Our Plan B for last week became our Plan A for this week…
The bad weather put paid to it last week as the plan involved parking up and then walking round 36 caches during the day, before ending up back at the Jeep. No fun in the rain, but fabulous fun in the lovely sunshine we had this weekend!
The caches are further up the M6 than we normally go (near Preston), but having cached in the area a few weeks ago, we knew it was a great place for a long walk and with so many new caches on nice circular walks, it was too good to resist.
We parked up by the church in Balderstone and got our back-packs loaded up with all we needed for the day. The first cache of the Grommit series was about 100ft away so off we set.
The first one was a nice hide and set the scene for the kind of hide we would be looking for most of the day. We then carried on down the lane and spotted a stile which lead over a field to the next cache. The field was full of knee high grass, which was pretty much what we had all day long, with none of the footpaths appearing to have much use (I bet they will for the next few weeks though!).
The next few were easy enough, including a cache at a lovely little dingle by a stream that feeds into the River Ribble a bit further north from GZ.
At the next cache, we’d just put the cache back and were working out the route to the next cache on Memory Map when we spotted some walkers coming along the path. It turned out to be Eurochamps – great to meet you both. We were stood chatting when another walker with his dog came along the path. It was duncscott – wow, this is turning into a mini cache event!
We all carried on to the next cache, where we said our goodbye’s as they were all carrying on the Grommit series, whereas we were diverting off to do the OBS series by nandad.
The first of the OBS ones was a HUGE box, which was ideal for dropping off two big TB’s we had with us. We’d promised a cacher near home that we’d drop them in Lancs, so as to start them off with some mileage.
The next cache was a really nicely engineered hide which was a quick find. There was a horse jumping event in the nearby field so we had to be stealthy with the cache, although to be honest the people there were far more interested in anything with 4 legs than us (that’s if they could actually see us!).
We then lost the PF and ended up skirting up the edge of a field and having to jump a great big steeplechase water jump to get onto the next PF. Then it was a quick walk down into a dingle and up the other side to the cache.
This is where time started to slip away a bit as all the PF’s had been diverted around the nearby Hall, but they had neglected to put up enough signs so you knew where you should be going. We managed reasonably well, but totally lost the path around the front of the Hall and ended up right outside it, where we thankfully found a friendly gardener who put us on the right tracks.
The rest of the series was straightforward from there. Lots of very nice containers, which made the caches really enjoyable. We stopped for our sandwiches in this beautiful meadow on the edge of some woods, before continuing on our way.
Not far from finishing the OBS series, we bumped into duncscott again. He had finished the Grommit series and was now starting on this one.
With the OBS series finished, we headed off over another really un-obvious PF to join up with the next cache in the Grommit series. From there, it was a nice easy walk around the rest of the caches in the series, with all the caches being really easy finds, except for #19, which we could not spot.
With the details collected for the bonus cache, we plotted it on Memory Map but then wondered how the heck you are supposed to get to it as (without giving anything away) it’s not near any roads or marked PF’s. We tried our best to find a decent route to it, but did have to walk over a private field and climb two very sharp barbed wire fences. Not recommended.
Once in the woods where the final cache was located, we were soon at GZ and had an easy find with great co-ords (which have been bang on for pretty much all the caches today).
We’d hoped to finish a bit earlier than we did and would have gone on to do a few more local caches, but time was not on our side so we headed back to the Jeep and onwards towards home.
On the way back, I remembered there were two quick caches we could easily do, both near M6 junctions. We stopped for the first one at J17 which was nice and easy and then carried on back down the M6 to J15, where we were to leave the motorway anyway.
The last cache of the day, at J15, was only about 150ft from where our old Not Motorway Mayhem cache was, so was an easy find as we knew where to look before we got there.
37 finds for the day and some stunning walking in beautiful landscape.