Last weekend, a HUGE series of Letterboxes came out on the moorland between Bolton and Blackburn. They are all situated along a long distance walking track, known as the Witton Weavers Way. This is then split up into bite sized chunks, making for an easier way of deciding where to start on the 157 caches!
We opted for the Warpers Trail, which runs round the Turton / Entwhistle and Wayoh Reservoirs and onwards via Jumbles Country Park. 37 caches in total around the trail and a couple of other ones we had not yet found on the way.
We did a quick drive-by cache on another section of the walk on the way to our parking location, hoping for a FTF, but we’d just been beaten by some other cachers. Not a problem as we got a FTF later in the day anyway :-).
After parking up, we got our things ready and set off on foot. There was still quite a bit of snow lying around up here, but nothing bad enough to stop you caching. Some of the tracks were like skating rinks though, which made walking a bit interesting to say the least!
We had a series of easy finds, with a particularly memorable hide on one called Bird’s Nest (the clue is in the title). After that, it was down into the Jumbles area and along a path we’d not been on before.
It all started to come undone at a cache a bit further along the track. It was a heavily wooded area in a valley and the GPSr’s both pointed to an obvious location. We took a quick peek at the hint which said ‘mossy stump’. Hmm, not a single mossy stump anywhere near where the GPSr’s were pointing. There was a fallen down tree lying down the bank with quite a bit of moss on it but it was not a stump. We had a quick look around it but could not find the cache. We were conscious we did not want to start disturbing the moss too much as we’ve all seen a lovely mossy tree after some cachers have massacred it and that’s the last thing we wanted to do.
We ended up having to scale the very steep bank to the top so I could (just about) get a mobile phone signal. We phoned a previous finder who gave us some hints. We went back for a look and none of the hints matched. We decided to carry along the path, hoping to see something that matched the hint, but it was not to be. We actually arrived at the next cache, still none the wiser.
We thus back-tracked to GZ and scaled the bank again. This time I managed to describe our location properly and got a really good hint. I shouted it down to Isaac and he had the cache in hand in seconds. It was in the fallen down tree under lots of moss. Hmmmm…. if only the cache owner had given a proper hint that was not misleading, we’d not have had about one and a half hours of total frustration :-(. You live and learn.
The rest of the caches were easy enough, with some pretty tricky finds on some of them. We did have more DNF’s though, notably on one where it was supposed to be behind a log but there was no cache that we could see anywhere near the logs at GZ. There were other logs up the bank, which we also checked, but these would have been 90 or so feet off the stated co-ords so we’re not sure that is the right area.
After a brief stop for soup and sandwiches at Wayoh Reservoir, we carried on, thoroughly enjoying the absolutely stunning walk. It was soon starting to go dark (where did all the time go?), but it was a full moon with a clear sky and the moonlight was reflecting off the snow nicely. We did not need our torches to see where we were going.
Quite a few more easy(ish) finds ensued, but it was starting to get late so we were looking forward to getting back to the Jeep for a nice cuppa and the journey home for some well deserved tea.
The return leg via Entwhistle Reservoir was great fun as there was ice all over the paths so myself and Isaac virtually skated our way back. On the way, we had yet another DNF – I suspect this one is a lot easier to find in the daylight though (or so I’m hoping).
Anyway, I don’t want the few grumbles about DNF’s and dodgy hints to detract from the fact this is a fabulous series of caches in an absolutely lovely place. Just the kind of walking we like anyway and the bonus of a few caches to find on the way round really is the icing on the cake.
We ended up the day with 32 finds, which we were really pleased with and are now plotting a return visit for more of the series.