We spent Saturday completely scrubbing our cars inside and out to clear away the mud that accumulated from caching down muddy footpaths in the winter. Sunday however, was free for caching. We’d had our eye on the recently placed The River Ter trail for a little while so we thought we’d take Teddy for a walk along the river. This trail was just to the east of Chelmsford, Essex. We started around 9am and the sun was already shining very brightly. The trail started along a very quiet narrow country lane for the first 3 caches before diverting off along the slowly flowing River Ter.
With the sunshine stabbing through the bright blue sky, the woodpeckers, butterflies, and bees were all hanging around the river. It was quite the perfect day to be enjoying the outdoors. My grandad told me in the week that you know it’s hot when the blackthorn bushes lose their blossom. Well, the blossom is still on the bushes so this warm weather must just be a taster of things to come! 🙂
There were a nice variety of caches along the trail; micros, smalls, regulars, and even an unexpected crafty container as well.
The river walk meant that Teddy was able to dash into the water for a quick drink or paddle when he got too hot. This however meant that he chose the muddiest parts to dive in and had little black paws by the time he’d finished. We had to dip him in a clean part of the river to clean him up. I’ve learnt now that whether it’s splashing in muddy puddles, dipping in the mucky river, stepping through the muddiest parts of the footpaths, or rolling in fox poo Teddy will ALWAYS find a way to get dirty and need a bath. If I didn’t know better, I’d say he likes being bathed!!!! 😉
An unexpected, but lovely surprise was bumping into caching couple, dalasa who I’ve spoken to on email before and who read my blog (Hello if you’re reading!!!) They noticed our name in the first two logs, so reversed to grab the last cache hoping to meet up with us. We bumped into them just after we’d grabbed the last one so we were lucky! We stopped for a lovely chat. I think one of the nicest things about caching is bumping into people you haven’t met before and then stopping for a chat or continuing walking with them and with the instant caching connection there’s always something to talk about!
After finding the 11 caches in this trail, we headed off to do some of the Chelmer Navigation series. These are caches that run along the east stretch of the river Chelmer that were placed many years ago (I remember seeing an FTF from 2006 in one of the logbooks) They don’t seem to be very well maintained, however it looks as if others have replaced the logbooks to keep them alive.
We started off with 1951 – Chelmer Navigation Series which was only a short stroll from where we parked for the series. As we approached the cache location we saw a family walking away. Their GPSr and geocaching lanyard were a dead give away! We also noticed them along the lane at the start of the trail when we were driving off! When we got to the bridge over the river it soon became clear why the cache was called 1951.
We followed the cache trail in and made an easy find whilst Teddy had a rest in the long grass!
The next stop was Red Indian Church a quaint little church near the river. Teddy was very stubborn here and wouldn’t move through the undergrowth to come and find it with us so we had to stretch to grab the cache!!!
The final stop along this part of the river was at Hoe Mill Lock. This was unfortunately a muggle hot spot and also a cache with many DNFs on it. There were many clusters of DNFs at different times so I was confident the cache was there, but that the coords were a bit fluffy or maybe it was in a subtle hiding place. We tried, however failed to find it. Definitely one to keep on the watch list though to see if anyone does manage to unveil it! We found the other three caches along this part of the river without a problem though, so that was a nice boost!
Teddy was definitely getting a bit worn out with the hot sun and walking so we cut the day a tad shorter by skipping the rest of the river caches and heading over to just west of Chelmsford center for some of the PiratezTrove and Scooby’s Park Trail caches. We didn’t do too well around here and probably picked up as many DNF’s as finds!!! The highlight here however, was the Tower Gardens cache which took us through a lovely gardens which included an interesting sun dial which was decorated with a mosaic, and surrounded by a path made from bottle caps.
We headed back to the car through the cherry blossom picking up a few caches on the way.
We ended the day by clearing up a DNF from last week, John Ray Way, #20. The cache indeed was surrounded by nettles, and we stood a lot better chance this week as we were wearing jeans instead of shorts so the cache was ours in seconds.
Overall, a lovely day caching in the sunshine picking up some newly laid caches and some very old ones!