Friday, June 6, 2008

Big M, Small World

Last weekend we took the kids on their 2nd letterboxing expedition. Letterboxing is an ancient pasttime which I will sum up here as, basically, a combination of hiking & treasure hunting. The "fun mom" in me loves that the kids LOVE it, exercise, and we can all enjoy this together. The teacher in me loves the reading, language arts, math, and geography skills going on. And this past expedition even had some history & family genealogy wrapped into it...bonus!!

We had to climb the world's largest M which is on a mound between Platteville & Belmont, Wisconsin--not far from where we live--and the "treasure" (letterbox, a box with a stamp and log book inside of it) was hidden somewhere at the top of the mound. (The Big M, by the way, stands for "Mining" and represents the mining school which is now part of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.) On the steps up to the top, there are names printed on small plaques, representing people who have had a part in the history of the mining school/UW-P's engineering programs. Anyway, we hadn't been up the mound for several years (the first time with all 5 of our kids), and we noticed a step entitled "Clarice Myers, Jr."

That's my uncle! He was in mining school and must have donated to the construction of these new steps! And come to find out, another letterbox hunt on this Big M uses his name and step # as one of the clues to finding its treasure! Small world :)
So now we are going to wait until my cousins travel back to Wisconsin for the Myers Family Reunion in July to try the next Big M Letterboxing Expedition...using my Uncle Jupe's (Clarice Myers, Jr.) clue to help!


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