Monday, December 8, 2014

Letterbox Spot: Treaty Oak

Until this past weekend, I had never been to Clemson.  Clemson is known for Clemson University, home of the Tigers.  College ball is a big deal down here, and the two main contending forces in this part of the state are the Clemson Tigers versus the USC Gamecocks.  Whole families have been known to disown members over this...

You think I'm kidding?  I am not.

Well, maybe wholly 'disown' is a stretch.  But they make license plates that say "A House Divided" for families that have both types of fans in them.


Mom looked up some of the best letterboxes out in Clemson (home of Figureeight, the gentleman who organized and ran the Paris Mountain letterboxing event we attended in September).  She compiled a list of clues, and off we drove!

Clemson University is a large, sprawling campus, covering acres including an extensive botanical garden, a golf course, and several historical markers.

Mom and I visited the historic marker for Fort Rutledge, strolled out along the dike of Lake Hartwell, and then out to the site where Andrew Pickens' house used to stand.  (He was one of the people Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson's character) in the movie The Patriot was based upon.)

We ended out letterboxing foray with a quick hike up to the Treaty Oak Monument, honoring Hopewell and the Indian treaties signed there.

We parked by the historical marker.

The beginning of the trail was nearby, and we were glad we came in the off-season; the beaches are said to be pretty popular with the college kids in warmer weather.

The other side of the sign, detailing the location
of the actual monument, where we were headed.

The local Boy Scout chapter had done a lot of work to clean up the path; the hike was beautiful and we had perfect weather.

The unearthed plaque in memory of the Hopewell estate.

This is the actual site known as the Treaty Oak Monument.  It has four of these unique structures, and the clue referred to them as "the four points".  In the middle is the carefully-protected Treaty Oak sapling.

But enough sightseeing!  We had a letterbox to find!  I had my compass out (some of the clue depended on general directions, and I am no good at naturally knowing that kind of thing) and Mom went off to find the appropriate beech tree.

The beech tree in question was said to have "Tim & Sabrina" carved into it; the age of the carving has eliminated half of the names.

Let's hope they're still doing well, whoever they are.

Some Muggle kids came up for about five minutes, so we tried to look tourist-y and "read" the sign at the location a few more times.  As soon as they were gone, I dashed back to the tree and went on with the search (no spoilers!).

We then hiked back the way we came in search of a Bonus Box!

A bonus box is a letterbox who's clue is located inside another letterbox, and usually gives directions from the first letterbox to the bonus box.  In this case, there were small, laminated cards.  We took one, and off we went!

If you're thinking about letterboxing down in my neck of the woods, definitely check out the amazing carves and plants Figureeight has done.  Well worth your time!  Mom and I have never been disappointed.


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