Saturday in Sussex
On Saturday we headed off to a new trail in Sussex that had not long been published, GSG. We hadn’t spotted it, but it was a good job mel-ray were on the ball. A quick email exchange a few days ago and the planning was complete so we headed off to the trail with mel-ray, and squirtchy again as well. Lots of eyes for hunting, so no excuse for not finding! 😉
A step back in time
Before we hit this trail however we decided to give A step back in time a try. This was a series along a roman road. Not technically “park and grab/cache and dash” caches, but all were along side the road. As we got down there quite early it was still dark with little traffic on the roads we were able to get to parking spots that would have been a bit tricky in the daylight.
One of the most memorable caches, A step back in time #14 was on a road sign and we were instructed to “lift the lid”. There was a lid missing from one of the sides of the sign and it looked like there may have been a magnetic key holder jammed in there, but it was too stuck for us to get it, and then whilst we were busy trying to get it out along came a Police car. Eek! They asked us if we were ok. Mel explained to them that we were doing a treasure hunt. You should have seen the puzzled look the police woman gave us, it was priceless. A combination of “What the hell?/You bunch of freaks/I don’t believe a word, hand over the drugs!” 😉 They drove off though and left us alone. And whilst the rest of us were trying to pull out what we thought was the cache, one of our team had the bright idea of using car keys to lift the top of the other side of the sign to reveal the cache!!! That lid looked so well stuck on that we hadn’t thought of lifting it. We did the series backwards, and unfortunately didn’t end the series on a high as we had to DNF A step back in time #1. It was a cache hidden in an ivy covered tree (everyone’s favorite) along a strip of about 10 ivy trees! At first we thought a1nnie, the previous finder, had hidden it very well (Hi Annie! ;)) however 15 minutes later with the 5 of us all searching very hard the cache didn’t reveal itself. I guess it got muggled. You never know though, ivy can be like a black hole so it might turn up!
GSG (Green Street Green)
We got to the first cache in the GSG series at 9am after finding 17 caches! Crazy! The GSG trail was a very enjoyable series indeed and a lot different to what we’d experienced on previous long trails in Sussex in that the trail was hidden by several different cachers so there was a lot of variety, there were 12 additional caches that we found along that route which had already been there some while, and there was very little mud (I know, I can’t believe it either!) As a lot was along quiet roads on the pavement, and when we did get to footpaths they were superb. A trail that I’d highly recommend!
The trail started at a church by incorporating a church micro (number 1521)
We headed up the road quickly picking off the caches as we went until we got to our first footpath. Yikes a footpath across a field, surely it’s going to be bad? No, absolutely amazing! We couldn’t believe how good it was!
We went and grabbed another church micro on the way, number 1231.
The highlight of the trail was a couple of trickier random caches that we found along the way. As we approached one called Tree Monkey I noticed the difficulty and terrain rating was 2/4.5. 4.5 terrain. Out here? I thought someone had got it wrong. When we got to 100ft of GZ it suddenly dawned on me when a spotted a massive, interesting looking tree…
The cache name, terrain rating, and interesting looking tree suddenly merged in my head and the complete picture was formed. “We have to climb the tree” My first thought was “Cool” and the second was “Ooh-er, it’s quite big actually, so which one of you lot is going up then?” 😉 We all stood around the tree pondering the best route. There were 3 routes up, but which was the right one? We were trying to spot the cache before going for it so that it gave us a better idea of which route to take. However it wasn’t showing itself. Before I could say “I’ll go!” (Honestly, it was on the tip of my tongue, you believe me, right? ;)) Ray shot up that tree like a
rat monkey up a drainpipe. He was fast, and as soon as he got up there he instantly spotted the cache. He threw it down for us to sign and then we threw it back up. Now, thinking about it if no-one else was going to go I probably would have given it a go, however the route I was planning to take was probably quite rubbish compared to Ray’s and me getting it probably would have taken 10 times as long and been nowhere near as elegant. We definitely owe Ray one for going up there though as the terrain/difficulty rating for that cache was one that we needed. 🙂
The cache that followed that was The Lost Island. The cache name made sense as we got a bit closer.
This cache took a good 10 minutes of searching. The difficult bit wasn’t finding it, but getting to where the coords said we should look. The hint was “The casbah” and I didn’t have a scooby doo what it was going on about until this very second whilst writing this. It was a rock cache and The Clash song is “Rock the casbah!” We did eventually find it though. Quite an interesting one, not found a rock cache that looked like this before.
The cache before our last one for the day turned out to be our 2500th find. Another milestone hit! 🙂 Unfortunately this one wasn’t very exciting, as it was one of those teeny weeny dog ID tag ones. Don’t think you could get a small, more insignificant cache for a major milestone! 😉 Nevermind!
We finished the day with 79 finds and were finished in daylight which made a change for a big cache run this time of year.
Sunday caching in Harlow and Epping
Although we had tired feet from yesterday, it was Teddy’s birthday so it was only right that we took him out (Any excuse for caching, eh?) So we thought we’d take him for a nice long walkie in Epping forest, somewhere we’d never been before.
The “Winnie the Pooh” series
We started off the day with a small series in Harlow with each cache named after a Winnie the Pooh character. There were 6 caches, plus a bonus. It was a nice walk through Pandon Wood Nature Reserve. and Teddy really enjoyed it.
It went very well in the beginning and we found Pooh’s honey, Owl’s Lookout, and Roo’s Tree.
From there on it went down the pan. We had to DNF Eeyores Tail and Piglets Nose as they just weren’t there and the coordinates were terrible. They hadn’t been found since July! 😦 Tiggers something-or-other was archived by a reviewer due to the CO not responding to emails, and so we ended up with 3 numbers for the bonus when we needed 6. Oh dear! The 3 numbers we did have however, formed the northings, but we had nothing for the eastings. I managed to guess the middle part of the Eastings, and then plotted 9 locations for the final to form a line. 8 of the coordinates sent you to Pandon Wood Crematorium so we knew it couldn’t be there, however 1 location took you back towards the car, so we thought we’d give it a go. We spotted something that matched the hint, I dived straight in and there the cache was! I was delighted! I love it when we can be a bit flukey on the bonus caches! 🙂 Finding that final definitely made up for the DNF’s.
Walk in the woods
We then headed for a series of 4 caches + a bonus, Walk in the Woods. This was a walk near Tawney Common. On the way to it however, we saw an amazing sight. there were 9 deer stood in the field right at the side of the road. I’ve never seen so many deer so near to the road before.
We didn’t get off to a good start here however, and added 1 more DNF to our list on the first cache! We had better luck with the rest though.
So we managed to find 3 out of the 4 caches, which put us in the same dilema for the bonus and because of the way the numbering worked we were missing 2 numbers in the bonus coordinates. Luckily not finding #1 was the best cache we could have not found, as it held the least significant numbers. And with a bit of jiggery-pokery we managed to find the bonus without all of the numbers again.
The Moving cache
When I looked in the area in the beginning of the week I noticed a virtual cache called Ye Old Survey Monuments. However on Sunday it was gone. Research showed that this was a moving cache, allowed because it had been created when locationless caches were allowed. I had looked into it briefly, but not paid too much attention to it. There is something very special about this cache however. It visits trig points all around the country and has been to 420 trig points so far and my initial understanding was that you can log it when it’s at a trig point near you. That is not the case, however you can log it at any trig point it has visited and not only that, you can log it at EVERY trig point it has been at. Therefore, if it has visited 420 trig points, you can go to each and every trig point and log 420 finds on it. There is a website dedicated to it at this link which shows all of the locations you can log it at. Very cool!
Caching in Epping forest
After this we headed to Epping forest, our final destination for some caches around there. There were some nice big boxes, and many ammo cans to be found around there. We really enjoyed going around the forest, which believe it or not I’d never visited before.
Although I enjoyed the walk around Epping forest, I found it quite difficult to navigate to the caches. Not just because of the tree cover affecting the GPSr, but because it was quite tricky to know what footpath to take. Normally I’d check an OS map to make sure that we were going the right way, however in the forest the OS map just shows green-ness, so that wasn’t much help and we ended up bush whacking a few times to get to the cache. Now, I am a cacher, which means I’m rubbish at finding the correct route along the nice path and will opt for the bramble covered, muddy, water-logged route which involves jumping over 20 ditches just because the GPS says “It’s this way” and it may possibly save me 5 meters of walking! 😉 That being said, for a couple of the caches bush whacking was the only way and we had to go through some horrible brambles which got stuck in poor Teddy’s fur and I had to cut off of him. 😦
The last cache we found in the forest was Big View which is an old cache placed in 2003. It’s classed as a large, however although it’s a generously sized ammo can, nowadays would be listed as a regular. There’s something special about finding the old caches. However you know what it means when a cache has the word “View” in the name: You have to climb a hill. There were indeed nice views from the top.
I think Teddy enjoyed his birthday walkie out. I haven’t really seen him much since though, as he’s been too knackered to move from his spot (I told him to walk nicely and not pull on the lead, but he never listens…). He was absolutely covered in mud as well and whilst I was washing him I found 3 more nasty little brambles stuck in his fur. Poor Teddy, I’ll have to give him a shave before our next trip out! 😉 Happy Birthday, Teddy! He’s 5 years old now.