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Posts Tagged ‘cannock’

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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After our trip into Birmingham yesterday, we were not quite cached out for the weekend so decided to go out today as well. Isaac was free so was keen to come along.

We started off near Codsall at the new Monarch’s Way caches. After parking up where we did for the old The Washers caches that used to be down this bridleway, we set off on foot.

The first cache was an ammo box and we soon arrived in the obvious area that you’d hide an ammo box in. The GPSr’s both thought differently and said we were 70ft out. We tried to trust our GPSr’s but they took us to somewhere where there was no place to put an ammo box. We returned to the first area and soon found the cache. I’ve no idea why the co-ords are so far out on this one as the rest of the caches by the same cache owner were bang on.

We carried on down the muddy path to pick up the other 3 caches along here, before re-tracing our steps to the Jeep. After re-positioning to nearer to the next cache, we walked over the field to GZ and another quick find. A very unusual cache container too – it was called ‘This boot was made for walking’. I bet you can guess what the cache was in ;-).

The next two caches were just down the lane so we were soon walking up the fields to find them. The second one of this duo had some great views over towards Wolverhampton. Isaac spotted the Molyneaux, which he liked seeing as he’d been to the match there (Wolves vs Bolton) with his Grandpa after school yesterday.

Next on the target list was a series around the Rough Wood area near the M6 on the east side of Wolverhampton. Isaac enjoyed guiding us along the roads to the parking area using Memory Map. Out came the bikes and off we set.

Our main target in this area is a series of 8 caches, collecting a clue from each to find the final bonus cache. Along the way there were two other caches to find. The series was nice and easy but we had a DNF on one of the extra caches. The hint lead to an obvious place but despite a good search, we could not spot the cache.

We were having great fun as we went round the series as each cache had a clue A = ?, B = ?, C = ? etc etc. Isaac started singing the really funny Black Country Alphabet song (well, we are in deepest Black Country here after all!) and we ended up doing it on and off for the rest of the day as it’s REALLY catchy :-).

After we’d finished here, we decided to head up to Cannock Chase to do Wild Goosey’s series of 6 caches around the old Bleak House mining area. We’d promised the cache owner we’d go and find her caches here ever since they came out so it was good to finally get to do them.

On the way, we stopped off at Sidetracked Bloxwich to see if we could find it as we had a DNF on it the last time we were in the area (it was muggled at the time). The new hiding place was clear but the cache was nowhere to be seen. I guess this is just one of those caches we’re destined never to find!

We soon arrived at the start of Wild Goosey’s series and found we had the car park to ourselves. Off we set, but failed to find the first of the caches. The logs said it was near the path but the closest we could get on the path was 80ft from GZ. Either we’re looking in the wrong place or the co-ords are way out (it was heavy tree cover so this could be a possibility). We gave up and decided to look for it on the way back.

The rest of the series was nice and easy, with some great views over the area as the walk was on high ground. We dropped off a lovely Cornish Tin Mine geocoin in one of the caches. It’s mission is to visit historical mining areas, so this place fitted the bill perfectly.

On the way back to the Jeep, we stopped to look for the first cache again. Nothing was to be found near the path so we decided to finally trust our GPSr’s. After a climb up through a brambly area, we were zero’ing out at an area with a very rough path through it. I wonder if this was the path other people have referred to in their logs? It was an we soon had the cache in hand.

We were due to see Freya in her stage school Christmas Play near home at 4:45 so we were rapidly running out of time by now. Just time for a quick few caches near Chasewater Country Park if we’re quick…

On the ride down to the first one, we were passed by a steam train along a railway we’d not spotted near a road. We never knew they had working steam trains around here so that was a lovely surprise.

The first cache was a no-go though as GZ was these huge stanchions filled with rocks. The cache was a micro with a hint something like ‘under three small rocks’. Talk about a needle in a haystack! We made an executive decision and moved on to the next cache. Thankfully this was a really easy find, which was exactly what we needed at this stage.

Unfortunately that was the last find of the day as we had to get going to see Freya’s show now, otherwise we’d never get there in time and the stage school shuts the doors promptly and won’t let you in if you are late.

Freya’s show was wonderful and she did a fab job (very proud Dad here :-)). 24 finds for the day, which is less than we usually get, but we did start quite late and finished quite a bit earlier than we usually do.

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