Caching on International Geocaching Day!


Saturday 20th August was the 1st International Geocaching day (Hooray!) however, I had a family wedding to attend so couldn’t do much caching (boo!) However, I couldn’t let the day pass without finding at least one cache! I hope everyone had a nice Geocaching Day and was able to get out and find a few caches to celebrate! 🙂 Anyone who has logged a cache on that day should soon get a souvenier added to their profile.

Saturday – International Geocaching Day!

Along with Teddy I headed off to do the RAF Hunsdon series, situated around the old airfield. There were 4 caches around here, 2 multis and 2 puzzles. The first cache, RAF Hunsdon started off by requiring that you get numbers from the airfield memorial. In addition to this you also needed numbers from an unrelated cache about 4 miles down the road. I found this very strange as the memorial had plenty of numbers on it to work out coordinates. Luckily I still had the numbers from this cache that I found about a year ago. Off I went to find the memorial to get the coordinates for the cache. It was about 0.75 miles to the memorial, and it was a very sunny morning. It wasn’t long before we had reached the track which used to be the old runway.

The old runway

I made my way through the fields along the well-marked footpaths and saw a man in the distance cutting the hedge. As I got closer I noticed some planes far away. I hadn’t realised that there was a flying club here so stopped to take some snaps. “Are you taking photos?” asked the man. I explained that I was as I hadn’t realised there was a flying club there. He told me it had been there for many years and so had he and the clay pigeon shooting club (again, I hadn’t realised there was one there) I explained that I had just come up to have an explore around the footpaths and see the memorial. He then told me all about how the Ramblers were trying to cause problems there and have the rights of way changed so that the old tracks were used as the paths. Aparently they were meeting with the council soon about it all. He didn’t seem too pleased about this and had a good old moan. He said if the ramblers started walking on the tracks then they would dig them up! He was ok towards me though and pointed me to the next footpath I needed so that I could move on. It was clearly the area that they did their clay pigeon shooting as the entire ground was littered with them.

Clay pigeons all over the footpath

I soon spotted the memorial and it was actually right next to the flying club so I wandered over. Again, some guys were there working on the planes and they did give me a few funny looks, but I just got on with the task in hand!

RAF Hunsdon Memorial at the flying club

Close-up of the memorial

I took a stroll to GZ and it took me a few moments to uncover the cache. I always find it a bit difficult searching when I have Teddy with me and I’m on my own. I always feel bad about dragging him through the undergrowth, but he’s always very patient with me. It was a nice big stash!

The RAF Hunsdon cache

I was a bit confused by how complicated it was to work out the location of the next cache in the series. Instead of having the coordinates in the top of the cache for the next one, there were numbers and letters listed in the top of the cache. I then had to match them with sums in the cache description (e.g. A=E x A) to get a new list of numbers and finally substitute them for the cache formula! It all seemed a bit much and took me about 5 minutes to get it all worked out and double checked. The series doesn’t seem to be visited very frequently, and I wonder if these complications are putting cachers off. I rescued a TB from the cache that had been sat their for nearly 4 months.

We then set off along a footpath past the tails of planes in the flying club in search of a trig point. It was well hidden and we had to push through the tree line to get to it. Sadly it was slightly damaged with a missing flush bracket.

Hunsdon Trig Point

The back of the flying club

We were soon on our way to the rest of the series, out into the peaceful countryside away from the planes and clay pigeon shooters. The other caches were about 0.6 miles apart. I hadn’t realised quite how spaced out the series was, however me and Teddy managed to find them all and we were pleased in the end with our modest collection of caches for the day. Sadly despite it being an old airfield I only got to see one old bunker. I guess the others had either been demolished or were elsewhere.

The bunker on the way back to the car

Sunday

Sunday was a good day for caching, but a sad day for caches as we completed the last 2 poshrule walking series that we had left! 😦 We have had such fun over the past months on the lovely series that poshrule places around the Cambridgeshire countryside that it was disappointing for those to come to an end, however I have a strong feeling there will be some more of his cache series that will crop up in the future. 🙂

Teddy also joined us for our walk on Sunday, despite his little legs feeling a bit tired from Saturday. We started off with poshrule’s latest series, Buckworth Blitz, which gave us 33 caches over around 5 miles. We were following behind ‘Wybo Lakes’ and ‘Samurai Sword’ as we could see them in the distance and saw their names in logs. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to catch up with them despite getting quite close. Teddy, however, could smell their dog and was following the scent and stopping at most of the cache locations! Very handy!

"I found it mum!"

The entire series was on lovely paths around the edge of crop fields. This meant no cows (woohoo!) and despite a cloudy day to start off with it brightened up later and became very hot.

Sunny views across the field

Pretty wild blue flowers around the fields

We also saw some very interesting wildlife on the way around… A GIRAFFE!!!

A very curious muggle!

After this series we headed off for a quick drive-by on the way to the next, Speedy Kart. As I went to find the cache I looked into a crash barrier and saw my first Munzee! 🙂

For anyone unsure of what a munzee is, it looks just like this (although I have modified it a bit so it can’t be scanned):

A Munzee, slightly modified so it can't be scanned

You download an app for your smartphone and scan these QR codes that are stuck on items or in caches. Scanning the munzee adds a point to your account and the more you scan, the more points you can earn, and the higher your ranking. Anyone can place a munzee and anyone can capture one as long as they have the app. I’d checked for nearby Munzees when I first heard about them, however there were few local ones. I hadn’t checked since so it was quite a nice surprise to randomly find one that I wasn’t expecting. Just what I needed, something else to collect! 😉

The Munzee iPhone app

After all that excitement we headed for Clopton Casual, 19 caches over 4 miles.

We were treated to another nice walk around fields that didn’t include any cows in them. We did however have an encounter with a pack of 5 dogs who took an interest in Teddy. We walked past a farm where they all appeared to be running loose outside. They ran up to the road and all decided to bark at us!

Woof!

We ran across the road to try and stay away from them, but it actually turned out that we didn’t need to cross the road as the dogs had special collars on which stopped them crossing a particular line in the garden and as a result they didn’t come any closer and we were free to go on our way!

Our favourite cache on the series was cache #3. The hiding place was absolutely brilliant, although I’m not sure it was intentional. The tree where the cache was hidden had some very interesting eye shapes on it, we were mesmerised whilst finding the cache!

Why do I feel like we're being watched?

The series looped around past Clopton church where the series finished. It still felt very hot outside, so that ended our day. We had found 51 caches.

Clopton Church

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5 Responses to “Caching on International Geocaching Day!”

  1. jane Says:

    Lovely photos, I think the flowers are cornflowers. I don’t think you can scan a munzee from a distance of more than 1000meters at least one that I found when my phone had not updated my position refused to scan as it thought I was too far away! The poshrule rings look really good fun! Your numbers are going up really fast!! Well done.

  2. laura Says:

    Sorry we missed you Sunday. Went to international event saturday. Both days really good.

  3. oldweeb Says:

    Another great read…Who or what are “ramblers?” non-sequitor: I’m swimming in a sea of Munzees. But they’re very hard to find.

    • geocass Says:

      Ha, good question! I guess to an international reader “ramblers” is an odd term. The Ramblers Association is a charity that promotes “rambling” (or rather walking in the countryside), protects rights of way, campaigns for access to open country and defends the countryside. So “ramblers” are the people who go out in organised groups and walk in the countryside. Like geocaching, but without the boxes!

      In the UK we have “rights” to walk along “public footpaths” which are footpaths outlined on “Ordnance Survey” maps. There are millions of them! So unlike in the US where I gather you would just find the commonly/well-walked trail, we could just pull up our OS map and then find the footpath sign. We have a right to walk along it! The landowner has a duty to maintain these paths and any stiles along them.

      • oldweeb Says:

        Cass: I didn’t realize that you’d replied until just now, 4 months later. Thank you for explaining “Ramblers.” Here in the US, it’s an uncommon word in that usage but it exists. You’re correct. At least here in Southern California we walk along well used trails unless/until we encounter “no trespassing” signs. There are places where the public has an “easement” (“rights”) to walk across private property. “Stile” wouldn’t be understood here either except maybe in “turnstile,” a revolving gate in a “fence.” Keep up the great posts. I appreciate the language education too!


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