Map LOCATION:  Sunol Regional Wilderness, East Bay Area, CA

CHALLENGE:  2 stars

DATE/NUMBER:  25-Oct-2001/41

MAP:  The map segment shown is from an orienteering map of Sunol Regional Wilderness, produced by the Bay Area Orienteering Club. This map was the training area used for the IOF sanctioned World Ranking Event held in the East Bay Area on Oct 27, 2001. I fell in love with the area, so I decided to place a letterbox here, and in honor of the event, decided to give the clues an orienteering theme.

For those who don't know, orienteering maps are extremely detailed; the one shown is scale 1:15000 with a contour interval of 7.5 meters (though typically the contour interval is 5m, and often the scale is 1:10000). The detail is such that individual boulders are mapped (that is what the black dots are on this map). Orienteering itself is an off-trail running race where competitors attempt to find objects circled on the map as fast as possible -- reading the map and planning routes between the circles on the fly.

In this case, the object circled is the easternmost of 2 boulders, and that is the goal of the hunt. If you navigate successfully to the specified boulder, look under a rock 5 paces to the east for the box. Then plan to spend the afternoon here, enjoying the view and the solitude.

Two ways to approach this problem come to mind. The obvious approach seems to be to buy the Sunol map from BAOC, and use it to navigate to the box, after learning the necessary orienteering skills (I cannot scan the entire map due to copyright rules).

Another possible approach would be to note that the boulder, as measured off the full map, is 1583m at 42 degrees from a circle at the end of the road. (This refers to the road many people use to enter the park, the one with the entry kiosk). For those who feel this information is valuable, I will note that the map was produced in 1991.

But there is a twist to the usual letterboxing rules. Since the original stamp is lame, visitors are encouraged to carve their own and replace the one that is there. There is one rule -- the new stamp must contain the word "Sunol" somehow in the image. (Keep in mind, of course, that the new stamp may be replaced by the next visitor ...).

NOTE 1:  Off-trail walking is involved. The challenge rating of this box assumes the necessary orienteering experience (USOF orange or similar navigation skills)

NOTE 2:  Be wary of snakes and other wildlife when reaching into dark places. No need to dig for this box. All bearings magnetic unless otherwise noted. A pace is a long stride counted on a footfall of either foot, i.e. two paces are counted each time the right foot hits the ground. Be aware of if or when there is game hunting in the area.

NOTE 3:  Please re-hide the thing well just as you found it

DISCLAIMER & COPYRIGHT:  PERSONS USING THIS CLUE OR HUNTING THIS LETTERBOX DO SO AT THEIR OWN RISK. Do not hunt this letterbox without reading and agreeing to the waiver first. Children, do not hunt this letterbox without the supervision of an adult who has read and agreed to the waiver. Possession of this clue does not imply rights of access to particular lands and route choices, or the safety thereof, including the location of the box itself. Always observe current local regulations, signs, property rights, and customs; you are responsible for your actions. Clue not indended to be taken literally or to suggest route choices; route choices (and the choice to proceed at all), are your choice.
This clue and associated stamp art are copyright © 2001, by Randy Hall. Permission to reproduce for personal use granted; all other rights reserved.