Hot Games

Thursday, 3 March 2011

February Caching Outings (Part 1)

A local caching friend of mine, Sarah of the Chaos Crew, includes a monthly summary of her family’s caching adventures in her Are you flowin’? blog (referenced below). These are both interesting, including a good selection of photos, and brilliantly capture the essence of why this is such a good hobby (read it – you’ll see what I mean).

Of course this also provides a good historical summary of each month’s caching. Well, I’ve never been shy of stealing someone else’s good idea, so I’m going to do just that. However I’ve never been one for taking many photos so they will be sparse at times to put it mildly. Also I’ll label them outings rather than adventures: my caching outings tend to be enjoyable rather than exciting.

The month began with a visit out to Sevenhampton to check on one of my puzzle caches there (The Man with the Golden Pen). A Wantage based cacher had visited it the day before and whilst walking back to the village had been surrounded by a gang of armed locals

(hunt supporters, or more likely shoot helpers) demanding to know what he was up to. He had calmly explained geocaching to them and they left him alone. It was thought that they may have removed the cache. Anyway I went and checked and the cache was still safely in-situ.

The weather was pretty appalling on the first Saturday of the month so I just had a couple of hours to do the 5 caches in the triangle between Hodson, Chisledon and the M4. The wind was in the ‘right’ direction and the noise from the motorway was taken away from me making this an exceedingly pleasant little outing. A cock-up on the final cache of the afternoon meant I ended up in someone’s back garden and had to climb over their back fence – oops!

Sean (Smenus) joined us the following day and we were determined to go caching. However again, the weather in the morning was foul and we only got out mid-afternoon. We then proceeded to do 15 caches in the Coleshill and Coxwell Circuit (CCC), this being a circuit that starts at Badbury Clump, proceeds cross-country to the attractive NT village of Coleshill, then goes cross-country to the attractive village of Great Coxwell, before circling back to the Clump. Badbury Clump and the villages are very nice, but the bits in-between are dull and boring.

Unfortunately we left it too late and this ended up being a bit of a forced march to finish in daylight. We were pretty pooped by the end, to put it mildly. We did however record our 1000th cache on the circuit. This happened at a particularly dull cache. We recorded the momentous 1001st cache, which was marginally less dull, with a picture where we unsuccessfully attempted to spell ‘1001’ with our fingers!

On arrival at home, we noticed that a new puzzle cache had just been published – Whomping Willow to give it a name. The Cache Owners were the Hegwig Hawks who appear to hide mostly Harry Potter themed caches. Now young HP leaves me cold, but Sean and his sister read all the books and so I thought we might be in with a chance. We both started independently on the puzzle; I was about half-way through it, and feeling quite pleased with myself, as I’m not good at puzzle caches, when Sean announced he had solved it. 5 minutes later we were in the car, armed with a couple of torches. It was all quiet at GZ – I love a bit of night caching – and within a few minutes I had located the cache. Our first FTF in February. It later turned out that another caching team were also planning to go out that night and only changed their minds when Sean logged the find. In the FTF race, he who hesitates is Second-To-Find!

As an aside I heard recently that a local caching team grabs FTF’s but deliberately doesn’t log them for a few hours just to encourage others to join the FTF race, obviously without a hope of success. Charming!

On the following day we went back and polished off the last 2 caches in the CCC series and also completed RoobyDoo’s The Best Ale? puzzle cache. This contains some internet research, which I completed in June 2009, some locally gained information, for which I used Google Earth (naughty I know!), and then the walk to the cache. This cache now holds the record for our longest to solve cache at 20 months!

The logo has nothing to do with caching, but 6X is the best ale! ... to answer RD's question!

After the puzzle cache we legged it over to the nearby Watchfield Windmills cache where we grabbed this picture. Economically bankrupt (they cost more in subsidy than the electricity value they produce), and an environmental eyesore, they are strangely compelling up close.

The following Saturday we drove on over to Grove, near Wantage to attend the Logging Yer Lurve! event. Beforehand we did a really super circular walk in the winter sunshine around Grove starting from the aircraft on the edge of what was the Grove airbase (Grove’s Venom), taking in a stretch of the abandoned Wilts & Berks canal.

The following day we attended February’s Swindon Soirees meeting. Very good, as always, but I had to leave early to see John Cooper Clarke in Reading. Next day I had some business to attend to in Halesowen and couldn’t help taking in a local urban micro called ding dong!!! F-narr, f-narr to quote Viz!

A couple of days later we had a visit to Nottingham Uni with Smenus, grabbing a cache on-site and one just outside. On the way we visited Aladdins Cave which is a puzzle cache just outside Nottingham Centre – basically an ammo can in an Army Surplus Emporium, not many ammo cans there then!! The very friendly store owners are cachers themselves and we had a mega chin-wag; their prices are also great, so a visit is highly recommended if you’re ever in Nottingham.

To be continued ...

1 comment:

  1. ooh I'm famous :) thanks for the shout out.

    ah, I miss Viz! fnarrrrrr

    eeeeek at the armed guard in Sevenhampton!! that would have scared the living daylights out of me, city girl, me, not used to those country folk and their wandering-around-with-shotguns ways.

    big congrats on your 1000 (I see you're at 1082 now!) - we have been rubbish cachers recently, it's just not as appealing in the cold and the rain - we did a couple in Paris (and I mean literally a couple - grand total of 2 caches in 4 days!), and that FTF the other day, that's it.

    Can't wait to get back out there once the weather picks up though.