Letterboxing Order
of the
Purple Heart

(wounded while letterboxing)


Name:  Letterboxing Order of the Purple Heart
Where:  Travels Via Post
Number of Boxes:  1
Placed By:  Letterboxer2002@yahoo.com on December 14, 2002
Distance:  N/A
Time:  N/A
Difficulty:  Typically Very Painful


The ORDER of the PURPLE HEART is awarded to members of Letterboxing North America who are wounded in the act of letterboxing.  This award will be sent via post to any letterboxer who is injured in the line of letterboxing and posts the story on the letterboxing talk list.




First of all, Molly is ok and I will be soon. While doing the "My Favorite Musicals" boxes in Mansfield CT, Chickabirdie, Molly and I were having difficulty finding "Climb Every Mountain" which is along a very tall and steep and rocky hill. I decided to go down the hill a bit to look under the many overhangs and crevices in the rock. Lost my footing on damp oak leafs and fell slid down hill about five feet, rolled off the edge and fell off the side another 5-10 feet onto a landing, bounced off of that and fell another 10 feet onto another. Chickabirdie was on top of the hill and couldn't see me.  I didn't yell, so she didn't even know I fell. I poked around and did a few simple tests to see what if anything was broke and decided I was ok except what I thought was some type of damage to my hip which hurt like hell. I yelled up to chickabirdie telling her of my situation and to in no way come down. She tied up Molly to a tree because Molly was barking and going a little crazy. I had Barbara talk to me so I knew which direction I had to go for the easiest way up.. I got a hold of a fairly thick stick and dug small steps into the dirt so I could have footing for 1 foot approximately every 12 inches. When there was no dirt, a edge of a rock would work also. Getting near the top it wasn't so steep and small trees and bushes were used to pull myself up and to the top. I made Chickabirdie look around the top for a few minutes for the letterbox but then she made me leave and get off the mountain. Using a big stick I found. I used it as a walking stick, it took us an hour to get out of there. I didn't want to go to the hospital but Chickabirdie kept after me to go to a local walk in clinic in Willimantic. we went there and it was closed. Being only about a mile form the Windham Hospital we did go to the emergency room. The first  ER nurse I talked to ended up being b-weekenderwarrier and a little later on in comes another ER nurse we had met before, Irish Mum.Great people and excellent care givers. The doctor knew about letterboxing and actually owned a stamp but did not try letterboxing yet. I went for x-rays and found that one of the women in there had gone letterboxing with a friend at Bailey;s Ravine and Under the Mountain but she doesn't have a stamp yet. Her friend goes by the name Merlin. Don't know him but have seen his stamp around . Had a cat scan done and the verdict was that there was no fracture but bad bruising which should be pretty much ok by Thanksgiving. Got some kind of heavy dose pain killer pills which work very well. Still have pain when moving around at all but the pills help a lot. My next letterbox when I am all better is going to be "Climb Every Mountain" and then finish that series.  I do want to say that we did get through about half of the series before my adventure down the mountain. It is an excellent series and I'm sure where I was looking was off the mark. Pink Trotters did give a bold warning about the cliff area in the clue sheet. She is a good person and in no way had anything to do with my fall. It was all my own fault, a bit of bad luck, perhaps bad judgement and slippery conditions. Actually I love the area. We had met Pete, Wanda and liberumarbitrium on the trail that day, should have done gone to lunch with them but the lure of letterboxes is too great. Now if psycomommy can count lizards, I think I should be able to count injuries while letterboxing. I was thinking of making up a pin for my vest in the shape of a heart and painted purple. A purple heart for injured in the line of letterboxing but didn't want people to take the wrong meaning of purple on a heart. I thought of maybe a type of iron cross, pre nazi style of coarse or just a black W (for wounded). Well I have to have some fun with it, because it wasn't too funny yesterday. Can't laugh much though, that makes it hurt too. Happy letterboxing and stay safe out there.....Chuck



This was a horrendous day of letterboxing. I could pretend it didn't happen but I feel the need to tell my story so it never happens to any else.  I went alone to get a box that was newly planted in Howard County, MD. I figured it to be a quick find and not a difficult walk.  I looked all over for the box and time was running short. I came to the conclusion the box was missing or I was in the wrong spot. I could see my car across the empty lake and decided to take this short cut. Earlier there had been many people and dogs down in the area that I planned to walk through. So across I went. Mucky started to get muckier. When I tried to turn around to go back my right foot sunk deep - thigh deep! I tried to dig it out but then my left foot went just as far. I didn't have a cell phone with me, but I blew my whistle forever. I started thinking about Rose in the movie Titanic, blowing her whistle. Although I wasn't in ice water, the mucky mud was very cold and stinky. The more I moved the deeper I got.  Finally someone called from shore and said he had called 911 and they were on their way.  Fire engines, police cars, ambulances, appeared all at once. All I could think of was "Please Dear God don't have me on the 6 o'clock news." These wonderful men said I wasn't their first "stuck in the mud" that day. It's happening all over the county. So what looks safe isn't. I was stuck for an hour, So much for short cuts! Never again, this was just about the most frightening experience I ever had. And about that letterbox - I'll just forget about it!


For more information pertaining to this box please email the owner at:  Letterboxer2002@yahoo.com