I enjoyed a trip into Kent today to pick up a couple of Challenge caches and some higher DT boxes to get my Grid Loop 2 filled a bit more. One of the first was (Un)lucky Dip near Ashford. I had to park next to a field of pumpkins!
The cache itself was under a little road bridge, so I donned my waders and off I went. Nothing unlucky about it today, I found the pot no problem.
The Village Sign in Wye is a rather snazzy modern thing, but it gave me the info to find the VS cache nearby.
The last port of call were some higher T caches around the Downes to the north east of Ashford. Thankfully, a few of them could be done with a modest walk or as cache and dash.
The nights are drawing in now, so although I wasn’t out that late, the sun had begun to set by the time I was close to finishing. A nice end to the day.
Kitty and I may be ladies who are approaching a certain age, but we’re not beyond having a little adventure from time to time. Today as Kitty’s birthday, and we had earmarked a few highter DT caches to have a got it – either with a ladder or our waders.
With an aggregate age of 100, the pair of us decided that pure tree climbs were rather too much for us, so we came “tooled up” and ready to scale new heights. This D5/T5 was soon in the bag – and we replaced a soggy log while we were about it.
Bouyed by our success, we headed to the next target with renewed vigour. This time it was my turn to go up the tree. Undoing the pot one-handed was OK but doing it up again was rather tricky!
We had scouted out Do Look Down!!!, a wading cache, a few weeks ago but didn’t have our gear with us. So we came well prepared today. Kitty went in first to grab the cache, then it was my turn to put it back again.
Marvellous! Job done. I’m looking rather pleased with myself to have bagged this D2.5/D4.5 pot!
Our final location was around an old gravel pit at Bradwell. I had had a little trad on my GPS for ages, which I picked up quickly on the way – only to discover when I got home that it had been archived the day before due to a non-responsive CO to maintenance! Ah well, it’s still there.
Then we walked around to the main attraction. Gone Fishing!! 4. The GPS was all over the place around GZ but we hacked our way through lots of brambles and eventually got to somewhere which fitted the hints. Kitty gamely walked the plank. I wasn’t going anywhere near it. But to no avail. We scouted another one, much thinner and more feeble, but decided that couldn’t be it. On reflection, it probably was, but neither of us was keen to teeter out on that one, with the evil-looking black gloop below. Hmmm. Might have to give up on this one after all! It was a disappointing end to the outing, but we know our limits!
My first cache of the day was another 5/5 Challenge, this time the 365 Days – A Year Lost! Having just completed a 400-day streak, I was more than qualified. More cows, but they were behind a fence and once the muggles at GZ had pushed off, I made a quick find.
After bagging another Challenge close by, I headed to Portsmouth to Fort Cumberland for the CITO event there. Shifty insisted on coming along too, as did Larry The Litterpicker, ever helpful at a CITO event.
The attendees were happy to pose for a group shot after our work was done, and then I headed off for more Challenges around Portsmouth which I had earmarked for my attention.
After picking up some nice DTs on challenges, I then headed off for some more Loop 2 fillers – mainly trads – which I had noticed in the area. I bumped into som CITO foilks at one, and we had fun wading in a very dry ditch before finally finding what we had come for.
Another Challenge completed was the 3 Caches In 3 Continents Challenge. Well, having found boxes in the UK, US and Japan, that will qualify me very well. And it was a great little box with a bear passport inside!
I found another trio of trads last thing, but before that I had earmarked three letterbox caches in the Whiteley Walk series, one of which would fill my Loop 2 D1/T4.5 square. It promised to be swampy, but I had the waders in the car and I was itching to use them! It was a slippery and sweaty walk to this one, but I picked up another couple along the way. Then I arrived at GZ!
I suspected I knew where it would be, but there was about 20ft of evil smelling swampy water to cross first. I found two substantial sticks which were kicking around to use as depth feelers and steadiers, and gradually glooped my way across! Yes, there’s the box… And after signing the log, I was most relieved to get back to dry land without having fallen over. Job done! And much fun had in the process.
I bagged up my swampy waders and headed back to the hotel for a rest, having found 16 hides today. Phew.
I was out today with my co-conspirator Kitty!! We decided to revisit some of the hideous DNF’s we had had on Run Around’sTakely Trail a few weeks ago. Thankfully, we managed to turn all but one into a nice smiley – phew!
Satisfied with that achievement (for the moment), we headed towards Braintree to look for Up The Wood – a cache up a tree. Neither of us are keen climbers, so we had come prepared – a stepladder and Larry The Litterpicker solved the problem quickly!
Those were all really just hors d’oeuvres to the main event – Brain Tunnel by flossregularly. This had been on Kitty’s wishlist for ages, but it hadn’t really registered on mine for some reason. But I was very keen when she suggested an expedition in our waders!
We had seen how easily it was to fall flat on your face from previous finders’ photos (Infinson, I mean you!) so we found ourselves two big sticks to steady our progress. The bottom of the river Brain was very silty and we made slow progress along the spidery tunnel. I was just concentrating on keeping upright, but Kitty was imagining all sorts of horror below the water as we slowly picked our way along!
Eventually we spotted the telltale glint in our head torches, and found the cache. Huge care was taken not to drop anything in the water! I looked quite frightening but was glad I could get a photo to prove I went down there.
It was with much relief that we emerged, blinking, into the daylight once more, euphoric that we had survived in the silt and stayed upright. It was still quite a job to pull ourselves up the slippery bank, I nearly fell back in but just about retained my dignity!
It was great fun, and all the better to be living on the “edge” of our comfort zones again! This one didn’t fill in a new DT square for me, but it was still a hoot.
I planned a day out with Kitty!! and Mr Crow today, initially to find The Tapper near Hatfield Peverel, which required some wading and me being part of the brawn to pull Kitty out of the river!
It was freezing in the river, so I was glad Kitty had volunteered to do the wading. She retrieved the big box quite quickly.
There was a fab method of “signing” the log! We loved it.
Once we had done that one, we dropped Mr Crow off for a walk to do some maintenance on some of his caches and we headed off to A Bad Sine – which I had solved ages ago but had been putting off finding. Since it filled a DT grid square, I had resolved to try it soon. Kitty agreed to accompany me, even though she had already found it.
Job done, we retired to a nearby garden centre for a hearty late lunch and to wait for Mr Crow!
The we went onto Rally Round 80 Mr Crow and a few others, but RR80 filled a second DT grid square for me. We also picked up a few more along the way.