Boyhood Adventures Letterboxes 1 & 2
*I'll be very happy to give any of these boxes back to their original owners upon request.  I have only adopted these boxes for upkeep and historical means and do not count them among my planted boxes.
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**Box originally placed by Birkiebob -- adopted for caretaking by The Dragon 4/05**


Placed by: BirkieBob  
Placement date: Dec 26, 2001  
State: Wisconsin  
County: Milwaukee  
Nearest city: Fox Point
Number of boxes: 2

Clues

Boyhood Adventures Letterbox #1
Indian Creek, Fox Point, Wisconsin
Difficulty: Clues-Easy, Terrain-Easy
Placed by: Birkie Bob 26 December, 2001 (LbNA post #9312-13)


When I was growing up in Fox Point, Indian Creek was a place of wonder and adventure. It was composed of fields of tall grass and trees. The best part was The Creek, a deep drainage ditch with mud bottom, tall grass and weeds along the sides and a huge assortment of living beings from all neighborhoods of the animal kingdom. It was a magical place to spend summer days with friends especially my buddy, Kimmy. We could take a sack lunch and lurk in our tree fort spying on our wild kingdom. There were tadpoles, small fish and turtles in the creek. Muskrats, squirrels, rabbits, crows, red wing black birds and dragonflies were also abundant. Best of all there were frogs to catch. It was wild enough and expansive enough to provide a generation of children with daily adventures and discoveries about the world that would become theirs and about the human spirit that was growing within
each of them.

Sometime after those golden years of boyhood Indian Creek got "civilized."

The tall wild grasses have been replaced with perfectly groomed suburban lawn grass. The fields have been infested with tennis courts, a ball field, a now-abandoned skating rink and a pre-fab playground set. The largest part of the wild fields have been gouged and covered
with ostentatious multi-thousand-square-foot "Yuppie containers." People have the right to purchase property and to use it as they see fit, but this former boy still feels a little bit sad to see the change. Most of the wild trees have been sacrificed on the altar of civilization and replaced with nursery-raised perfectly unremarkable units. The creek now has a concrete bottom and supports no form of life. No one's precious little darling is in danger of smelling creek mud or having wild grass scratch their legs while running through on daily missions fueled by infinite imagination. There are no smelly animals to offend the delicate sensibilities of the current two legged inhabitants if they should find the courage to venture out of their
containers.

It's difficult to believe that the perfectly formed and installed playground equipment can furnish the stimulation required for the personal growth of the current young ones of that area. In fact the place has become so boring that one rarely sees anyone there. This letterbox is the first in a series to commemorate growing up with adventures, fears, wonder and laughter shared with childhood pals. Indian Creek was a place from which each day a generation of children came home for supper very much dirtier and a little bit richer than they had left.

Fox Point is a village to the north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. To reach Indian Creek exit Interstate 43 at the Brown Deer Road exit. Proceed east on Brown Deer Road and turn south at the first traffic light, Port Washington Road. Travel approximately half a mile south to Dean Road where there is another traffic light. Turn to the East on Dean Road. You'll go down a slight hill and across a bridge over the remains of Indian Creek. You'll see the ball field and the parking lot on your right. Leave your car in the lot and proceed on foot along the bank of the Creek with Dean Road behind you. You'll pass the tennis courts and the perfectly safe and boring playground. Continue along the bank to the footbridge. Stop for a minute and look across the skating rink at the biggest mountain in our world and imagine being a child headed down on a Flexible Flier for the first time, maybe scared and maybe hearing Dad's encouraging words.

On your left side of the sledding hill you'll see a few surviving trees. The largest one was home to our tree fort. When I was old enough to go to "The Creek" alone, it had a sign proclaiming it to be the rightful property of Jerry. I never met him, but he was part of the mystery of our childhood.

Continue along the creek bank to the "woods." As you continue through the woods on the stone path, make a note of the large grey rock on your left near the beginning. Enjoy your trek through these woods, and at the end of the path, count the number of white posts then subtract the number of diamond-shaped red signs: _____

To get your bearing, add this number to 100: _____
To get your paces, reverse the two digits and double that number: _____

Now go back to the large grey rock. Stand on top of it, take your bearing and, as best as you can, walk your paces. You should come to a path heading east through another part of the "woods". You'll know that you're on the correct path if you come upon a dirt bike jump ramp fairly quickly. Continue on the path along the ridge through the woods to a cleared wood chip area.  Continue along the ridge through the chips to a manhole (what's that doing here?).  To your left is a three-trunked tree. Behind the tree is a broken fallen trunk with another log next to it.  The box is under this log.  (Be aware that people can see you from either side, so be discrete.)

Stamp in and pause to think of all the experiences involved in a child's becoming an adult. Listen for the thousands of children's voices still caught in the wind. Those voices are now ringing across a world that is much bigger. Hopefully they still laugh and still express true wonder at the beauty of life.



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Boyhood Adventures Letterbox #2
Doctor's Park, Fox Point, Wisconsin
Placed 26 December, 2001 by Birkie Bob
BirkieBob@ATT.net
Difficulty: Clues-moderate, Terrain-moderate


As children grow older their horizons expand and their adventures include new places and greater distances. Fox Point's Doctor's Park was slightly further from home than Indian Creek, but at the time it seemed like a much greater trip. Those adventures began when we thought that we were accomplished bike riders and could negotiate village streets.

Doctor's Park is on the shore of Lake Michigan. It was our first swimming hole. That water was too cold for any but the most adventurous. The spectacle of "sensible" adults shunning the water for the comforts of the beach was all the encouragement we needed to throw ourselves in and swim as far as we could for as long as we could stand the cold and then a bit longer. The grumpy lifeguards were required to row their boats out to follow the few who would dare to enter that water. We delighted in swimming all the way out to the floats forcing those surly "bay watchers" to follow us around. After several cycles between the floats and the sand to recover, we could explore the several ravines in the park. In later years Doctor's Park has continued to be a place for a good trail run and hill workout. Its secluded spots overlooking the lake remain a valuable place for contemplation of the complexities of adult existence.

The park was a gift of Doctor Joseph Schneider, "eminent physician, true humanitarian and ardent lover of nature. Dedicated by him 'to my fellow citizens for recreation purposes. It's natural beauty to be preserved and bird life to be fostered.'" The gift was accepted by the
Milwaukee common council on July 11, 1928.

Fox Point is a village to the north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. To reach Doctor's Park exit Interstate 43 at the Brown Deer Road exit. Proceed east on Brown Deer Road and turn south at the first traffic light, Port Washington Road. Travel approximately half a mile south to Dean Road where there is another traffic light. Turn to the East on Dean Road. You'll go down a slight hill and across a bridge over the remains of Indian Creek and you'll be at the site of Boyhood Adventures Number 1.

To reach Boyhood Adventures Number 2 from Number 1 continue east on Dean Road for approximately one mile. Your trip will take you across Regent Road, Santa Monica Boulevard, and rail road tracks. Your next major road crossing will be Lake Drive. Continue east until the road bends sharply to the right. Straight ahead you'll see Fox Point's Stonehenge standing in Doctor's Park. The parking lot will be to your left. Take the paved foot path leaving the northeast area of the parking lot. The path will widen out and take you down one of the many ravines. Take a right where the path intersects a paved road.

As a boy biking down that paved road seemed to be very bold. The "Walk your bike" notice painted on the road surface was just a yellow blur at that speed, so we concluded that it was ok to bike as long as we were going fast enough.

My first such bicycle decent ended at the bottom of the hill where the road makes a right angle turn to the right. In many ways it was and still is one of my most memorable exposures to the laws of physics. After the front wheel was acted upon by the curb, Newton's third law of motion dictated that my body should continue in motion straight ahead until acted upon by an impact with the grassy knoll (all before Newton's laws or grassy knolls had any special meaning to me).

Follow my path of empirical knowledge to the grassy knoll. Walk north along the tree line on the west side of the knoll. At the north-west corner of the grass you'll find a little foot path that will take you to a barbed wire and cyclone fence. Travel along the fence to the West. In a very short distance you'll find a natural drainage gully coming down the hill. Being careful of your footing follow that gully up hill about two thirds of the way to the top. You'll come to a fallen tree perpendicular to the gully. Look to the left and find the fallen tree that's parallel to the gully lying along a bearing of 110 degrees. Boyhood Adventures Number Two is in a crevase on the top side of that tree about midway along its length. You'll find it under a pile of wood.

After stamping up please replace the box carefully to protect it from the delinquents that frequent the area (as the many beer cans and melted original stamp give evidence to). You can reverse your course to leave the park or continue uphill and enjoy a short hike in those woods. That area is fairly wild, so please watch your footing. We might be young in spirit, but none of us is as young in limb as we used to be.

This box will be visited infrequently, so an email about its condition and your visit will be very much appreciated.

Before you set out read the waiver of responsibility and disclaimer.

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