I hope everyone had a good 10-10-10 (The only day this year when our dates and American dates were actually the same!) and logged a cache to help towards the world record attempt of the most accounts to log a cache in one day. By doing so (or if you simply just opened your official Geocaching iPhone or Android app on the day) you will have earnt yourself a shiney new Souvenir. Ooooh! Read my previous blog post if you’re unsure of what these are.
We went to a CITO event in Hadleigh Castle Country Park. This was our first ever event and CITO, so we weren’t sure what to expect but were uber excited! We didn’t start off the day very well (although this is quite a common occurance for us) We parked in the marked parking area and approached the event through the county park. We however managed to take totally the wrong path and ended up on the wrong side of the train line. We were 300ft away and could hear the other attendees at the meeting point however just couldn’t get there! We asked some friendly dog walkers if there was a crossing further up and they pointed us in the right direction. So we probably added 3/4 of a mile to our journey there! We managed to get there just as the instructions were being given out, grabbed a bin bag, signed our name in the attendance log and rushed to the spot of the group photo. Being a late midget I managed to only just squeeze in the back and pop my head over the crowd of cachers.
And then we went off to do our bit. I must say we hadn’t noticed much litter as we approached the event (from the wrong direction) however once you got off of the main paths you soon realised what had been blown there and washed up, so we didn’t have too much of a problem filling our sacks.
There was quite a lot of hefty stuff in the marsh areas. Parts of bike frames, car seats, tyres, lumps of wood, etc. which we hauled up to the main path for them to collect with the trailer afterwards. The attendees all picking produced 35 big bags full of rubbish amongst other things. Wow! Well done everyone!
An added bonus was that we managed to grab a few caches that were en route whilst doing the picking. It was the most amazing day for being outside, with not a cloud in the sky. Keeping with tradition I managed to even find some mushrooms growing near one of the caches.
Another added bonus was that we got to bump into a few new faces, and our old friends mel-ray. We first bumped into them when we had found around 300 caches. Despite that not being all that long ago it certainly feels like it after all of the trips we have been on. It was great to share our adventures on different trips and recommend a few good trails to each other. At 12pm we started heading back to base for some cake and a good natter. It was lovely to meet SXParx and alfarrow who had organised such a great event. I was also far too tempted by the Essex County Parks geocoins to not buy one, infact, I bought 2, summer and winter. These are my first geocoins and I have a feeling that they won’t be my last!
After refuelling with various biscuits, cakes, sweeties, and a nice cup of coffee that mel-ray had brought with them (Thanks guys!) we were all ready to go and get 4 brand new caches that had been laid for the event. So everyone went out for joint-FTF honours. We also managed to grab a couple more old ones on the way. One had us all fooled. It was a can of Carling that hadn’t been opened. At first we thought it was just random rubbish in a tree, but the fact that it wasn’t open made us reach up and pull it down. It was indeed a cache! What a genius idea!
The new caches that we went after were Best Dog, LTS across Hadleigh Country Park, The Olympics come to Hadleigh, and The Borrow Dyke. After grabbing Best Dog and LTS we had a pretty steep hill to hike to get to Olympics, however it suited the name well! There were some lovely views from the top. After finding The Borrow Dyke, we went to grab a few more caches in the area with mel-ray.
We headed back towards the car and managed to pick up an earth cache on the way. This was ‘Hadleigh Chalk Exposure‘ I managed to walk straight past the spot as it was quite hidden. If you looked closely you could see a small band of chalk peeking out from the ground. Chalk is the oldest rock exposed at the surface in Essex. At the site we had to estimate some measurements and grab our mug shots.
Next we headed over to Hadleigh Castle. Whilst CITO-ing I could constantly see the castle in the distance and asked a1nnie what castle it was. She told me that it was Hadleigh Castle (Obviously Cass, seeing as you’re at “Hadleigh CASTLE County Park” Geez!) and that there were some nice caches up near there. She definitely wasn’t wrong. We started off with the Hadleigh Castle Landslip earthcache, which took us to the actual site of Hadleigh Castle. The castle was built in 1230 for Hubert de Burgh. He was regent for King Henry III however, King Henry later confiscated the castle from him and continued the building work. The construction was further continued by King Edward III in the 14th century. There’s not much that remains of the castle, but even the ruins were pretty cool. The remaining ruins are mostly the additional building work that Edward III added. The land that the castle stands on is slipping meaning that the towers are gradually sliding down the cliff face.
We were treated to some quite interesting hide ideas whilst around here. One was in a plastic egg, and another a nano on a tree… however held there by a piece of metal that was placed on the tree trunk.
We also picked up yet another earthcache. This was our 17th earthcache. It was The Hadleigh Saddleback This ridge runs from the castle to Leigh which is part of the Rayleigh Hills. The ridge was formed from gravel from the river. It is said that the higher the altitude, the older the gravel. The ridge was indeed quite high. We had to grab some distance, elevations, and take a photo at the end of the ridge.
We then headed back to the car only to bump into a big herd of cows on their way to milking. Some looked pretty mean, but they were harmless (however only because they were behind a fence).
We said our goodbyes to mel-ray and headed up to the Hadleigh church micro before heading home. We were also really pleased when we got home that we had hit our target of 21 finds for the day without even realising. With the 29 finds from London yesterday that gives us 50 finds for the weekend. I like to end on a round number.
Happy 10 years of Geocaching everyone!!!!