There is a limit to the number of times you can get zapped by a Van de Graaff generator before the novelty wears off. In my case, instead of my mind wandering, my ears did instead and latched onto a random conversation that contained the insidious words Cuckoo Rock, Deancombe Valley, Gutter Tor and the clincher - Grim's Grave.
That was my gateway to the world of letterboxing, and within a few weeks I found myself trotting through the Saturday dawn light with one of the parties to that conversation armed with a compass, a handwritten list of 50 or so clues and vaguely wondering what dark art had me walking on Dartmoor at least 5 hours before I would even normally consider getting out of bed...
That was 1981 and that was pretty much my life for the next 5 or 6 years - enjoying the thrill of finding a new/unclued letterbox, the frustration of having a clue that was way of out date (- Ringmoor Down Mystery springs to mind...), the triumph of nailing a previously impossible-to-find box (Peek Hill!), reading every visitor's book for new or updated clues, the pleasant surprise at finding a wanderer (Trans Moor Pony), the regular meetings at Hexworthy. But in the background, always, an impossibly beautiful landscape that sometimes forgotten about...
After that work and other distractions started to get in the way and the call of the wild becaqme lost in the background noise. The job then exported me from Plymouth to Bristol and although i've kept walking, the landscape had changed.
It stayed that way until a recent spring clean when I suddenly found myself being pelted by a rain of ink pads, a stamp and a flock of 1:25000 scale OS maps of Dartmoor. A quick search unearthed two albums of stamps and an 'Index to Stamps on Dartmoor' put out by 'The Organisation' which had last been update at a Hexworthy meet in May '83 and had my 100 Club slip in the corner.
The moor is calling me back. I'd probably better update the clues first though...
A brief description on how you were bitten by the letterbox bug
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