Our cache numbers have been at an ultimate low this month what with all of the snow. It’s finally starting to melt away out this way although it isn’t showing many signs of magically disappearing overnight just yet. However, the show must to on! I wasn’t dedicated enough to go caching on Christmas day as I spent it with my family, and boxing day was reserved for getting the best bargains in the sales!!! However, on the 27th I ventured out for a couple of caches with my brother.
The Henry Moore Foundation
Henry Moore was an English sculptor who created many world renowned abstract bronze sculptures. Most of his works are of the human figure, including mother and child, reclining figures, and families. The “Henry Moore Foundation” (Much Hadham) is the place where Henry Moore created a lot of his works in his later life, and is also just down the road from where my family live. My Grandad used to work there with Moore, and I fondly remember a school trip there when we were shown around the foundation where there are many sculptures in the gardens. My muggle brother jumped at the chance to go for a walk on the footpaths around the foundation, as you can see the sculptures from there. The cache that we went for was Moore Mathematics.
Typically we chose the longest route to the cache as we picked the wrong footpath, however this made for a lovely circular walk which Teddy (our Geodog) was very happy about! It also worked out that we saw a couple more sculptures that we wouldn’t have done if we had taken the short route.
We’d brought a screwdriver with us with the intention of using it to prise open a frozen cache that hadn’t been found since June, but to our surprised the container was in perfect condition and bone dry inside. After making our find we headed down along the footpaths through the Moore foundation where we were treated to even more Moores!
We couldn’t get too close to the ones in the foundation grounds. Even though there was no-one around, security (cameras) is high on the grounds since in December 2005 when someone broke into the grounds with a crane and truck and stole one of the works! This reclining figure that was 3m wide and 2m high was valued at around £3million. It was then sold for scrap for the measly price of a few thousand pounds. The foundation had offered £10,000 for its safe return, however it’s thought that the thiefs cut it up on the night they stole it and then sold the parts later. I was disgusted when I heard that story for the first time due to our fond memories of the foundation.
It was a lovely walk to this cache, I can’t believe it had taken me this long to actually go out and get it though. I followed the find by marking it as a favorite. With free access (due to the footpaths) to so many Moor sculptures on route to this cache, it definitely was one of my most enjoyable cache finds. On the way back to the car I noticed something in the phonebox that reminded us that it was still christmas time and we needed to get back to our family…
Our second and final cache for the day was Pips Trips 1. We had gone after an FTF on this cache after an evening out with friends. It was on the route home and despite it being dark and despite me wearing flip-flops we still gave it a go. We must have spent at least 45 minutes searching. The conclusion was that it couldn’t have been placed yet. So we returned home, me with very prickly feet! It turned out that we were right, the cache owner hadn’t placed it!!! In complete protest I hadn’t made a special trip to find it since. As I was going past, however I thought I might as well grab it. The ironic thing was that I found it in a second! The CO had made a little box for it on one of the signs and placed the tub inside. A neat idea.
More caching in Wickham Bishops
The following day, we took a trip to the sales in Chelmsford. Unfortunately (and surprisingly!) I didn’t spend any money. We finished shopping by the early afternoon so decided to head of for a small cache run around Wickham Bishops.
There was a trail of 7 caches in the area and we thought that would be a good start. The first was at a derelict church, St. Peters.
Although we’d had a fair bit of rain overnight the snow didn’t seem to want to budge. The paths were very icy in places, but we agreed that it was better than muddy!
We grabbed a cache between #1 and #2, it was Blackwater Trail. This cache was placed next to the only remaining wooden railway viaduct in the country!
It also had a very cool guitar Geocoin in it which we swapped.
From this cache to #2 we spotted the highlight of the day… A pen full of piglets. I was so excited! I ran up to them and they ran up to me. There must have been about 8 of them, plus mum and dad. They were very curious and not scared at all. I really wanted to take one home, but mum looked pretty fierce and wasn’t going to let me. We spent quite a while watching them trying to eat leaves, biting each others tails, and trying to eat the wooden fence!!!
The cache was a micro at the base of an ivy covered wall on a bridge over the river… apparently… I say apparently because we couldn’t actually find it. We did find lots of golf balls though, as this route went through Benton Hall Golf Course!!!
We continued on the 4 mile route, slipping and sliding as we went, but we didn’t fall over today. When we got to the 5th cache, we noticed a rather long log. On closer inspection it was from the land owner! The cache was placed in a private woodland, and the land owner was leaving a note to say that although he thinks the Geocaching past time is interesting and harmless, it would have been courteous to ask his permission before placing the cache in the woods. He then went on to fill the logbook with information about the protected trees that grow in the woodland. It was great that he had left the cache there, but I can definitely understand his point.
After we’d finished the trail we headed off to get 3 schoolfrenz puzzle caches that I had solved. These were thankfully nice, straight forward finds to bring us that little bit closer to finding them all.
The second highlight of the day was on visiting the Beacon Hill cache which showed on my TOPO maps and OS map as being right next to a trig point. It was! I saw the trig point as soon as we pulled up and rushed towards it. It was very foggy by this time and good that our caching adventure was nearly over as I don’t think we would have been able to see to find many more.
We ended the day with 13 finds, respectable for a short afternoon. I think we’re definitely going to have to get our skates on though to try and hit a good number before the year is out. Thanks to the latest Geocaching.com site update there is no escaping the stats which show that December 2010 has been a very poo month for caching!!!!!!