Caching with Friends


Today we decided to head over to Hemel Hempstead with our caching buddies mel-ray. Although we’d done dribs and drabs of caching with a few cachers that we bumped into whilst out hunting, today was the first time we’d gone on a day trip with others. We definitely proved that 4 pairs of eyes are better than 2 as we had our best day of caching ever: 67 finds. We started at about 6:30am and finished about 6pm, covering about 17 miles over 3 trails near Hemel Hempstead (Hertfordshire): Staggering to Bovingdon, RAWGOLD.COMP, Route 66, and the odd cache here and there that we bumped in to along the way.

Staggering to Bovingdon

We started Staggering to Bovingdon at 6:30am in the dark! We had planned to start at about 7am but were running a bit early. It wasn’t too bad though and we definitely had luck on our side as the we managed to find the first 4 whilst it was quite dark.

The view from the top

By the end of the trail we had found 19. It was definitely a good start to the day and finally we had good light ready for the next trail. We also discovered that the area walked across to start the trail was a golf course, there was however little chance of getting hit by golf balls at that time of the morning!

View of the golf course

On the way back there was also a field of very interesting cows, quite possibly the cutest cows I’d ever seen. They were black and fluffy with a white stripe down their body. I was considering swapping Teddy for one! πŸ˜‰

Zebra cows

RAWGOLD.COMP

After mel-ray had kindly refuelled us with some lovely rusks, meatballs and a cup of coffee we were ready to start the next trail. We bumped into another collection of cows, a few of these ones looked rather horny!

I wouldn't spill his pint!

I shall call him Meatball and he shall be mine and he shall be my Meatball. Come on, little Meatball.

It proved to be a lovely walk along very well maintained footpaths. The highlight (as always) was a walk through the woods. I was getting a bit worried that I wouldn’t find any mushrooms to shoot, but I eventually bumped into some. An added bonus was that the tree cover had killed our GPSr and whilst the others were all searching else where, whilst searching for mushrooms to snap I actually bumped into the cache. Result! πŸ™‚

Little grey mushrooms hiding at GZ

The cache hider had gotten quite clever with a couple of the hides. One was a small tube disguised as a plant that did have us fooled for quite a while…

Great camo!

Let there be light (and signal!)

Whilst searching for a cache in the woods I spotted a metal object and naturally being curious of everything I had to go over and take a look. I was about to move it to check for a cache (As you do, naturally, because it of course looked just like the tree stump that the hint said the cache was at!!!) when I spotted the yellow label and cute picture that said it was a squirrel trap. This made me quite sad as I do love squirrels. I know there probably is a good reason for the trap, but the reason for it was due to them damaging broadleaved trees. However, it is their home and to me it doesn’t seem right to kill them off in these horrible little traps.

A squirrel trap!

Fungus growing near GZ

I was rather excited after we passed by a farm to bump into what I thought was a trigger point after I’d written my previous blog post about discovering them. I jumped in front ready for my photo taken. It was surrounded by a fence and ivy, so I didn’t attempt to grab the number from it as I was sure I’d be able to identify it by taking the coords. After searching on all of the sites I had found and the 1:25k OS maps I found… nothing. So I guess it wasn’t a trig point. After checking a few common trig point photos I realised it wasn’t quite as pointy as the usual ones. I wonder what it was!

Me at the trig point that isn't!

It was quite a long trail and after the woods and farm we came to a road. I was amused by the sign at the side near the houses!

Cats crossing

And that wasn’t the only interesting thing in this little village. We spotted a dragon behind the hedge in someone’s garden!

Raaaaa!

We found the last traditional cache and after having 2 DNF’s during the series we were short of 1 number for the bonus. Oh no! A quick bit of maths worked out that there were only 4 possible numbers, and after checking the logical coordinates of the area we were in we decided that there were only 2 possible numbers. After a quick bit of plotting we knew where we were going and found the bonus without a problem. The end to another great trail!

The bonus

Route 66

Then it was on to our third and final trail, Route 66. This was different to your usual walk around the country, as a fair few caches were along footpaths along the side of the M25.

Up the side of the M25

The M25 from the foot bridge

Despite treking quite a way from the motorway the M25 was still in view as we climbed the hills.

Nice views despite the motorway

We finished the trail with just 1 DNF, which we spent 15 minutes searching for and definitely wasn’t there anymore! It was a lovely day’s caching and despite the 17 mile walk my feet were still capable of a bit more (But the rest was truely welcome!) We swapped a few Geocoins, and now have quite an impressive set of trackables!

Some beautiful coins (+ 1 proxy)

What a wonderful day’s caching with friends. We can’t wait until the next one! πŸ˜€

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