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Posts Tagged ‘Gnosall’

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 and Freya with the cache

Isaac and Freya with the cache

It was a Bank Holiday on Monday and we’d been invited round to dinner at the in-laws in Blymhill so stopped decided to go the ‘scenic’ route and take in the new cache just south of Gnosall that is an extension of the Special Forces series.

Needless to say it was a very quick find down a narrow lane not too far from the Shropshire Union Canal. Both the children spotted the cache as we pulled up opposite. The hide itself was a really nice one and probably the best of the series so far :-).

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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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The cache we DNF'd is in this picture somewhere. Can you spot it?

The cache we DNF'd is in this picture somewhere. Can you spot it?

Yesterday afternoon 3 more caches in an ever expending series around the Gnosall area came out. I’d been out in Stafford most of the morning so needed to get my head down and catch up with work so did not dash out to find them (it was raining as well ;-)).

By mid-evening they still had not been found, so I raised Allun from the Shropshire Seekers on MSN to see if he fancied a trip out to look for them. Much more interesting than watching the Political Debate on BBC1 too ;-). Needless to say we were both on our way to Gnosall very quickly.

The first cache was a quick find and in a place I’d literally almost driven past this morning on the way back from Stafford, an hour before they were published! A nice FTF. Off we set for the second cache…

The walk to one of the caches

The walk to one of the caches

The second cache was a short walk over a field and into some woods. We soon realised the co-ords were a bit off as the lowest they would go was 35ft, with the GPSr’s pointing into an (obviously) private field. To add to our woes it was starting to go dark and there was no cache size or hint on the cache page. This was never going to be easy!

Needless to say we checked everywhere and could not spot the cache so gave up and moved on to the third new cache and had a quick find and another FTF. On the way back we returned for a second look at the cache we could not find and still could not spot it.

When I got home I emailed the cache owner to check we were in the right kind of area – we were. I thus returned this morning and could not believe it when I spotted the cache in the foilage as I walked up to the area where the distance to go minimised. How the heck we missed it last night in the dark as we’d been within 1.5ft of it last night, but looking at the obvious tree in the other direction to the cache!

That’s the third of three FTF’s :-).

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Old millstone in the centre of Audlem, right by the cache

Old millstone in the centre of Audlem, right by the cache

I was working away today, trying to catch up with things after our extended holiday in Florida last week and spotted 5 new caches had been published. 3 were near Gnosall and then 2 were near Whitchurch. I was too busy to dash right out for them but after I’d cleared up a few things I though I’d give them a go.

The first one was down a very remote lane near Gnosall and I thought I might manage a FTF. It was not to be as the Nozi Parkers had beaten me by 15 minutes. Undeterred I set off for the second one, knowing they may still be doing it as it’s a 0.6 mile walk each way and they would not have had time to walk there and back yet.

Needless to say I was right and bumped into Angela on her way back from the cache. She walked back with me to watch me find it before giving me a lift in her car back down the bridleway to where I’d parked. We then set off in convoy for the third cache.

We could not work out how to get to this one so as the coast was clear we risked skirting round a field and then over a fence to GZ. After that it was an easy find and a Joint FTF to boot :-).

Me with one of the Gnosall caches

I said my goodbye’s to Angela and headed off to Whitchurch to try for the other two FTF’s. The first was a very tricky find and took me ages. Eventually I managed to spot it from the wrong side of a fence and really liked the sneaky container.

The other cache was right in the middle of Whitchurch and not far from an Iceland store my step-brother used to be Manager at ages ago.

On the way home, I diverted off into Cheshire to find a cache that had come out in Audlem (Cheshire’s most southerly village) a few weeks ago and was cluttering up my closest to home not found list. A nice quick find here, after dodging lots of muggles.

Later on in the evening, I was catching up with work when another cache just a few miles from home came out. A quick check with Allun from the Shropshire Seekers on MSN had me picking him up 5 minutes later. We were soon at GZ and quickly found the cache. I bet the views from GZ over towards The Wrekin are great from here in the daytime too :-).

That’s 2 FTF’s and 2 Joint FTF’s. Not bad for two unexpected caching trips!

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Newly born lambs near to a cache

Newly born lambs near to a cache

While we were stuck in Florida last week we’d seen a new set of 18 caches come out in Beckbury, not far from the caches we’d enjoyed in Badger a few weeks ago. I could not resist heading for these on Saturday as it’s a beautiful area for walking.

I dropped Isaac off at school and headed off to Beckbury. The caches are spread out all over the area and not on an obvious walk so I decided to park up right in the middle of them and see how I got on. Just as I was getting my gear ready a guy came down the road holding a GPSr. It was andycpuk – great to meet you :-).

On the way to one of the caches

On the way to one of the caches

Andy had nearly finished the series and only had 3 caches left to find. I decided to head off with him for these three caches and then carry on from there. A plan which worked really well!

After I’d said my goodbye’s to Andy at the third cache I carried on, opting to make a loop out of the first set of caches and return to the Jeep to re-position it for some more of the series down the road. The walk was absolutely beautiful with a bit of terrain, some woods, some open fields, a stream or two and LOTS of wildlife to see. My kind of caching in a nutshell :-).

Lovely old bridge near to one of the caches

Lovely old bridge near to one of the caches

The only thing really of note was on a cache by the River Worfe. I had just started to sign the log when a guy came out of a nearby garage and shouted over “what are you doing there”. Ooops – I’d been well and truly muggled! I explained about caching to him and said he might see a few more people over the next few days as it was a new series. He seemed ok with this thankfully.

At the last cache in the series I spotted some other cachers had found it today so texted them to see where they were up to. We arranged to meet by the road in Badger as I was driving through on my way to Bridgnorth. Great to meet you all – [monki], unowho67, Lime Candy and Blue Nora! We had a quick chat before continuing on our respective ways.

Sandstone cliff in the woods

Sandstone cliff in the woods

The next two caches were replacements for an old multi that used the same walk and was one I’d got a FTF on when it initially came out. Needless to say the walk was every bit as lovely as I remembered it and the caches were great too.

Next on the list is a cache hidden down a Byway Open To All Traffic just south of Bridgnorth. The cache page says to say in your log whether you did the cache on foot or in a 4×4. I’d met the cache owner at a recent event and promised him I’d do it in the Jeep as every finder so far had walked it.

Driving down the Byway to the cache

Driving down the Byway to the cache

I parked the Jeep on the narrow Byway by GZ and had just got out to look for the cache when two other Jeep Wrangler’s came down the lane. I spoke to the first driver and asked if he was ok waiting a moment while I found the cache. No problem he said, but with pressure to find it quickly I just could not spot the cache and gave up the hunt.

I thus carried on down the Byway, round the block and back again down the Byway, hoping it would be quieter this time. It was and I soon spotted the cache – in a place I’d not looked earlier – doh!

Open parkland near the River Worfe

Open parkland near the River Worfe

I then ticked off a nice micro in some lovely countryside, followed by a wander round Low Town at Bridgnorth doing a multi cache we’ve been meaning to do ever since it came out. A fab location for the final cache here too!

There was still a bit of time left so I decided to head off nearer to home and try and find some of the newer caches in the area. On the way I stopped at ASDA in Donnington for an awful cache which I soon gave up on as there was litter everywhere and it was just plain horrible to look for.

It's this way to the next cache

It's this way to the next cache

The rest of the caches were easy enough, with some more nice countryside walks and great scenery / views. I even had the pleasure of walking along the side of a field full of newly born lambs and their protective mothers :-).

Later on in the evening, 3 new caches came out in Gnosall so off I headed to find them. I had not dashed out so was not surprised to miss the FTF. I bumped into Allun from the Shropshire Seekers at the second one and stopped for a good while catching up with each other.

My route round the cache for the day

My route round the caches for the day

Last cache of the day was near Bishops Wood and handily placed as I was due to pick the children up from a party at the Village Hall there.

30 caches in total, which I was really pleased about as I’d not intended to go out and find that many today.

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Self portrait with the logbook

Another evening and another FTF dash with the Shropshire Seekers. There seems to be quite a few new caches coming out at about 7:30pm ish at the moment and I for one are really enjoying both seeing new caches coming out in the area and also a good opportunity for some nighttime caching.

I’d missed the usual notification email for the new one this evening – in fact it’s still not arrived two days later! I think Goundspeak need to feed the mail server hamsters more ;-). Luckily Allun noticed the new cache so popped up on MSN to see if I fancied the FTF dash. Daft question ;-).

He was soon round at out house and we set off in the Jeep. The cache is by the old airfield at Seighford near Stafford. The airfield is a busy gliding club at the weekends with another part of it used for a ‘Fast Car Experience’, where you can zoom round the track in Ferrari’s, Lambo’s etc etc. Must try that sometime :-).

Anyway, we were soon at GZ and the co-ords were good so we had a really quick find of the sneakily hidden cache. Not only am I enjoying the new caches in the area, but also some really nice hides too. Long may it continue.

I was back home with Mrs Bolas Heathens in just less that an hour.

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Self portrait with the cache

I was at home looking after the children last night while Mrs Bolas Heathens was out, when up popped a new cache towards Stafford. Not long after, Allun from the Shropshire Seekers (who lives in the village nearest to us) popped up on MSN to ask if I fancied a FTF dash for it. Of course I did :-).

Allun arrived round just before Mrs Bolas Heathens got home and as soon as we could we dashed out to the cache. It was by an old bridge over the old Stafford to Newport railway line, which is now a lovely cycleway. We suspected the cache was on the cycleway so down we went.

My GPS zero’d out by a fence near the bridge so I set about searching there while Allun was looking nearby. We then wondered if the cache might actually be up on the bridge itself (the cache page said it was a sneaky hide!). One of us went up while the other carried on looking down below.

A short while later Allun came up with the cache, although I won’t say if he was ‘up’ or ‘down’ as we don’t want to make it too easy for future finders ;-). Even better, we were FTF on the cache :-).

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A few caches around Stafford

The flooded cache field in Stafford

I had to pop into Stafford this morning to pay in some cheques at the bank. Naturally I could not resist the chance to try for the caches we’d missed out on on Sunday due to the flood waters.

After I’d been to the bank I drove round to the first one, which was under 2-3ft of water at the weekend, with all the melted snow causing the nearby River Sow to burst it’s banks. The water had subsided quite a bit and I could see I should be able to pick my way round it to all the caches I needed to do.

The first one was close to where I’d parked and a nice easy one, hanging from a branch in a tree. I only had to stand in an inch or so of water to get it. The next one was on the wrong side of a (temporary!) pool so I left it for the way back to the Jeep. The final one was a quick and easy find.

A rather high River Sow

One the way back to the Jeep I stopped to look for the one I’d missed out on. It was nowhere to be seen and I can only assume the water has washed it away. As luck would have it, the cache has only recently been relocated from a spot about 350ft away and the previous logs indicate the old cache is still in place. I wonder if I can find that one instead so at least I can tick this cache off the list? Needless to say I could – the cache was seriously damp but at least I found it!

The remaining cache in the area was not there at the weekend but the cache owner has since replaced it. I cycled down the path to it and found it quickly enough. I can’t help but feel it will blow off again as it’s only a tiny magnetic cache and it’s in an exposed location high up, with lots of wind. It’s already gone missing something like 4 times in it’s short existence.

A rather ghostly picture of me on one of the Stafford to Newport railway caches

On the way home I stopped for two quick caches along the old Stafford to Newport railway line (which is now a lovely cycleway and getting filled up with new caches fast) before heading off to the canal at Gnosall and try and find what would have been our 30th find on Sunday.

As I walked up to it I could see a cacher at GZ acting furtively. It turned out to be a new(ish) local cacher called Yagoobian – great to meet you :-). The cache was a really quick find in the place we’d thought was the most obvious hide on Sunday, but the darkness had prevented us from seeing the less than obvious hole the cache was in.

Right, better head back home now and get some work done!

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Thinking the cache might be in a sneakier place than it was on the Ned's Walk series

We’d left Sunday as our main caching day this weekend and with the snow finally melting, we were looking forward to a full day out and some proper caching, rather than having to pick and choose caches near main roads to avoid the worst of the  snow.

We planned to start with the new caches to the NW of Wolverhampton not too far from the in-laws house, before heading up through Penkeridge to Stafford and picking off two new series there. Finally there were 3 new caches between Stafford and home, to bring the total finds for the day to about 30.

The first caches were a set of 3 on a short walk over some fields not far from Chillington Hall (where we found our first ever cache!). All nice an easy and totally un-eventful apart from me scraping my head against a tree and getting a bad graze. Ouch!

Handy arrow which pointed to one of the caches

A quick drive-by followed, on the way to a nice looking circular walk called Ned’s Walk which was along bridleways and canal’s just to the north of Wolverhampton. We parked up and got the bikes out of the Jeep as we’d seen several other caches had done the series by bike.

As we rode up to the first cache we could see 3 cachers stood by it with the cache. It was Shropshire Seekers, Big Farmer Giles and Wild Goosey. Great to meet you all again :-). Wild Goosey insisted on us turning our backs while she re-hid the cache for us to find. I might have had a quick peek over my shoulder as we soon found the cache ;-).

We then all walked up to the next cache which was a quick find by Big Farmer Giles. We left them all to carry on at their own pace and headed off ahead on our bikes. The rest of the caches were quick and easy finds apart from one where the co-ords were about 25ft out. The main problem here was the co-ords took you to a place that matched the hint perfectly – it’s just that it was the wrong place!

Lovely urban canal cutting

On the way round we bumped into the Nozi Parkers who were doing the series in a different order than the others we’d met earlier.

Once back at the Jeep, Isaac guided us up to Penkeridge for the two closest to Grandpa’s house not founds. Both really quick finds and one of them was our first non-micro of the day – woooohoooo :). What’s with all the micro’s today :-(?

In Stafford we headed off for the strangely named ‘Over-un-under-um’ series (what the heck does that mean?). This is a circular walk around a flood plain by the River Sow, continuing on to a canal at the far side of the walk. Needless to say with all the snow melting the flood plain was under quite a bit of water and the first three caches were impossible to get to without a boat.

Flooded cache fields in Stafford

We decided to try the other side of the loop and see how many we could get to. Luckily the path was much higher up on this side and we had no problem cycling off for 3 finds and 1 DNF (the cache was missing). On the way we bumped into BigCe, a local Stafford cacher who we’d not met before. Great to meet you :-).

We then re-located to the other side of Stafford and the other strangely named series, the ‘Clog & Knocker’ series. This time the cache page explained that it was named after the local nickname for the old Stafford to Uttoxeter railway, along which the series is set.

We set off on our bikes along the cycleway for the 6 caches in the series. All nice quick finds, but well hidden which is good as the cycleway is seriously busy with muggles at times. Along the way we bumped into WiliamTM – another local Stafford cacher we’d not met before :-). We saw that snerdbe and cannonedwards were also doing the series but did not bump into them unfortunately.

Once we’d finished we realised we were short of the 30 finds we had planned for due to the flooded caches we had to abandon earlier. A quick check of Memory Map revealed a conundrum – we’d done all the other caches in the area! Hmmm!!

We ended up back on the M6 heading south to the Cannock area as there were a few quick caches we’d not yet found there. Nothing much to report here as they were all easy enough.

The last one (which was to be our 30th find) was down a bridleway and a short walk later we were looking for it. I’m not sure it’s still there as we had a good search and it was nowhere to be found. Drat! There are also no other nearby caches we have not already found – one of the pitfalls of caching in an area we frequently cache in.

Unusual bridleway sign

We decided to start heading for home and do a new cache by the canal at Gnosall for our 30th find.

It was totally dark by the time we arrived at this one and despite searching for something like 40 minutes on a very slippery canal banking with tons of places to hide a cache we could not spot it. I bet it’s dead easy to find in the daytime too (see a later blog post as it was indeed really easy to spot in the daytime!).

That’s 29 finds for the day but a good day out nonetheless and possibly a record for the number of caching teams we’ve bumped into in one day – 6 in total :-).

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