CBN Cycle Route Series

After a good few years of not cycling, we decided that this year it was time to hop back on to our bikes and find some cycling caches! So this Saturday we headed off to do the CBN (Chelmsford Blackwater Navigation) Cycle Route series. This was an extension to the original CBN series along the canal that we had walked in 2011 meaning that we still had caches CBN 113 to CBN 141 left to find.

The CBN Cycle Route Series

The CBN Cycle Route Series

National Cycle Route 1

National Cycle Route 1

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Bradwell-On-Sea – St. Peter’s Way

…And finally the sun came out! 🙂 In May when we went to the Essex Camping Event there were more caches placed than we were able to handle and had many left after the weekend was over. I was waiting for that rare yellow thing to reappear in the sky after months of darkness and rain so that we could head back to the sea side and grab the rest of the caches. On Sunday 15th July the sun finally appeared!

We parked at the Bradwell-On-Sea marina on Sunday morning and headed off for a 11 mile walk to bag the 55 caches on the eastern loop of St. Peter’s Way.

The eastern loop. 55 caches over 11 miles.

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The Essex Camping Event

Essex has been buzzing with great Geocaching events this month! We had Essex Meet #15 by Unobtainium on Wednesday 16th May, Mr. Crow/Kitty!!’s Goldhanger Meet and Cache Trails on Saturday 19th May, McWomble’s Heading Down Under by Hollyncharlie on Wednesday 23rd May, and now Grimmerscotting’s Essex Camping Event on 25th May near Dengie on the Essex coast! Anyone would think we’d all be sick of the sight of each other by now! 😉

We arrived at Waterside Holiday Park on the Friday night and managed to get our tent pitched up just before it got dark. Over 200 new caches had been released to keep us busy for the weekend so we headed off early on the Saturday morning to get cracking on the new St Peter’s Ring series. There were 77 caches in this loop, however it could be split apart into sub-loops. We decided not to try and conquer the entire series and picked a loop that started within walking distance from our tent (about 200ft!)

St Peter’s Way

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Goldhanger Meet and Cache Trails launch 2012

And so it was time again for the Goldhanger Meet and Cache Trails launch event. We had a wonderful time last year when Mr. Crow and Kitty!! gathered us all together on a Saturday for the Goldhanger West competition. This year however, it wasn’t so competitive with the focus being on a nice sociable event with plenty of caches to be had!

There was a choice of walks depending on your ability: the Standard route of 34 caches over 8.7 miles, the Extra route of 54 caches over 14 miles, or the Super route of 74 caches over 20 miles. We picked the “Extra route” and found 53 caches (We had found 1 already) and our GPS logged it as 15.5 miles.

15.5 miles for 53 Geocaches

We got to the area really early with half an hour to spare so we grabbed 5 cache and dashes in the area before arriving at the pub to find some other cachers waiting outside.

Waiting for the pub to open

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Winter caching adventures in Kent, Northamptonshire, and Essex

Hill climbing in Trosley Country Park

I’d been a very busy puzzle-solving Geocacher over the past few weeks and had cracked 18 puzzles around a country park in Kent. Although the puzzle locations were quite spread out they could be combined with an existing series, plus other caches to form a couple of circular walks of about 6 miles and 8 miles. It looked like a lovely area to explore with a lot of the caches showing as being in a woods. I’d noted that the walks may be a little hilly in places, however may have slightly underestimated the elevation as it was a bit higher than we anticipated!

On Saturday 14th Jan we got started in Trosley country park with mel-ray at 8am before the car park opened so it was very quiet with just the odd early morning jogger busying themselves on the footpaths. With a chill in the air and the low winter sun we soon entered the woodland area of the country park only to be nearly blinded by the sun crashing through the trees.

The winter sun breaking through

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The first caching adventures of 2012

Monday 2nd January

Our first caching day of 2012 was 2nd January. We have a selection of stickers that we place in logbooks when we find caches and I had designed a new selection for 2012 so I was very eager to go and put them in some logbooks!

2012 cassandy stickers

We headed north east towards Mildenhall, for a series placed in the Forestry Commission owned Mildenhall Woods. There were 3 short series plus a night cache in there and the plan was to get the timings right so that we finished the 3rd series just as it got dark so that we could do the night cache…

On the way to the series we stopped off for 3 quick caches along the river. The sun was shining and as soon as we joined the river 2 swans came and swam past. They ignored us though. Although the first cache was just a little one contained in a glass spice jar, the second two caches were in very decent sized containers and I was very pleased that I could use my new stickers to sign the logbook (It’s the little things in life…)

The swans passing by

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The UK’s First “Power trail” – The Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation Series

The 1st December 2011, 12pm will go down in caching history as the time that the UK’s first “Power trail” was published. A lot of cache series have been accused of being powertrail before, however the definition of one is “a trail with many closely spaced caches, each placed as close to its neighbors as the cache saturation guidelines allow” [Source] None of the large cache series that we have done match this, and none of them have admitted to being Power trails. This series is loud and proud “I am a power trail, and if you don’t like it then don’t do it

The series runs along the river from Heybridge Basin right up into Chelmsford town center over a distance of 14 miles. There are other caches along this stretch as well, some of which we had previously found meaning that we were able to find 95 caches in a day! Those who haven’t visited the area would be able to pick up 110 caches across this distance. It took us 8 hours, 15 minutes to walk the stretch. I’ll add that because it’s a linear series you do have to get back to the start! You could walk and make it 28 miles, or you could catch the bus right back to where you started. There are details on the cache page. In our case, we got a lift back. The thought of walking all that way back in the dark really didn’t appeal to us. You could however break up the series into little chunks to cut down the amount of walking you would need to do at once.

I aim here to give a bit of a “review” of the series and share our experiences on it… I have also created an EveryTrail trip here. We started at 8:36am at Heybridge Basin at “Duck End Mill, Finchingfield“. This may slightly confuse some as Finchingfield is miles away! Let me explain: The caches are named after attractions in Essex. Each cache page has a write-up and in some caches photos of that attraction, meaning that you can also learn about some of the great places that our county has for visitors.

Heybridge Basin

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