Today I actually went caching

Well, actually, I started to go caching yesterday. It was a lovely sunny day so Skye and I headed off to the park for our walk. While there, I remembered that a new cache had been published at the nearby church. There used to be a multi there but that has now been replaced by a new Church Micro (GC65YV7 – Church Micro 8651).

So off we went, Skye hunting the pesky squirrels whilst I sought out the required info.

Skye - 1

Once I had all the info, it was on to the final. However, when we got there we decided there was too much muggle activity for a proper, stealthy search. So this evening, under cover of darkness,  I went back to GZ. At first I confess to being a bit misled by the clue (Hmm. I know the CO is tall but the T rating is low, so…) when I realised my mistake. After that a quick search was all it took. I think it’s all connected with my somewhat sporadic geocaching outings of late. Well that’s what I’m blaming it on anyway.

And when I went to log it I found that it filled in another day on my grid. Excellent!

 

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Boxes

Since she was a puppy, Skye has had a thing about boxes.

In the early days, she would sometimes tunnel her way out.

Skye in a boxSkye in a box

Or just use the box as a temporary kennel.

Skye in a box

Skye in a box

These days, she just sits in them.

Skye in a box

Skye in a box

Skye in a box

Skye in a box

As soon as we’ve emptied a box, in she hops. 🙂

Skye in a box

Jacob’s Moving Cache

Lots of local excitement about this moving cache. Groundspeak don’t allow moving caches any more so this one is a bit of a rarity. To explain the concept: the cache when found is re-hidden by the finder in a new location and they then publish those new coordinates in their found-it log. It’s a bit like a recurring FTF. 🙂

So, about a week ago this one was orbiting our area and a determined cacher decided to make a 60 mile round trip to get it. Since then it’s been bouncing around locally as one cacher after another attempts to find it and move it on.

There has been a fair bit of “who you know” going on as various cachers stalk the latest finder in the vain hope of being able to bag it next.

So with all this going on, to be honest I was not too bothered about finding it; however at the weekend my caching buddy managed to find it and was kind enough to re-hide it very close to where I live. I whizzed out as soon as I saw his log, recognising the location as being the site of the second cache I ever found (so I knew just where I needed to look) and felt sure I would be the first to get there. Which I was. Yay! 🙂

The amusing part was the next day when I set off to re-hide it, I had a place in mind which was along a nice footpath near a water mill which had a convenient car parking area (I was thinking of the next finder).

So I’d just left the car by the mill and was walking along the path towards my planned, convenient, QEF-style hiding place, when I met a pair of cachers coming in the opposite direction. I stopped for a brief chat and discovered they weren’t “local”. Now, this isn’t Royston Vasey but I had promised some of our local cachers that I’d hide it in a way that would give them the best chance of a find. There was no way I was going to let these two “foreigners”  know what I was up to! But I had Jacob’s cache in my hand! One of the cachers pointed at it, saying in an inquisitive way “Ooh, cammo bag!”. Thinking fast, I told them I often walked along here (which I do – I had Skye with me) and that I sometimes check the caches for interesting TBs (which I don’t). That seemed to satisfy their curiosity and they went on their way and were soon out of sight.

Of course, now I was a bit paranoid, so I walked a lot farther on than I’d planned to, to make sure they weren’t coming back to stalk me, after that I doubled back to hide the cache. I made sure it was well hidden so that, if they did happen to return that way, it wasn’t likely to be found by accident.  I was subsequently amused to read the log written by the next finder who seemed a bit surprised I’d hidden it so well. If she reads this hopefully she’ll understand!

Publishing my series

Green Lane sign

For a while now I’ve had my eye on a this empty space on the geocaching map and planning to place a geocache series there. Last week I had a free day and a choice. Either go caching or set out some more caches of my own. Altruism won the day and so, equipped with a bag of various containers, I was soon out in the fields. I had reconnoitred the route previously and had some hidey holes in mind. Skye and I had a nice walk and once the containers had been hidden it was back to base for tea and medals, and the time-consuming but important admin.

After a small hiccup, the caches were published yesterday evening and several of the local FTF hounds were soon out – congratulations to The Bongtwashes on FTF-ing them all! 🙂

If you’re interested, there is a list of my caches here.

As an aside, it’s amazing what you see whilst out in the countryside. As I was walking around a bend at the edge of a wheat field, a fox jumped out of the trees to our left and pounced on an unsuspecting pheasant hiding in the wheat. Within seconds the fox had picked up the pheasant and dashed back to the safety of the trees. Skye went absolutely bonkers and would have shot after the fox if I hadn’t had her on the lead. All this happened so fast I had no chance to go for my camera. 🙂

 

 

 

Stowe

After so many months of grotty weather, finally a nice sunny warm day. Off we went to Stowe School to check on little Tarquin. No, not really :). We don’t have a little Tarquin at Stowe (or any other school, posh or otherwise), we just went to Stowe gardens for a walk around. For those not in the know, Stowe has possibly the best landscaped gardens in England and, in The New Inn, the first tourist hotel.

Stowe School

We had a really enjoyable time and I even managed to get a couple of photographs with hardly any people in them.

Palladian Bridge

One drawback of the glorious weather was the large number of people who’d had the same idea as us.  Also, as the only “proper” geocacher in my family, I was somewhat outnumbered when it came to taking advantage of the situation and searching out some of the Stowe cache series. I was however able to look for a couple…

Well what did you expect?

The first one I attempted turned out to be impossible. Approaching the approximate location with my part-time geocaching daughter we soon realised that there were many cachers looking for the same one. What was amusing was that they obviously hadn’t read the cache page properly. The cache is (apparently) hidden in the Ha-Ha and clearly none of the idiots looking up trees or rummaging in the bushes had any idea what a Ha-Ha was. I say “apparently” because there were so many of them milling about that I felt searching for the cache would prove impossible and would probably compromise its location to cachers and muggles alike. We decided on a strategic withdrawal. I’m sure I’ll be able to come back another day when it is quieter.

Anyway, I was determined not to leave Stowe without at least one find, so on our walk back to the car I stopped to retrieve Stowe: Roadside. This being the main route in and out from the car park meant a constant stream of people and dogs, so even bagging this one undetected took some doing. Still, at least I didn’t go home without a smiley.

Oh, and Skye had a lovely time. She even had her own chair in the cafe.

Skye in the cafe

Around Studham

On Tuesday I took Skye on a walk around Studham. We bagged 14 caches.

Apart from Skye chasing a Pheasant (why do they run away from you in a straight line instead of diving into a hedge or, better still, flying away?)  the walk was mostly uneventful. At the penultimate cache we did have a bit of excitement.

The cache involved a detour off the path and us clambering over a fallen tree and through some undergrowth. Getting back out again was slightly tricky, getting Skye to jump over the tree and push through brambles etc. We made a bit of a meal of it, what with me telling Skye which way to go and telling her to stop while I extricated myself from tangling undergrowth, etc. As we emerged, on the other side of the path stood an old man. His appearance reminded me of the crooked man in the nursery rhyme and he seemed as surprised to see us as we were to see him. “I wondered what was going to come out of there”, he said, then “Was you asleep in there?” which I thought a bit strange. I decided to avoid an explanation about geocaching and said something about having to extricate my dog from the bushes! He seemed to accept that and we made good our escape.

Overall a good caching trip and Skye enjoyed herself – she had a nap in the Freelander on the way home. 🙂

Outstanding in the field

On an altogether more pleasant note, today I went geocaching with my older daughter & our “Geo-dog”. We had a really enjoyable walk, out standing in the cornfields in the sunshine. We found some caches (8) and the dog found some new and exciting smells.

Plus we stopped off for a Maccy D on the way home.

And my total now stands at 640.

Mud

Today I took some time off Olympic spectating and went to Hockeridge woods with #2 daughter and Skye. We had already decided Skye needed/deserved a decent walk as she’d been confined to barracks while we all watched the Olympics. Not being one to pass up the chance to do a spot of Geocaching, I reckoned that it would be OK to try to rectify one of my earlier DNFs at the same time.

I parked my sparkly clean Freelander in the usual place and we set off. Found the cache without too much trouble and, as we’d done it so quickly, we decided to try for a couple more nearby. This required a bit of a hike across the woodland. Now, for those who don’t know, the tracks in Hockeridge get very wet, very soggy and very muddy; then since they are mostly covered by the trees, the sun never gets much chance to work its magic so they stay that way. By the time we’d found the caches and sploshed our way back along various fire breaks and tracks, Skye was very much a two-tone dog, sporting a white upper half and a very wet and muddy undercarriage.

On returning to the car we carefully installed her in the back and headed home to give her an essential bath. Of course, having parked in a muddy lane, by the time we got home the Freelander was covered in mud as well, although that will have to wait for another day.

Is there no end to this drought?

Took our dog to Gadebridge park today. We don’t normally take her there for her walks but for some inexplicable reason  the river Gade had decided to spread itself about a bit and had flooded large areas of the park. We just had to go to watch Skye paddle about in the temporary lakes.

So, that’s one added value of all this rain – extra lakes! Another is a wetter and muddier dog.

On the other hand, I have to ask; when will the water companies decide that the drought has ended?