Posts Tagged ‘shifnal’

On the way round the Shifnal series by bike

On the way round the Shifnal series by bike

On Saturday myself and Isaac decided to head for the By Ecc, An Event! event cache at Copmere, close to Eccleshall. We’d heard there would be 28 caches put out for the event, so just had to find some caches to do in the morning before the event.

A new series just to the SW of Shifnal that had come out during the week looked perfect. Even better, just about the whole route was bikeable! We picked a parking spot by cache #8 and got the bikes out. A great ride round the series and all nice quick finds with good co-ords. On the way round, we caught up with g6lpb (Bob) – great to meet you!

We still had a bit of time before the event started, so we picked off three new caches that had been added to the Lapley Loop on the way.

Once at the event, the caches had already been released and g6lpb, -Ako-, hardy clan and langcliffe45 were hanging back to do the walk with us. Perfect!

With the bonus cache on the new EeeByEck event series

With the bonus cache on the new EeeByEck event series

We had a great walk round the caches in really good company. Most were quick finds, but a few were a bit trickier, but not too tricky.

Back at the event, quite a few people had already gone home as it was about 5:30pm but lots of friends were still there so we enjoyed a good natter with everyone.

On the way home we diverted off to get the last event cache, which was a Multi not too far from the pub. As we pulled up we spotted The Washers, Tizzie and The Haywood Hornet looking for stage 1. We all joined forces and the cache was soon found.

56 finds for the day, perfect caching weather, good caches, a great bike ride, a fab walk and above all great company of other cachers. What a good day out.

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Shropshire Church Gem - Shifnal

Shropshire Church Gem - Shifnal

On Saturday, despite breaking up for the half-term holidays yesterday, Isaac had to go into school for Speech Day. I dropped him off and planned to go and do 5 nearby caches while I was waiting to pick him up.

The first on my list was a Shropshire Church Gem in Shifnal and a quick find once I’d realised you access the path to it via the churchyard and not by a nearby street of houses – doh!

By this time the rain had started and was coming down quite heavily, which was not exactly adding to the caching experience. I pressed on regardless in the hope the rain would stop soon (it didn’t!). The next cache was a quick one on a nice walk over some fields and into woodland.

Views over the rapeseed crop while walking to snerdbe's Old Park caches

Views over the rapeseed crop while walking to snerdbe's Old Park caches

The next two caches were an addition to snerdbe’s Old Park cache, which we’d done absolutely ages ago. I parked in the same place as we did the last time we were here and enjoyed the walk (despite the rain!) to both caches.

The last one of my short trip out was another Shropshire Church Gem, this time at the beautiful church in Tong. This was a multi and so I wandered into the churchyard to get the numbers I needed, before returning to the Jeep to woork out the co-ords to the final cache. I would normally have walked the last bit but it was still raining so I drove all the way and parked right by GZ for an easy find.

Once back at school, I was in plenty of time to pick Isaac up. Pity there were not a few more caches I could have looked for to pass the time ;-).

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One of the caches we found

I was just settling down for the evening when up popped Allun from the Shropshire Seekers on MSN saying a new cache had just been published near Brewood. By the time I’d checked the one cache has multiplied into 4 new caches! Should we go for it knowing some very prolific FTF hounds live so much closer to it? Of course we should – beats Friday night TV anytime :-).

I picked up Allun on the way and we were soon on the M54 Brewood bound. On arriving at the parking location we half expected to see the familiar silver car we often see in these situations but it was not there.

The first cache was just by the parking area and a quick find. Even better, there was a virgin logbook :-).

We then set off down the dark bridleway for the rest of the caches. The next two were quick finds and we then had the co-ords for the final cache of the series (it was one of those sets of caches where one cache has the co-ords for the next cache etc etc). Without giving anything away, we realised we would be best going back to the Jeep and driving round to make the last cache quicker, just in case any other noctural FTF hounds were out.

On the way back to the Jeep we stopped off so Allun could find an older cache we were walking past anyway (we’d found it really early on in our caching career). As he was signing the logbook we spotted two torches coming along the path – it was Paul and Izzy of Izzy and the Lizard Kind. Fancy bumping into you two here ;-). We had a lovely chat, catching up on things as we’ve not seen them for ages.

Isaac and Freya with the old Lodge Hill cache in 2005

They then carried on to number 3 of the series and we zoomed round for a quick FTF on the last one in the series.

On the way home we did a quick drive-by of a new cache in Brewood before heading off to Lodge Hill near Shifnal to bag another new cache that only came out a few days ago. This was a very nostalgic location for us as there used to be a Washers cache here that was our second or third ever find. The new cache was *very* close to where the old cache used to be hidden.

Now to get back home as it’s getting quite late. 4 FTF’s for the evening too :-).

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Cockshutt hill in the snow

The weather has been looking dire all week with snow covering all the areas we usually cache in and it being too cold to want to venture out for long. We thus ended up calling off our usual day out caching this weekend and settled for a few caches each day to keep the caching itch from needing to be scratched too much.

Friday 8th January

I had to pop out to Stoke for something else but had not really planned to do any caching. One thing lead to another and I ended up also having to visit Stockport. TomTom wanted to take me up the M6 but I had other plans as the scenic route up over the Staffordshire Moorlands before dropping down into Macclesfield and through Hazel Grove sounded much more interesting!

On the way I was looking out for caches that I might pass on TomTom and sure enough, I spotted one in Endon, just as I was coming out of Stoke. A quick check of my iPhone (I did not have a GPSr with me) gave me all I needed to know and it was a really easy find without even needing a GPSr.

The Rudyard Lake nano

A bit further on I spotted another cache near the southern end of Rudyard Lake so stopped for another quick find. This one was a nano and I had no pen with me so had to make do with a picture of the cache container to prove my find.

On the way from Stockport onto the M60 a bit later on I stopped for another drive-by right under Stockport Viaduct. This one was not to be though as the snow was really deep and I was looking for a micro at ground level. Ah well, two out of three ain’t bad :-).

Saturday 9th January

I had to drop Isaac off at school this morning so could not resist going to look for a few caches nearby which had been sat at the top of our closest to home not founds for way too long.

Snowy views over Telford

The first four caches were on the Cockshutt hill near Oakengates and looked like a nice linear walk from where I had planned to park.

The first cache was right by the parking spot and a nice easy find. I then carried on up the steps to the top of the hill but failed to spot the next cache. I thought I’d leave it for the way back and carried on for nice quick finds at the next two caches. The second of these had a HUGE hole in the corner of the box where a rat had chewed through but was thankfully dry inside as the weather is too cold for it to get damp. On the way back to the Jeep I managed to spot the cache I could not find earlier :-).

The chewed cache box

Just time for one more quick cache so off I set for the next nearest which was in Shifnal (to the east of Telford). I was soon at GZ but my heart sank when I was the amount of ivy :-(. I had a good look but after spooking two lone female dog walkers (I was on my own and must have looked a bit suspect!) I resorted to a PAF. The cache was then a really quick find 2 inches from where I’d already looked.

Now for the drive home for a nice drink to warm me up.

Sunday 10th January

We had to drop the children off at their Grandparents but could not resist a quick look for the two new snerdbe caches near White Ladies Priory. We walked up past their existing cache which we’d found ages ago and soon found the first of the new ones. A quick walk out of the woods and up the next field had us with the second of the caches in hand.

White Ladies Priory

On the way back to the Jeep we took the chance to have a look round the old Priory ruins again.

Monday 11th January

Mrs Bolas Heathens had an appointment in Gobowen (just north of Oswestry) this morning so I came along to do some caches afterwards before a nice dinner out in the area.

After we’d done with the appointment, we set off to find the nearby multi cache. We’d had a DNF on this last time we were here as it was dark and we were short on time for a good search. This time I put my hands on the cache in the first place I looked – result :-).

Urban caching in Oswestry

We then headed off into Oswestry for some urban caching, all of which were easy enough apart from one DNF where the owner had taken the cache home for maintenance but not temp’d the cache. I’ve added some notes to my DNF log to advisewhat they need to do to temp the cache as I think they are quite new cachers.

We were getting hungry by now so stopped for dinner at the lovely looking pub the last two Border Meet’s have been held at. After we’d finished dinner we went outside to find the cache at the other side of the car park. The hide was clear but no cache was there. After checking we were looking in the right place with a previous finder we left a slip of paper to prove we were there. I suspect the cache has slipped into the wall further and is now in-accessible. We’ve posted a Needs Maintenance log to alert the cache owner to this.

Whittington Castle remains

The next cache was a Christmas themed cache and GZ was obvious, but behind a fence. Hmmm – we’ve not done any caches by this hider before so could not be sure they did not want you to climb over the fence. The coast was clear so I went in for a quick look but the cache was nowhere to be seen. I checked with a previous finder who told me the cache had been moved yesterday as the fence had been put up a few weeks after the cache was hidden! Armed with the new co-ords, we drove to a closer spot and went in for a really easy find.

Just time for a couple more caches before we really must be getting home. The next cache mentioned you might get your feet wet as the cache was on an island. Sure enough it was, but the island was jumpable from the bank and I soon had the cache in hand.

The frozen pond where I had to jump over to an island

Last one for the day was a short walk down an ex-road that is now closed off, not too far from the A5.

10 finds for the day, which is not up to our usual tally but not bad for a couple of spare hours each day.

We’re hoping to return to a proper caching day out next weekend as we really missed it this weekend, despite the fun we’ve had on the few caches we’ve found.

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