I teamed up with Kitty!! and Mr Crow for another outing today. We decided to go for the latest section of Essex Way caches to be revived, between Cressing and Coggeshall. Handy having two cars, leaving one at each end.
Most of the pots were easy enough but one or two needed a bit more of a search.
Mr Crow was usually up ahead so we often spotted him grovelling in a bush or behind a telegraph pole before emerging with a pot in hand.
We spotted some fluffy friends along the way – Alpacas, I think.
Occasionally, when Mr Crow couldn’t find one, Kitty would dive in and have a look instead. I think I got to look for a couple!
We enjoyed our walk and the views – especially the rickety old bridge along the river.
There was also a hilarious incident at No. 18, which is probably best explained by reading my log. A fave for sure! Forty in the bag today, but that was definitely the most memorable.
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a little trad on my GPS for ages, which I picked up quickly on the way – only to discover when I got home that it had been archived the day before due to a non-responsive CO to maintenance!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!
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.
I had a day off caching yesterday, as I had to go to London for work. But today I went out for a great 44-cache stroll around Mr Crow‘s Essex 100 – Loop 5 between Tollsebury, Salcott and Tolleshunt D’Arcy. Neither myself nor Kitty had previously done this section of the extended series, and Crow said it needed a maintenance walk, so we agreed to wander round and replace any missing pots where necessary. In the end it was a splendid day out.
For reasons I never really understood, Kitty had kidnapped Mr Crow’s Raccoon and was threatening to post it back to him. We just couldn’t fit the damned thing through the slot!
This penguin was a rather more modest critter found lurking in one of the pots.
We ended our walk just as some glorious light was highlighting the fields, with moody sky behind. We were glad to get back to the car!
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.
Kitty!! and I attempted It Takes Two in Basildon a couple of months ago, but it was missing. A return mission was scheduled for today, it having been replaced recently. This time it was a lightning quick find (we had taken the right gear with us!) which filled another DT square for me – D4/T4.5. Just five to go now!
Here’s what’s left of my DT grid after today’s finds:
After that success, we headed around the park for a few more that one or the other hadn’t found. But it took at least half an hour to locate the elusive twit at Holy Cross Perching – just as we were about to give up, I spotted the little blighter! Phew!
I had a Fabulous Friday out caching in Kent today with Kitty!! and Mr Crow. We centred our activities around Cliffe and Cliffe Woods initially, taking in a multi Church Micro, Earthcache and several excellent trads.
The Charnel House was an interesting Earth cache to visit.
Torpedoes Again was located at Cliffe Fort.
However, the main point of our trip today was to pick up two caches in new DT squares for us all. The first was Earth Engine. I’ve had the co-ords for this one for a few months, but today was the perfect day for a visit. The sun was shining, there was a cool breeze and the walk from the car park was spectacular. Initially, it looked very daunting, but once we found a sensible way in, wasn’t too bad at all.
Of course, we had to take a few pictures from the top! And that was the D3.5/T4.5 box ticked off the list.
Finally, we had to visit Shrek – his swamp was on the outskirts of Maidstone, and we came prepared. The perfect place to christen our new waders!
Kitty and I gingerly edged our way through the gloop to GZ while Mr Crow stayed on dry land, guarding our stuff and taking pictures of the escapade. I also managed a pic at GZ with my phone, without dropping it or the log sheet into the mire. And that was the rather satisfying D4.5/T5 box done too!
We triumphantly celebrated our Grand Day Out with dinner and a pint at a nearby pub, before heading home, weary but satisfied with our achievements.
Yesterday I hastily arranged an outing with Kitty!! and Mr Crow to do some more of the revived Essex Way caches today. We started a little bit west of Pleshey (at No. 21) and finished at Great Leighs (No. 75).
The track was mainly easy going, with few mud patches along the way. We met a some bikers along the way who were churning up the track.
Ray did a lot of the finding as he went striding ahead, while Anne & I enjoyed the walk – occasionally having to come to the rescue to find a difficult one which eluded him!
We were pleased with our 52-cache haul at Great Leighs and retired to the lovely Snug Café in High Easter for a well-earned pot of tea and a panini.
While we were refuelling, I mentioned that I needed 75 caches for a challenge cache and Anne suggested it was worth keeping going as I was 2/3rds of the way there already. So they dropped me at Good Easter to walk another section which they had already completed.
I bagged another 18 caches along this stretch, and realised I was still 5 short of my target, so I stopped off for some drive by caches on the way home. The first was Pleshey Boulders, a new Earthcache which has only been published for a few days.
A few more finds around Chelmsford, finishing at Sandford Mill Lock, finally brought up my best total for the day, 75 caches, and qualified me for another Challenge Cache. Plus, I also earned my 72 finds in a day geocoin, which has been sitting unactivated at home for a few months! I think that makes it a Grand Day Out.
I’m on a bit of a roll with Whereigos at the moment. The Devil’s Porridge in Wat Tyler Country Park by Grimmserscotting has been on my radar for a while. So when Kitty!! suggested a caching outing today and asked if I had ideas for a location, we decided to head to Pitsea and try it out.
The Whereigo was excellent, one of the best I’ve done to date. It told us the history of the old munitions and dynamite factory which used to stand on the site, through the narration of Grimmerscotting’s Great Grandfather, Ted Baker, who used to work there. It was a really well put together story and much more engaging than just walking around the footpaths reading the notice boards which are scattered about.
The only trouble we had was getting into the right location for Zone 13 – but we were fore-warned from previous logs. Kitty rather gamely bushwhacked our way through with her secateurs and determination!
Eventually we arrived at the right spot so we could continue our journey – nothing was going go stop us at this point! But the selfie below does show we looked rather relieved to have got this far!
We had nearly completed our mission when there was a nasty incident with Kitty!! being mauled by a mutant Cockroach along the path…
She managed to escape its clutches and we homed in on the final prize, a lovely, big, well-stocked ammo box hidden in a corner of the park where few visitors would venture.
So there was quite a lot of effort involved, but it was a really rewarding cache to complete. All too often, people want the instant gratification of a cache-and-dash, but sometimes slowing down and working for your reward really pays off in satisfaction value.
To celebrate our success, we stopped off in Pitsea for the SideTracked hide which Kitty!! found almost immediately. Thank God, as I, and many others, have DNF’d it recently! We bumped into another couple of cachers who were looking for it at GZ who were also very glad of Kitty’s cache-sniffing abilities.
After an expensive trip to Go Outdoors nearby, we picked up another Church Micro in Vange on the way back to Kitty’s for tea and cake.