austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

All summer long we sang a song and then we strolled that golden sand

We were very tempted to continue staying in doing nothing. The second full day of our trip (Wednesday) we found something low-key enough to do that we could be roused for it and yet not requiring any of the big activity we were hoping to avoid. This involved letterboxing. bunny_hugger found a couple of the hidden caches near enough to my parents' home. One was right by a pretty major bridge and that seemed good. My father went along with us. My mother slept in, recovering.

The setting was a park, one down by the river/marsh bed, so we could see and smell the changes that tides brought to the area. And as my father was along we were able to explain some of the history and procedures of letterboxing: how there's these just-slightly-ambiguous-enough clues leading on a trail to some interesting or scenic or historic location. And how we'd planted a couple, and how we'd picked up hitchhikers, mini-letterboxes that fit inside other letterboxes. The trail within the marshy land was pretty good-looking, and clear enough. We also went past an abandoned building that used to be an icehouse, or at least might have been. I think the sign admitted that they weren't really perfectly sure, or perhaps the building had served multiple roles in its history.

The letterbox seemed like it might have gone missing, which is not a rare event but is frustrating to have happen and embarrassing in front of an interested stranger to the hobby. But we got lucky: walking around the tree that seemed least unlike what was described in the clues revealed the telltale hint of a bit of plastic underneath some tree bark. The letterbox was there, and in fair shape, and we could show it off to my father. I think it had gotten a little damp and we did our best to dry it off and seal it better. Also we realized we still had the hitchhiker we'd picked up in Traverse Bay last year (we failed to leave it off with the letterbox we found outside Earlham during the reunion weekend). So we could leave it there and help the hitchhiker --- which had started out in Oregon --- make it from coast to coast. That felt nice and triumphant.

Trivia: In response to Pope Paul IV's 1559 list of forbidden books Cosimo de Medici negotiated the book-burning down to a smaller list, just of books on ``religion or sacred things, or magic, spells, geomancy, chiromancy, astrology, and other similar matters'', with the Inquisition's Florence delegate agreeing that books needed by lawyers, physicians, and philosophers should be exempted, and emphasizing the importance of Jewish medical books. Source: Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance, Lisa Jardine.

Currently Reading: Ozma of Oz, L Frank Baum.

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