After all of our fun in the US we were left at about 75 caches away from our 10,000th find. We thought long and hard about the cache that we wanted for our milestone, after all 10,000 couldn’t be just any old film can! We still needed to get the 74 other caches though so on Saturday 21st April we headed just north of Cambridge for a couple of walking series…
Despite the rain we headed to Alconbury for this new series of 34 caches, Alconbury Amble. After we’d done the ET Highway and Route 66 power trails I joked that I “never wanted to see another film can again” however after we started with this series I completely regretted saying that! The containers seemed to all be recycled sweet containers and takeaway tubs. The most common ones were tiny square tubes covered in green tape which we guessed used to contain sweets. They weren’t watertight and even though it was a new series the logbooks were already starting to fall apart and get wet. They certainly weren’t idea!
The area however was lovely with us crossing over the river and watching the ducks for a little while.
After starting out with some very urban hides which were in our opinion a bit too risky for our liking, we headed off into the countryside where we felt much more comfortable caching without curtains twitching! Here we found the little sweet containers mostly disappearing and being replaced with takeaway tub smalls.
One cache in particular really shocked us. We were walking along the path that the farmer had left through his crop when the GPS told us that we were approaching a cache. This didn’t quite make sense because we were still in the middle of the field, and nobody hides caches in open fields, do they??? Oh… perhaps they do! Interesting…
After the countryside ramble we ended up doing a few more urban caches where we bumped into a Sheriff’s car parked outside one of the houses! It was like being in the US again.
I can’t say we were buzzing with caching excitement after finishing the series, but we still headed off to another new caching walk…
Catworth Cult TV circular
Each of the 25 caches on the Catworth Cult TV circular series was named after a cult TV show/advert so we had great fun reading the titles and reminiscing about watching them (which included a lot of me singing the theme tunes – hehe!) We had a good start to this series with the first couple of caches being custom containers. Brilliant! 😀 We then continued to some of the ‘small’ containers on the series which were customised with the TV show that the cache title is based on. We were most impressed with the Columbo themed cache having a picture of Columbo taped inside of it! 🙂
There was some very nice scenery as we walked around the fields to the caches, and even caught a glimpse of some mushrooms growing at one of the GZ’s.
As if we weren’t excited enough about having pictures of Columbo inside caches, some of the larger caches even played the theme tunes for the TV shows! Inside the CO had velcro’ed a little box which when pressed played the music. We thought this was a very clever idea and were most impressed!
We finished the series with a walk through a field of sheep which was absolutely covered in mole hills! There didn’t seem to be a single patch of ground that wasn’t affected by the little burrowers!
After completing these two series and finding a couple of caches we found in the US we were just 15 caches away from 10,000. Despite the weather forecast telling us that being outdoors this weekend wouldn’t be particularly plesant we dashed off in search of our 10,000th find…
We started the day by grabbing a few easy drive-by’s by poshrule. The rain was trickling down and we just wanted 13 easy finds to take us to 9,998. The finds were indeed quite easy and we arrived near our 10,000th candidate around 12:00pm. The cache that we had our heart set on was Schrödinger’s Ghostly wormhole paradox. Being a self confessed geek, I was more than pleased that our 10,000 find would be on a cache with a slightly geeky title. See ‘Schrödinger’s cat‘ for more info. The idea behind the cache is that there is a twin sister, Schrödinger’s Ghostly paradox –the happy outcome at the same coordinates. If you go to those coordinates you’ll find a cache, but not this cache. So the cache is there and not there at the same time! Ooooh! Ok, I know it’s not really that spooky as you could perhaps say that for many puzzle caches, but the geek factor is good…
It wasn’t just for that reason that we wanted to get this cache for our 10,000th. It had been on our to do list for at least a year, back when we were completing our difficulty/terrain matrix. It’s a d5/t4.5, as was Wombling Free. If we didn’t successfully find Wombling Free this time last year then Schrödinger’s was going to be our backup. It turned out we did make the right choice however, as that cache is now archived so it was good that we found it earlier. The reason for the high d/t rating on this cache was that you had to go into the “wormhole” to retrieve it. To get started, you had to visit the twin sister for a hint as to how to get into the tunnel. We did just that and found a torn OS map fragment pointing to the treasure. As the rain hammered down we tried to compare that with our GPS maps and eventually it all made sense and off we went to seek sheltar in the tunnel.
The cache description told us that we needed to wear wellies. We often read cache descriptions that say this, and we often ignore them. This time however, we followed the instructions to the letter and our feet were well equipped. We realised after climbing the stile that this was a very good move. The field to the tunnel was like a marsh! Cows are kept in this field (thankfully not today though) and the ground was completely churned up.
It was only a short walk through the bog to the tunnel entrance. On first impressions, it didn’t look very scary at all. You could see the light at the end of the tunnel, and the end didn’t look far away at all…
We continued through the tunnel. As we walked deeper it felt colder and darker and felt much spookier than it did at first. Surprisingly the path through was covered in gravel. Nice to escape the rain and muddy ground. There however wasn’t much to see along the first part apart from bricks, and more bricks…
Further into the tunnel and we started to spot some things mentioned in the cache description, “torture cages” which are in fact chicken cages that have been dumped down there. The reason for so many being piled high along the tunnel wall is possibly because of the asbestos that covers some of them. Easier (and cheaper!) to dump than dispose of correctly! They certainly added to the spookiness of the tunnel.
The cache description told us that in order to find the cache we had to find a white garden seed marker, a cable tye on one of the cages, and line those two up to point to a square board which would reveal the cache. We’d read in the cache description about some cachers spending ages hunting for the markers and thought that with our reputation of making a right meal of things we’d have the same difficulties. It was quite the opposite. I spotted the seed marker at exactly the same time as Andy spotted the cable tye. We lined both of these up and the cache was revealed!
Not only was the cache in a great location, but we were super impressed that the container was a very high quality robust one that was well painted too.
After finding the cache we attempted to explore the tunnel further, however after a couple of minutes I spotted something run behind one of the cages on the floor and it completely spooked me so we turned back.
We were very pleased with our choice of cache for our 10,000th find. It wasn’t quite as hard as we thought it would be, but it could have been. We were just lucky that we spotted the cache pointers with minimum fuss. Once we returned back to the road, we spotted the cows that must have been kept in that field, but today they were in a field across the road. They looked very cold and miserable so I popped across the road for a chat (Cows are ok as long as there is a fence or gate between us!) It was a good job that there was, because these cows were very friendly and all flocked to the gate to see me!
If anyone is interested, there are some more pictures of the tunnel on the 28dayslater urban exploration forum.
We finished the wet afternoon with some drive-by caches and a nice little walking series, GC. Unfortunately the weather was awful for walking so we weren’t able to do the other two series that we had planned so retired to our hotel. We look forward to returning to complete them though.
The weatherman got it right!!!
The following day it rained, and God did it rain! We realised we got off lightly for our 10,000 caching day. The nice walks that we had planned got cancelled and getting any caching done looked unlikely. We were, however, only 15 minutes away from Cold War Cache, a 5d/5t cache down an old ROC post. We couldn’t resist it. We’d been down one before on HARTEST AND BOXTED CIRCULAR SERIES #11 so it didn’t seem too scary. Dressed head to toe in waterproof gear we headed to a parking place. It was only about a 0.12 mile walk to GZ, but the rain was truly hammering down. We spotted the bunker immediately and couldn’t wait to descend and get out of the rain!!!
Andy went down first and I followed behind once he got to the bottom after asking first “Are there any spiders?” Apparently there weren’t! Phew!
The ROC post was very much like the previous one that we had been down. It was the same size and layout. This one however had completely black walls where someone must have lit a fire. It was such a shame as the previous one we explored was quite well preserved.
After a quick look around the bunker we decided to try and hunt the cache down. It wasn’t quite where we expected at first. There aren’t really that many places to conceal a cache down in the ROC posts, but we were very impressed when we did find what the CO had done to conceal the cache from muggle visitors. It was very sneaky! It was then time to climb back up the ladder and out of the bunker.
By the time we returned back to the car we were drenched. It was crazy how wet we ended up after walking less that a quarter mile outside. With thoughts that our caching day was well and truly cancelled we headed to the Go Outdoors store nearby. With the “Urban exploring” bug we invested in a new, much brighter torch with the hope of some more underground visits soon. After a considerable amount of time in the shop the rain still hadn’t stopped. I was in a “I want to cache, but I don’t want to get wet” kind of mood so we started off by stopping for drive by caches which were literally right next to the road. If I couldn’t see exactly where they were from the car I wasn’t going outside! hehe! Eventually I got wet enough to not care and just waded out in wellies to each cache. We obviously didn’t do too bad though as we managed to get 40 more caches before heading home. It wasn’t really the type of caching that we enjoy, but we had come a good distance from home and it was a shame to waste the day.
We were however really pleased with our underground adventures and more than happy with our choice of 10,000th find! 😀 A big thank you to everyone that’s already congratulated us by email and Facebook on our 10,000th milestone!