Location: Missoula Valley, Montana, USA
Keeper: Caitlin DeSilvey
Status: Invitation sent; not yet installed
If you are in North America, in the Columbia River Basin, up the Clark
Fork tributary, in the Missoula valley on a summer Saturday ... locate
the Southwest 1/4 of Section 10, Township 13 North, Range 19 West on
a topographic map.
Or just walk into the bare hills north of town, between Rattlesnake
Creek and Grant Creek.
Follow the ridgeline track west and north until it switchbacks into
a gentle swale.
Walk down the road past the apple orchard and the maypole. Close the
gates behind you to keep the sheep in.
Look under the black locust trees inside the smallest white house.
This is the first of the 100 worldwide letterboxes. The poem is taken
from the Brazilian singer and composer Caetano Veloso’s autobiography,
Tropical Truth. Wherever we are, there is always a west, and, though
Veloso speaks of the lure the Americas held for the Portuguese conquistadors,
here the letterbox has been sited in the heart of the North American
continent, on a homestead in the Missoula valley. The farm is now open
to the public for community activities, or by appointment. The letterbox
is placed within a small structure: 'a strange little house –
too big for a cat, too small for a dog. We're not sure who lived there
last. It has a roof though, and has been waiting for the right resident'.’