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Lapley Loop Series

Welcome to Lapley!

After we’d done the new cache series around Codsall last Saturday a new series of 32 caches came out around Lapley, not far from Isaac’s Grandparents house. We were all cached out for the day so decided to leave them until later in the week. I’m glad we did as a couple of days later another 9 caches got added to the area, making a total of 41 caches on a roughly circular walk!

We’re otherwise engaged this weekend and won’t have time for that much caching so I decided to move our weekly caching day forward a few days and get my caching fix early. I suspected it would take just over 3 hours for all the 41 caches, so set off to do them on Thursday morning, hoping to be home by dinner time.

I parked the Jeep up by the church in Lapley and got kitted up for the circular walk around the caches. I planned to do them pretty much in numeric order, with a small diversion for the separate set of 9 newer caches part way round and then to mop up the few driveby’s in the middle of the loop later on as I could not work out a good way of fitting them into my walk without some back-tracking.

The first part of the walk follows the Staffordshire Way

The first cache was a quick find and set me up for what would be common during the rest of the caches – really quick and easy finds. This is ok with me though as this kind of series is all about the walk and the overall experience and not about any individual cache :-).

I was nearly stumped next as I could not see where the PF’s from the road to cache #2 went. I ended up clambering over a gate and soon found my way from there (I’m still not sure I went the correct way though!).

In need of a new sign, although I quite like the old one!

Quite a few more easy finds ensued before I arrived at a cache hidden in a holly bush. It was a Small and so should not have been a problem as there is only so many places you can hide a non-micro in a prickly bush. Or so I thought…

I ended up sticking my head under the bush and looking upwards in a vain hope of seeing the cache. No chance – the cache was nowhere to be seen. I was just about to give up and move on when I checked one last place and there the cache was. It would have been just out of sight from the bottom of the bush and hence why I’d missed it earlier!

New pool not too far from the dreaded holly bush

The next stretch of caches was no problem at all. The main thing of note was it took me into the nature reserve where the final cache of Somewhere Only We Know (Staffordshire), a multi-cache we adopted off MarcB was hidden. From what I remember when we originally found the now archived cache, the new cache is in exactly the same hiding spot!

From the nature reserve, the walk took me out over the fields to the north, on what is probably the stretch of the walk with the least caches on.

Flooded lane

Next, the walk took me along some quiet lanes and then over some more fields to near the hamlet of Whiston.

This is where the 9 newer caches started, although it meant I’d be doing them in reserve order. I’d just found #9 when I bumped into dmsstonerambler coming the other way. He’d done the main Lapley Loop caches a few days ago and had come back to do the 9 new caches. I waited for him to find #9 before walking back to where he’d parked near #1, with me finding the caches he’d just found as we went along.

I said my goodbye’s to Derek at his car and carried on up the lane back to Lapley finding the rest of the caches en-route.

It's still a bit misty

Once back at the Jeep I headed off to find the remaining caches which were in the middle of the loop I’d just walked round. All nice quick finds and all drive-by’s apart from one short walk up a bridleway to a cache.

On the way round I’d been chatting to the Shropshire Seekers on the phone and he mentioned Scrap Happy Annie was doing the series today. When I returned to the Jeep from my walk, I found a note from her saying she had started at 10:25, some hour and a quarter later than me. She had also bumped into stevo185 and The Web Rat and was doing the series with them.

Mt GPSr was pointing to this. I was hoping the micro was not in here (it wasn't)

I thus drove over to the furthest cache from the church to see if they had found that yet. They hadn’t, so they must still be somewhere on the northern part of the loop and on PF’s (which meant I could not easily find them without re-doing some of the walk). Shame I did not get to say hello to them all as it would be nice to finally meet Scrap Happy Annie and say hello again to stevo185 and The Web Rat.

41 finds for the morning and a total time of just over 3.5 hours. Not bad going at all :-).

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