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Walking along a Public Footpath on the way between caches - the grass is long!

Walking along a Public Footpath on the way between caches - the grass is long!

On Sunday Isaac and myself headed for the area to the SW of Birmingham around Catshill and Bromsgrove. This is an area that has a never-ending supply of new caches to find!

We started off with the final Bailey Rangers series which was close to the M5 junction. A nice set of caches in a different environment to their other series, which were more woodlandy (is that a word?). On the way round we bumped into Shortmat. Great to see you both again.

Barriers like this are not going to stop us getting to the cache!

Barriers like this are not going to stop us getting to the cache!

After we’d finished here we headed off for a few urban caches in Catshill. A bit of a mixed bag here as the first one had a broken container and was very soggy. The next one was in a passage between two streets with houses overlooking on both sides and the cache was nowhere to be seen. We soon gave up as it’s not our kind of caching really.

Next, we headed off southwards to do the last Burcot Eight cache, which was muggled when we did the rest of the series but which has now been replaced in a new location. We carried on to do a few caches to the NW of Redditch before hitting the main walk of the day – the Unlucky For Some Series.

Strange cache container - looks like a spray deodorant

Strange cache container - looks like a spray deodorant

This is a series of 13 caches put out by the Webbies to celebrate their son’s 13th birthday. A great walk and some fun caches, especially one about half way round that was a very sneaky hide.

Once we’d finished we did a few more caches near Earlswood before getting back on the M42 and heading home.

A great day out with 40 finds and some fun caches.

Lovely views over yellow flower filled fields

Lovely views over yellow flower filled fields

On Saturday Isaac could not come caching so I opted for a day caching around West Lancashire on my own. I planned to start off with the Pigsy caches to the east of Skelmersdale and then head off north towards Mawdesley and then see how much time I had left.

I had a fab time caching around the Pigsy caches with some of the best presented caches we’ve seen. All decent sized boxes hidden in nice place. This is how all caches should be! The views over towards Winter Hill from just about every cache were great too!

Moody skies looking over towards Winter Hill

Moody skies looking over towards Winter Hill

Next, I headed off towards Mawdesley as I’d heard the cache outside the Police station in the village was a must do. I won’t say too much about it so as not to spoil it for others, but it was well worth it for the cheeky hide. The others in the area were a bit so, so, but they all count for a smiley and I was having fun exploring areas we’ve been to before but not for a while now.

I still had loads of time left so headed off towards Charnock Richard near Chorley to do a nice circular walk based around military aircraft built in the UK over the last century. I smiled when I saw the name of the road they start on – German Lane ;-). I had a great time on the walk and was really enjoying the lovely peace and quiet and fun caches.

Crossing the mail railway line on the Charnock Richard walk

Crossing the mail railway line on the Charnock Richard walk

Once I’d finished these, I bagged a few more caches to the south of Chorley around Coppull before getting on the M6 heading for home.

On the way down the M6 I stopped to bag various caches near motorway exits that we usually just drive past as we’ve no time to stop. A stop off at Lymm and Keele Services (where I treated myself to a Starbucks as well as a cache) and then a quick one near Junction 15.

67 finds for the day, a fantastic day out and some good caches and walking too.

On the way round the Shifnal series by bike

On the way round the Shifnal series by bike

On Saturday myself and Isaac decided to head for the By Ecc, An Event! event cache at Copmere, close to Eccleshall. We’d heard there would be 28 caches put out for the event, so just had to find some caches to do in the morning before the event.

A new series just to the SW of Shifnal that had come out during the week looked perfect. Even better, just about the whole route was bikeable! We picked a parking spot by cache #8 and got the bikes out. A great ride round the series and all nice quick finds with good co-ords. On the way round, we caught up with g6lpb (Bob) – great to meet you!

We still had a bit of time before the event started, so we picked off three new caches that had been added to the Lapley Loop on the way.

Once at the event, the caches had already been released and g6lpb, -Ako-, hardy clan and langcliffe45 were hanging back to do the walk with us. Perfect!

With the bonus cache on the new EeeByEck event series

With the bonus cache on the new EeeByEck event series

We had a great walk round the caches in really good company. Most were quick finds, but a few were a bit trickier, but not too tricky.

Back at the event, quite a few people had already gone home as it was about 5:30pm but lots of friends were still there so we enjoyed a good natter with everyone.

On the way home we diverted off to get the last event cache, which was a Multi not too far from the pub. As we pulled up we spotted The Washers, Tizzie and The Haywood Hornet looking for stage 1. We all joined forces and the cache was soon found.

56 finds for the day, perfect caching weather, good caches, a great bike ride, a fab walk and above all great company of other cachers. What a good day out.

Surrounded by a carpet of lovely wild garlic

Surrounded by a carpet of lovely wild garlic

On Saturday myself and Isaac decided as the weather was forecast to be great, we’d head for North Wales as some great walking in lovely countryside with the sun on our backs sounded perfect.

We started off at Team Marzipan’s Loopy series near Caerwys which is a circular walk with a few other caches around the loop on dead-ends. A really lovely walk with a few ups and down’s (well, it is Wales after all and it’s not flat) and lovely scenery. The caches were really fun too, with lots of unusual containers and surprises.

After we’d finished these, we arrived back at the Jeep and opted to do a few drive-by’s as we did not really have a plan where to go next other than to head in the general direction of Chester so we did not get any further away from home.

These drive-by’s turned into a bit of a numbers fest as we were thoroughly enjoying the intensity of rapid fire caching. We did do a few short walks to caches during the rest of the day but the second longer circular walk never quite materialised.

Not a problem though as we had a great time and ended up with 60 finds for the day, whilst still being back home for tea at the normal time.

The last cache of the day was a Challenge cache near Mold where you had to find two caches on two different continents in two successive days. We’d achieved that on the way back from New York in February so the rest of the cache was easy.

Another great day out.

Caching around Leek

Looking down on Tittesworth Reservoir and the area we'd been caching in earlier in the day from the top of the Roaches.

Looking down on Tittesworth Reservoir and the area we'd been caching in earlier in the day from the top of the Roaches.

We could not decide where to go caching this weekend, so after a good look at our unfound caches on Memory Map, we settled on a trip to Leek as there seemed to be tons of caches there to find. There has been a circular walk just north of the town along the Staffordshire Moorlands Walk (SMW) for quite a while now and we’ve been meaning to do it for ages, but wanted some other caches to fill the rest of the day with. Now was our chance…

Love the reflections in the pond in the park at the start of the SMW walk

Love the reflections in the pond in the park at the start of the SMW walk

We parked up as suggested at the Leisure Centre at the start of the SMW series and headed off on foot. Along the way we picked up two other caches in the park before heading out to a lane and then onwards up a hill over farmland. At the top we were treated to some great 360 degree views with the Roaches, Shutlingsloe and the town of Leek being the main things of interest.

Simply stunning countryside. What a great place for caches and a really nice walk!

Simply stunning countryside. What a great place for caches and a really nice walk!

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The trail then lead us down towards Tittesworth Rerservoir (isn’t this where the Top Gear crew filmed that daft challenge where they had to convert cars into boats and sail them?). There is another series of 5 caches round the reservoir, so we picked up 3 of them at this stage and opted to do the remaining 2 later in the day.

Lone tree at the high point in the SMW walk

Lone tree at the high point in the SMW walk

Once back at the Jeep, we decided to head off for some urban caches around Leek. We opted for an anti-clockwise circular route around the suburbs and don’t really have a lot to add about the caches ;-).

Shutlingsloe in the distance

Shutlingsloe in the distance

Once we’d had enough of the urban caches (and had almost run out of ones to do anyway), we headed off to the top end of Tittesworth Rerservoir for the remaining two caches in that series, plus another stand-alone cache which we were passing on the way.

It's a Long Walk ;-)

It's a Long Walk ;-)

To finish the day on a proper note, we decided to head up into the Peak District (we were on the border of it anyway by now) and have a walk along the Roaches, taking in the caches along there including Staffordshire’s Highest Cache. After the urban caching, this proved to be just what we needed and we had a really fun couple of hours enjoying the amazing views, watching the (many) rock climbers and finding the caches.

Isaac at the Rockall Cottage cache, with Hen Cloud in the background

Isaac at the Rockall Cottage cache, with Hen Cloud in the background

After we’d got back to the Jeep we decided to stop for 3 quick caches to the west of Stoke on Trent before picking off a cache near home that was published last night.

Views over Tittesworth Reservoir from the dam

Views over Tittesworth Reservoir from the dam

42 finds for the day and a lovely varied days’ caching with great weather all day. Great stuff :-).

Panoramic views from the trigpoint on the Roaches

Panoramic views from the trigpoint on the Roaches

Here is a link to the Everytrail plot of our route.

Our caching stats as of 21 September 2010

We have not run any caching stats for ages so thought it might be fun to see the current status. The last time we ran them was almost a year ago – here is the blog post for that time.

We’ve added in a new map for Nevada to cover our recent holiday there and see we’ve managed to find caches in quite a few more counties, both in the UK and the USA over the year :-).

Here is a link to the stats page as they don’t get properly formatted if I include them directly here.

Lovely old mill part way round the Morgan's Rum walk

Lovely old mill part way round the Morgan's Rum walk

On Sunday Isaac was free so we decided to head off to Ashbourne in Derbyshire to tackle the Quest for Morgans Run cache series that was put out for the recent Piratemania event. This is a series of just short of 30 caches on a (sort of) figure of 8 layout.

There is not much holding this tree up. It's totally hollow.

There is not much holding this tree up. It's totally hollow.

We parked up at the campsite where the event was held, got kitted up for our walk and off we set.

Having fun walking the plank. Well, it is the series set for the Piratemania event after all!

Having fun walking the plank. Well, it is the series set for the Piratemania event after all!

Being very familiar with this cache hiders hiding style, the caches were all found pretty quickly with the exception of QMR21: Gan Ning which is a nano hidden quite high up in a tree. Isaac went up the tree first but I was not too keen as you have to reach out on a limb to get the cache. He came down and I tried and after closing my eyes (not really!) so I could not see the drop I soon had my hands on the sneaky little cache.

Isaac up the Gan Ning tree, but still not high enough for the cache

Isaac up the Gan Ning tree, but still not high enough for the cache

All too soon we were back at the Jeep, having also picked up a few other non-series caches on the walk. A fabulous walk though, with lots of variety of views, hides, terrain. Just the kind of caching we like :-).

About to cross a field of very high corn on our walk

About to cross a field of very high corn on our walk

Next, we decided to head off to the caches near the JCB World HQ at the Roman town of Rocester next. We had fun zooming around picking up the caches, none of which was too hard.

A lightning tree we passed on the way round the series

A lightning tree we passed on the way round the series

Time was starting to get on a bit by now so we decided to head down to Uttoxeter and see how many we could find there before time ran out and we had to be heading home. The answer was quite a few :-).

A friendly cow watches me sign the logbook

A friendly cow watches me sign the logbook

We ended up with 41 finds for the day and really wanted to end with an even number, so spotted a nice easy drive-by on the way home. Despite it being a 35mm container hidden on a road sign (about the easiest find ever) we could not find it. It transpires the cache is missing and has since been replaced.

View over the town of Uttoxeter from GZ on one of the caches

View over the town of Uttoxeter from GZ on one of the caches

There were no other caches in the area between here and home and we’d have to go a long way out of our way to get the 42nd find so we decided to head home content with our 41 for the day.

Here is a link to the Everytrail plot of our route.

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