The Lone Cacher


Due to prior arrangements I was on my own today (Violins at the ready!) so I decided to do a bit of shopping and caching. Chelmsford was my spot of choice and I managed to do a good few hours shopping and 13 caches. The caches I found today were single caches that were scattered here and there. I took my Nikon D40 and spent some time snapping photos of the woodlands that I visited. It was actually a really good day. Didn’t find any really outstanding caches, but the locations were very enjoyable.

Supplies!

Shopping involved quite a lot of bits and bobs for caches. I popped to the Essex surplus shop and got 2 ammo boxes for £5 each which I was delighted with as I’ve always wanted to grab a couple. Just need to work out where to hide them! 😀 Along with some more tupperware. I found duct tape and black spray paint in Poundland so I thought I’d try it out and see what it’s like. I’m not expecting much! I also grabbed some bits and pieces for a special cache I’m quite excited about hiding which I will blog about when it’s complete.

Supplies restocked!

Lady Grove

I started off the trip with some urban caches that were pretty quick finds, and not much to shout about, but definitely a good start to the day. After that I headed away from Chelmsford to Lady Grove which took me to a lovely little woodland that had sadly been a bit chopped up by the A12. There were a couple of nice mushrooms in the woodland so I took the opportunity to grab a new snaps.

A lonely mushroom

The cache was an easy find, however in the logbook there were definitely traces of muggle activity! Luckily they hadn’t taken the cache or anything inside so it was a narrow escape!

A muggle's log

The cache

On the way back to the car I spotted a really weird fungus growing on a tree. I nudged it with a stick. It was a bit like an ear and it pinged back towards me!

The trees are listening...

Galleywood Common

Next it was a short drive up the road to Galleywood Common. This was my favorite cache of the day as it was a gorgeous woodland with so much interesting fungus and I was jammy enough to take a minor path that came out exactly at GZ so the find was very swift.

The Galleywood Common cache

I took my time to enjoy the woodland and seeked out different mushrooms. I bumped into a family who spotted the camera around my neck and told me where there was some nice fungus. They showed me the photos they had taken on their Blackberry so I headed off to get some snaps.

Loved the way the trees framed the mucky pond

THIS is why I love woodland caches

Mushrooms growing in a hole in a tree

Less fungus, more alien invasion!!!

Flower shaped mushrooms

Centenary Circle South

Next I headed off to grab Centenary Circle South – Galleywood. There are loads of these Centenary Circle caches scattered along a very long distant footpath around Chelmsford. Once you have found them all you will have the coords for a bonus. This is the second one we’ve found, so we’re getting there… slowly! 😉 On the way to the footpath I spotted a squirrel carrying his acorn along the tree. Unfortunately he scarpered before I could grab a decent shot.

Squirrel Nutkins

I headed across the farmer’s field to GZ and spotted MORE mushrooms growing in the field. This time grey ones.

Yet another variety of mushroom

Decisions, decisions...

A few quick grabs…

I then picked up Pump it up! on a village pump *exactly* where you’d expect to find it. This was followed by Deadman Dave a cache that we DNF’ed in July, however I returned confident today after a hint from another cacher. However, I still took ages to find it. A micro in a camo bag in an ivy covered tree covered by bark. Argh! Got it in the end though.

Simply Stylish

Next it was onto Simply Stylish, a cache I very nearly had to give up on after Mr. Horsey out right refused to shift out of my way.

A good cache guardian

I tried talking to him (We had a long discussion), I tried begging, I tried squeezing past him, I tried patting him. He just would not move from that spot! I did find the funny side of it though and stood there giggling. I didn’t want to squeeze to the right incase he nipped me, and if I squeezed around the back he may have got shocked and kicked me! Eventually after about 5 minutes he bent down and started chewing some of the undergrowth to the right which just about left enough of a gap behind him for me to squeeze through. The cache itself was then an easy find. I then thought I’d debut our new rubber stamp in this logbook.

The cache with our stamp in

Blakes Wood

Next I headed to another woodland for the cache Blakes Wood. It was a lovely little woodland and I managed to catch a snap of my favorite type of mushroom, the Amanita muscaria.

All we need now is Mario and Luigi!

I headed up to near GZ and typically the GPSr was all over the place. The hint was “at base of very tall leaning pine tree in shallow hole and well covered “ I eventually spotted an area were there were many pine trees and I scouted out the area. I spotted a very well made den which would make a cache well covered, however it wasn’t a pine tree.

An impressive den

There were two likely suspects and I prodded the base of them with a stick, digging up the ground but there was no cache. I wandered around the area, but the GPSr was pointing me back. Finally on the verge of giving up I checked some photos on the iPhone and this verified that it was indeed the right spot. I grabbed the stick and dug at the base again. Nothing. I then dug under a root and eventually out popped the cache! Hooray! At last! The issue I have with this is I would consider this cache “buried” which is the reason I didn’t find it at first. This is against the Geocaching guidelines. The cache was in a hole under a tree root with earth and pine needles piled on top. The camo bag around the cache was in was soaking and covered in earth. The cache had been there since 2003 and I guess it is possible that over the years hiders started burying it a little bit so that it was eventually fully covered, however the “well covered” and “in a shallow hole” bit in the hint seemed to indicate that this was correct and if the CO had hidden it with stick’o’flague in the first place then there would have been plenty of sticks nearby and future finders would have re-hidden using them. The problem with “Geocaches should never be buried” in the guidelines is that these are indeed guidelines and NOT rules, and whereas I would consider it buried other cachers may not. How deep does something have to be buried for it to be considered buried? Anyway, that was the only negative thing and I did really enjoy the woodland.

Buried or not buried? That is the question!

Spikey chesnut shell

Viewpoints #1 (Heather Hills)

It was raining quite hard by now, but I wanted one more cache as I was quite near to it. It was Viewpoints #1 (Heather Hills) in a nature reserve and finding this cache meant I got the bonus number to work out where a night cache is (Ohhhh!) I followed the GPSr and typically picked the wrong path again, but I’m so glad I did as I bumped into the most amazing fungus. It looked like something that should be in the ocean, like pasta bows crossed between coral.

Deep sea fungus

A close up of the coral fungus

I headed off to GZ up through a cluster of wet ferns. The GPSr said 6ft but something didn’t feel right. I wandered along and found something that matched the clue and despite the GPSr indicating 50ft away my cacher senses were tingling! I dived right in and got it along with the bonus number. The disappointing thing was that the cache was in a plastic bag which really isn’t a great way to hide a cache. The cache was covered in black duct tape anyway so it probably wasn’t needed anyway. I was quite impressed with the logbook, it was one of those little revision keyrings that has the notebook pages on it (I think they’re called “Crammers”) and also a disposable camera so you could take a photo. I, however, was looking a bit rough after caching in the rain so I skipped that this time round.

The treasure

And that was the end of my lone caching trip. I must say I had a much easier job finding mushrooms in the woodland than I did finding the dried mushrooms I needed for the chicken and mushroom risotto I was making for dinner. I eventually found a supermarket that had some (And the risotto was lovely and well deserved).

Happy caching! Did anyone else venture out caching this weekend? 😀

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6 Responses to “The Lone Cacher”

  1. jane Says:

    Great to read about Galleywood Common! I spent a great deal of my school holidays exploring around there!!

  2. ErikaJean Says:

    LOVE the stamp and all the fungi pics are AMAZING!

  3. Andy_UK63 Says:

    Nice mushroom pics Cass!
    That reminds me – it’s time to dust off my macro lens and get out into the woods!
    Andy

    • geocass Says:

      Absolutely 🙂 There are loads of varieties of fungus out there at the moment. I must admit that until Saturday I never realised so many different types existed. Now I’m getting some good use out of my Nikon D40 I think it is time to make the excuse to buy a proper macro lens and get some real close-ups. I can feel my caching bag getting a lot heavier as I speak!!! 😉

  4. Sarah Says:

    we were caching in Belfast this weekend, and one of the caches was under a rock along with a hayuuuge bright orange fungus-y thing. I thought of you 🙂 I should have taken a photo for you – doh!

    Your solo trip looks like it was a lot of fun 🙂

    I must admit I rarely cache on my own, but I do enjoy it. The only ones I don’t like doing alone are the high muggle density urban ones, because I feel really conspicuous. But then again I don’t really enjoy that type much anyway.

    • geocass Says:

      I agree, urban caching solo is horrible. I’m really caucious and rubbish if I think there’s someone watching, however if I’m with someone caching then I couldn’t give a damn! The orange fungus-y thing sounds awesome 🙂 Piccies next time please!! 😉


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