It was another crisp Autumnal day, but the sun was out so Alistair and I decided to have a walk to find some caches around Gosfield. We settled on the Greek Myths series by itandat, giving us a nice circular route.
Of course, no caching expedition is complete without at Church Micro – so we stopped off for CM370 in Gosfield before starting the main walk.
Part of the route took us past some of the holes of the local Golf club. Look out for low-flying balls!
Some of the signs were a bit the worse for wear, but we spotted them all in the end.
There were loads of lovely colours in the trees, and plenty of golden light to show it off at its best.
As the afternoon progressed, our shadows got longer and longer. I’ve never had such long legs!
Even towards the end of the day, there was still pockets of frost on the ground in the shadows. Some places hadn’t seen the sun all day.
As the last of the daylight was fading, we made the last of our finds – the bonus for the series, and then headed back to the car and home for tea and cake.
I was working in Elstree again today, but arrived a bit early and stopped off in Shenley along the way. I managed to find the recently-replaced White Rabbit which had been missing last time I looked for it.
After work was done, I headed to St. Albans to stay with Alistair’s parents for the night. We went out in Tyttenhanger for a drinkie in the evening, so Alistair and I were able to bag VS#9 Tyttenhange Green on the way back.
But, the strain was beginning to show. I had somehow reached Day #366 but didn’t want to give up then. 500 days would take me back into December and Winter caching, and I really couldn’t face that – so a little while ago, I promised myself I would stop at Day #400, a nice round number. And here we are!
I wanted to have a good walk for my last hurrah, so Alistair and I set off for the Strod & Trod loop and The Saffron Trail (plus extras) just south of Hullbridge. There were some great hides and we had a lot of fun – something which has not always been the case during the last 400 days, and other reason for “doing it when I want”, not “because I have to”.
From now on, I will still be caching (but NOT tomorrow!) and writing about my most interesting adventures here, just not every day. Thanks for all my geo-friends’ support along the way, it’s been a blast!
Sunday, and that can only mean one thing – another Beastie Meet along the coast.
This time it was a Burnham-on-Crouch, and although the sun was out, it was also very windy! We nearly got blown off the sea wall. I went along with Alistair who is staying for a few days, and we took Geoffrey The Geocacher with us for a walk.
Afterwards, we found a few more around the town, but eventually we were so cold and windswept we decided to come home for tea and cake!
Alistair needed to head back to Newcastle this afternoon, so we both drove to Shalford, north of Braintree, to do a couple of caches before going our separate ways. Our first location was to visit Infinson’sMagic Wand. I had heard great things about this clever field puzzle, and knew Alistair would enjoy having a go. I got about half way before getting stuck, then handed it to him. A bit of twiddling later and we had the log in our hands in about 5 minutes! Pretty good going if you read some of the previous logs 🙂
We had picnicked on benches around the village green, looking for clues to another cache which we soon polished off after faffing with some numbers (despite being one short).
After Alistair had gone, I headed to Gainsford End to pick up a new VS and Fine Pair which Infinson had set to coincide with today’s meetup in nearby Toppesfield. I bumped into Vanguard3, Happileigh and Starguider (TeamSOS) for the first time today, on my way back from one hide. I would see them again later.
The CM at Stambourne has been on my to do list for ages, as it helps me qualify for a Church Micro Challenge cache. Having found that, I have just one more specific CM to collect, but not today.
Next I found a parking spot in the tiny village of Toppesfield itself, which was already getting tricky as other Essex geocachers had begun to arrive early for the meetup.
I teamed up with TeamSOS to find the Church Micro and a few other new ones. We parted briefly again as we had done different bits of the circuit already. I almost didn’t get to look for VS Toppesfield as a muggle was right at GZ trimming her bush! (Ooh-er!) But she eventually pushed off and I made a quick find.
I also bumped into Goldpot again this evening (having seen him at yesterday’s meetup in London), and we searched for a couple of hides together before I headed to the pub for my pre-ordered dinner. Being hard core, he headed off for Hard, Harder and Hardest instead.
Shifty The Mega Duck had been patiently guarding the car all day but he was allowed in the pub provided he behaved himself. Which was barely – I saw him eyeing up other people’s pints and dinners all night! Pesky duck!
I had a meeting in London this afternoon, so I went up earlier in the day with Alistair so we could grab a few boxes beforehand. It started well enough, with us finding a couple of the Lost River Fleet series north of the Thames.
Then we crossed Blackfriars bridge to look for Father Thames & The Mermaid. Good job it was low tide, as access was only from the river bank beach!
I did the admin while Alistair explored the detritus on the beach.
The log was rather soggy, but I managed to make our mark.
Then it started pelting with rain. Of course! (Alistair is convinced I’m a Rain Goddess as it frequently rains while we are out caching together). We needed to complete the tasks for the nearby Earthcache too, so we sheltered under the jetty while gathering the information we needed.
See, he’s still smiling (sort of), even though it’s raining!
Eventually it stopped so we headed towards Westminster. Along the way, we found a bargain BOGOF, two pots for the price of one, at West End Trail – Bridges and Statues (2).
Then it was time for my meeting, so Alistair went off to explore the Thames Flood Barrier, while I sat in an office along Millbank watching the river go by and listening to my colleagues debating various stuff. Eventually, the work bit was done, and I arranged to meet up with Alistair again at Blackfriars Bridge.
We headed south of the river once more to attend the London Event: Over from Hanover @ River Thames in a nearby pub. Camilla the Camel came to say hello, she seemed very friendly but slightly perturbed that her glass was empty.
Alistair met another duck – he’s always a bit wary, given the capers he’s had with Mr Duck over the years!
Lots of chatter and a few pints later, we staggered away to get the train home.
Today I was a good girl and finally got around to doing some maintenance on my own caches. It helped that Alistair was chauffeur so I could just jump out and quickly change a log book when required. But we also found some boxes too!
Our first stop was to revisit and old location in Brentwood. The cache that used to be there was a lovely little multi with a doorbell push at Stage 1, and you had to navigate to Stage 2 by pressing the bell. We found it – just – at the end of last year, but the bell’s batteries kept dying and the CO archived it. However, Stage 1 is now reset as a trad, so we went to pick that up. We also got some bonus slugs!
Then we relocated to Ingrave/Thriftwood for a walk to find another five in the area. We encountered more wildlife here, this time a load of snails had colonised the camo bag!
What a grand day out! Having bombed on floating Boaty for the first time a few days ago in Sussex, I spotted another Boat Only event at Fotheringhay, near Peterborough, slated for today. Hasty plans were hatched, encouragement offered to Infinson to finally pull his finger out and buy a kayak, and it was agreed that Team Essex would convene for the do at the Event waypoint.
Alistair and I arrived at about 10:30 to lashing rain. We sat in the car for half an hour to let it pass, which it did eventually. While we were there, another car pulled up and we noticed a huge blue chum for Shifty sitting on the back shelf! They made friends quickly.
Infinson and Fincache had parked some way off and arrived in their shiny new Challenger K2, with Ian sitting in State at the back while Ryan did all the work!
Once Boaty was inflated, Shifty took the back seat, I got into the middle and Alistair was Stroke at the front. We set off with the others to find the boat only caches and sign the boat only log.
It was great fun paddling along the river, with a few stops from time to time, to frisk the overhanging trees.
Ryan got this one!
Alistair took hold of the GoPro for a while, just to prove that I was working hard at the back!
There was a soggy log at one or two, but a photo log would suffice here.
There were several puzzle caches which we had solved – this one was technically missing a log book, but the CO was kind enough to let us claim the find as we were in the right place.
A few of the locations were a bit overgrown! Got this one in the end, having shoved the kayak as far in as we dared.
Ian and Ryan had no trouble finding this one, but it took ages to put it back again.
Half of Team Essex went back to their car past the lock, but we paddled back to the event location to dry out the kayak and have our picnic. It was a great gathering on the banks.
We met up with Ian and Ryan again in Elton to bag a few more in the village. Shifty and Mr Duck spotted a very appropriately named street – I think they want to move here!
More and more of the archived Essex Way series are being resurrected by various cachers along the route. Recently a new section between Fairstead and White Notley has come back online, placed by Potternut. So today I took Alistair along for the walk – it’s great to have him visiting again for a week.
Here he is, doing his best impression of a Munchkin, due to an unfortunate camera angle and a wide-angle lens! Made me laugh…
We also visited the new Earthcache in White Notley – all about the Puddingstone – yum yum.
Our last find was due to be at the little bridge over the Brain. But then a funny thing happened…
I had the GPS but had forgotten to tell Alistair we had finished all the batch of caches along this stretch. But he carried on to the next likely spot and found another pot! What? We guessed we had found the unpublished No. 16! So he’s claiming FTF for that one.
We walked on a little further and I then claimed FTF on No. 17 – again unpublished. I contacted the CO when we got home, and the cache pots had only been put out that morning! It took the reviewer another 3 days to agree the publication.
So a very welcome, but certainly unexpected, FTF – No. 27 for me. 😀