More muddy Autumn Caching


Completing the crosswords

On Wednesday it was the day of Essex Meet number 6. It was in an area that we hadn’t been caching before, so I booked the day off of work and we decided to do a bit of caching on the way there.

We had done the Crossword Cache #5 Grand Master for our 2000th find, however there were still 3 more crossword caches left to find. We thought today would be a good day as we could go past them on the way to the event. As I had solved all 5 crosswords and emailed my solutions to the CO, if we found all 5 actual caches it meant that we would earn a place in the crossword cache hall of fame.

On the way there we first stopped off at a cache that was placed the day before. gillywig had beaten us to the FTF, but we didn’t mind. The cache was Most Photographed village in Essex – Finchingfield. It was a nano near a duck pond and when I wen to retrieve it some ducks and geese emerged from the field. I had to take the cache away to sign it, and when I returned they all started chasing me away! Haha! I was in fits of histerics! Eventually I managed to approach from a different angle and get the cache back in its place without getting pecked.

Shes got the cache! GET HER!

We were feeling quite lucky this morning so headed towards Castle/Sible Hedingham to try and clear up some previous DNF’s. One was Secret Garden – Sible Hedingham 3. This was a crafty hide that we spent ages searching for many months ago, but came out empty handed. After finding a couple of other caches like this it was a doddle. It was staring straight at us as we walked towards it.

Next it was on to a Church Micro at Little Maplestead. We had searched twice for this in the past, and managed to find it this time within a minute. Ha!

Little Maplestead Church

We then headed to our first crossword cache for the day, Crossword Cache #1: Easy Peasy. We didn’t have any problem finding it, so we were off to a good start with our crossword collecting. After grabbing a couple of gillywig’s fun caches and swapping quite a TB’s while we were at it, we headed off to Crossword Cache #4: HARD. I felt like Indiana Jones getting this one! It was very muddy on the way to the cache as cows had chirned up the grass. We were relieved to see the actual cows penned off though. We got to the bottom of the field and noticed the electric fence running along it. There were two rows of wire, and the top one had plastic covering it. It was quite a stretch, but I managed to clamber over the top without electrocuting myself. It was then into the woods. It was pretty mucky there and we had to balance on logs to save falling into a swampy bit. Then when we spotted something that matched the clue, we jumped over a couple of streams! I’m glad we went after the red herring though as far away in the field next door was a big, randomly placed monument.

The monument in the field

We then looped around the wood and came back to pretty much where we started! We couldn’t spot anything matching the hint though. I rummaged in the autumn leaves and found a tiny stump. I lifted up a few sticks, on the off chance there would be a cache there, and what do you know? There was! Excellent. We grabbed a TB from it too. The log had last been signed in April.

Hooray! The Hard Crossword cache

We went back through the woods, over the electric fence, and up the field. The cows however had decided to come out of their pen and block our way. They didn’t look very friendly, so we went around them. They watched us the whole time and I did feel a little nervy. I was very relieved when we clambered over a stile and we were free. Andy_UK63 later emailed me and told me that there was actually a handle so that you could safely get over the electric fence. Oh well! It wouldn’t have been half an adventure without it!!!

It wasn’t until today, when I looked back at the cache listing to upload the photo of the monument to my log that I realised that although the last log in the book was in April, there were several logs in August. I checked back and realised that the cache had been replaced. It all makes sense now as to why the cache was hidden at a spot that only vaguely matched the hint! Also, the TB we took from it was marked as missing as the cache had been replaced. We actually found the original! What luck!

After this we went on to Crossword cache #3: Medium which was very easy to get to and find. That was our last crossword cache. Andy_UK63 was kind enough to add us to the crossword hall of fame over the weekend. Hooray!

11th place is fine with me!

We grabbed some drive by’s before heading to the event. It was our first Geocaching event (not counting the CITO) and we had a brilliant time! It was great to meet everyone and put faces to names. They had even printed and laminated us a nice certificate to mark our 2000th find. It was a very late night as it took us over an hour to get home afterwards, but well worth being tired at work the next day.

Back down to Sussex

We’d had a chat to may-rel at Wednesday’s event and as we both hadn’t planned anything for the weekend, we decided that we would team up and head back down Sussex. We tackled three flatcoat walker trails: Forest Row Link, Ashurst Wood Link, and Hartfield Link.

With flatcoat walker’s trails you generally know what to expect: A nice walk with easy finds that are well maintained. We started with Hartfield Link. This was quite recently placed. All caches were easily found and due to her genius method of putting a film can inside a sample container they are always bone dry inside. It was a nice walk, however we definitely started off with the hardest trail as the footpaths were quite mucky with quite a few heading off across the fields. My toes got a bit wet, but we cracked on. We finished with 24 caches for 6 miles of walking.

Next we started the Forest Row Link trail of another 24 caches over 6 miles. We managed to incorporate it with the Ashurst Wood Link trail as well which was 15 caches over 4 miles.

Starting point

The Forest Row trail started on some amazing paths so we were able to get our speed up to get around. There were lots of squirres hanging around as well, which was great to see.

Squirrel Spotting

One of the micros

Half way around we spotted an interesting concrete structure that looked like a bench. Ray took a moment to rest his feet! 😉

Come on Ray! We've got caches to find!

As well as the micros there were some small and regular containers with trackables and swag for swapping.

One of the regulars

We also managed to pick up the odd cache along the trails. We found Aussie Hideaway. This was in a very interesting container: A little lunchbox!

G'day mate!

We also passed some other interesting animals on our adventures when we went past a farm.

Gobble, gobble, gobble

Piggies!

We were very pleased with our day of caching and went home happy, with only slightly sore feet. After we had dropped mel-ray off back at their car and were half way home, I looked at the back seat to check they hadn’t left anything behind. Well, I didn’t expect to see their GPSr!!! We were too far home to meet up with them to give it back. We’re going to post it back to them. Teddy, however, had other ideas of what we could do with their Oregon…

An interesting ransom note

Well, what better way to end the day than with a travel bug and a cup of coffee. Well, the travel bug wanted to share a cold drink with us (that was part of its mission) but I let it enjoy a nice warm cup of coffee after the hard day of caching.

Cass realises that the reason her cuppa tastes funny is because she used the a TB as the teabag...

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