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Posts Tagged ‘Bloxwich’

Looking down the old canal from the blocked off end, whilst on the Potty Challenge series

Looking down the old canal from the blocked off end, whilst on the Potty Challenge series

I’d planned to go out caching with Isaac near Kidderminster on Saturday but at the last minute on Friday night we realised he was due at school on Saturday morning. We quickly swapped the day out to Sunday (better weather was forecast anyway) and I decided to head off and do the Potty Challenge near Brownhills on Saturday instead.

Walking along the canal at the start of the Potty Challenge series

Walking along the canal at the start of the Potty Challenge series

This is a series of 12 caches, plus 2 extra ‘bonus’ caches along a canal and then leading round in a loop via an old railway line. If I finished the caches in good time I’d then go on to see if I could find any other caches in the area.

Lifting a canal boat out of the canal

Lifting a canal boat out of the canal

I parked up near to cache #1 in the series and set off on foot up the towpath. I can’t really say too much about the caches as the Challenge is there are hardly any clues. Needless to say most were pretty easy but a few were right stinkers and took a while to find. All good fun though and the kind of caching we enjoy for a change.

Walking round the woodland part of the Potty Challenge series

Walking round the woodland part of the Potty Challenge series

On my way round I bumped into Steve from the thurs night gang – great to meet you again. Once I’d finished the series I decided to head off to the strangely named ExCanExCan series, which are set along the route of the now closed and very much returned to nature Cannock to Brownhills canal.

On the way to my DNF at the Cannock end of the old canal. Not the prettiest of locations, but it's not supposed to be.

On the way to my DNF at the Cannock end of the old canal. Not the prettiest of locations, but it's not supposed to be.

Nothing too taxing here apart from the one at the Cannock end where the old canal used to terminate. My GPSr lead me to one of those horrible metal fences with 1001 places to hide a micro and I soon got bored and moved on to the next cache.

Wild meadows near the Big Kids Challenge bonus cache

Wild meadows near the Big Kids Challenge bonus cache

I did a couple more caches around the Hednesford area before heading down to Pelsall to do the final of the Big Kids Challenge (a series by the same cache owner as the Potty Challenge I’d done earlier in the day). We’d done the Big Kids Challenge ages ago but then the bonus cache came out. I managed to find it quickly enough, along with two other new caches in the same general area.

At the Fool's Gold cache near Cannock

At the Fool's Gold cache near Cannock

Time was getting on by now so I decided to head over to Essington to make the 4 new caches there my final ones for the day. On the way I quickly cleared up a DNF from the last time we were in the Bloxwich area.

A very pretty stretch of canal near Bloxwich - I DNF'd the cache though

A very pretty stretch of canal near Bloxwich - I DNF'd the cache though

The Essington caches were all quick and easy, with the highlight being that one was a totally un-expected ammo box. I’d love to find more of these as they make great cache containers.

31 finds for the day, which is not too bad as I was only really intending to go out for the Potty Challenge series.

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Lovely countryside views while on the Codsall series

Isaac was studying for exams at school all weekend so I opted to go out caching on my own on Saturday and then help him with Maths and the sciences on Sunday.

A new series of 19 caches near Codsall looked all too tempting. On Friday while I was wondering where to go caching after I’d found these 19, a set of 5 new ones near Essington came out, followed by another nearby one later on in the day. Decision made, I’d start at Codsall, move on to Essington and then head over towards Brownhills, perhaps via Bloxwich, for the rest of the day.

The lanes around Codsall were really icy which made for some interesting driving to the first three caches which were all drive-by’s! I then relocated to near Codsall church and set off on foot for the rest of the series. The first were down a PF by the side of the cemetery and all quick and easy finds.

Great countryside for a walk!

As I returned to the Jeep I bumped into The Haywood Hornet who was just parking up. He’d not done the next two caches on my list yet so we set off together chatting as we went along. Two quick finds, although the second was probably the hardest find of the series.

I then said my goodbye’s to Iain and headed off for a circular walk around the rest of the series. Not that much to report on these apart from:

  • Some very vicious looking dogs on the walk between two of the caches. I’m very glad there was a big fence between us!
  • A cache at the exact same spot an old Washers cache was. It was even in the same hiding place. What’s the chances of that happening given the new cache is set by a much newer cacher who almost certainly never found the old cache there?
  • Having to be really stealthy at one cache as a teacher was stood very close to it supervising a school map reading walk.
  • Bumping into delta68 a bit later in the walk. I saw them coming over the field towards me and thought it looked a bit like them. As they got closer I realised it was! Great to meet you all again :-).

A friendly horse near one of the drive-by's

I was soon back at the Jeep and drove round to the final two caches of the series (that were off the circular walk for some reason) and the new Washers cache at the Leper’s Well.

Next I headed off to the new series in Essington. On the way I passed the Essington Moat 07 cache which we’d previously DNF’d (it had been muggled). It had been muggled again in the meantime but I’d heard part of the cache was still in place and also hoped the owner had had chance to replace the cache again. My luck was in and I found a brand new cache at GZ :-).

Not too far away I parked up for the new Why Not series in Essington. At the first cache I saw The Mighty Shark and susannye were ahead of me. I’d started the series from #4 and then did #5 before continuing on to #1, #2 and #3. We never seem to do series in the way they are intended, but this seemed like the logical place to park as it was closest to the direction I was coming from. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!

Double sided weir on the Horse Trail series

At cache #1 I spotted a familiar car and sure enough saw snerdbe had signed the log. Just past the next cache I thought I could see them in the distance so phoned them to see. It was them and they stopped to wait for me to catch them up as we’ve not seen them for ages and it would be good to catch up.

I was having a nice chat with Des and Bren when along came The Mighty Shark and susannye re-tracing their steps round the series as Mark had dropped his mobile phone somewhere :-(.

Once back at the Jeep I tried for a drive-by at the start of the Chicken Licken series but a guy drinking beer was sat right by GZ and looked settled in for the day. Hmm… time for Plan B. Now what was Plan B again? …

HUGE miner status in Brownhills

Plan B was two quick caches on nearby Long Lane. The first one had me foxed at first and I was still looking for it when snerdbe pulled up to look for another nearby cache. After Bren pointed out the error of my ways (a very nice hide it was too) we all walked over to the next cache for a really easy instant find.

I then said my goodbye’s once again (but not quite for the last time today as I would later find out) and headed off to a cache called ‘Love Bloxwich’. We’d DNF’d this a while ago and it has since been relocated down the towpath. Needless to say I still could not find it. I don’t know about Love Bloxwich, I’m beginning to hate the place as we never seem to find caches here as we had similar problems with the Sidetracked Bloxwich cache ;-).

Next on the list was a set of 3 caches on the east side of Walsall called Horse Trail. All nice quick finds by bike but not before I’d set off down the wrong bridleway, on the wrong side of a stream from GZ – doh!

Great statue - or is it a statue?

I still had time for more caches as I’d polished off a lot of them in the morning and made good time, so I headed off towards Brownhills for more caches. The first was to clear up a previous DNF (it had been muggled) at a Walsall Church Gem. Then a micro by a really big statue of a pit head mechanism. I assume it was a statue as it looked not quite big enough for a real one.

The next caches were in the Captain Beaky series and set along a canal and old railway line that is now a cycleway. I had just climbed up with my bike to the old railway line when a car going under the bridge beeped at me. It was Des and Bren again!

Old signal on the ex-railway line

The first one was a DNF (magnetic nano with 1001 hiding places). I got bored looking and moved on for 3 more easy finds.

By this time I was wondering about picking off two new caches near to home while it was still light so decided to head up to the A5 and head homewards via the new caches. On the way I passed another drive-by Walsall Church Gem so could not resist stopping for an easy find.

The first new cache near home was on the Shropshire Union Canal by the old Wheaton Aston WW2 airfield. A nice quick find was had here with co-ords that were spot on under the tree cover.

Views down the Shroppie near the cache

Last of the day was a puzzle cache by the ford at Seighford near Stafford. It had only come out last night but I’d resisted popping out for it then as the puzzle bit was a walk along a stream looking for the cache with little or no clues and about 0.25 of a mile to search. Luckily an additional clue had been added to the cache page since, which narrowed down the search area quite a bit.

I soon found something that was not the cache but found the actual cache a short while later just as it was going dark.

39 finds for the day and a nice dent made in our closest to home not founds. Can’t wait for Isaac to be free as it’s much more fun caching as a team than on my own. That won’t be next weekend as we have to go to a party at friends in Yorkshire (although we may get one or two caches while we are there!).

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