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Archive for April, 2009

We’d just had tea and I was checking emails again, when I spotted a new cache not too far from home.

I’ve had problems with bad co-ords on this cache hiders caches in the past (including two that were quickly archived by the Reviewer, but not before I wasted a whole morning trying to find one of them!) and so checked where the cache was on Google Maps. It showed the cache to be in the middle of a ploughed field and nowhere near a tree (the hint said base of tree). Hmmm….

Luckily the cache description had a few road names and said the cache was on one of them. A quick look at Streetmap gave me a short(ish) stretch of lane that the cache might be on and a double check on Google Maps showed 4 trees on that stretch of lane that might be hiding the cache.

Looks like it might be possible to find the cache after all so off I set before it started to get too dark. I was soon at what I thought would be GZ and my initial scan of the 4 trees came up with nothing. The cache hider usually hides well constructed, natural looking hides so I checked all hint items again and sure enough, soon had the nicely made cache in hand.

The co-ords were 0.19 miles off the stated one, so I’ve posted my reading at GZ on my log and emailed the cache owner to let them know they need to contact the Reviewer to ask for the cache co-ords to be changed (as they are more than 528ft from the original ones).

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The new caches in South and Mid Cheshire have been sat right at the top of our closest to home not found page for way too long now, so we decided today was the day to sort that out.

First off, we started with our caching friends, cannonedwards’ new caches just to the west of Newcastle under Lyme. The first one was in some woods we’ve been to before for a now archived cache. A nice quick find.

Then it was a short drive to their other two new caches, which were in some woods we’d not been to, not far from the M6. The woods were alive with snowdrops, bluebells and wild garlic and looked stunning. I picked some wild garlic to use in cooking later in the day – can’t wait!

The next cache was very eventful but for all the wrong reasons. It was called Soggy Bottom UK and that’s exactly what I got – a soggy bottom, as I slipped when crossing a brook and ended up in the brook up to my waist. I had to do the rest of the caches stinking and damp. It was a nice cache, made all the more ‘fun’ by my own stupidity.

A short drive around Nantwich (followed by Cheshire’s Finest for a short way – thank goodness for cruise control so I did not get stopped for going too fast!) brought me to the Shropshire Union Canal (‘Shroppie’) and the majority of the other caches for the day. These were all set by the narrowboaters.

Not a lot to say about them apart from some nice locations and great views, especially the ones in the Beeston Castle area. I did the first two by foot, but then got my bike out for the 4 caches near Beeston. The last one was especially nice as there was an unexpected waterfall right by GZ!

Just time for one more quick cache in Tarporley before heading home and getting on with the work I’m supposed to be doing today. A short walk up a lovely green lane and a really fun cache that has a little extra twist when you open it :-).

12 finds for the short trip out.

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Yesterday, the family planned to go to the Transport Show at Weston Park with the children’s Grandparents (who live close to it). It sounds a bit dull, but usually has loads of vintage cars on show and some very enthusiastic owners who will tell you all about them!

The number of exhibits was not great today – I suspect most would have been there over the weekend as the show runs for a few days over the Easter weekend. After a quick look round, I was given a pass to slope off and go to find some nearby caches.

I set off for The Washers new caches along the Shroppie by the M54 – a location we know well as we’ve been on at least two other caching sessions in the same area in the past.

As I got out of the Jeep, two people got out of the car in front of me – it was [monki] and his Mum, Wend. Great to meet you again – we had a nice chat about caching before they mentioned that our caching friends, cannonedwards from Newcastle under Lyme, had just set off on the same walk. I texted Mark and Annie to tell them I’d catch them up.

Off I dashed and soon found them near the first cache in the series. We had a great walk around the caches, chatting and laughing all the way. On the way round, they also found two other caches that we’d already found.

I checked back in with Mrs Bolas Heathens, who said they had gone back to the Grandparents and were starting on some dinner and not to worry about being back to give them a lift home later. Fab – that means I can go on to find a few more caches as the sun is blazing in the sky and I’m thoroughly enjoying myself so far :-).

Next stop was the 4 new Washers caches in the woods at Rindleford, just outside Bridgnorth. We’d been here before to do a cache that is now archived and loved the location as it’s Shropshire at it’s best – a bit of terrain, a lovely flowing river and totally unspoilt countryside.

I set off on foot and soon found all 4 caches – the last was the trickiest as it was hidden behind a rock. I spotted the right rock almost immediately but ruled it out as it did not look like it moved. I eventually came back to it, pulled a little harder and there the cache was!

I was still good for time, so set off for the last 2 new Washers caches – Ridgeway Walk and it’s bonus cache. Another area we have been to before and some fab views from the top of the ridge. I thoroughly enjoyed both of these caches and bagged a Multi while I was there as it was hidden half way between the two Washers caches.

Still a bit of time left, so I headed over to Acton Burnell and Condover, south of Shrewsbury to do the new caches there. Not much to report here apart from they were all nice easy finds, although a very odd hiding style: they were all big boxes hidden inside random parts of hedgerow. Still, they all earn a smiley each so no problems there :-).

20 finds for the afternoon and a thoroughly enjoyable time in beautiful weather.

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After we got back from our day out caching on Saturday, we’d spotted a new cache not for from home but had missed FTF as a cacher who was on his canal boat 0.5 miles from GZ got there first.

Overnight, another new cache had also been published near Woodseaves so I set off to find both this and the one that was published last night. The (mildly) annoying thing was we had been *really* close to both caches on our way home last night, but obviously not realised they were there.

Woodseaves was the first target and after parking up in the village, I headed off on foot down the PF, over a field and down to a bridge by the cache. The cache was a quick find as when there is a bridge is involved at GZ, the cache is inevitably hidden under it. The only tricky bit is working out which end of the bridge to look first (guess who always gets this wrong first time!).

Next, it was a cross-country route along some very narrow lanes to Goldstone and the second cache. I parked up by a bridge over the Shroppie and walked along the towpath past some fishing muggles to GZ.

The cache was very well hidden and I did not understand the hint, so it took me a few moments to spot it. My walking pole strikes again though as it’s great at finding caches like this, without you having to root around by hand.

This was the first hide by a new local cacher and a really nice one too. As a child, we had many a happy holiday at the caravan site behind the Wharf Tavern, just to the north of the cache. It was our favourite place to go for a few days away and always a pleasure to come back to even now :-).

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On Saturday, we decided to try and clear up newer caches in Staffordshire.

Isaac had been on a sleep-over at his Grandparents in Blymhill so it made sense to pick him up there and then start the day’s caching on the 6 caches that make up the Hatherton Canal series, near J12 of the M6.

We parked up by the bridge near #1 and set off on our bikes. There were two very dodgy looking guys in combats nearby who were telling us about a sighting of a deer in the nearby field. They looked like they were out hunting rather than admiring the deer so we do hope the deer are still around to tell the tale.

The canal series was nice and straightforward with some fun hides and nice scenery. The canal is disused and has been kept in a great condition, meaning there is tons of wildlife making it their home now. We did manage to pick up two punctures on the way back to the Jeep though. What is it with canals and newly cut hawthorn hedges :-(.

Next, it was onto the M6 for the journey northwards just past Stafford and then cross-country to the Sandon Saunter series. This is a circular walk of 9 caches around the area at the back of the lovely Sandon Estate (home of two caches we adopted off MarcB – ‘The Urn’ and ‘Revelations’).

As we set off, a farmer with a flock of sheep and newly born lambs was coming up the lane. We stopped for a chat and when he realised we were going where he wanted the sheep to go, he asked if we could herd them up into the field. The gate was shut behind us so the sheep could only go up the green lane and into the field. Isaac really loved this and took great pride in his herding :-).

The series was nice and easy with quite a bit of terrain, which made for some excellent views over the area. On the way round we bumped into the Hide and Streets, some cachers from the Fenton area of Stoke-on-Trent. We stopped for a nice chat before going on our way as they were doing the series in the opposite direction to us. We bumped into them again later on in the walk and were able to help them with a cache they could not find, further round the loop.

Next, it was a short drive up to Swynnerton, not far from J15 M6 and the ring of 12 caches there. We parked up to the south and set off to do them clockwise. The sun was shining and it was an absolute pleasure to be out walking in such lovely countryside. The series was soon completed with plenty of straightforward hides and one stinker of a hide with co-ords that were slightly off.

Our only small grumble of the series is there were way too many micros in locations that could easily support *much* larger caches and there were some huge gaps between caches (half a mile on quite a few of them). Still, it’s a lovely walk and we didn’t mind too much.

After that, we were getting hungry so headed off home, via the Co-Op in Eccleshall for a top up on drinks as we were looking forward to something ice-cold.

A nice day out with lots of lovely walking and 30 finds in total.

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We’ve been meaning to get over to Whitchurch for a few weeks now so we can check on our two caches there. Today I had a free hour or two so off I set.

First on the list was our Behind Enemy Lines – Tilstock cache. The last finder had reported that the cache was ok but there were 3 muggle logs in since the last finder. Sure enough, I found various muggle logs, including a really racist joke :-(.

I removed the offending pages from the logbook and as the hide had been compromised, moved the cache to a new hiding place that teenage muggles will hopefully not spot. The hint on the cache page has been altered and all is good to go.

The only downside was that the muggles seem to have made off with the lovely geocoin which was in the cache. It’s always a shame when this happens – we’ve emailed the coin owner to let them know :-(.

Next on the list was our Whitchurch Whereigo cache. I strongly suspect the cache is being cleared up with leaf litter by council workers so have changed the hide slightly so it won’t happen again.

It’s now a new preform cache (so we could get away with not having to hide a micro) and hidden in a slightly different place. I had to re-learn the Whereigo Cartridge authoring system so I could update the hint and upload a new version of the Cartridge to the Whereigo site.

Two caches, all sat ready and waiting for their next finders :-).

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When I checked my emails this morning, I spotted a new cache had come out less than 10 miles from home. It was by a church that Mrs Bolas Heathens thinks some of her ancestors may be buried at, so we thought we’d combine a caching trip with a good look around the churchyard.

We soon arrived at the church but for some reason my Oregon said we were in a field when we were clearly stood in a lane. I think it’s still trying to catch up after the shock of being darn sarf last weekend ;-).

It soon settled down and realised the error of it’s ways. Isaac spotted a possible place for the cache, between two houses at what looked like some disused steps up to the churchyard. A quick furtle around revealed the cache – we were FTF!

After we’d put the cache back, we went off to find Mrs Bolas Heathens and Freya. They had been exploring the graveyard but had not found any names on the graves that they were looking for. There are a heck of a lot of people with the surname James buried here though!

She’s going to do some more research on it and perhaps come back another time for a look as it’s possible her relatives may be in another nearby graveyard.

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