An FTF to start the day
On Saturday we headed out near Hemel Hempstead to complete a few caching circuits. About 20 minutes into our drive there my iPhone buzzed and I noticed a new cache notification for Windy Hill. It turned out that the cache was actually not far from where we were going. As we rarely bother with FTF’s we thought we’d give this one a go to get our numbers up. We probably added about 10 minutes to our journey by going for it, but that wasn’t really too much. The description said that it was a cache and dash so we parked up at GZ, next to a huge pile of dumped tyres (!) and I ran to find the cache. The coordinates were spot on, and the hint was good, however the cache was of very poor quality! It was just a tupperware box resting against a tree with zero camo and as I approached to find it I noticed a big, fluffy, dead fox rotting at less than a meter from the cache!!! The fox looked like he had been there for a few days though so must have been there when the cache was placed. Inside there was no swag either, just pen and logbook. 😦 Definitely one of the worst caches we’ve found as no effort had gone into it at all.
Nice to get an unexpected FTF however. We headed onto the series that we’d planned for the day, but first stopped off to get a cache with a difficulty/terrain rating that we needed, it was Bedmond Rat Run 2. It was rated difficulty 1.5 and terrain 4.5. It was a bit cheeky going for this one as from reading previous logs I knew the terrain was over rated. It was up a very steep bank, but probably no more than a 3 difficulty. It took a bit of hunting, but was soon in hand. The terrain/difficulty matrix is coming on quite well now as we picked up two we needed this week after I’d solved a 5d/1t puzzle in Cambridge.
Next we headed to our first trail, Redbourn Ramble. It was one that we had been meaning to do for ages especially after we bumped into the CO’s, igloo13 whilst we were out caching. It was a lovely trail with plenty of variety and despite the wind being quite ferocious it was quite mild outside.
The wind was pushing against us for what seemed to be like the entire way around, but it didn’t bother us too much. We did have a few moments of tree climbing however where it had knocked some trees across our path.
Next we headed to the village of Studham for 2 trails. The first was Our Common Goal. This was a nice, tight circuit of 8 caches around Studham common which I imagine could be quite tricky on a nice day as it would be a popular spot for dog walkers, however today they didn’t fancy facing the miserable weather and we were pretty much on our own for the circuit.
Next we headed to Studham Church Circular. This was a circuit of 14 caches over 3.5 miles, however 2 were missing and 1 we had to DNF which was quite clearly not there. It was a nice walk however which started at the church.
The highlight of the trail was probably going past Whipsnade Zoo and trying to guess what the animals were that we could see in the distance. We settled for wallabies and deer! One of the caches was called “Zoo View” as to find it we had to climb up a little tree.
Despite the missing caches and the DNF, it was a nice walk around and we saw our first glimpse of snow drops.
YOSM (Yet again!)
We still had a bit of daylight left so decided to head for a few more caches. On the way there we drove past a trigger point. We quickly realised and turned around to stop for a piccie. I hadn’t looked to see if the YOSM virtual had visited any of the trig points in this area, however it was in a lovely location with nice views of the Dunstable Downs so we thought it was a good contender for YOSM. I jumped out and snapped a picture with it. I was delighted when we got home and realised it was indeed a YOSM location so we were able to log this virtual for the 3rd time.
We finished the day with 41 finds.
Another Blustery Day
The wind didn’t give up on Sunday, however we still went out. We started off by grabbing the first and last cache in Dick’s Beginning and Williams End as we had done the trail in the summer, but had to DNF those ones. Since then the owner had replaced them.
The first was a micro in an ivy covered tree. It soon became clear what had happened to the previous one when we found the current one with the lid totally chewed so it was nearly off! drsolly had mentioned in his log that he had replaced the entire cache on 30th January! So within a week, it had been that badly nibbled. I replaced the lid. I don’t know how long it’ll last though. The next one had been replaced, but a previous finder mentioned finding the old cache as well. Therefore there were two caches at GZ!
We headed off to a few more caches whilst on the way to Sudbury, including one at a trig point. I took a quick piccie with it with my GPSr as you never know if the YOSM cache may visit! 😉 (I take piccies of them anyway to log on the trigpointing website)
Caching along the River Stour
Next we did quite a long kind-of trail along the River Stour in Sudbury. It wasn’t really a circular trail per se but there were enough caches dotted around that we could make it into one.
The caches were quite old with damp logbooks and looked pretty mouldy. Looked like they had been down for a while and not received much love. 😦
We were pleased however to find a hide that had a DNF log on it which was on a landing station for the boats/canoes. We spent about 7 minutes searching and on the brink of giving up I said “We might as well move on to the next one as it’s not… Oh, here it is!” A couple of swans came to say hello. They were very friendly and I think Teddy wanted to have a close up with them, but we pulled him back.
We carried on up and arround the river. The last three caches at the top of the stretch were very nicely painted and looked like they had had a lot of work put into them.
One of these however, Jimbob’s first cache was a massive 120ft out!!! That’s probably close to the furthest out we’ve ever had. Strangely though the cacher’s nose was working and we were drawn straight to the correct spot. I posted some updated coords to my log to hopefully help out future cachers.
We followed the river back down and into Sudbury town to the cache The Bishop’s Bust which was by the church and an old beacon station.
At this spot we also spotted something really cool. It was a little metal figure on top of a red pole. Underneath it said “The Talbot Trail” it turned out that there were loads of these dotted around the town and we got to see a few as we walked along. I would have loved to have walked around and found them all if we had a map. The little figures were very cool. I snapped some pics of the ones that we walked past. I would absolutely love to create a multi cache which incorporates these, I’m quite surprised someone hasn’t done this already.
Finally we headed to a trail around Glemsford. There isn’t that much to say about it really, apart from the weather was still miserable and the caches were alright, if perhaps a bit sparse. We picked up 9 caches here.
Overall today wasn’t really very exciting. There weren’t any really amazing finds and everything was a little bit average, so we were quite disappointed really. The little Talbot trail men were very cool though, probably the highlight. The weekend as a whole was nice though and we finished Sunday with 27 finds. We’re now only exactly 1 month away from our 1 year of Geocaching anniversary. Awww! 🙂