Posts Tagged ‘hiking with kids’

37.  Garden bouquets.

Every morning we make the rounds in our little yard and see what is happening.  So much can change in the garden from one summer day to the next.  The little everbearing strawberries that weren’t quite ready yesterday are now quickly seized up by a baby’s chubby pincers and shoved into an eager mouth.  And flowers that had only begun to open are now wide and unfurled towards the sun.  It is such a treat to bring in fresh cut flowers.  They are truly the colors and smells of summer.

38.  Summer rain.

What is more wonderful than the smell of the earth soaking up a good summer rain?  Maybe only playing in it at the end of a hot day….

39.  Compost surprises.

It’s always fun to see what wonders are going to manifest in last years compost.  Squashes tend to always make a showing and we like the mystery in the early summer of what types they will turn out to be.  We’re still not sure about some of them… but this one, to my utmost delight, appears to be a Kabocha!  My favorite winter squash of them all!

40.  The baby backpack.

This old backpack was a hand-me-down when we used it in Eli’s baby days.  And while we did upgrade for Soren, the good ol’ tried-and-true backpack still lives on.  It stays with my parents in Maine just waiting for a baby to visit.  I love the comfort and history of this well-worn pack.  It’s blessed with many, many a happy hiking memory and still provides the perfect perch for a little one to take in the summery views of mountains and sea.

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A recent trip to Maine brought about a flurry of letterboxing activity.  I have my sister Eliza to thank.  She discovered this wonderful treat of a pastime that combines hiking and treasure-hunting  with the artistry of hand-carved stamps.  We’ve found that it is the most fabulous way to hike with kids.  The allure of a hidden treasure is the best motivation…

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You need to scout the Letterboxing North America site first to pick out your particular destination before you can head out on your adventure.  Though we spend lots of time each year in Maine, through our letterboxing clues we found some new and really beautiful places.

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The finding is always the best part.

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The letterbox always contains a little book of some sort and a rubber stamp.  It is part of letterboxing culture to carve your own stamp, so it’s really fun to see what the stamp will look like.

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You also need to put your own  little letterboxing kit together.  This consists of a little book , a stamp pad and a personal stamp.  We forgot to bring Eli’s  kit from home, so we didn’t have his usual dump truck stamp and letterboxing book.  We fortunately had an eraser and an exacto knife on hand (doesn’t everyone go on vacation with an exacto knife?), and I carved up a pick-up truck real quick.  Eliza whipped up the little letterboxing book.

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You stamp your personal stamp in the book inside the found letterbox.  It’s common to put your letterboxing name, the date of your hike, and where you’re from. You can also write any notes for future finders.

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And in your own little book, you stamp the special stamp from this particular excursion.  It’s a little thrill to fill the pages with unique and beautiful stamps representing your letterboxing quests.

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