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Deer Tripod Letterbox
From the intersection of Rt. 195 and 89 in Mansfield Center, take Route 89. Pass the Library, Southeast School, and continue over the dike. Start looking for Atwoodville Rd which will be on your right. Take Atwoodville Rd. you quickly come to a curve where Atwoodville Lane comes onto Atwoodville Road. Go down Atwoodville Lane. The Lane narrows and comes out to a T which is an abandoned paved road. Go left here and park at the yellow gates across the road. You walk from here. Go past the gates and walk down the abandoned road. Take the first trail on the left. This is a cross country ski trail which is marked with white arrows against a blue background. You will come to a brown ski sign and a blue and white ski loop sign, bear right here. Continue down the trail as it makes a wide u around a shallow or muddy cove. Keep on the trail following the white arrows on the blue background which is the ski trail. You will come very close to the shore line of the lake but only for a few seconds. The trail quickly comes to a y. If you go right you are taking a lower trail which quickly joins back up with the other. Here you bear left on the higher ground trail. Continue on the trail as it goes to higher ground. Away from the shore, you will come to a Y in the trail, bear right here. Follow the ski trail. You will come to an intersection of a trail the width of a road. Take a reading of 70 degrees and follow that trail. You will pass a tree with a blue triangle with a white arrow and a blue rectangle with a white arrow on the same tree. The trail curves and makes an obvious U. Find two trees growing from one trunk. One side of that tree is dead. The double tree has a blue rectangle with white arrow, also a blue triangle with white arrow. This is on the right side of the trail. Go and stand by that tree. Very nice overlook here of the lake. Take a reading of 165 degrees and take 19 steps downhill to a tree. Look at the bottom opening in the tree, move some rocks and sticks to find the Deer Tripod Letterbox. Take it to the top of the hill and stamp in at the overlook. Place and cover the box back in the tree and return the same way that you came.
Tripod is the name we have given to a particular deer that lives in this area. She was first noticed several years ago in our backyard eating seeds from under our bird feeders. She looked like a normal deer except for the left front leg. This leg is bent and is never used. We donít know if she was born that way or was injured. Tripod seems to be able to run better than she walks. As winter came, she kept appearing in our yard, and we would throw some bird seed on the ground for her to get. She has come to our home now for several years and each year we throw out a bit more food. This winter she traveled with four other deer, and they dine on a wide assortment of fine food including deer food. Of the five deer, Tripod seems to be the biggest and healthiest except for that one leg. As of the date of planting this box, 3-16-03, she was in excellent shape.Before you set out, please read the waiver of responsibility and disclaimer.