Day #279 – North Weald Geo-Ramble

Trad: 17 Puzzle: 1 Letterbox: 1
Walked: 7.2 miles

I’ve been meaning to tackle the 16-cache North Weald Geo-Ramble for a few weeks. Others who have already done it have said it was fun but muddy. Thankfully today it wasn’t too bad for the most part – there certainly was signs of mud but most of it had dried sufficiently to be easily passable without wellies.

Up And Down
Up And Down

I started in Toot Hill and walked the series from the half way point around and back again. Not that the order mattered much! I also put to bed a hide in Toot Hill which I have DNF’d twice before. Yay! This letterbox cache was also hiding in the woods, with a nice little letterbox themed geocoin which I picked up to move along.

Lovely Letterbox Hide
Lovely Letterbox Hide

There was a bit of mud, but only for about 200 yards and all with enough dry land at the side to negotiate without ending up flat on my face.

Mud! Mud! Mud!
Mud! Mud! Mud!

I finished off the day’s finds with a custom cache, Lightning Bolt, in Chelmer Park, just as the sun was setting. It passed some time while I was waiting for my curry order to be prepared at the local takeaway!

Sunset In Chelmer Park
Sunset In Chelmer Park

Today’s finds bring my total for April to 287, my best month yet, and surpassing the previous January 2016 best by 10 caches. I hope to hit the 300 in a month some time this year, as it will qualify me for a challenge cache. It also means I’m just 11 caches away from my 5000th find, which I hope to reach tomorrow if I can have a good day out.

Day #278 – Caged In Shenley

Multi: 1
Walked: 6.0 miles

The weather was rather grotty this evening but I managed to find the fun little Multi at the Shenley Cage. It has a clever way of giving you the final co-ords, which I won’t spoil here. Sadly the light was rather rubbish, so I didn’t get a picture of the curious little building. Perhaps I can another day and add it to this post later.

[add 3rd May – it was a lovely morning, so here you are:]

The Shenley Cage
The Shenley Cage

Day #276 – Aldenham Amble #4

Trad: 14
Walked: 7.4 miles

I had a great haul this evening, having finished work on time and the weather was looking good. I decided to go back to south of Aldenham (around North Watford) and finish off the last of the Moosey’s Trail caches, plus find a few of the intertwined Bernard’s Stroll series. It ended up a curious mix of urban caches and more rural hides.

Abstract Art
Abstract Art

Above was some appealing peeling plaster under a bridge close to one cache. Below, the sun was beginning to set as I passed this copse of trees.

Sunset Through The Trees
Sunset Through The Trees

There were some decent sized boxes as well as a few micros thrown in. I was able to find somewhere suitable for this trackable burger to continue its journey.

Burger In A Box
Burger In A Box

I was pleased to be able to find 14 caches this evening, this is bringing my total closer and closer to the elusive 5000 mark. I’m thinking about which cache I would like to find for the milestone. Watch this space!

Day #275 – Herts Way Nines Again

Trad: 6
Walked: 5.6 miles

There were some more Herts Way Leg 9 caches to be found this evening, north of Shenley. I set off as the sky was looking threatening again, but although it was perishing cold, it didn’t actually rain on me. Win!

Looming Clouds
Looming Clouds

I managed to find 6 caches, including Herts Way 9.6 which eluded me a few days ago – no idea why I didn’t find it then! Never mind, these two horses came over to say hello close to GZ.

Horsey Friends
Horsey Friends

Day #274 – Letchmore Loop Trio

Trad: 3
Walked: 5.7 miles

The rain started again this evening, just as I started my caching walk. I managed to find the first three caches in the 12-cache Letchmore Loop series by chiptheduck. At least the first couple were easy finds.

Easy Find In The Rain
Easy Find In The Rain

However, No. 3 was rather more difficult, being buried under a spiky hedge. Eventually I spotted it and managed to hook it out with my walking pole.

Tricky Find In A Hedge!
Tricky Find In A Hedge!

I was rather soggy by now, so decided to call it a day for now. I’ll be back for the rest another day.

Day #273 – Frinton Frolick

Trad: 10 Multi: 1 Puzzle: 2 Event: 1
Whereigo: 1
Walked: 7.5 miles

Today I headed to Frinton-on-Sea for an adventure at the seaside. I arrived mid-morning to be greeted by a hailstorm! But thankfully it eased off leaving just intermittent showers. They didn’t stop me finding a good selection of boxes before heading off to another Beastmarsta flash mob meet on the Prom.

Nice Big Box
Nice Big Box

Despite the blustery conditions, there was a good turn out for the event. Of course, the sun went in just as we were posing for the group photo!

Another Beastie Event
Another Beastie Event

Shifty Duck came along too. He’s normally the biggest traveller on the block at such events, but today there was an even bigger friend for him to hang out with. Looks like Ted could do with some bigger pants, though!

Someone Needs Bigger Pants!
Someone Needs Bigger Pants!

After the event I went to find a few more, including a couple of Church Micros. One was a DNF but it was a pretty little church. Then I found a sandwich in town and ate an impromptu picnic until it started raining again.

Pretty Church, Sadly A DNF
Pretty Church, Sadly A DNF

I thought about calling it a day there and then, but persevered for a few more cache and dash hides. I had to work hard for one of the last ones of the day – which was hidden deep in a thicket! But I got there in the end.

Prize From The Thicket
Prize From The Thicket

15 finds today is certainly a good haul.

Day #272 – Black Notley Trio

Trad: 2 Puzzle: 1
Walked: 4.2 miles

After my mishap with the GPS on Thursday, I was out caching with my backup GPS today – a Garmin eTrex 25 Touch. I bought it a couple of months ago, admittedly on a bit of a whim, as I thought it might be easier to deal with than my older eTrex 20. But I found I didn’t get on with the operating system which has changed significantly since the 20’s was launched.

But needs must, and all that – so today I headed out with the 25T once more. I had got my head round things a bit better, but it still doesn’t feel as intuitive as the old one. Plus the Western Europe TOPO maps it’s supposed to have loaded at purchase still won’t go on. I’ve raised a ticket with Garmin about it but no joy as yet. With just base maps, it’s virtually unusable! Eventually I stumped up some cache for UK/Ireland TOPO Light, which was much better.

Anyway, enough moaning about the tech. Today’s trio of finds were around Black Notley. The first one was a Church Micro which took me much longer to find than it should have! Nothing to do with the tech here, just my stupidity.

Next was a puzzle, Bad Intentions, by evil puzzle-setter murrkin. I haven’t done many of his puzzles as they are usually a bit out of my normal locale. But I’d had the co-ords for this one solved and sitting waiting to be found for months. A quick find here, and no ditch-diving! Hurrah!

Hooray For Bad Intentions!
Hooray For Bad Intentions!

Rather than move the car, I decided to walk over to the other Church Micro on my list, across the fields. It was another fairly quick find once the GPS had me in the right place.

CM3116
CM3116

It was rather windy on the walk back, and I regretted not having moved the car after all, but at least I got a few more steps under my belt!

Day #271 – South Mimms Single

Trad: 1
Walked: 4.2 miles

With rubbish weather this evening as I left work, I decided a quick cache and dash would be the order of the day. I chose on in South Mimms, Herts Way 9.14, for my target as there was parking within a hundred yards!

Hiding In A Tree
Hiding In A Tree

Thankfully it was a quick find, and no muggles about to disturb my find – one good consequence of the rain! Job done.

Day #270 – Aldenham Amble #3

Trad: 12
Walked: 7.2 miles

Going for a hat-trick of caching expeditions around Aldenham, this time conentrating on the west and south west portions of Moosey’s Trail and Wall Hall Walk.

The expedition started badly, as I managed to drop my GPS, which hit the tarmac just as I was leaving the village and I think is now terminally sick, as it won’t turn on. Drat.

So this evenings’s finds were achieved with the iPhone – thankfully I usually have the day’s search area caches downloaded to the phone as a backup before setting out.

Strange Fungus!
Strange Fungus!

The woodland walk was fine, with most caches being easy finds. But one called MI-5 Reservation (Herts), towards the end of my walk, (not part of either trail but a veteran from 2002), caused me no end of trouble. The iPhone didn’t want to update my location and needed a restart before it played ball. Then there were multiple hint items in the general vicinity of GZ which didn’t help me narrow it down very much!

Eventually, I found the box. But sadly it’s no longer watertight and the log inside was a sodden mess. A shame for such and old cache, which could be kept going for many years to come, given a little TLC.

Soggy Loggy
Soggy Loggy