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. 🙂
I’ve been looking at my smiley map recently and noticing an anomaly – I had only found 3 out of 8 caches along Mr Crabby’s Blackwater Rail Trail, a footpath along the old railway between Wickham Bishops and Langford.
Closer inspection revealed that my finds in 2012 were followed in 2014 by the series being expanded, so today I decided to go out for the remaining unfound boxes along the route.
It’s a pretty tree-lined walk, mainly on the flat, sometimes on an embankment, sometimes in a cutting. The Autumn colours are beginning to show themselves.
There is also other evidence of the former railway line having run through the area, like this old bridge.
Fortunately the five caches I still had to find in the main series were all fairly straightforward and they were quickly signed.
I had also worked out the co-ords for the bonus cache in the series – which was filled with goodies, including a computer HDD left by Dr Solly!
The last cache of the day was a drive by which I had DNF’d a few weeks ago. I largely ignored the clue this time (it was rather misleading) and found the bison quite quickly.