Thursday, April 17, 2008

First Finders

In the world of letterboxing, it's fun to find any new stamp, but it's something to be especially proud of if you find one before anyone else. You don't get a lot of opportunities do actually be the "first finder". And I think I'd argue that we didn't have the opportunity. But we did make the opportunity. Because we're sort of insane that way.

So, as soon as our babysitter left this afternoon, I piled the kids in the car for a trip to...uh...Pacifica. Right. Mam, making the tacit announcement that she's achieved letterboxing royalty, made sure she brought all the appropriate acoutrements for our hiking trip.There's no way I'd ever go out of my way to go to this particular park outside of the whole letterboxing deal, but I've gotta say, it was one of the prettiest places I've ever been on the Peninsula. Now that I've been there, I'd even be tempted to go back sometime.Of course, it's spring, so lots of things are beautiful, green and covered in flowers. All the trails were lined with "Don't Forget Mes" (according to Smuch). There was a babbling creek, sunlight. Oh and the place was empty!Oh, and the best know, besides succeeding in becoming the first finders of the "Up-side Down Tree" letterbox...was getting to see this guy......who after some research, I'm fairly certain is a Northern Rubber Boa. Cool. I actually stepped right over him and didn't notice until one of the kids said, "Hey, Mom! What's that???" Oh, gee, honey. That's a snake. DON'T TOUCH!!! I don't think that command works with any item in my house, but apparently, it works O.K. with slithery reptiles.

Yet again, my ambition to collect letterboxes (which, I realize, defies logic) got the better of me today. Mam saw the BEACH! through the fog on the way to the park and kept demanding that we go back. Instead of taking that relatively easy step, I convinced both kids to go look for another letterbox further up the coast. There was a beach there too, I said.

Unlike the park, which was maybe a mile inland, the entire coast was socked in with fog. It was cold and the dramatic coastline was barely visible. I hadn't done my homework. If I had, I would have known about the dozen or so people who'd tried to find this box before. It's never been found. Although we walked up and down and around on the cliffs, we didn't have any more success. And by the time I was ready to give up (because it was already 5 o'clock and we still had a long drive ahead of us), Mam was hysterical about a little scratch on her arm and whining mercilessly about going to the beach. So, I called Daddy and asked him to start dinner (which was all prepared and just needed to be cooked) and we headed down from the cliffs.And I helped the whiney, now snotty, Mam down to the beach. Which was lovely and sunny and beautiful. Or not.You may notice that this beach is deserted. There's a reason for that. It was a fine beach, but it was foggy. It was cold and it was littered with crab carcasses. I really don't want to know just how many of them made it home with us in the pockets of Mam's coat.

The kids still seemed to be happy about their day. My legs are tired, so I must've gotten a bit of a workout on all those stairs. Oh, and we're officially FIRST FINDERS!

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