Hertfordshire Caching Trip


Climate Chaos: The Triumph

After last weeks disaster when I still didn’t manage to find the final I’d been twitchy at work all week! I wanted to find it immediately. If it hadn’t been so dark in the evenings then I would have been out to get that cache! Saturday was the day, however. We set off pretty early in the morning and parked up at a very familiar place!!! I couldn’t believe how windy it was, I think we must have actually flown to GZ! The coords for this series are always good and it was no surprise when finding GZ took only a minute to locate and then far less to retrieve. Victory was ours!!!

Was it worth last weeks disaster? YES!

The little stream

By finding each box you get a username/password for a secret area on a web site. Each different box has a different site with tons of information that the CO has prepared. There really has been tons of work done to set up this cache series. To get the final cache you have to find all of the previous caches so that you can use the web pages to work out the final username/password to get into the final web page to get the coordinates for the final cache (Are you still with me?) Well, solving puzzles to get the username wasn’t a problem. However, working out what the password may be is a different matter. I’ve been trying all week to work it out, but haven’t got anywhere yet. The problem is it doesn’t look like there is a puzzle to solve to get it. It looks like you need a flash of inspiration to work out what it is. I’m still waiting for the flash… 😦

A few more finds…

After finding this we headed off for a few caches here and there. I began to think we were losing our touch when we attempted Church Micro 677 and spent 5 minutes trying to find something all others had said was easy. All became clear when we found the magnetic cache that was meant to be attached to a rail lying on the floor. Just as we signed the log the church bells rang. How did they know? 😉

It was then onto a Bill&Ben puzzle, ‘On Operations‘. It was a fab puzzle, very original and a bit like Sudoku on steroids. It consumed quite a lot of my time, however I had a brainwave whilst solving and quickly knocked up a computer program in C# to solve it! It’s times like these I’m pleased I’m a complete Geek! 😉 It’s always great to find a puzzle that you’ve slaved over!!!

On Operations

We then headed off to another Church Micro, this was number 700. A nice feature of this church was a little porch with some stained glass windows on display. I loved the fact that I could see them without having the enter the church. Don’t get me wrong, I like churches, but they’re always so cold so I always end up needing a wee after I’ve been in one (hehe! You know what I mean!!! Too much information? Sorry… ;))

Matthew, Mark...

Luke and John

Our final quick grab was another church micro, number 686. This was a nice hide as it’s wasn’t centered on the church, it was centered on a little structure in the middle of Ardeley green with an old waterpump inside.

The water pump

The Walkern Walk Series

Next it was onto "The Walkern Walk Series" this was 19 caches over about 5.5 – 6miles. Although it is less than half an hour's drive from home I hadn't considered it in the past as it's a pile of multicaches. The idea is that you go to the parking coords, find a hydrant sign with 8 numbers on and then work out where each cache is using those numbers! God, effort! 😉 Each forumula for each cache was different and so I printed off a table of each forumula for each cache so I could scribble down the numbers of each cache after getting the hydrant numbers. I know I don’t do many multis, but I do see the point of trekking around a town looking at historic features to gain numbers to find the cache. However, I fail to see the point in driving to one place and then spending 15 minutes working out the numbers and then inputting them into the GPSr! Despite my moaning (cassandy#2 was snoozing in the car whilst I was calculating!) we eventually had the numbers…

The church opposite the parking coords

The trail isn’t a full circular walk, there’s a bit of back tracking, however it was enjoyable. We started off by grabbing caches C1 and C2 which were a linear walk. This was a nice stroll however and we went through a little field of curious ponies. Naturally I was scared of them (Cute little ponies and I’m scared!! What a chicken!)

Ponies

It was then onto an Indiana Jones moment where we had to tip toe along a log to avoid falling into a huge puddle. I like doing things like this!! 🙂

Steady does it...

The first cache was hidden in a fabulous location, inside a huge bowing tree.

At the tree

After grabbing C1 and C2 we headed back to the church for R1. We should have got this before really, but with the pile of multis and waypoints all over the screen it was tricky to actually see where this cache was! We had to giggle as we approached as whilst we were in the car calculating we saw a woman at a spot looking around suspiciously. Cassandy#2 said “It’s a geocacher, I bet there’s a geocache there” Turns out she was looking around as her dog had just had a poo! I think she was checking to see if anyone saw so she could get away with not picking it up! Anyhoo, we thought nothing of it as we approached it and the GPSr ticked down to zero. It was indeed the hiding place!!!

The ducks at the ford

Awwww

After these caches we headed onto the first big look. These caches stretched from B1 to B7. It was a lovely stroll through a quaint little woodland and then around the fields.

The woodland

We got to about 500ft from B4 and our hearts sank. The cache was called “The tell-tale tree” and we could see that tree in the distance, surrounded by about 8 horses. We stood and watched for a bit coming to terms with the fact that we probably wouldn’t be able to get near it, however a woman started walking up the field. She had a blanket in her hand and obviously owned the horses. From the distance we could see a horse ws laying down. At first we thought it was asleep, but as the woman got close to it we thought it may have been ill. The horses moved away from our tree anyway so we thought we’d give the cache a go. We approached and saw the woman go up to the sleeping horse, however the sleeping horse didn’t move an inch. It was clear to us now we were closer that the horse was actually dead!!! We asked the woman if we could help, but she told us she was ok. She said that the horse was as still as a board and it looked like there was blood under her. Something must have attacked the horse. The horse looked so huge though, what could kill a horse that size??? We left the lady and went to our tree, aware that she was still very close, however she was distracted by dealing with the horses. I saw the cache immediately as we approached the tree. I signed the log so quickly that I don’t think I even wrote the right date, but managed to quickly replace it. Phew! We felt very sad as we walked away from here.

The horses from a distance as we looked from afar. You can just about see the one on the floor

There was a lovely memorial at the end of the footpath in this field. Nice to bump into pretty things like this when you don’t expect them. I was also pleased to see some interesting coloured tree fungus growing on one of the massive logs at GZ.

The WW1 memorial

Tree fungus

When we walked down the lane to the next cache we were welcomed by the cutest dog (Don’t tell Teddy!) I just had to snap a photo of him!

Mega Awww!

The next cache was at a tree with many holes in it. Luckily it didn’t take too much hunting to spot it, although it could have been absolutely anywhere!!!

Where could it be? (It's in your hand, Cass, stop trying to trick us!)

Near the end of the trail we made our 2400th find. We were very happy! It was on quite a different cache as well.

2400th find

We finished the day by a few quick grabs before it got dark. This included one of the ‘Pedal Power‘ caches (There are many around this area) it was a bit of an awkward one under a bridge right next to brambles, but we got it! 🙂

Pedal Power 53

And then we attempted a couple of caches from the Enigma series. There are 7 in this series dotted around. I’d solved them ages ago as code breaking puzzles are my absolute favorite. We attempted to grab Enigma 4. I had to DNF this though as I got to a spot that obviously matched the hint, found a pile of rotten logs piled up suspiciously, however there was no cache underneath! 😦 Enigma 5, however was much more successful and a quick find. It was in a huge container as well.

The Enigma 5 cache

A lovely day of caching where we found 29 caches. Much more successful (And less eventful, thank God!) than our last trip…

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6 Responses to “Hertfordshire Caching Trip”

  1. jane Says:

    Poor horse, how sad for everyone.
    Looks like you had a great day’s caching though. Congrats on the milestone!

  2. Martin Says:

    Thanks for posting all the photos: it’s nice to be reminded of caches I’ve found in the past.

    I remember the cache with the horses very well because they seemed far too interested in the caching to let me sign the log in peace. At the time I was pretty irritated by them, but your story adds a rather different perspective.

    Congratulations on 2400 too!

  3. Paul Davis Says:

    Me and my son really must get out geocaching more often, we frequent Walkern ford on a regular basis but have never been out that was on a hunt

    • geocass Says:

      It’s a lovely walk. I’d be happy to send you the little document I printed off with the formulas on so you can sit and work out the coordinates a lot quicker, if you would like.

  4. L Says:

    Hi we are new to this and have started with Walkern walk series can you explain the key thing thanks


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