Saturday, November 22, 2008

wimp walk

Ryan decided that he wanted to walk the big O for thanksgiving. He got the idea after he had hiked the Florida Trail this past winter. When he went around Lake Okeechobee in Florida, he went around the western side of the lake and missed the eastern side. He knew that every year at Thanksgiving, the Florida Trail association hosted a 9 day hike around the lake completing the full 100+ miles and he really wanted to do the whole thing! So of course, what can I say? Of course, honey! Walk the big O!

The Big O hike

We flew down to Tampa, Fl where I have relatives and spent one night then we drove on down to Lake Okeechobee so Ryan could begin his walk.

We couldn't help but stop for a couple of letterboxes along the way and we were also excited about the gasoline being less than $2 a gallon in Florida!! we stopped for lunch at Checkers fast food restaurant so we could be sure to get the best french fries ever!!!!

We stopped at the Clewiston Inn for drink, in the bar they have a wonderful mural that was painted in 1945 and I had not seen it before. After our drink, we walked across the road to the movie theater and took in the latest James Bond movie: Quantum of Solace!

Clewiston Inn
Clewiston Inn Mural

The next day bright and early, we showed up for the start of the big O walk. I was only doing the "wimp walk" of the first 4 miles. Then they would shuttle me back to my car at the beginning. So we started off together. It was a beautiful sunny day and we quickly hiked the first couple of miles of the Big O together, then I left Ryan to finish the hike and I flew off to San Francisco!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A Cautionary Tale

I just came across some old photos while cleaning out a closet and I thought they might serve as a cautionary tale to those of you letterboxing this autumn season.

I was on the hunt for my 100th letterbox in October of 2001. My sister had rented a car and we had driven down to the Columbia River Gorge to hike and letterbox. We were staying at the McMenamins Edgefield Inn in their hostel section. We had been having a terrific time, despite the rainy weather that year.
McMenamins Edgefield

The weather all week had been rainy and damp. We were on our way to my 100th letterbox find. It was to be The Octopus Letterbox by Funhog on the hike to Horsetail Falls. We had already planned to eat at Tad's Chicken and Dumplings for dinner to celebrate my 100th Letterbox find.
Tad's Chicken and Dumplings

Then disaster struck! We hydroplaned off the highway exit ramp and flipped the rental car. We were very very lucky and were not hurt at all. A fire engine had seen us flip and was on the scene almost immediately. Very cute, very young fire fighters, who were somewhat disappointed not to have to use the jaws of life to pry us from the vehicle helped us out of the ditch.
We waited in their rig for the cops to show up and then an Oregon State Trooper drove us back to McMenamin's Edgefield. Luckily, we have great insurance and the rental car people gave us another car the very next day and I was able to return to Horsetail Falls and find the Octopus Letterbox!