The Mystery Machine pulled into the Land of Lincoln yesterday. We had a pleasant drive across Iowa. The boys have found 39 states on license plates so far on the trip and I climbed in the back with the kids and watched The Sound Of Music for 3 hours of our 9 hour drive.
We are in Ottawa, Illinois, best known for the Lincoln and Douglas debate in 1858.
Nothing has happened here since until we stumbled upon a mystery.
The kids were posing on this statue when Gregory pulled out a pouch that was stashed in the pedestal.
"Look, Mom! It's a secret!"
We had found a letterbox! Until yesterday, I'd never heard of a letterbox.
Inside the pouch was a notebook with a stamp of the statue.
Then inside the notebook were stamps from other people, along with the stamp of the statue. We didn't have a family stamp, so we signed it TRIPLETS PLUS ONE RULE! and the kids signed their name.
Apparently, letterboxing is similar to geocaching. People hide letterboxes all over the United States and you have to print out the directions and go and find them. Then you get a family stamp and stamp them when you find them and stamp your own notebook with their stamp. A lot of people carve their own family stamps out of white erasers.
Isn't this the coolest thing ever? I died from the coolness yesterday. We are totally, totally going to do this.
This particular letterbox is to commemorate the artist, Peter Wolf Toth, who has sculptures of Native Americans in all 50 states. He donates his sculptures to the towns he carves them in and there are 78 Whispering Giants in total all over the United States, Canada, and Europe. So people collect his stamps and there is one Giant in every state!!!!
I could find them all if weren't for these pesky kids.
There are 30 letterboxes in Traverse City. I need to get an eraser and start carving our family stamp.
This is going to be so fun!!!