Sounds like a plan…
At the start of this week we decided that it would probably be possible to reach our 3000th find by 6th March to make that milestone for our 1 year of caching. So I started hunting out some trails and knew if we put together enough trails and worked hard at it then it wouldn’t be too hard to hit that target… and then I thought “Hang on! This doesn’t sound very fun…” I didn’t really fancy endless miles of micros just for numbers. I do enjoy the long walks on trails, however it’s not *really* where the fun is at. So we’ve decided that fun and variety wins over numbers every time.
I started planning Saturday’s trip out in Kent with some nice variety, and it all started to look quite fun and exciting. Then I realised that there was so much variety that we would be able to pick up one of nearly every non-event cache type (in the UK) for the day. I then had a quick Google as I’d heard about icon challenge caches in the past and realised there was one not too far from home, Surrey Icon Challenge. There are also two more in the country, WEST MIDLANDS ICON CHALLENGE and BUSY DAY!–WEST YORKSHIRE- ICON CHALLENGE. All three require you to log 6 different cache types in any 24-hour period. So that was the plan, and a good plan it was as we infact managed 7 different cache types: Traditional, Multi, Unknown, Earthcache, Letterbox Hybrid, Webcam, and a Virtual.
A few drive-by’s to get us there
To start the day we grabbed a few drive bys whilst on the way to to an area with a letterbox hybrid and an earthcache. The first find of the day was Crimson Crossing. There was a big red bridge over a big pond area in an industrial area. It was quite striking, and a good cache spot.
We then found a cluster of caches that I’d marked as drive-by’s, however the way they were laid out meant that they’d make a nice loop. I prefer walking to drive-by’s so we abandoned the car at Church Micro 1124 – St Mary’s, Stone.
After grabbing 3 more in the area we headed off for another church micro. This one was Church Micro 385… Greenhithe. This one did actually take us a few moments as it was hidden just in the church yard. As they are so rarely hidden in churchyards it was the last place we thought of.
We then parked up in Greenhithe right near to the river. The first cache we tried here was in an amazing spot, it was HMS Worcester. We absolutely loved the work that had gone into the centerpiece here and spent a few minutes admiring it before moving on to the search.
Another cache was very nearby, Greenhithe Pier. This took a bit of hunting, mainly because we had a bit of trouble getting to the right spot. Once we were there however, we got the cache straight away.
We followed this with a lovely stroll along the water’s edge. The lovely smell of seaweed filled the air. We grabbed a couple of micros before reaching our Letterbox Hybrid, Wishing Well, our second cache type for the day. This was at a neat hiding spot, a pillbox. Great to have the excuse to use our stamp again.
We walked the same route along the water to get back to where we were parked. At this spot there was also an earthcache, Ingress Abbey making our 3rd cache type for the day. This cache was definitely worth getting as it turned out to be my most favorite cache of the day. Here we saw huge chalk cliffs towering high above us, the impressive Ingress Abbey building and “The Grange” constructed from flint. There were lots of black gates in the building. Parts of it looked like little dungeons or prisons! I don’t think they were, but that’s what they looked like to me!
Next up were a few church micro multi caches to make the 4th cache type for the day. This included Church Micro 76… Chalk.
We headed to Shorne for the cache series Shore Stroll. This was a series of 9 caches over 3.5 miles, however there were plenty of church micro multi’s and a puzzle cache on route to keep us busy.
The first cache was quite a surprise as it was a custom cache conainer. Quite cute as well! 🙂
There was a nice variety of hides on the trail. One included a little tree climbing on a big fallen tree. There were micros and smalls. The hints were good and we found all of the caches. Whilst we were out the sun came out as well lighting up some lovely views.
We grabbed two unknown caches on this trail as well. One was a sudoku puzzle that I had solved, Scammell’s Sudoku. The other was a bonus for one of the church micros. This was our 5th cache type.
We’d planned to do the Cooling Crawl trail nearby to finish the day, however this was spread across 5 miles and we thought we’d be cutting it a bit fine for daylight by the time we got near the end of it. Instead we headed to the Upnor Amble trail, which was quite a good move as it was a lovely area to walk around. This was a linear trail of 7 caches, with a couple of others in between.
The trail took us past Upnor castle, and along the dock yard which was beautiful with the low sun shining on the water.
One of the caches was hidden near an “Admirality stone” we were curious as to what these were as we walked around as there were many that we passed on the walk. The cache description told us that these stones are found all around Upnor and mark the boundary Admirality who owned a huge proportion of land here.
Icon number 6 – Webcam cache
Just a couple of miles down the road from Upnor is Rochester. We headed here to finish our caching day and get the 6th and final icon that we needed to complete our icon challenge. It was about 5:15pm by the time we got to Rochester and starting to get dark. This was for Leaning on a lamppost. This was a great webcam cache as the camera refreshes every 5 seconds so it’s a lot quicker to get a photo. This was brilliant considering we’d hung around Oxford Circus for about half an hour until we successfully managed to capture a shot of us on the webcam there! Unlike this one it was very unreliable and slow. The webpage was compatible on my iPhone so whilst we were leaning on the lamppost we were also able to easily snap our mugshot.
And one for luck
And finally just to spice it up a bit more we grabbed our 7th icon for the day, a Virtual. This was another YOSM trig point. This time it was the Fox Hatch trig. It was 7:10pm when we parked up to grab it. There were some reservations about doing this in the dark, however a trig point is about 100 times bigger than a micro so it didn’t take too much work to find it!!!
There’s something quite magical about finding trig points. I’m not sure what it is. They all look the same and the ones we’ve so far found haven’t been in amazing locations (Although I know some have stunning views) but it’s always a pleasure to find one. I’m glad I discovered the YOSM virtual to give me an excuse to visit more of them! 🙂
We had a lovely, varied day of caching. I’d say definitely the most fun caching we’ve had in a long while. Definitely more exciting than a long trail of micros. We ended the day on 42 finds, and we will end the weekend on that too as we won’t be doing any Sunday caching this week. Teddy (GeoDog) isn’t very well at the moment. He had (we presume) something go in his paw last weekend and it became very swollen and nasty. He’s since been given some antibiotics by the vet and it’s clearing up now. You couldn’t tell by looking at him though, he’s full of life and acting as if nothing has happened. We usually take him out caching on Sundays for a nice leg stretch, however we don’t want to push it with him and don’t want him to get any dirt in his wound so we’ve decided to spend Sunday at home with him. Might give me chance to finally finish setting my Wherigo cache! 🙂
Anyway, don’t need anymore “found it” smilies for a long while. Check out the huge stash I found hiding on a baking tray in the kitchen! 😉 Happy caching! Anyone else done/thinking of doing an icon challenge?