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Posts Tagged ‘leyland’

The River Douglas, by my favourite cache of the Croston series

The River Douglas, by my favourite cache of the Croston series

On Saturday I had planned a trip to Lancashire to do the Croston Circular series, which is a set of 31 caches on a circular walk of 10 miles around the village of Croston. On the way round you pass several other caches, a few of which we have yet to find.

If I have time when I’ve finished I’ll then go on to the R.A.T. series by the Ribble embankment and then see about a few drive-by’s on the way back to the motorway and home. Isaac was at school this morning and out at a party on Sunday so it will just be me caching this weekend :-(.

Vents from an underground landfill site - looks a bit like an oil well!

Vents from an underground landfill site - looks a bit like an oil well!

I parked up in Croston near to a pub we’d been to an event at ages ago and set off on my walk. I’d not really looked at the numbering on the caches but I soon realised I was doing the series in reverse. Oh well, not a great problem and on the upside it will mean I might get to bump into other cachers out doing the series in the correct order :-).

Crossing the railway on the Croston walk

Crossing the railway on the Croston walk

The caches were all nice easy finds and the main thing of note on the first half of the walk was bumping into duncscott. We stopped for a quick chat and to compare notes on the caches we’d done on our respective sections of the trail.

Leafy lane about half way round the Croston walk

Leafy lane about half way round the Croston walk

Later on I diverted off the walk to do a stand alone cache at Bank Hall near Tarleton. Back on the trail and a few caches later I bumped into some cachers from Yorkshire called Peteranddi. Just after I left them I went past three people who could have been cachers but I could not see them with a GPSr so did not stop to chat. It turned out to be lwilson1983.

Walking the VERY flat area to the SW of Croston. It looks like you could be on the fens here.

Walking the VERY flat area to the SW of Croston. It looks like you could be on the fens here.

As I neared Croston on the last part of the walk I could hear the bells in the village church ringing out for what was obviously a wedding. A bit later on the route took me through the churchyard and I got to see two lovely old wedding cars parked up, while their occupants were inside the church saying their vows.

Wedding cars outside Croston church

Wedding cars outside Croston church

Once back at the Jeep I realised I had tons of time left, having done the circuit in about 4 hours. I thus headed off for the Linedancer’s R.A.T. series, which was only a few miles away. On the way I picked up a quick drive-by at a roundabout on a main road.

Lovely weir near to one of the caches

Lovely weir near to one of the caches

The R.A.T. series was a great walk and had some fab caches which were really fun to find. I won’t say any more here so as not to spoil it for anyone who has not yet done the caches, but suffice to say Isaac would have loved them if he was with me today.

Views from the Ribble embankment on the R.A.T. series walk

Views from the Ribble embankment on the R.A.T. series walk

After I’d finished this series I still had a spare hour or so so I decided to see how many drive-by’s and cache and dashes I could get between where I was and the M6 near Leyland. The answer was quite a few :-).

Roadside flowers on the R.A.T. series walk

Roadside flowers on the R.A.T. series walk

The main one of note was by this field with two horses in. I grabbed the cache and the two horses came over to say hello. Then lots of dog walkers and pram-pushers appeared out of nowhere and stopped to pet the horses. I ended up having to take the cache with me to the next cache and popping it back when the coast was clear on the way back!

The friendly horses. One of them almost has it's chin on the cache hiding place

The friendly horses. One of them almost has it's chin on the cache hiding place

I ended up the day with a monster 56 finds and about 15 miles or so walked. The weather was great all day which made for a near perfect caching day out :-).

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Frozen pond

Isaac wanted to plan this week’s caching and was keen to head back to the North West for a change as we’ve not been caching there for ages. Ironically enough, Saturday morning dawned and Isaac woke up full of a cold and shivering. He thus stayed at home keeping warm as going out caching in the snow and cold was not wise.

I set off up the M6 and was soon parking up near VTT2 to the east of the old vehicle test track in Leyland. There was quite a dusting of snow in the area with everywhere looking very white and all paths looking very slippy. I put my layers on to keep warm on the walk and set off.

The first cache was right by where I parked and a nice quick find. I could not decide whether to do the series clockwise or anti-clockwise but as the next nearest cache was just south of where I was, I went that way (clockwise). Needless to say I soon realised I was doing the series in reverse but that’s not a problem as there is no bonus cache to find at the end of the walk.

Frozen pond

The next part of the walk took me over a park area with only one dog walker in sight. The series then took me along a little used PF to the west of the test track (the main reason for the series appears to be to encourage the use of this path as it’s hardly used otherwise).

All the caches were quick easy finds with really good co-ords. It’s a shame Isaac was not with me as quite a few of the containers were fun and he’d have enjoyed finding them. I was soon back at the Jeep and feeling pleased with myself as I’d bagged the 12 caches in just over an hour – not bad going even though I do say so myself :-).

Next on the list for today was Nandad’s F.A.B. Thuderbirds series just to the NW of Preston. I’d read good things about this series and it’s even been awarded the NW Caching ‘Cache Du Jour’ award so I knew I’d be in for a treat.

Pylon view

The hardest bit was finding somewhere to park the Jeep while I walked round the caches. Plan A was the TomTom which lead me to a blocked off road some distance south of cache #1. Plan B was to use the parking co-ords on the cache page (why I’d not just used these in the first place is beyond me!). This failed too as I ended up at another blocked road to the north of the co-ords and with nowhere to park. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong here with all the blocked roads, but decided for the manual option of Plan C, which was to pick a suburban road near to cache #1 and then use Memory Map to guide me down some likely looking (and not blocked off) roads. This worked a treat I’m glad to say!

The first cache was a quick find. The next part of the walk was not clear from the OS maps on my Oregon so I again went with the manual option and walked down the main road looking for a likely path heading towards GZ. This worked well and I was soon walking alongside a frozen canal and some lovely locks.

Chilly canal view

Several easy finds then ensued with the only problem being me missing the obvious path alongside the canal a bit further on and going over a field to find myself on the wrong side of a double barbed wire fence from where I needed to be! A stile was close-by so I used that to get round to GZ for another easy find.

All too soon I was at the far end of the walk and headed off over the fields to the canal which would take me along the rest of the series, to the bonus cache and ultimately back to the Jeep.

The rest of the series was easy and I was soon calculating the bonus co-ords, which was an easy find. A really nice hide too! As I was walking back to the Jeep from the bonus cache it started snowing, which was the perfect ending to the series and really put me in a Christmas mood :-).

Fun sign I saw on my walk

I still had quite a bit of time left so I headed off to tackle some of the many drive-by’s between here and Kirkham, near Blackpool. Not a lot to report on these ones apart from:

  • I gave up on one cache as it was a micro in woodland with leaves and snow covering everything. Not my idea of fun.
  • A great little micro by a tree statue in the centre of Kirkham with muggles everywhere. A really nice cache location but a tricky one to actually get hold of as the muggles were non-stop. I got there in the end though.
  • A cache by a lovely old windmill that has been made into a house. What a cracking place to have a bedroom at the top of the windmill!
  • Two caches which clearly were not there and even after several DNF’s by experienced cachers and a Needs Maintenance note over a month ago, the cache owner has not done anything or even posted an intention to do anything. They have not logged on since August so I assume the caches have been abandoned and have posted a Needs Archiving log on both of them.

Icicles under a canal bridge

The last cache of the day was right by J3 of the M55 and a handy place to start my journey home.

41 finds for the day and some really fun caching, although I’d rather have had Isaac with me since he planned the trip.

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Caching plans for tomorrow

Isaac wanted to plan our caching this weekend and was keen that we head northwards for a change as we’ve been caching round the West Midlands and beyond for the last few months. Some caching in the North West is long overdue!

He quickly spotted a nice circular walk called the VTT series by Citizen Smith to the NW of Leyland, followed by a trip slightly further north to Nandad’s Thunderbirds themed F.A.B. series. After that, if there is still time he has left us in an area with loads of drive-by’s we’ve not yet done (mostly micros, but that’s ok with us) before getting on the M55 and heading home.

We’re both looking forward to it. I’m especially looking forward to the walk round the Vehicle Test Track at Leyland (VTT series) as I’ve used it many times as a navigation point when flying northwards out of Liverpool, so it will be good to see it closer up.

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