Monday, October 22, 2012

CMW Poem Series: Carma

When I lived in Idaho City, Crazy Mountain Woman, Buckblackhoof, and I would trailer our horses up to Pine Creek to do our riding. It was always enjoyable, and if Buck didn't ride with us, we would let friends ride his horse. I was surprised to see how much the area has changed. Instead of turning the sharp corner in the clue below, you used to be able to keep going straight up the hill. Now you can barely tell there was a road there.

The fun and laughter we shared together will always be a treasured memory. Sometimes I wish I still lived there so that we could make more memories on fantastic rides. I wish I had a picture for this poem, maybe someday I will. So, Crazy Mountain Woman, here is your poem:


Remember the ride 
Where we sang as we rode
Beneath towering pines
On that old forest road?

 The sun shone so bright
In the sky, summer blue
We laughed and we chattered
As sisters will do.

We've always been close
In both mind and heart
Born on the same day
Though five years apart.

We like the same things
But we are different, too,
My hair is brown, yours is blonde
My eyes green, yours are blue.

We laugh at Dad's jokes
Though his humor is dry
And we keep Mom posted
On every new talent we try.

We like to sing together
We're sisters, so we blend
And I can truly say
You are my closest friend.

I know you'll always be there
When I need a listening ear
Sharing joy and sorrow,
Sad or happy tears.

And I will be here for you
As a sister and a friend
Because I will always love you,
Worlds without end. 

Clue to the Letterbox:

North of Idaho City approximately 9/10ths of a mile is the Bannock Creek/Pine Creek/Thorne Butte Lookout road. Turn right onto this road, cross the creek and take the right fork. Do not cross the creek again, but follow Forest Road 304 uphill. Take Forest Road 347 (about 1.4 miles from the highway). Turn the sharp corner and park in the second small pull out (1.5 miles from the highway). Off the road, downhill, to the right just in front of where you parked is a group of boulders. One of the boulders (the largest) is relatively flat. On the creek side of this boulder beneath branches and duff you will find "Carma".

Note:  This stamp is large (4 inches by 3 1/2 inches).           

CMW Poem Series: My Mountain

For as long as I can remember, I have always had a mountain in my life. In Ammon, Idaho, it was Taylor Mountain. When we moved to Boise, Idaho, it was stack rock and Mount McGowan at Stanley Lake. Then, when I was twelve years old, we hiked to Boulder Lake near McCall, Idaho, for the first time. During the next few years we backpacked and camped at Boulder Lake quite often. I loved to climb the rocky mound on the north side of the dam and sit at the top with Boulder Lake sparkling in the sun behind me, Boulder Meadows Reservoir winking below me, and far out in the valley I could see Cascade Reservoir. For many, many years, that was MY mountain.
When it came time to plant this letterbox, my mountain had once again changed. I now live in eastern Idaho, and The Grand Teton has been my mountain. In fact, it was the inspiration for this poem/song. But, I went back to Boulder Lake to plant this box because it was the first mountain that I wrote stories around.

Clues to the Letterbox:

From Highway 55 just south of McCall, Idaho, turn on Elo Road and follow it to Boulder Lake Road. Turn left on Boulder Lake Road and drive 4 to 5 miles to the Louie Lake and Boulder Lake Trailhead. When you reach the trailhead, the road will make a T. To the right is the Louie Lake Trail, to the left is the Boulder Lake Trail. The Boulder Lake trail starts to the left of the Boulder Meadows Reservoir dam. Follow the trail to Boulder Lake. When you reach the dam at Boulder Lake, turn left and follow it until it ends.

At the Northwest edge of the dam is a huge round boulder (see photo to right). Stand near this boulder and face north, looking up the rocky ridge. Follow the ridge up--there is a distinct white crack in the rock that you can use as a guide. Go to the stunted tree near the top of the ridge before it dips down (see photo to left). Stand on the east side of this tree and face south. Take 10 paces across the rock. At your feet should be a bush and some broken boulders. Take two steps slightly sideways so that you are standing on the 8 foot long boulder. Five small steps will put you above a patch of dirt with a medium sized boulder on the west. Look under this boulder, around a small corner and behind some SPOR to find "My Mountain". Crazy Mountain Woman's day pack is sitting on the boulder next to the hiding place and north of the little patch of dirt.

Enjoy your hike. I had originally planned to plant this box on September 1, 2012. Crazy Mountain Woman, Music Chick, Quilt Lady2, and I were going to find the Louie Lake Series, continue across a 2 mile trail to Boulder Lake, plant this box, then hike back down the Boulder Lake trail. We missed the short, 2 mile trail, and ended up taking a five mile trail--extending our hike by 4 miles when you include hiking from the back of Boulder Lake to the dam. We were tired and eager to get to the car by the time we reached the dam, so instead of climbing the mound to plant the box, we just hiked back down to the car. If you like long hikes, this one was exceptionally beautiful. Just be prepared with plenty of water. :)

CMW Poem Series: Take the Time

In this hectic, crazy world, sometimes we just need to take the time to see how our lives are blessed.

Clues to the Letterbox:

From the Mesa Falls Scenic Highway, park in the Lower Falls overlook parking lot. Meander down the path, passing the bathrooms and the circular overview of the falls, continuing to the dirt path beyond. At the fork in the trail stay right. You will see a standing snag near a ledge. Go to it and look at the view. Now walk carefully down past the snag (watch out for the rock in the path!) to the biggest rock straight in front of you. Turn your back to that rock and look back at the snag. It should be at 100 degrees. Take four careful steps in that direction. Hidden behind rocks beneath the sloping rock directly below the snag you will find one of my favorite reasons to Take the Time.

CMW Poem Series: Lady Remembered

This letterbox is dedicated to my second horse, Lady. She was a sorrel Morgan mare that I owned for twelve years. Not long after I bought her, my sister and I went horse camping at Pole Bridge Campground in Island Park, Idaho. We rode from the campground down the old railroad bed to Mesa Falls on our first day there (about 26 miles round trip). This was before the many improvements at Upper Mesa Falls, and we were able to ride down an old jeep trail to the top of the Lower Falls. It was a day that will be forever imprinted in my heart.
Years later I moved to Island Park. I rented pasture in the summer so that the horses could be over here with me. Just before the 4th of July on my third summer in Island Park, Lady was struck by lightning and killed. I wrote the following poem to keep her memory alive.

Lady in the pasture in Island Park

Clues to the Letterbox:

From the Mesa Falls Scenic Highway, turn as if going to Upper Mesa Falls. Before the fee entrance sign, turn left into a dirt parking area with a sign that says "Day Use Parking Lot". This is a left turn almost immediately following your turn to Upper Mesa Falls. Park here. Walk along the well defined path that is on the left as you pulled into the parking lot. Look for a large snag on your right at the edge of the canyon. Make your way to the snag. On the east side of the snag, at the base, you will find a crevice in the rocks that houses my favorite animal.


This blog will be entirely dedicated to the letterboxes I have planted under my Rydes with Eagles trail name. I have only planted 14 letterboxes so far, but have many more waiting to be planted. I went over to Boise this weekend for a letterboxing event and planted two boxes for my poem series. I have already planted two in this series, and plan to change the listings to this blog so that I can add the poem/picture to the clues. This is not a letterboxing series in the technical term, as all the boxes will be planted in different areas.

So, to begin, I will explain about the names, why we have the trail names that I picked, and why it might be confusing.

Original Crazy Mountain Woman Logo Colored
My sister, nephew and I moved to the mountains above Boise in 1992. We found out that life can be a little more complicated there. I designed a logo and came up with a name for a business that we wanted to create. The name I came up with was Crazy Mountain Women, LLC. I drew a logo that represented Carma and I with our (then) baby horses, Mistidawn and Tess. We became the Crazy Mountain Women.

I also came up with a secondary logo for another part of the business we were planning with a horse running and an eagle flying above. I called it Rydes With Eagles. I spelled Rydes with a "Y" because that is actually the Native American name my nephew (Ryder) used in kindergarten and we wanted him to be included in our business venture.

I came across the hobby of letterboxing in Disney's Family Fun magazine, but it wasn't until a year after I had read about it that I actually found my first box. Carma and I needed to go to Tennessee and move her son back to Idaho. We decided to make a vacation out of it and invited our parents to join us on the trip. I like to collect souvenirs whenever I travel and this particular year I didn't have much money. I remembered the article in Family Fun and decided that would be a good way to document our trip, by collecting stamped images. Without telling my sister, I had two custom stamps made with our two logos. I chose the Rydes With Eagles image as my trail name and gave Carma the logo stamp for Crazy Mountain Women as a birthday present to use as her trail name.

Rydes With Eagles Logo embroidered
We missed the exit for the first clue I had downloaded, but stopped in Evanston, Wyoming, at a rest area where there were two letterboxes. We found the first box planted by CW Sunseeker. Inside the container was a clue for a bonus box! We were hooked. Carma has since changed her name to Crazy Mountain Woman, and I changed the logo to design her new stamp so that it was just her and Mistidawn.

Now, here comes the confusing part. I have written some short stories, poems, and songs; and the titles for each of these compilations are as follows:  Tales of a Crazy Mountain Woman, Poems of a Crazy Mountain Woman, and Songs of a Crazy Mountain Woman. I planted two letterboxes last year that relate to my poems, and started calling it the CMW poem series because of the titles of my notebooks and CD.

Now...on to the planting!