Event Stamp and Patch Design - by Bungalow Boxer
What a weekend!
This was our largest attended Bed & Boxing in the 4 years we've been doing it. Counting day trippers, we ended up with 83 attendees. About 55 people stayed at the Woodbound Inn with us in a combination of accommodations ranging from rustic lakeside cabins to king size deluxe suites in the main inn.
Sue & I drove up to VT on Wednesday night after work with some boxing friends. After a leisurely breakfast, we headed out with our sights set for Rindge, NH and the Woodbound Inn - our temporary home for the weekend. Sue & I had visited the property twice over the summer to plant 2 new series for the event - Hiking Essentials and Alaska Memories, which was carved by some of our attendees from our July Letterboxing Cruise to Alaska.
After unpacking and getting settled in our cabin, a bunch of us headed out to do some fairly easy boxes due to the threat of rain. Setting the AQ search function on 10 miles from Rindge, we came up with about 133 boxes plus a handful from LBNA. What to choose . . .
After greeting Tiptoe & Tonto from the Chicago area and Sewsewbizzy from Va, we all headed to dinner at a local pub style restaurant with a nice menu. Returning back to the property, we ended up in our cabin for great conversation, a box of wine and a blazing fire! A nice way to end that Thursday pre-gathering day.
Friday, after breakfast, we headed out to do a few series located on the rails to trails system in Rindge. There, we met Rubaduc & Gizz who had just finished. Then the rains came and we decided to head back to the inn. There we checked out the Play Barn - our community center for the weekend and met with everyone for a 7pm meeting to talk a bit about the weekend. It was great to see all of the attendees as they arrived - all excited about the coming weekend. The weather seemed to clear a bit before the sun set and that made us very happy. As usual, exchanges, conversation and hotdogs roasted over the fireplace made for a nice first official gathering evening.
Saturday morning came and a group of us headed out to get some of Jay Drew's/DrewFamily's Grand Monadnock boxes. This historic, 10 box series is a result of many years spent vacationing in the area with a box or two planted each time. The Tuesday before we left for Bed & Boxing, I noticed a box alongside our front door. Among the contents were clues to a new, Grand Monadnock #11 box entitled "A Bed & Boxing Bonus Box" that Jay had placed for our event. This was the main focus of our trip to Monadnock and a successful find made it all the better.
Almost at the summit - photo taken by Jei
Monadnock was a difficult hike, in our opinion. The rain from Thursday and Friday made for slick and very wet spots in the trails, combined with wet rocks. The elevation gain was 25 to 30% over rocks at times (according to an internet source I found.) After the first 3 hours or so, I questioned whether I would see the summit. Jei, Tsuki Ames, Tiptoe and Tonto, Martini Man & Wisconsin Hiker and of course, Sue, all were very encouraging. I have a fear of heights but I'm usually fine on a trail with trees surrounding me but this was a bald mountain. Plus the scrambling and climbing on rocks was not what I expected. Once we got to the summit, which is just under 3200 feet with no surrounding mountains, we could see forever. The fall colors just made it all the more picturesque and worth every ounce of effort expended to get there. Thanks, guys, for the encouragement!
Back at the inn, and late for dinner, the festivities had already started. We arrived close to 7pm with a 6:30 starting time on a great buffet we had arranged. When Sue & I arrived, we were greated to cheers - but not in tribute, I don't think - it was more like "finally you got here!" After dinner, with the help of the V's, Lundy & Vickster and Jess and Scott, our night series, Ghosts from Gatherings Past, was planted and made ready for our guests. At 9pm, the hardiest of the group joined us down by the lake for a bonfire and 3 great stories told by TaleSpinner from MA and some letterboxing conversations after that.
After breakfast on Sunday, we packed and said our goodbyes for another year. Everyone wants to return next year to this same location. I had already told the inn we'd be returning after seeing the grounds, the 10 miles of their hiking trails, the lake and everything they had to offer - even 9 hole golf! It's always a downer to see something we've spent 8 months planning end. But we weren't down for long . . . we've already started to plan B & B5 plus our Italy trip as well all next year!
We'd like to thank the following people for their great contributions: Bungalow Boxer for a terrific event stamp and design, which we used for the event patch as well; our hiking buddies to Monadnock, all of the carvers for the Alaska Memories series, TaleSpinner for weaving some great stories, Robins Nest for that great Pinecone Adventures quilted pillow, the Ghost hiders, Jay Drew for dedicating that new Monadnock box to Sue & me, Deanne and Dave for letting us borrow the skewers that we used to roast hotdogs and marshmallows, BookWorm for making the ghosts and for all the little things she did, all the attendees who brought grab bag gifts and food to share for the weekend. It was the best ever Bed & Boxing - according to the inbox full of emails that we've been receiving. And like anything in life - nothing good is accomplished by one person - it's always a joint effort.
The best thing about this event is the precious time spent with a great group of people. See you all next year!
Monadnock and Pinecones - photo taken by the V's