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Archive for July, 2010

Views over Cop Mere from stage 2 of the Multi

Views over Cop Mere from stage 2 of the Multi

This morning, unbeknown to me, the final 4 caches in the series we did the other day came out. I was meanwhile fast asleep and so the first I knew about it was when Allun from the Shropshire Seekers came round to see if I wanted to go out for FTF’s.

We arranged to meet up near the first cache in an hour, to give me time to get ready, get the GPSr loaded etc etc. Shortly later, we met up and headed off over a field for the short walk to the first of the caches. This was a nice quick find as we could just about see the cache container in it’s hidey hole as we walked up.

The next cache was a Multi, with two virtual stages leading to a final box. Nothing too tricky here and the stages were very close to each other so we soon had the cache in hand. The view over the Mere from stage 2 was fabulous though and well worth doing a Multi for (we’re not great fans of Multi’s and usually just ignore them).

The final two caches were both Puzzle cache types, but only so because you have to collect part co-ords from earlier caches in the series. Both were quick finds and the last and final one in the series in particular was in a really lovely spot.

That’s 4 FTF’s for the morning and a really good series finished.

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The very lovely Selfridges building in the city centre, close to where I parked

The very lovely Selfridges building in the city centre, close to where I parked

Whilst caching yesterday, the toe on my right walking boot came away from the sole of the boot so I knew it was time to invest in a new pair of boots. The right boot has been intermittently leaking for a few weeks now so I had an idea something was not quite right.

The usual outdoor shop I got my last pair of boots from has now closed, so I spent a while ringing round various shops in the area (and beyond!) this morning trying to work out who had some in stock. Cotswold Outdoors in Birmingham city centre had the best choice of size of the boot I was after (I could not remember what size by last boots where!) so off I set.

After investing in a very comfortable new pair of walking boots, I headed off to do the two nearest caches before I returned home. The first was a nice hide and took some spotting, even though a previous finder has put a serious spoiler photo on the cache page. The second cache was by the Birmingham Hippodrome and a much easier find – in fact I walked right up to it :-).

The only problem with both caches was the caching was totally in-promptu and I did not have a pen to sign the logbooks with. I’ve put photos with the logbook / cache on my logs to prove my find instead.

Now back to home to crack on with some work…

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Lovely Johnson Hall, which we went past on the walk

Lovely Johnson Hall, which we went past on the walk

Yesterday morning I was in the office when 14 new caches came out just to the south of Eccleshall – well, when I say 14 new caches I really mean 13 traditional caches with a bonus cache :-).

I was too busy to dash out there and then but texted Allun from the Shropshire Seekers about them anyway. He was in Birmingham but on hearing there were so many new caches out he decided to wrap up what he was doing and head home. We thus arranged to meet up a bit later for a joint assault on the caches.

Going past some curious sheep

Going past some curious sheep

While I was waiting I spotted one of the caches had a mistake in the co-ords so let the cache owner know about it. They emailed back and mentioned another cacher had already started on the series, so we were not hopeful for any FTF’s when we did them.

We set off on the first part of the walk down a quiet lane and sure enough, we’d missed FTF on all of the caches. Once we left the lane and set off over the fields it was a different story and we were treated to quite a few FTF’s. We assumed the other FTF cacher must have just picked off the quick drive-by’s in their lunch hour or something.

Beautiful hidden pond very close to one of the caches

Beautiful hidden pond very close to one of the caches

All the caches were quick finds and the walk was really nice – an area I’ve driven past tons of times but never stopped to explore until today. The last cache before the bonus had been muggled by some cows who obviously shelter from the rain under the tree the cache was hidden by. Luckily we spotted the cache out in the open a short distance from the tree, so had to hide it slightly differently to keep it away from the cows again. We’ve emailed the cache owner with the details.

As we were approaching the Jeep we spotted another car parked right by it and wondered if it was another cacher. Sure enough, as we got closer, Mark from cannonedwards got out for a chat. He’d spotted the Jeep as he was passing and then had spotted us walking back over the field. Great to meet you again Mark :-).

One of the cow mugglers - they were using the wood in the picture (where the cache was hidden) as a scratching post, thus dislodging the cache

One of the cow mugglers - they were using the wood in the picture (where the cache was hidden) as a scratching post, thus dislodging the cache

Once we’d gone on our respective ways, myself and Allun wandered off to find the bonus cache, which was also a nice quick find.

A fun couple of hours out and 14 caches bagged in total. There are another 4 caches in the series yet to be published so we’re looking forward to them when they come out.

Here is the route we took on Everytrail.

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Isaac with the Chester Challenge logbook. Love these rhinoceroses that are dotted everywhere round the city centre.

Isaac with the Chester Challenge logbook. Love these rhinoceroses that are dotted everywhere round the city centre.

Yesterday Isaac did the remaining two caches we had to clear Stafford out again. He tells me they were both quick finds, one near the parking area for Doxey Marshes Nature Reserve, which we’ve been to before for other caches.

On the way home they diverted via Moreton to grab the final one of the Special Forces caches. We’d had 2 DNF’s on this in the last 2 days as it’s right opposite some houses, the co-ords are 69ft out and there have been people around when we’ve been to try and find it before. Today we timed it right, so Isaac went in for a quick find.

In the afternoon we had a meeting in Chester to go to so off we all set. We met up with Clotguy by the Racecourse (great to meet you at last :-)) and after the meeting headed off to do some caches.

Clotguy and ourselves phooning on the busy roundabout

Clotguy and ourselves phooning on the busy roundabout

The first was a really fun one where you had to stand on this very exposed roundabout and phoon (see the photos) with everyone going past in cars wondering what the heck you are up to. Once girl in a black car looked particularly bemused, which was hilarious :-).

After that, we headed off to Chester Challenge, which is a really fun hide in a VERY public and busy location. Thankfully, with all the children in our group we had excellent cover to search for the cache and soon had it located. An inspired hide in such a busy location too. If you are ever in Chester, go and try for this cache – you won’t be disappointed.

Isaac at the busy Eastgate clock cache. There were tourists getting photos all around GZ.

Isaac at the busy Eastgate clock cache. There were tourists getting photos all around GZ.

The last cache we found was by the clock at Eastegate on the old Roman walls around the city. We’d done the old cache here so looked in the place that was hidden first. It was not there, but Isaac soon spotted the cache nearby.

We did try for one final cache by a bridge over the River Dee but for some reason they had hidden a nano on some metal railings that were covered in ivy. As if that was not bad enough, it was next to an extremely busy road and the co-ords took you to a place that did not match the hint. After a quick look we gave up as it’s not our idea of fun I’m afraid.

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Isaac with one of the caches

Isaac with one of the caches

Nine new caches came out in an occasional series near Gnosall the other day. Mrs Bolas Heathens had to drop Freya off in Stafford this morning so Isaac went with her to see if they could find the caches on the way home.

They managed 4 finds, 4 DNF’s and 1 did not try (they ran out of time!). Speaking to Allun from the Shropshire Seekers, who had had better luck than us, 3 of them had co-ords about 60ft out and 1 he could not find either.

We thus decided to have a joint effort at the one we’d both DNF’d this evening as it was still up for a FTF. On the way we drove round and cleared up all our DNF’s from earlier and I took some co-ords readings for the cache owner.

The cache that was still up for FTF turned out to be an easy find once we’d significantly expanded our search radius. You guessed it, the co-ords were just over 60ft out!

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Isaac with one of the caches just below Stoodley Pike

Isaac with one of the caches just below Stoodley Pike

This weekend we could not resist a return to do some more of the LEGEND Letterboxes on the moors between Manchester and Burnley. We’d had a few DNF’s last week so opted for a series that we knew all the caches had been found on. The Todmorden loop fitted the bill perfectly!

Looking at the layout of the caches on Memory Map, it looked to be about a 14 mile walk but there was a lot of terrain to negotiate as the series is set around the lovely town of Todmorden, which lies in a valley with steep slopes on all sides. We thus decided to head off around the southern part of the walk and see how far we got.

We parked up for the day at the eastern end of the loop on the main road between Todmorden and Hebden Bridge and got kitted up for our walk. Off up the hill we set and headed right for the nearest LEGEND cache.

Looking over towards Stoodley Pike - the trail leads past there and onwards to the far end of the valley

Looking over towards Stoodley Pike - the trail leads past there and onwards to the far end of the valley

The first part of the walk was the climb up towards the tops. Once at the top, we headed along a network of farm tracks between the caches and then dipped down just below the lovely Stoodley Pike, a massive great tower on top of a hill overlooking the whole area.

We were amazed at the co-ords on all the caches as we literally had 0ft to go on several of them. We’ve never seen the GPSr go that low before. Most of the caches were quick finds and none of them took that long to find, which is always welcome when you are on a longer walk.

After we’d dropped down into the strangely named Mankinholes (I can’t help but think of Borat here) we diverted off to find a couple of LEGEND caches that join up the middle of the outer loop.

Looking down into the valley towards Littleborough

Looking down into the valley towards Littleborough

The path then took us up a hill with great views down the valley before dropping down into Todmorden itself. On the way down, one of the caches was at this fabulous old burial ground and a totally un-expected place as the cache page does not even mention it.

After crossing the main road in Todmorden the route took us back up a big hill via quite a steep track. Once at the top we were rewarded with fab views all the way down the valley to Hebden Bridge.

Once we’d dropped down the other side of the this hill and found all the caches on it, we realised time was getting on and we’d not have enough time to finish the walk round the northern section of the loop. We thus found a bus that would take us back to where we’d parked the Jeep, but not before stopping for an ice-cream in this lovely park.

Red helicopter that was buzzing the houses and scaring the sheep in the fields

Red helicopter that was buzzing the houses and scaring the sheep in the fields

Once back at the Jeep we decided to pick off a few more LEGEND caches – this time the remaining few that join up the middle of the Todmorden loop (we’d already done two of these earlier). Nothing too taxing here, and we managed to bag several other caches in the area as we went past.

It was teatime by now so we decided to head home and leave the rest of the loop for another trip. 40 finds for the day and some very satisfying walking (and caching!) in a beautiful part of the country.

Here is a link to the Everytrail track of our route for the day.

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Our 10,000th find at WEREWOLF, somewhere on a remote moor in Yorkshire

Our 10,000th find at WEREWOLF, somewhere on a remote moor in Yorkshire

We’ve been really busy with other things the last few weeks so have not had time to keep our Blog as up to date as we’d liked.

Instead of just missing the period out, we’ve put together a slideshow of some of our exploits instead. Notable things that happened during the period:

  • Isaac went caching with his Grandparents, while they were judging churchyards around Staffordshire (don’t ask! :-)).
  • We found our 10,000 cache at WEREWOLF
  • Started on the new LEGEND Letterbox caches in Lancashire with the Hurstwood and Widdop sections.

Anyway, here is the slideshow…

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