Isaac was away all weekend at scout camp so I settled on a plan of a nice long circular walk on the moors, with a few caches to find along the way. Just the kind of caching I really enjoy when going solo.
On Saturday morning, the weather did not look too promising, but it was forecast to brighten up a bit later so I went for it anyway.
I parked up at the bottom of the hill, just down the road from Edenfield, near Ramsbottom and got myself kitted up with waterproofs and plenty of water to drink. The PF up to the first cache was REALLY steep and quite hard going, but at least it gets the main climb up to the moors out of the way quickly.
The first cache was a quick find and off I went to the next one, a bit further down the track. I had a really nice surprise when I opened the box as I was FTF. I’d totally forgotten that some of Hillgorilla’s new caches up here had not been found yet.
Just after this one, I arrived at the top and was amongst the huge wind turbines. As I made my way over the grassy clumps to the next cache, I waved over at some workmen in a big truck, who were obviously on their way to maintain one of the turbines.
The next few caches were quick and easy, although I had to deal with bands of rain that kept coming in, lasting 10-15 minutes and then pass over. I’m so glad I came in full waterproofs as I’d be soaking by now otherwise.
Three more FTF’s followed, including one at a fabulous spot in a cave at the base of a hidden waterfall. My favourite cache of the day as it’s a fantastic location and a nice hide.
A short spell of DNF’s then happened as I struggled to find a small cache under a rock at the bottom of a quarry that was absolutely full of rocks! Not really my idea of a fun hide. The hint was reasonably specific but after a 15 minute search I stopped enjoying it and walked away.
I found the next two, but then had another DNF at one that looks like it should be an easy find. The rain was belting down and I really was not enjoying the hunt, so walked away again.
On the way to the next cache, I came across the only walkers I saw all day: a group of young people trekking along the Rossendale Way.
I was starting to get hungry and was looking for a sheltered place to stop for lunch but ended up pressing on to the next cache. As I walked up, I realised it was the perfect place for lunch as someone had built a chair out of stones, with a U shaped wall around the sides and back. I sat down and had my sandwiches, before glancing at the hint and realising I could grab the cache without even having to stand up! What more could you ask for :-).
Next, it was on the homeward leg around the top of the moor, through a series of old quarry areas. A few more quick finds, including one at a fabulous natural spa. I had a taste of the water and very nice it was too.
The only caches left were the Dearden Brook ones, so off I set. The first one was tricky to get to as I had to traverse a steep bank with lots of bracken and reeds. Needless to say, with all the rain it was very slippy.
I started off to do the next few in the series, before realising time was pressing on and the rest of the series were on the other side of the valley up a very steep slope. I opted for the easy option and left them for another day.
I knew Isaac would like me to come home with a decent number of finds and the 16 I had got so far just was not enough. When I got back to the Jeep, I had a look at Memory Map and realised there were quite a few easy number crunchers in nearby Ramsbottom, which were too easy looking to ignore.
No problems from here on in, with nano’s hidden under various benches being the order of the day. Not very inspiring caches, but after a trek round the moors, I was in the mood for something quick and not too taxing.
After I’d done all the quick ones in Ramsbottom, I still had an hour to kill before I needed to head home, so had another look at Memory Map and settled on a series of 4 nano’s near Smithills Hall to the NW of Bolton. Not too far away and another few easy caches were then found.
I still had a couple of TB’s with me and needed to think about dropping them somewhere. I did not want to put them in a cache on the moors earlier and was trying to find an easy to get to cache so they would be picked up quickly by another cacher. Two small caches were not too far away so off I set. The first one was big enough, so I dropped the TB’s in there.
On the way this morning, I’d spotted an Earthcache right by the M60 motorway junction at Worsley, so stopped by on the way home to break the journey up. I’m glad I did as it was a really interesting spot when an old underground canal came into the open. This used to be used to transport coal from nearby pits underground to the Bridgewater Canal and from there onwards to wherever they usually take coal.
I was amused with the “Welcome to Salford” signs as they were bright pink, with white writing on them. Not the colours I’d associate with somewhere with such a tough reputation as Salford has had in the past, but there you go.
33 finds for the day, a fantastic walk around the moors, which I really enjoyed. A great day out!