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Archive for May, 2010

The River Douglas, by my favourite cache of the Croston series

The River Douglas, by my favourite cache of the Croston series

On Saturday I had planned a trip to Lancashire to do the Croston Circular series, which is a set of 31 caches on a circular walk of 10 miles around the village of Croston. On the way round you pass several other caches, a few of which we have yet to find.

If I have time when I’ve finished I’ll then go on to the R.A.T. series by the Ribble embankment and then see about a few drive-by’s on the way back to the motorway and home. Isaac was at school this morning and out at a party on Sunday so it will just be me caching this weekend :-(.

Vents from an underground landfill site - looks a bit like an oil well!

Vents from an underground landfill site - looks a bit like an oil well!

I parked up in Croston near to a pub we’d been to an event at ages ago and set off on my walk. I’d not really looked at the numbering on the caches but I soon realised I was doing the series in reverse. Oh well, not a great problem and on the upside it will mean I might get to bump into other cachers out doing the series in the correct order :-).

Crossing the railway on the Croston walk

Crossing the railway on the Croston walk

The caches were all nice easy finds and the main thing of note on the first half of the walk was bumping into duncscott. We stopped for a quick chat and to compare notes on the caches we’d done on our respective sections of the trail.

Leafy lane about half way round the Croston walk

Leafy lane about half way round the Croston walk

Later on I diverted off the walk to do a stand alone cache at Bank Hall near Tarleton. Back on the trail and a few caches later I bumped into some cachers from Yorkshire called Peteranddi. Just after I left them I went past three people who could have been cachers but I could not see them with a GPSr so did not stop to chat. It turned out to be lwilson1983.

Walking the VERY flat area to the SW of Croston. It looks like you could be on the fens here.

Walking the VERY flat area to the SW of Croston. It looks like you could be on the fens here.

As I neared Croston on the last part of the walk I could hear the bells in the village church ringing out for what was obviously a wedding. A bit later on the route took me through the churchyard and I got to see two lovely old wedding cars parked up, while their occupants were inside the church saying their vows.

Wedding cars outside Croston church

Wedding cars outside Croston church

Once back at the Jeep I realised I had tons of time left, having done the circuit in about 4 hours. I thus headed off for the Linedancer’s R.A.T. series, which was only a few miles away. On the way I picked up a quick drive-by at a roundabout on a main road.

Lovely weir near to one of the caches

Lovely weir near to one of the caches

The R.A.T. series was a great walk and had some fab caches which were really fun to find. I won’t say any more here so as not to spoil it for anyone who has not yet done the caches, but suffice to say Isaac would have loved them if he was with me today.

Views from the Ribble embankment on the R.A.T. series walk

Views from the Ribble embankment on the R.A.T. series walk

After I’d finished this series I still had a spare hour or so so I decided to see how many drive-by’s and cache and dashes I could get between where I was and the M6 near Leyland. The answer was quite a few :-).

Roadside flowers on the R.A.T. series walk

Roadside flowers on the R.A.T. series walk

The main one of note was by this field with two horses in. I grabbed the cache and the two horses came over to say hello. Then lots of dog walkers and pram-pushers appeared out of nowhere and stopped to pet the horses. I ended up having to take the cache with me to the next cache and popping it back when the coast was clear on the way back!

The friendly horses. One of them almost has it's chin on the cache hiding place

The friendly horses. One of them almost has it's chin on the cache hiding place

I ended up the day with a monster 56 finds and about 15 miles or so walked. The weather was great all day which made for a near perfect caching day out :-).

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The old water pump in Great Ness

The old water pump in Great Ness

As it was a Bank Holiday on Monday we decided to go out and check on two of the caches in our Behind Enemy Lines series that looked to be missing. We took some spare caches just in case they were missing.

On the way to the first one at Montford Bridge we stopped off for a quick cache at an underground bunker and part of a follow on series (by another cacher!) from our Behind Enemy Lines series. A nice quick find here.

The cache near to the old bunker at Upton Magna

The cache near to the old bunker at Upton Magna

Our  Montford Bridge cache is in some woods near to the old WW2 airfield and the cache was definitely missing. We had a good scout round the woods for a better hiding place and settled on one place which should work well. With the new co-ords taken we set off for the next caches of the afternoon.

The next two caches we found are in an occasional series based around old wells and water pumps in the more remote parts of North Shropshire. Both of them were very easy finds.

Last on our list was our Behind Enemy Lines: Peplow cache, which someone had emailed me about, saying it was missing. The cache used to be under this HUGE log and someone had taken a chainsaw to the log and cut big pieces off it. Needless to say they had disturbed the log at the same time and it was sat right on top of the cache, meaning you could not get the logbook out.

Isaac with the cache at Merrington

Isaac with the cache at Merrington

We opted to place a new cache a short distance away in a location which hopefully won’t get disturbed. Once we got home we changed both caches pages and marked them as live again.

Just after dinner yet another new cache in Gnosall came out so I arranged to go for the FTF with Allun from the Shropshire Seekers again. The cache was a quick find in the first place we looked and we were FTF again :-).

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L.S. Lowry signs the logbook (or is he sketching some matchstick men and matchstick cats and dogs ;-))

L.S. Lowry signs the logbook (or is he sketching some matchstick men and matchstick cats and dogs ;-))

After an excellent evening watching Kiss at the Sheffield Arena last night, Isaac and myself planned to cache our way over to the 10 Years! Manchester, UK event which was due to be held in Manchester city centre.

The only cache left between us and the M1 was a called called Phoenix, set by this huge state of a phoenix. Try as we might we could not spot the nano so reluctantly gave up and headed northwards on the M1 instead.

Peak District moorland views

Peak District moorland views

I’ve done the Woodhead Pass drive between Sheffield and Manchester many times in the past and was telling Isaac it should be really nice, with lots of great Peak District views along the way. We’d run a caches along a route Pocket Query last night so had a selection of caches to think about stopping for.

Time was a bit tight, so we just stuck to the drive-by’s and cache and dashes, although we’d have loved to go for a longer walk on the moors in this stunning, yet desolate scenery.

Isaac looks for one of the moorland caches

Isaac looks for one of the moorland caches

As we were coming down off the tops on the Manchester side we stopped to clear up a DNF from ages ago at Tintwistle. It took us a few moments to find the cache but what a fantastic hide. If you’ve not done it already, get over to Arnfield Lane – Benchmark – you won’t be disappointed.

The next cache was also a really nice one as it it set not far from where the famous painter L.S. Lowry used to live and in a little park area with a statue of Lowry sat on a bench sketching. See the photo below – we even managed to get him to draw a picture on the cache log ;-).

Isaac with L.S. Lowry

Isaac with L.S. Lowry

Once in the city centre we walked over to where the Shambles used to be and the pub that the event was at. We had a great time at the event meeting lots of old friends and quite a few newer cachers we’d not yet met but seen in many a logbook.

On the way home after the event we picked off the nearest two caches as they were (sort of ;-)) on the way.

At the 10 Years! Manchester, UK event

At the 10 Years! Manchester, UK event

Once home, we had a lovely Sunday roast dinner before I met up with Allun from the Shropshire Seekers to drive up to the 10 Years! Christleton, Chester, UK event. On the way we picked up two caches that had been set for the event and another cache that was very close to the pub.

Another excellent and well organised event followed. We had a great time and hope to start coming back to the regular events that are held at this pub. It’s been way too long since we went to the last one!

Great public art near a cache in Salford

Great public art near a cache in Salford

Not a great day in terms of numbers with only 13 finds, but two of them had unique 10 Years! icons and were really good fun. A great day out :-).

10 Years! special event icon10 Years! special event icon

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Kiss make a very impressive entrance at the Sheffield Arena

Kiss make a very impressive entrance at the Sheffield Arena

On Saturday Isaac and myself were off to see Kiss open their Sonic Boom Over Europe tour at the Sheffield Arena and so opted to do some caches beforehand.

We’d spotted a series of 11 caches just to the south of Chesterfield which looked to be a nice walk and would be a good change to stretch our legs after the drive over from Shropshire. We parked by the last one in the series and then set off to do the series backwards, going from cache 12 down to 1 (why do a series in the intended order when you don’t have to ;-)).

The Five Pits Trail - part of our walk around the Chesterfield caches

The Five Pits Trail - part of our walk around the Chesterfield caches

A really lovely walk ensued and we were soon back at the place we’d parked the Jeep. We found all the caches bar one which looked to be missing.

We then headed off to the M1 through Sheffield and onwards to Hoyland near Barnsley, where there looked to be enough caches to keep us busy for the rest of the day. On the way off the motorway we picked off a quick cache we spotted on TomTom as we drove past.

Old farm building on our walk

Old farm building on our walk

Our first target was a series of 5 caches around an industrial estate on the north side of Hoyland. All nice and quick finds, with the only thing of note that one of the caches appeared to be missing a container (although it might be intentional as it’s hidden under cover).

We then picked off a quick cache at Elsecar station before heading down to this wonderful heritage centre full of old machinery and trains. It looked really nice and we’d have loved to have a look round, but there were to many caches nearby to find ;-).

Old canal taken over by wildlife

Old canal taken over by wildlife

We got the bikes out of the Jeep and set off to find the caches, which were mainly set along this disused canal. A really lovely area for caching round here with tons of wildlife making the old canal it’s home. All the caches were nice and easy. Once we got to the end of the caches along the canal, we back-tracked to the heritage centre and headed off up the hill for the final 3 caches in the series.

Little did we know but an absolute treat awaited us as we closed in on the next cache. We came round the corner in these woods to a whole hidden glade full of bluebells. What a really nice surprise :-).

The lovely (and unexpected!) bluebell glade

The lovely (and unexpected!) bluebell glade

After we got back to the Jeep we needed to start thinking about heading into Sheffield, but not before a few more quick caches. Nothing much of note here apart from seeing an ice-cream van near to one of the caches, so we stopped for a well-deserved break and nice ice-cream in the afternoon sun.

Once back in Sheffield we checked into our hotel, which was right over the road from the Arena. After a nice meal in the restaurant we had an hour to spare so popped out in the Jeep to grab a quick 4 urban caches. All were well placed and in interesting spots (not something you get with every urban cache!).

Sheffield urban caching: a fabulous flowing barrel statue

Sheffield urban caching: a fabulous flowing barrel statue

With 35 finds for the day, we got changed and headed off to an absolutely fabulous night being entertained by Kiss and their support group Taking Dawn. What a perfect end to a really fun day’s caching :-).

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