Fast Track To Your Degree Letterbox (3 boxes)
A series of letterboxes at the University of Rhode Island.
RIBNAG represents a great deal of URI education, including all three of the usual degrees conferred in the USA. Because URI is a fairly well tended campus, and also is home to many different plant species we felt that it would make a lovely stroll and home to some long awaited letterboxes. Although the campus seems crowded and dirty during the normal semester, during the summer it can look truly beautiful, the classic New England stereotype of an academic institution.
If you wish, you can stop at the information booth located on your right, off of Upper College Rd. after the stone gates. Here you can get a campus map, some maps of RI areas, and if you ask nicely, you can get a guide to the trees that make up the campus' arboreal nature. This tree walk is a wonderful way to learn what trees are which. Of course, you could just print out our "trail" map, whatever you prefer (you will find the parking lot we suggest you use in section A-6 on the map).
A word of caution in stopping for information: Although we did in fact have "official" permission to plant these boxes, URI meets the typical description of a bureaucracy, with the left hand not knowing about the actions of the right hand. Most URI employees will know nothing about these boxes, and some may actively try to get rid of them. So don't mention the purpose of your visit.
To get to URI, take RI 138 from either RT 1 in South Kingston, or RT 95 exit 3. Once in Kinston, find the granite slab marking the URI main entrance, this is Upper College Rd. Follow this road until it ends on Flagg Rd. Turn right onto Flagg Rd. and your next right into a large parking lot. After parking walk via a paved walkway back to Upper College Rd. Again come to the end and this time, cross over Flagg Rd. and begin walking west.
After a few dozen meters a trail head will appear directly opposite a bright blue one-story building across the road. Follow this trail into the North Woods. After a very short while you will reach a fairly neglected stone wall. Turing to the left hand side (W) of the wall, look down. About 5m down you will spy a few dead trees. Follow the wall down to these trees and find a 1m by 0.5m flat stone low in the wall. On the southern side you can find your treasure. Congratulations, you have earned your BS.
After stamping in and rehiding very carefully (this is a favorite path for college students taking breaks from classes/sobriety/reality), return to the path and emerge, continuing this westerly hike along Flagg road. Shortly you will find a fire hydrant accross from the Coastal Instute's Kingston building. Cross here and follow the road to the left of the Insitute. Follow this road passing the College of Resource Development on your left. After a short period you will see a sign on the left hand side which reads "GREENHOUSE". Take this access road keeping the greenhouses on your left and a formal garden on your right.
When you reach the last two greenhouses you will note a kindly planted garden between them. There is an arch betwixt them, home to wisteria; stand beneath and face south. Take a bearing of 235°. After sixteen or so paces this bearing will lead you to the last scramble for your masters. Under boxwood (no pun intended) and arborvitae one looks in the inside corner, deep within. RIBNAG now bestows upon you the degree of Masters of Letterboxing, a course of study that URI will almost certainly never offer officially.
Now, you will note the opening to your right. Follow it into the formal gardens and explore at your leisure. Taking a generally southwestern route, you will see the white building of the Cooperative Extension. Between the building and the gardens lies a path which will lead to a koi pond. This pond once held lots of life, but apparently has recently been cleaned out. Perhaps when you arrive you will also find it once again thriving.
Continuing mostly south, stand in the drive infront of the Cooperative Extension. At 215° you will find a space between two brick buildings. Go to the road, and enter this space. After a short walk you will find tall and stately cottonwoods, and a small courtyard. If you happen in this area after the fall has fallen, you should be on the lookout for really fascinating fungi, the stinkhorns. If you are unsure as to whether or not you are in the right area look for a Tau Beta Pi memorial. Continue along the path with the most southwestern heading, passing through courtyard and parking lot to eventually end up in the grassy area known as the quad.
Once on the quadrangle, find the broken cannon in roughly the same direction you've headed since the koi pond. Be sure to note all of the wonderful tree species growing on, and around the quad and surrounding buildings. Once at the cannon, site 189°. Walk 60 paces in this direction. Enter the grove of Thuja pilicata, beware the POISON IVY!!! In the left hand bottom corner of a retaining wall, hidden fairly well, you will find that after all this hard work (bothersome open grassy spaces! <G>) you have the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in your hands.
To leave campus, follow the cannon's shot directly to Upper College rd. and from there, behind the Fine Arts building, your car awaits.
Please visit the RIBNAG homepage at http://users.tmok.com/~ribnag for more letterboxes planted by us, or just for general information about our group.
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