Today went very well! Unbeknown to us, the first 3 trails that we had picked were actually all in the woods (Which we really enjoy walking around). The last trail wasn’t quite as great, however we did still have enough energy to grab our 1000th find to end the day…
Warninglid to Earwig Lane (GC1RJ95)
We didn’t realise when we parked up to do this that this would be pretty much entirely through a massive woodland. We were delighted when we looked at the GPS and it was covered in green blobs. Here we grabbed 19 caches plus 2 random ones along the way.
Cache after cache after cache through the woods! This was another trail by Flatcoat Walker with simple hides, however this didn’t matter as the walk itself was the real highlight.
Again, I snapped some more mushrooms as we went along:
Near the end of the trail we eventually emerged from the woods and climbed a hill up to a sheep farm. As we walked past the fields we noticed there was something different about some of them! They looked like really beefy sheep! Like they had been crossed with cows. I’d be really intrigued to find out what breed they are.
After passing through the farm it was back to the car for lunch before moving onto the next trail.
Nymans Wood (GC1KWZB)
Nymans Wood is just on the outskirts of ‘Nymans Gardens’ a National Trust site. We parked just on the outskirts and walked in to the footpath. I must say this was one of my favorite trails on the whole trip away. Here we grabbed 7 caches, plus 1 bonus and a random one along the way.
The hides were simple, however the footpaths through the wood were brilliant and the were a few little hills, big rocks scattered around, and a couple of ponds. It was just a really lovely walk!
We also bumped into another cache along the way which was a regular and had a little stash in it. I was most impressed with the log book though, someone had gone to quite an effort to design a pretty log book cover:
Raggets Ramble (GC19GQ8)
Well, imagine our delight when our 3rd trail of the day started off in the woods! Raggets Ramble is a trail of 7 caches + 1 bonus.
Although this woodland wasn’t quite as exciting as the previous two, there was a big bonus reward at the end of collecting 7 micro 35mm film cannisters… AN AMMO CAN! Always a delight to find an ammo can.
The 4th and final trail on our long day of caching. It was for 13 caches, 1 bonus, and 2 random ones along the way. I have to say this was our least favorite trail of the day and probably our least favorite trail of the entire trip. Why?
OK… I don’t really like trails that aren’t numbered. I like the number on them so I can easily work out where to go to next and I find it helps me remember them better. That’s just a minor niggle, however my main niggles were that the footpaths were rubbish. In a couple of places were very overgrown with nettles and brambles so we had to duck and dive through them. Although that’s not the cache owner’s fault, if they had done proper maintenance recently then they would have realised that conditions had got a bit out of hand and disabled the series.
Another niggle… most of the caches had damp log books and one was totally unreadable that another cacher had replaced it. The owner had done a couple of replacements, however hadn’t actually added the bonus number in the replacement log books. Therefore, the bonus to the trail is unfindable using coordinates! Well, it’s a good job we are clever. We didn’t have enough numbers to get anywhere near to the cache so we worked out that the bonus should be along the 0.4mi stretch back to the car. The hint was rotting log. The final half of the run back to the car was through a woodland with barb wire running either side of the path. The fence ran out and there on our left was a rotting log! A little bit of a rummage found us the cache. I posted directions in my log for this bonus. I figure that if they owner can’t really be bothered to fix it so that others can find it then at least we can help other cachers.
The second one in the trail yielded a DNF. It was next to a huge tree that had just been cut down. I should image it was found during the work and disguarded. It had the most massive pine cones fallen around it though so I grabbed a couple for taking home.
A random cache before the path got extremely bad was one along a sewerage works. There was a very interesting “tree” next to it. Infact, the “tree” was a mobile phone mast disguised as a tree! I guess that they were allowed to put it there if they stopped it being such an eye sore!
In conclusion I really wish we hadn’t bothered with this trail. It was a real anti-climax to an amazing day’s caching 😦
998 finds at the end of the day. What to do?
Well, there was really only one thing we could do… GET OUR 1000TH MILESTONE!!! Moral was a bit down after the bad Heaselands trail but we still soldiered on. I hadn’t planned a good cache for our 1000th as I didn’t know where we were ending up, so it was onto the iPhone for a quick look for something interesting. I came across a cache called ‘Sleepy Hollow’ (GC2DJG3) which had been published the day before. It was classed as a ‘Large’ container. We’d never been to a large one before so thought it might be quite a good one for number 1000.
We stopped for a real quickie Church micro on the way to get 999 and then it was on to this one. It was getting a little dark at this point. I think it was about 8:30pm. We parked up and stupidly managed to carry on along the footpaths ahead to the cache which took about 15mins. After we found it we realised that if we had gone behind the car there was a footpath straight to GZ that would have taken about 2mins. Doh! We spent about 20mins climbing in and out of woodlands on the banks along the road trying to find it. The hint wasn’t very revealing and just told us the clue was in the name. We interpreted it to mean that we were searching for an old dead hollow tree which was actually the correct thing, however coordinates were so off that it was nearly impossible in such low light!
However… We got lucky! My cache buddy was climbing up a bank in the dark and shouted “It might be here” They couldn’t see a thing as I had the torch. I clambered out and shone the torch where they were going and a tin of Roses’ sweeties smiled back at me.
I quickly clambered up the bank ahead of them. I was half thinking it was just a tin someone had dumped! The location matched the cache name though. It was an old dead tree with the cache in the hollow middle. The tree was lying down as if it was sleeping! It all made sense. It was quite a stretch pulling the cache out as it was very far back however I managed it and opened the tin BURSTING with swag!!! It was so packed I had trouble putting the lid back on when I’d done!
We signed the rather interesting log book and poked it back up into its home. WOW! A great find for our 1000th cache.
I was so glad we persevered with it. The CO has now updated the coordinates and despite all the time we spent searching for it, it was so worth it! It would have been much quicker in the daylight. What an amazing end to the day!