I was working in Elstree again today, but arrived a bit early and stopped off in Shenley along the way. I managed to find the recently-replaced White Rabbit which had been missing last time I looked for it.
After work was done, I headed to St. Albans to stay with Alistair’s parents for the night. We went out in Tyttenhanger for a drinkie in the evening, so Alistair and I were able to bag VS#9 Tyttenhange Green on the way back.
After a few hours at Elstree for work this afternoon, I decided to head to Abbotts Langley to find a few more caches by geobike. They were mainly in the AL Monopoly series (since all archived) but there were a few others too. The pretty little church of St. Paul’s in Langleybury was one of the first – not actually a Church Micro but still a nice hide.
The local phone box has been turned into a little library, where I found a very interesting read hidden on the shelves!
Another nice caching session, and the bike made things much quicker to get around.
I was back in Elstree today for work, and decided to mop up a few more of the Into The Woods series in Radlett afterwards. I didn’t need to go near any woods this evening though, as they were three urban hides around the town. Found, signed and returned… I was passing this old water fountain and
I had to go to Elstree again today for work, but had a bit of time to spare before arriving this morning. Just enough time to bag a couple of trads in London Colney.
The first was along the river but the co-ords seemed to be a bit wayward, so it took a little bit of faffing about to locate the box. Eventually it was in my paws!
The second was along the river in the opposite direction, called The Wind In The Willows. Well I saw the willows but there wasn’t much wind!
After I had finished at Elstree, I relocated to Radlett for a series called Into The Woods. It was a mixed bag of success, with a few finds but a couple of annoying DNFs. There were also cows, but thankfully they were the other side of a sturdy fence, even if it did look like they wanted to gang up on me!
Today’s outing was a brief solo foray into Hertfordshire to pick up some caches around Amwell, followed by a nice walk around Tiptree Heath back in Essex with geo-buddy Kitty.
My first target in Amwell was a Challenge cache, Spread the Love Challenge (UK) all about resuscitating unloved caches which haven’t been found for over a year. Well I qualified easily enough, but also noted that this cache itself had been unfound since 5th September 2015, even though someone had tried in the interim. Challenge Accepted!
I wandered around for ages and eventually found the box, very sorry for itself, a little way from the co-ords and only just as described by the hint. The contents were pretty soggy.
However, I unfolded the log and was delighted to find nobody else had signed the book since the last recorded find online – so I had just managed to Resuscitate The Resuscitator Cache! Do I get extra points for that?
Since I was in the area, and there were some other interesting caches nearby, I made it a little circular walk to pick up a few more. The next one was placed close to the marker for the Greenwich Meridian – but the GPS seemed to think this was a little way off the correct location for E/W 0° 00.000!
There was a bit of fine industrial architecture too; the old Victorian Pumping Station along the New River.
Having finished my walk in Herts, I had a rendez-vous planned with Kitty in Tiptree Heath, to search out a quartet of Mr Crow’s puzzles relating to the tree carvings in the area. There were some great examples. Not sure this lady wanted to be disturbed though!
Talking of Crows – Corvus plasticus was guarding one of his other puzzles which we had also solved. With the aid of a ladder we had in the car, we soon made quick work of finding the pot and wresting it from the avian beak!
Our final port of call this evening was Sing It Again Rod (Encour), an audio conundrum by Fenners1984. We had both had a hand in solving it, so a joint find was a nice way to round off our outing.
For ages I had wanted to attempt 100+ finds in a day to fulfil various challenge caches. I had targeted the 79-cache Letchworth Greenway Gallivant series for my assault, since it offered a circular walk, caches which were meant to be found quickly and plenty of potential extras not far away to make up the numbers and if I had any DNFs.
Originally I had planned to do the series by bike but I unfolded the machine where I had parked in Willian, only to find the rear tyre was flat! Argh! No time to mend it and I wasn’t about to be defeated right at the start – especially with a 120-mile round trip to get here. So, I started off on foot, resigned to the fact that it was going to take considerably longer than planned.
I had a couple of frustrating DNFs right at the beginning, but once I was actually on the Gallivant caches, things started well enough.
The sun was shining, the landscape was pleasant and the caches came quickly. I kept moving, but it felt like slow progress. Eventually I reached the quarter-century find, and as a reward I got a free snail with the pot!
Just a few finds later, and I was beginning to feel like this graffiti dude I found painted in the subway under the A1(M)! Oh dear. Trudge on regardless.
Another setback a few caches later – the GPS was telling me that GZ was behind this fence! So I moved along quickly to the next… When you are on a mission, you can’t hang around. I allowed myself just 5 minutes per cache and if I didn’t find it in that time, I needed to forget it.
Eventually the half century ticked over – I was very relieved to find this pot (many were similar, so at least I knew what I was looking for).
I soon realised I was running out of fluids, despite having brought a lot with me. The unexpected sunshine was taking its toll. So I had to make a detour off the main circuit and into an estate to the north of Letchworth to go in search of a newsagents to buy more supplies. At least I bagged another trio while I was there. Then back to the main route, where I was completely ignored by bored sheep in the fields.
With a few more DNFs under my belt (13 in the end, and one found but could not open to sign, it was a field puzzle), I had to make another detour off the main route to pick up a handful of emergency extras, or I knew I would be short by the time I got back to the start. Dusk was beginning to fall too, as I clocked up No. 75.
I walked on some more, and the sun set even further.
Round about No. 80 I had a decision to make – press on and find the last 20 in the dark (I’m a bit useless at night caching) or give up and take a short cut back to the car. Well, what do you think I did?
My feet were killing me, but I knew that if I gave up I would just kick myself. So I decided to carry on. How difficult can this night caching lark be?
As it turned out, not as bad as I thought! Head down, concentrate on the next find. Was I afraid of the dark? Not really. There were a few birds and animals which I surprised during my bushwhacking. But nothing scary about that wildlife. What about getting mugged? (A question from my Mum). Well, to be honest, by the time I finished, I was the only fool stupid enough to be walking around the Greenway, I never saw a soul! So no.
Eventually, I hobbled back to where I had parked the car with 97 finds under my belt. It was now very dark, But time for a few drive bys in Letchworth to tip my total over the ton.
98… 99… 100! Yay! But you know what, there’s always time for one more, isn’t there?
Having started the day with a Church Micro find in Willian (12.5 hours ago!), I thought I should go one better than my target and finish off with another CM – 5460. This was the closest and thankfully a quick, easy find to bring up 101.
That’s it, I’m shattered, having walked 23 miles and done a little over 49,000 steps, now all I have to do is drive 60 miles home.
Would I do it again? Not tomorrow! Or the day after. One day, maybe. On my own? Nope. It was really hard work with only one pair of eyes and nobody to chivvy you on when motivation began to wane – so I was really pleased in the end that I managed to succeed doing 101 solo. But another time, I would welcome some company!
I’ve been working near Shenley for most of June, and today was one of my last days in the area. So I thought I would attempt to mop up the remaining unfound caches in the village and pick up the Shenley Loop Bonus. This was a nice view from The View.
I had enough information for the Bonus cache and did the numbers – which plotted out to somewhere easily reached. By the time I was at GZ, it was beginning to rain quite hard, so I was very grateful for a quick find, especially given the previous two logs were “finds” but the cachers said they were “in the right place but couldn’t find anything – it must be missing”. That’s a DNF in my book…. Anyway…
Sure enough, the log showed that neither of the previous “finders” had signed it, but I was definitely in the right place. Hurrah!
It was a bit of a scramble to find my cache today. I knew it would be a long day at work, so had planned to get up early to find something before I went in. Disaster! My alarm failed to go off, and I was left with a mad dash to get the deed done before reporting for duty.
It think the country is in shock, given the “out” vote. It was very close! The Morning After The Night Before I was far too tired to find anything (having been up doing a Night Shift since yesterday), but after a little sleep at a nearby hotel, I headed off to find another of the Shenley Loop before meeting colleagues for dinner.