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DC Letterboxing


photo courtesy of flickr user Wendy Copley

Hidden around DC, secretly placed in strategic, calculated locales are small, weatherproof boxes containing logbooks and stamps; only the dedicated group know of their existence and they are constantly trying to follow a trail of secret clues to uncover them. While this may sound like the latest Spy Museum game or a CIA operation, it’s actually hobby called letterboxing and its covertly going on right under our noses in our beloved city.

Here’s how it works. Originating, across the pond,  in Dartmoor, England, letterboxing, like its hi-tech sibling geocaching, is a combination of hiking, puzzle solving, treasure hunting and thrill seeking. In this game, “placers” hide small waterproof containers in interesting locales, e.g. along the Capital Crescent Trail, near the Jefferson Memorial, behind a loose Eastern Market brick, etc., and then leave small clues to its whereabouts on websites, or in letterboxing newsletters or through word of mouth.  Continue reading