I’ve been appallingly lazy today. Not even walked a mile! Basically, because I’ve been sat on my bum all day conjuring up evil puzzles for my Brains Not Brawn series. By this evening, I was going stir-crazy and needed to get out to find something – so it was a cash and dash from the car to find nathanjhunt’sFuturama-themed puzzle near Mundon. I had solved it a few weeks ago, but not really been in the area since.
This lunchtime saw another of BEASTMARSTA’s Flash Mobs, this time at Heybridge Basin. There was a good turn out in the hot weather.
Shifty met a couple of geohounds which Rachel’n’Redd had brought along. We teamed up to find a couple of hides along the canal before I headed back into Maldon to find some lunch at Tesco’s.
After eating my picnic by the river, I took a walk to find a few more hides along the water. Some folks were kayaking today – which made me wish I could have brought Boaty McBoat Face out to play today!
West Walk has been on my to do list for ages and ages – it was just that little bit far out of the way that I had never bothered stopping for it until today. But I made a lovely little circular walk of it, eventually heading back into Maldon to make my last couple of finds.
Fullbridge was looking particularly attractive today, despite it being low tide. The fluffy clouds certainly helped!
As we all know, it’s not about the numbers. Except when it is…
I’m trying to keep up at least 200 finds/month this year (of course, it’s for a challenge!) and I looked at my stats to realise I was just 14 short for May. So today I set myself the target of finding all 14 to finish the task with a day to spare.
I had picked the M2M Series around Mundon (which used to run all the way to Maldon), in theory giving me 12 caches. However, things didn’t start well with 2 DNF’s! Argh! I was very glad to find the first one of the day at the third hide I tried.
It was typical Bank Holiday weather – cloudy, windy and perishing cold! Boy was I glad of my fleece hat. Ridiculous for almost June.
There were a few pockets of civilisation, but the main walk was largely rural, thankfully without the added menace of bovines to cross my path. I did see some unhappy shivering sheep – freshly shorn of their fleece coats!
Someone is proud of their garden – and has even acquired their own phone box to adorn it. Perhaps its a potting shed?
Unlike the cows, it’s always nice to smile politely when you’re pleased to see someone…
Eventually I had 10 in the bag from the series, so relocated the car to Maldon to do a few short walks and drive bys – finishing off most of my unfound caches from the No Mud series. I found an extra one for luck, bringing the tally to 15 for today, and nudging my monthly finds over my total. It was quite hard work!
My area of exploration today was south of Maldon, to pick up a few stragglers. The ABC of Essex series has never been completely set out, but I was still missing C For Cock Clarks, which had been replaced fairly recently after a muggling ages ago. The pot was easy enough to spot, but first I had to traverse this rickety old footbridge! Made it without falling in…
Next up were a couple of Mr Crabby’s Bridge caches – he loves the old abandoned railway line from Maldon to South Woodham Ferrers and has lots of caches along the way.
The first one presented no problem as I was able to park close by. And then the fun started. I walked to the other but was thwarted by a very deep, very full ditch of very fast running water. In the course of my back-tracking to a different approach, I managed to slip up a muddy bank and smash my left knee on the only stone sticking out of the mud. Ouch! It’s always my poor left knee which gets it! 🙁
Anyway, I hobbled on and eventually found a way to GZ which didn’t involve swimming. At least I was rewarded with a nice big box!
Then the long hobble back to the car. My knee was feeling sore but up to another couple of short walks, so I did a layby cache and dash on the outskirts of Maldon, followed by a simple little multi near Heybridge. This was the view across towards Maldon as I made my final find of the day:
I had planned to go out for a quick single find today, another of the Bolting Round Ulting loop. But I changed my mind when I was half way there and detoured to Maldon to try my hand at another few of the No Mud hides. Success at three (including one I had previously DNF’d a few months ago) and no luck with two more.
Originally I was going to call it a day after that, but addiction got the better of me and I headed off to Mundon to search for a lovely little Letterbox by Bean & Sprout instead. Just for once, I remembered I had my Smiley stamp in the bag with me, so I was able to stamp up the cache’s logbook with mine, as well as my own with the Daffodil stamp which was in the box.
After another detour to Latchingdon for a Village Sign multi (and a trad DNF), it was back towards home via Cold Norton – to finally pick up CrazyHedgehogs‘ Mr Crabby’s Cold Bridge Cache – another which has been bugging me for months since my last DNF there. Hooray! Job done. 🙂
Today’s location was Heybridge and I have my caching buddy Alistair staying for a few days, so we set off to find a few boxes in the area. The first two were ones I hadn’t found before, starting with Stumped #8 and then Draper’s Field 1. Both were easy enough hides, although one had a very soggy log.
I’m still counting down to 4000 finds on 1st January, and don’t want to peak too early, so that was my “ration” done for today.
We took a longer walk to find another three hides around the marshes which I had already picked up. The fun one was mel-ray’sFrog, Skip & Jump! which made him jump, and me – even though I was expecting it!
The light was fading but after Alistair found Punt Gunners (another mel-ray hide, and one I had retrieved back in 2010 as my 800th find!), we were treated to a lovely sunset over the Blackwater looking towards Maldon Hythe. A nice end to the day – and neither of us slid over in the mud! Result…
Today I chose Maldon and Heybridge for my caching trip, to mop up a few stragglers which have been bugging me for ages.
One fun cache was Hop, Skip and JUMP, hidden along the mud flats. It holds an excellent little surprise in the container, I won’t spoil it if you intend to visit!
The daily streak continues, but it can become a little tedious just grabbing a cache and dash, boring trad each day. So I have decided to have a few little challenges to help things along.
For starters, I have published my New Year/Birthday Event cache at the local pub, and have set myself the target of reaching my 4000th find at the event. That’s about three per day, which isn’t too bad – especially as I can do one a day for most days, then have a bigger walk/caching day out at the weekends.
I’ve also been looking at various Challenge Caches around the UK (most of them in the South East), and seeing what I need to do to qualify for them. On is the Unconventional Streak Challenge which requires you to find at least one non-traditional cache (multi, puzzle, virtual, event, earth, etc) for 10 days in a row.
Annoyingly, I almost qualified for this in the first 10 days of my current geostreak – I got 9 consecutive days with lots of different types of caches. But I didn’t know about this challenge then, and day 10 was just 5 trads – RATS!
So today is Day #1 of my mini-streak of unconventional finds – today’s qualifying cache being a multi, The Tower.