattened fork in the road while I was riding a bicycle and laughed at the symbolism. I made a travel bug out of it (

Yogi Berra is in good company:

Two roads diverged in a wood,
and I,
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference.
~Robert Frost

Forkin' good article, Webby.