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Where We Intersect LbNA #32450

Owner:Kelsung Contact
Plant date:Jun 23, 2007
City:Newport Beach
Planted by:Tdyans Contact Inactive
Found by: I dig toasters
Last found:Jan 28, 2015
Last edited:Jun 23, 2007
***Boxes 1 & 2 Replaced 10/26/08***

From Jamboree, turn west on Back Bay. Stay on Back Bay and eventually it will turn into a one-way road that you share with cyclists and hikers. After about a mile, you will arrive at a small parking lot on the left.

This is one of those places where the civilized and the wild seem to collide and coalesce—a place that’s been set aside for the plants and animals, but where the human world is never quite out of sight, where they make their home and we are only passing through. This is where we intersect.

When I first came to Orange County, I didn’t realize how many places like this there were here. Everything seemed so developed and orderly. But, of course, animals have no concept of human order—or human boundaries for that matter—so over the years I’ve gotten to see the wilder side of Orange County, and in particular I’ve had some interesting encounters with some of the creatures who make it their home.

Great Blue Heron

My most memorable encounter with a heron was actually on one of my earliest letterboxing excursions. I had found California Bear’s “Duck Soup” box and was on my way back when suddenly a huge heron stepped out onto the path right in front of me. We both just stood there for a few minutes, quietly observing each other, before he unhurriedly turned and headed back into the cover of the rushes. I continued on my way with the happy realization that stamp images were not the only treasures that I would be taking away from letterboxing.

Across the street from the parking lot is a “Wrong Way” sign, and behind this sign is a gate. Walk across the street and around the gate and start down the trail. You’ll soon come to a smaller trail heading left—take it. You’ll know you’ve gone the right way when you pass by an overgrown bridge and then a sign that says “It All Runs Downhill”. Just a little further and you will find a not-so-overgrown bridge. After you cross it, look at the bricks on either side of the trail (now with weeds growing in front of them). Look in the gap under the fifth brick on the right side and you should find the box, covered with rocks.

Red-tailed Hawk (new hiding place)

When I was growing up, it had always been a treat to see a hawk soaring high overhead. But I once had a much closer meeting with one. I was walking through the park in the middle of my college campus when I noticed something in the lower branches of a tree. I walked over to get a closer look only to find myself face to face with a beautiful red-tailed hawk. There was a certain sense of danger in being so close to this bird with her sharp beak and powerful claws, but it still took a while before I could pull myself away from her wary gaze and head off to my next class.

Continue on the trail. You will pass another sign about “Life in the Watershed,” and then you’ll cross another bridge—this one with several bends in it. Shortly after you leave this bridge, there will be a mountainside to your right. There are two paths that go up this mountainside; you can take the second up to get a hawk's eye view (I don't recommend taking the first). Between these two paths, 65 steps from the first and 20 steps from the second, look to your left and you'll see a little grove of trees. Step down into this grove. On the ground, you'll find a half-buried pipe. In the end of this pipe, the Red-tailed Hawk is hidden.


I met raccoons several times while living in the college dorms—usually because they were raiding our dumpsters for food. But my most striking encounter with a raccoon came when I was walking home one night. I had almost reached my dorm when I heard a chorus of shrill shrieks coming from a bush nearby. I stopped in my tracks and watched as the bush rustled and a raccoon raised its head and stared at me. It had found a nest of baby rabbits. It was a scene I would have expected to see in a nature film set deep in the woods, not here amidst the sidewalks and perfectly trimmed lawns. It was a stark reminder that, as much as they might have adapted to living alongside humans, the animals were no less wild.

Once you’re back down on the main trail, continue on your way. You’ll pass by one more sign: “From Cattails to Sagebrush.” Keep walking until you see what looks like the remains of a telephone pole, next to a rusted gate. On the other side of the trail, directly across from the pole, you’ll find the box underneath and behind a small log and covered with leaves.