On Sunday we’d planned a day out doing all the new caches in the Fradley Junction area just north of Lichfield, by the A38. There were lots to aim for, with a countryside walk, canal cache series, business park caches and finally some caches set around a wood.
Isaac was going to come too, but he’s got his first exams at his new school starting a week on Monday so we decided it might be better for him to stay at home and get some revision done with his Grandpa (who is an ex-headteacher). Off I set on my own…
First stop was a quick Sidetracked cache at Lichfield Trent Valley. Nothing much to say here apart from a very quick find.
I then carried on down the road to the end of the PF for the countryside walk cache series. The sun was out by now and it was looking to be a beautiful day – just perfect for this kind of walking. Off I set and had a nice hour or thereabouts bagging the 8 caches in the series. All quick finds and some fun containers as the series was based around the concept of 5 vegetables a day. I bet you can guess what the cache containers were😉.
Next, I relocated to the NW of the caches on the Trent and Mersey canal and got my bike out of the Jeep. This was a lovely quiet stretch of canal with very few people on it, which obviously makes for quick finds as I could searching un-hindered. At the far end of the series, I had to cross over to the other side of the canal for the last two caches. A quick back-track to where I’d parked was then in order.
Fradley Business Park and it’s many new caches were next on my list so I drove round to a handy starting point. Part of the business park is built on the former site of the WW2 Lichfield airfield and there are bits of old runway and lots of the old hangars still there. Having set the ‘Behind Enemy Lines’ series round old WW2 airfields in Shropshire, I was very interested to see what I could see here.
The walk to the first three caches took me past some of the old hangars and I managed to get to the end of the old runway and get a pilots eye view of it – something many pilots would have seen when the airfield was operational.
The next two caches were quick drive-by’s in the business park, before I headed off to the other side of the main A38 for the next set of caches. Out came my bike again for a short stretch of 4 caches along the Coventry Canal.
After I’d got back to the Jeep I drove round to make a start on The Mighty Shark’s Brookhay Wood series of caches. There was a puzzle (solved during the week), a micro, a regular and a multi. We don’t normally do any multi’s when caching away from home but I was walking past the first stage between two of the other caches and it was only a micro leading to a final box.
The puzzle one was a quick find with lovely views over a newly planted area of woodland that had a purple haze look to it. The first stage of a multi involved something a little different (the hint was 8ft from the base of a tree so I’ll leave it up to you to work out what I needed to do). The rest of the caches were easy finds, although the micro came as a bit of a shock when I found it (I won’t say why – you need to do the cache to work it out!).
I’d now managed 29 finds and had tons of time left so decided to head home the ‘scenic’ route across country via Rugeley and Stafford and pick up a few caches on the way. The other aim was to bag the YOSM cache at the trig point on Hunger Hill. which was only a short diversion off my route.
The next cache was by an old bridge over the River Trent. I had a very nice surprise when I stuck my hand in and pulled out an ammo box – our favourite type of cache container.
Next, was a quick drive-by followed by a nice walk up Hunger Hill to the trig point. When I say Hill, I really mean a gentle incline as it’s not that high at all, but is the highest ground in the area and hence where the trig point is. The views were pretty good from the top though so it was more than worth the walk.
Just time for a few more caches near the very unusually named Mavesyn Ridware. I’m not sure where the village name comes from but it sounds Welsh maybe? Anyway, the three caches here were all quick finds, with rain starting just after I found the first one.
On the way through Rugeley I picked off two more drive-by’s – the latter actually being in Colwich just north of Rugeley and by the site of a horrific railway accident in 1986.
I checked how many finds I’d got and noticed it was 39. 39 is such an uneven number and 40 would be a lot better, so I had a look on Memory Map to see if there were any quick and easy caches nearby. There were, so off I set to get the nearest one. Another nice easy find.
40 finds in total over just 6 hours, which is not bad going even though I say so myself. I ended up getting home really early and even had time to fit a nice James Bond film in with the children.