Letterboxing: The Search for the Gingerbread Man

I’m happy to report that our first letterboxing experience was (mostly) a success.  For our first outing, I wanted to do a search that was, 1) relatively easy, and 2) close to home.  After searching on letterboxing.org for boxes hidden in Dublin, California, I was glad to find there was a box hidden in Dublin Heritage Park, the park nearest to our home.  Plus I liked the name of the letterbox…  Gingerbread Man, one of the nicknames I’ve given my son.  We made note of the clues, gathered our letterboxing supplies, and headed out immediately after breakfast this morning.

First, I should note it’s fortunate I’m familiar with this park.  I noticed that the box was hidden in 2008, a couple years before this park was built, so the box couldn’t actually be hidden within the park itself.  I realized the instructions, which begin by stating to “park in the lot”, referred to the parking lot for St Raymond’s Church and the Dublin Pioneer Cemetery.  By the way, if you haven’t been here, I highly recommend it.  The cemetery is beautiful, and is an interesting historical site for the San Francisco East Bay.  Also of historical interest and located in the park is the Murray Schoolhouse.

After we collected our supplies and put on our raincoats, we began the search.  Our first clue was to find the white archway and then face the church.  OK, pretty easy.  We knew we were on the right path.  Then we were instructed to “turn left and look for the biggest stone cross.”  Being a cemetery, there were quite a few crosses, but my son quickly found the largest one, which was pretty obvious.  He was so excited!  Upon reaching the cross, the instructions suggested we “take a moment to read about the first Dublin settlers.”  Cool, a history lesson, too!  We learned about the Flanagan family.

Next, after learning a bit about the history of our town, the instructions said to “look up to find the exact same cross.”  My son was again excited to see another large stone cross just a bit further into the cemetery.  We followed the directions and were soon standing in front of the cross for the Murphy family.  Several more instructions later, we were looking for the “tallest 3”.  This was the funnest clue.  My son stood in one spot and looked and looked for these tallest three.  His excitement upon recognizing the “three” was precious.

From the three, we completed the next several steps in the instructions and were ultimately led to the final destination.  This one was a bit tricky, as the area here is a bit overgrown at the moment with grass and flowers.  But we ultimately found the box in a great hiding place (I don’t want to give everything away!).  My son had so much fun digging it out!

So, here’s why the outing wasn’t perfect.  I was afraid this could happen, so I had warned my son ahead of time.  When we finally located  and uncovered the box from its hiding place, we opened the plastic baggies and the plastic food container to find… no gingerbread man stamp.  Luckily, my son rolled with it and didn’t get upset at all.   At least the little booklet was there, so we marked it with our stamp, rewrapped everything up, and rehid the box under the debris.

Very cool!  My son absolutely loved his first letterboxing experience, and he’s begging to go out again to find another box later today.  Success!

If you are interested in trying out letterboxing and missed my post about how to get started and find a box hidden near you, check out the related articles section below.

6 thoughts on “Letterboxing: The Search for the Gingerbread Man

  1. Pingback: Cemetery Fun! « A Nature Mom

  2. so hey!!! we did it today! we first went to the craft store, and picked out our stamps and ink pads & a sketch books. we did 2 of them today – one in garin park, Hayward. and the other at Castro Valley BART station. the one in garin park was there – wow! but the log book was all wet, and no stamp. But we were prepared for that – and just excited we found anything. In turn, we left a new stamp and more paper in a tupperware. (I never actually read re: the etiquette of making boxes – hopefully this was okay at least, since it wasn’t making a NEW letterbox?) The one was missing completely at the CastroValley Bart station. so again, we left a whole new tupperware w/ stamp & paper. (cheap cheap stamps – just what i had in the house. better than nothing, right?) I’m going to check out the sites more, see where I can comment or at least record last found. I’m so excited to see that there are a bunch in northern Indiana and central ohio near our parents for our upcoming visit home. Thanks again Linda for turning us on to this. “Who wants to go find a treasure?” how can the kids say no to that? by the way – the most fun part today was the kids covering up the new letterbox we left at the bart station – had to cover it w/ pine needles. so funny – they totally mounded it up! not conspicuous at all. LOL

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