A Small Town Mystery

A few weeks ago, as the snow finally melted from the sidewalks, we were inspired to find adventure in the everyday by the Hike it Baby 30 Challenge. I started taking the kids on walks around our small town when we couldn’t make it to the trailhead. On our first walk, we found some peculiar graffiti – a huge, bright-yellow hand on the side of a mailbox. Addie thought it was neat, so we snapped a picture and moved on.

A Small Town Mystery

On our next walk, we discovered another hand print! This time on the side of a store. Though the second hand was much smaller, they were clearly connected. But why? Who made them? And what did they mean? We had a small town mystery on our hands!

A Small Town MysteryOur new goal for walking was to find another hand print. And we did! We discovered the third one on Main Street on another brick building.

A Small Town Mystery

A Small Town MysteryThe next few walks, we found nothing new. We were bummed to have lost the trail. But driving home from church on Sunday, we discovered a fourth hand. Addie was so excited – I pulled the car over and we took a picture of the hand on the back of a stop sign.

Later that day, I went for a walk with the twins, and decided to head back to the stop sign to see if I could spot more hands. Not only did I find more, I found purple ones as well! They were painted on a brick sidewalk, curbs, and a fence. One of the purple hands so easily blended in with the gray asphalt, we almost missed it!

A Small Town Mystery A Small Town Mystery A Small Town Mystery A Small Town Mystery

The last tag we found was on a utility box of some sort, and it had a large yellow hand and small purple one. That’s when I noticed the letters, “fwtL” stenciled just below the yellow hand. I looked back through all of my photos, and noticed the same letters on the mailbox. A Google search turned up little – so the mystery of the hands remains unsolved.

A Small Town Mystery

Although we haven’t unraveled the origin of the hands, they have transformed our walks around town into an adventure. Much like urban trail blazes, they have led us to explore new parts of our town – which got me to thinking – how much fun would it be if urban areas had markers for folks to discover and follow?! They would add a little adventure into the everyday and help people find new places to explore.

About Jen

Outdoor adventurer and traveler. Writer, Photographer & Communications Professor. Wife. Mom of twins plus one. Tubbs Snowshoes Ambassador. Blogger at gayfamilytrips.com.

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3 Responses to A Small Town Mystery

  1. Brian Spector April 1, 2015 at 4:40 am #

    wow this is cool, and now that you know how she enjoys this I think you have to create this around the house,,,,maybe do it as feet,,,i have a few ideas

  2. Janeiack April 1, 2015 at 5:58 am #

    This is cool. Don’t for geocaching, as it goes all around the world. We like our Mice on Main in Greenville corresponding with a family book. Good spots, Addie and Jen!


  1. Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016! - Adventurous MomsAdventurous Moms - January 5, 2016

    […] March brought warmer temperatures and melting snow, so Addie, Evan, Kate and I began exploring around town and discovered spray-painted hands in random places – which remain an unsolved mystery. […]

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