Archive for October, 2008

This week we fancied some urban caching for a change.

Our idea was to clear up some DNF’s in Bruntwood Park and nearby, then move over to Stockport and try the new Heritage Trail there, before finishing off the new Sound series caches and, if time permitted, carrying on up the M60 to do more caches.

All started well with the DNF’s although we had to use two PAF’s for the Sticks And Stones one as it’s virtually impossible to find and the co-ords are miles out. The second PAF (the cache owner himself) was able to guide us to somewhere we’d not thought to look and we spotted the cache easily then.

In Stockport, we parked by Lambourghini Manchester and went over to admire the lovely cars through the showroom window. Isaac really enjoyed this part as he’s mad on cars. We then had a lovely walk round the town picking up the new Heritage Trail caches. All were easy finds, but with this kind of cache, it’s more about the location than the hide.

A short drive later and we were at the Visitors Centre in the country park where the Sound series are. We had some soup and sandwiches before setting off on our bikes to bag the new caches that had been placed since we were last here. All nice and easy and a great ride, despite the rain that had just started.

Time was on our side so we set off up the M60 to Failsworth as there is a group of new(ish) caches there that we’ve been meaning to do for ages. More easy find were the order of the day. The one at Hollingsworth station was a nice hide. One of the other caches was in someone’s front garden, which we always struggle with as you never know if you are looking in the right garden or annoying a cacher’s neighbour, rooting around in the wrong garden!

After we’d done these, we still had an hour spare before we needed to set off home so checked Memory Map to see what else was nearby. The new Philips Park ones were not a million miles away and we could do these and then head down Princess Parkway to the M56 and home.

We parked by the (ex?) abattoir on Riverpark Road to do the first one. The building still gives me the creeps as we’re all veggies and the thought of what goes on inside makes me feel ill. Thankfully the cache was a quick find. We then drove round to the other side of the park for the other cache, passing the City Of Manchester stadium, Bang!!!! and the National Velodrome. Isaac absolutely loved the Bang!!!! statue.

We then headed off home, but could not resist a small detour into the sidestreets of Moss Side to do a reccie on the new Manchester’s Most Dangerous caches. The first one was right outside a row of terraced houses! All was quiet as I would imagine everyone was inside having their tea, so we popped out and had a quick find of the sneaky hide. Did not like the second one in the series as much as more people were around (including a few dodgy looking hoodies) so were very thankful for a quick find.

It was then getting very dark so we settled back into the Jeep, put some music on, turned the heating up and headed off home, happy with a great day’s caching.

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It’s the day before our usual caching day out and we still cannot decide where to go…

The weather forecasts for Saturday have been looking dismal for the last few days, but this morning they are looking a little more promising.

Nowhere is jumping out saying “come here caching”, apart from very distant areas in the South East which will require an overnight stop. Isaac is working hard swotting for his 11-Plus exams which are either side of the Christmas holidays and cannot realistically spend the night away from home until they are over.

There are quite a few new walks around Bromsgrove / Alcester which look to be our kind of caching. 10 or so caches on a circular walk in lovely countryside, followed by a short(ish) drive to another nearby set of caches etc etc. Perfect, apart from the fact we have a uncontrollable desire to go north again this weekend.

The new Stockport Heritage Trail caches look interesting and could be combined with a mop-up of DNF’s in Burntwood Park near Manchester Airport. Not enough caches to keep us entertained for a whole day, but if we then go north on the M60 towards Oldham and tackle the caches around Failsworth then there would be enough. If we have time, then there are more new caches towards the city centre e.g. the new Philips Park ones. If we are brave enough, there are even two new caches in Moss Side under the title of “Manchester’s Most Dangerous”!

I think I’ll watch the weather a bit more and decide later in the day…

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Cache Maintenance

Both our Whitchurch Whereigo and our Market Drayton: Plaque Attack caches were reported as missing in the last few days. Today we went to check on them both and indeed they had both been muggled.

We replaced the Whitchurch one with a much smaller container in the same hiding place. We pushed it under a lot more and added some natural camo so it’s not obvious it’s there at all. Hopefully it will be ok now.

The Market Drayton one was very near a skate park and I suspect some younger muggles had been sheltering from the rain under the bridge nearby and found the cache. There is a very handy River Tern right by GZ so I suspect that is where the old decon container went. Hmmm.

We found a quieter location in the same park and so put a new smaller cache there, hung from the back of a shielded, ivy covered tree in a camo bag. It took me a few moments to spot it when testing out the new co-ords so hopefully it will be invisible to muggles. Time will tell…

Both cache pages have been updated and they are both back live on GC.com.

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We went to Jumbles Reservoir to try the new m0gsb caches on Saturday.

On the way, we stopped to clear up a DNF at Sidetracked Hall-i-th-wood (I still don’t quite know how to pronounce that one as they don’t speak that way in Cheshire!). We also bagged a couple of the new series at the southern end of the trail as drive-by’s.

We then drove up to the main Jumbles car park and were just getting out of the Jeep when we spotted a familiar face approaching. It was gruftymilo and bettyboo – great to finally meet cachers we’d seen in lots of logbooks around the area. As we were chatting, nandad pulled up – great to meet you both again too. A few moments later, wicker appeared.

Eventually myself and Isaac set off on our bikes. A couple of caches later and we bumped into Dave_S. As we were chatting to Dave, another group of cacher’s came round the corner. It was Lolly and Bob, scorpionqueen, the Milk Man, benben8, grufty and bettyboo again. I’d said to Isaac on the drive here that we might bump into some cachers today but this is ridiculous!

We’d had a tip off from both grufty and wicker that a new Earthcache had been set at the top of the reservoir, but not yet published. We were told what details we needed and where to take the photo from, so made sure to stop off and do the necessary on the way round as I can;t think when we’ll next be here.

We had great fun doing the trail round the reservoir on our bikes before setting off to do some of the newer urban drive-by’s in Bolton. Nothing much to say about these ones as the locations were a bit uninspiring, but a smiley is a smiley at the end of the day and at least TomTom won’t beep at us when we go past up the A666 now.

We ended the day with a Foinavon cache in a nice park not far from the town centre. Great to tick off another in the ‘Pie’ series – I think that is the series completed now for us. Still a few caches left to get ahead of PhilPamAndRob on the “who has found the most Foinavon caches” but we’re working on it (nothing a quick trip round the Runcorn area won’t sort out).

All in all, a fun and satisfying day out for us with 36 finds to log. This is what caching is all about.

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Whereigo Wonderings

We were out caching on Saturday and took a call from a cacher looking for our Whereigo cache in Whitchurch. It was nowhere to be seen and must have been muggled.

We’re gutted as they take so long to set up and then with hardly any visitors (not that many cachers have the equipment to run them yet) the last thing you want is DNF’s. Not to mention the cacher, who took the time and trouble to follow the Whereigo round and then does not get a smiley at the end for their troubles. At least they told us they really enjoyed the walk around town.

We did take a bit of a risk with it as it was a Regular sized lock n lock container in a very urban location right in the town centre. We hoped it would last longer than it did, but it was not to be. We’ll hopefully replace it with a smaller cache some time this week.

As if that was not bad news enough, we heard that our new Market Drayton: Plaque Attack cache is also missing. It’s only been out a couple of weeks so is all the more disappointing. We suspect the hide is compromised so we’ll have to try and find an alternate location for any replacement.

It can only get better from here hopefully.

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I’d just sat down to get started on work for the day when up pops two new caches in Market Drayton. I can’t remember the last time a local FTF possibility cropped up so I just had to dash out to try and find them.

I soon arrived at the lovely Shropshire Church Gem and had the cache in hand after a short search. My problem came when I went to put it back as it seemed to have lost it’s magnetism. I did not remember seeing a magnet attached to it and a quick look around the area I had handled the cache came up empty. Very odd as it must have been stuck on somehow!

I ended up hiding the cache very close-by and texting Paul and Izzy (the other possible FTF hounds) saying what I’d done just in case they were chasing the FTF’s too (they were not). Off back to the Jeep and a short drive later, I was parked up for the walk to the bonus cache.

The cache page had indicated the cache was up a slippy bank and it was not wrong – especially with this morning’s rain. Thankfully there were lots of trees to grab onto to help me up and I soon had the cache in hand. A nice big box too, full of TB’s (it’s the starting point for a TB race between some local cachers).

Well satisfied by my impromptu caching session, I walked back to the Jeep.

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We had another really good day out caching in Lancashire on Saturday. The day started off a bit misty but cleared up later on to become a really nice day.

On the way to the M6, we stopped off at the church in Whitmore to try and find the new Staffordshire Church Gem cache. The first part was easy as it was a virtual stage and you could not miss it. We plotted the co-ords and found the cache was not far from where we had parked the Jeep. We had a quick look but could not spot the nano. We were anxious to get on with the main event of the day – the caches in Lancs – so decided to give up and have another look on the way home later.

On arrival at the first cache, we got accosted by a very unfriendly lady from the nearby house who told us under no circumstances could we park anywhere on the public road she lived on. Some people! We’d parked very considerately and left tons of room to get past too! Anyway, we moved the Jeep to the end of the lane and set off from there on bikes. We did have to wheel them along the public footpaths though as you’re not supposed to cycle on them ;-).

We loved the 40th Birthday series, with some fun hides and great walking. The only exception were the first two which were in the muddiest field we had seen for quite some time. Up to our ankles in it at times!

After we’d done this set of caches, we moved over to Rivington and set off to find the caches that had been put out for the recent event there. A nice set of easy caches along an ancient byway started us off, before moving over to near Lead Mines Clough for the Sight series.

We struggled at a couple of the sight ones as it was getting late in the day and we were getting tired. A quick PAF soon put us on the right track though. We left one of the series as it had had 2 DNF’s on it and we were pretty sure it was MIA. Will try again for it the next time we are in the area.

On the way home, we stopped at the Church Gem again and found it immediately in the first place I shone the big torch – how lucky is that?

All in all, another really satisfying day out caching that we both thoroughly enjoyed.

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Today was Mrs Bolas Heathens birthday and she had invited quite a few of the Mum’s from school over for lunch. I thought I would make myself scarce as I’d never get any work done as they would be directly below my office chatting away.

I set off to clear some of our page 1 Not Founds, starting with an urban micro in Telford. Lots of long grass and places you could put a cache here. After looking in the obvious places and some more sneaky places, I came up empty handed. I resorted to a PAF who directed me to the cache, which was in a less obvious place. It turned out later that Tizzie works very close to this one and had not realised there was a new cache so close to work.

Then it was off to find the Rabbit Run caches. The first one had a sneaky twist using a variation on the old childhood getting a calculator display to say ‘hello’ on the screen. ALl good fun and nice to see something different for a change.

The rest of them were easy drive-by’s, but did involve quite a bit of trekking back and forth in the area as they were multi’s. Then it was onward to a lovely Shropshire Church Gem, an easy guardrail cache near Condover and a return visit to Shrewsbury Station to find the replacement Sidetracked cache there.

All in all a good fun 3 hours was had, in some of our favourite parts of Shropshire.

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We had a great day out doing these caches on Saturday. The weather looked threatening all day but we did not get wet until trying ‘one last’ cache on the way home at Off Yer Trolley – Brownhills. Needless to say we gave up and dashed back to the Jeep to save getting a total soaking.

The M6 Toll series have to be some of the easiest caches we’ve ever found. They were all exactly the same kind of container and all hidden in exactly the same way. It does not get any easier than that!

The Withy Woods caches kept us amused – especially the names of some e.g. “On The Way Home From Withy Woods”, “Withy Wood Surrounded – The Last”. Someone is obviously having great fun putting out a cache at a time round the main Withy Woods cache. I bet the locals are cursing them as just when they think they have cleared the area, yet another cache comes out.

The slow part of the day was when we went into the more urban areas of Sutton Coldfield as the traffic got quite bad in places and we had to wait out muggles on a couple of caches, all of which took valuable time.

A really satisfying day’s caching with 41 finds in total, including a Virtual cache and an Earthcache.

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Decisions, Decisions!

Where to go caching this weekend…

Plan A: Go up to Lancashire and clear up the caches from the recent Rivington and 40th Birthday events. Great countryside for walking and the caches are bound to be fun.

Plan B: The new M6 Toll Caches, Withy Woods near Sutton Coldfield and others. Looks to be lots of easy caches and will be quick to get home on the motorway. We’ve also been working on the many Puzzle caches in the area so it will be good to get the chance to clear a few of these up.

Looking at the weather forcast, Lancs is due to be very wet tomorrow, with Brum less so but getting wetter as the day progesses. At the moment, Plan B is our preferred option as the weather looks to be better and if it does rain, there is less walking involved.

We’ll be watching the weather forecasts over the day to see how things progress…

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