I’ve been helping a new cacher who lives not too far from home out with advice on setting up a new cache series and how to make your cache page look nice, with images and different text. For the record, I had no idea where the caches were going to be set so did not have an advantage over anyone other cachers.
This morning, my Inbox pinged to the lovely sound of 13 new caches close(ish) to home. The sun was shining – how could I resist going out to have a try for them?
On the way to the caches, I spotted a familiar car coming the other way down the lane and was pleased to see it was Allun from the Shropshire Seekers. We had a quick chat and he told me he’d got 3 FTF’s and 3 DNF’s on the series at the crack of dawn. No problem, as that still leaves 10 FTF’s to go after and it’s a great walk anyway :-).
I parked up in a place we parked absolutely ages ago when we did an old cache in the woods called The Pig Rails. I’ve not checked, but this must have been amongst the very first few caches we found.
The first cache was at the entrance to the woods and I noticed Allun had already been to this one. I carried on and had a DNF at the second cache. The co-ords *must* be iffy as they took me into the middle of an area of waist high nettles with no clue item anywhere in sight. Hmmm.
Rather than waste any more time, I carried on to the next cache. Navigating was interesting as Memory Map only shows a handful of the many, many paths in the woods. I ended up sort of zig-zagging my way along, picking up caches as I went.
All was going swimmingly until cache #3 where I had another DNF. Another suspected case of iffy co-ords as the co-ords took me to a bench in an open grassed area, with no hint item anywhere near. I moved on and decided to come back for another look later on.
The rest of the caches were easy enough with the main point of note being when I bumped into a group of locals out for a walk for the third time and in the third different location. They nervously asked me what I was doing and when I replied I was on a high tech treasure hunt, they looked really relieved. It turns out they thought I was a property developer sizing up the woods for a new development and that I was using my GPS to measure out distances!
Just before I got back to the Jeep, I went off to try and clear up DNF #1. I eventually found the cache about 65-70ft off the co-ords, just over the top of a bank from where my GPSr was pointing (and hence why I could not spot the hint item earlier). Phew!
I got back to the Jeep and drove round to a closer point to DNF #2. I searched as per the hint for a while and could not spot the cache. I then moved back closer to the bench and where my GPSr was trying to take me and spotted a nice cachers path leading to a hint item. How on earth I’d not spotted this earlier is beyond me. The co-ords were about 45ft out, so not *that* bad.
Just as I was opening the box, snerdbe phoned to say they were part way round the series and had seen our name in the logbooks and was wondering where I was up to. I mentioned I was at #3 and was told they had beat me to FTF on it.
Ah well, 9 FTF’s is not bad for a morning’s work and I’ve had a great time in the area anyway. The caches themselves were really good too – nice big containers (not a micro in sight), loads of good quality swaps and some nice hides. Just the way caching is supposed to be :-).