Tag Archives: high dt

Up The Downs And Down The Ups

Trad: 9 Multi: 6  Challenge: 2
Walked: 9 miles

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!

That's A Big Pumpkin Patch!
That’s A Big Pumpkin Patch!

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.

Messing About In The Water
Messing About In The Water

The Village Sign in Wye is a rather snazzy modern thing, but it gave me the info to find the VS cache nearby.

VS #535 Wye
VS #535 Wye

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.

Lovely Sunset On The Downs
Lovely Sunset On The Downs

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.

Fiery Sky
Fiery Sky

GeoCoffee And Caches

Trad: 20 Multi: 1 Event: 1
Walked: 11 miles

After my adventures with Kitty the other day, I decided on a solo mission for a higher DT cache was in order today. My target was Don’t Fall In! near Copford Green. I arrived to find the pond was virtually dried up, but the cache was still tricky to reach.

Dried Up But Still Tricky!
Dried Up But Still Tricky!

After a bit of manoeuvring I finally got my paws on the log – and another D4/T4.5 pot was under my belt!

Job Done, Yay!
Job Done, Yay!

It took a bit longer to accomplish than I had hoped, so I was a bit late arriving for BEASTMARSTA‘s GeoCoffeeClub#15 in the Old Heath area of Colchester. Shifty quickly made a start on the crisps!

Shifty Tucks Into Lunch
Shifty Tucks Into Lunch

Suitably fortified, I then headed back to Birch and Layer Breton for a circular walk taking in lots of trads. A mixed bag of success – plenty of finds but a few frustrating DNFs too. This alien was a nice quick find though!

Poor Little Dude!
Poor Little Dude!

When I’m out and about I do like photographing the Village Signs – Layer Breton is clearly very posh, they have gold leaf on their sign!

Gold Leaf!
Gold Leaf!

They have a quaint little church in the village too.

CM1931
CM1931

It was getting dark by the time I had finished my loop – the sunset was rather colourful tonight.

Sunset At GZ
Sunset At GZ

After finding the Village Sign cache (it was quite a walk in the gloom to GZ) then finally back to the car in Birch, I was grateful for a sit down before the drive home.

VS351 Birch
VS351 Birch

Climbing & Wading With Kitty

Trad: 6
Walked: 4 miles

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.

Up There Somewhere!
Up There Somewhere!
Soggy Damp Log - We Replaced It
Soggy Damp Log – We Replaced 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!

The Little Prize :-)
The Little Prize 🙂

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.

Kitty Goes In First
Kitty Goes In First
My Turn
My Turn

Marvellous! Job done. I’m looking rather pleased with myself to have bagged this D2.5/D4.5 pot!

Done It! :-)
Done It! 🙂

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!

Still There!
Still There!
Miserable Failure!
Miserable Failure!

Day #349 – Alistair’s Maiden Voyage

Trad: 9 Puzzle: 4 Event: 1
Walked: 2.9 miles

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.

Shifty Makes A Friend
Shifty Makes A Friend

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!

Infinson & Fincache
Infinson & Fincache

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.

Boaty McBoat Face Afloat!
Boaty McBoat Face Afloat!

It was great fun paddling along the river, with a few stops from time to time, to frisk the overhanging trees.

Where Is It?
Where Is It?

Ryan got this one!

Got It!
Got It!

Alistair took hold of the GoPro for a while, just to prove that I was working hard at the back!

Making Progress
Making Progress

There was a soggy log at one or two, but a photo log would suffice here.

Alistair Shows Off The Cache
Alistair Shows Off The Cache

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.

Ramming Speed?
Ramming Speed?

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.

Up The Creek Without A Paddle
Up The Creek Without A Paddle

Ian and Ryan had no trouble finding this one, but it took ages to put it back again.

Almost Run Aground
Almost Run Aground

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.

Post Paddle Picnic
Post Paddle Picnic

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!

The Perfect Place
The Perfect Place

Day #342 – A Day Of Challenges

Trad: 2 Challenge: 13
Walked: 8.9 miles

I took a long and winding route back to Essex from West Sussex to pick up some specific Challenge Caches and Church Micros. My first appointment was with unfinished Village Sign business in Bramber – having calculated the numbers yesterday with Ken, we ran out of time to look for the pot. But it was a quick find today.

Bramber VS
Bramber VS

The main target of the day were the Wizardarious Challenges, south west of Pullborough. Thankfully, I found all those for which I qualified (I don’t like signing them unless I have), which was a relief because a couple were pretty tricky.

Wizardarious Challenges
Wizardarious Challenges

Another one which was on the radar was It’s All About The Numbers Challenge near Midhurst. I had qualified easily enough, but the actual hide was anything but easy. First there was a long bushwhacking walk down a green lane to contend with. The foliage was sopping wet due to the rain and hailstorm which started just before I arrived at the parking spot!

Once at GZ I realised I would have to scramble up a very steep bank to grab the cache. It wasn’t pretty, either on the way up or the way down but nobody was watching. A wet bum later, the job was done!

All About The Numbers Challenge
All About The Numbers Challenge

Church Micro No. 1 – Earlswood has been on my to do list for a while now. I wasn’t exactly passing, but it was as close as I’ve been for ages, so I made the detour and picked up the numbers from the church.

CM1 - Earlswood
CM1 – Earlswood

The hide itself is in a rather cheeky bird box a little way away. Nicely done! And good to have finally visited the place where the mighty Church Micro series began.

Cunning Birdbox Hide
Cunning Birdbox Hide

There were a few other odds and ends before heading home, this time in Surrey. I found these curious Puzztox tokens but realised they wanted to stay in Surrey, so I didn’t take them away.

Puzztox In A Box
Puzztox In A Box

Day #337 – Potters Crouch Potter

Trad: 14
Walked: 8.2 miles

The Potters Crouch area was my target for this evening’s outing. There were a few caches with some great DT ratings and I earned my stars as the going was tough in places!

One of the first caches was Bedmond Rat Run 1 – with a rather scary guy guarding the pot:

Scary Cache Guardian
Scary Cache Guardian

Fallen Arrow, a D3/T5 hide. It was rather hard going to get to this one, so I was pleased to have ticked it off the list.

Tricky Fallen Arrow
Tricky Fallen Arrow

I saw some lovely poppies in the fields along the way.

Poppy Along The Way
Poppy Along The Way

All in all, a decent haul of 14 trads today, I went home happy.

Day #321 – Way To 81!

Trad: 11
Walked: 6.7 miles

At the start of this year, I set myself the challenge of completing my DT grid. Here’s how it looked back then (the yellow squares were the targets for my outing on Day #166) – 26 empty holes.

Prospective Grid-Fillers
Prospective Grid-Fillers, January 2016

Since then I have been chipping away at the empty squares, looking for specific caches to fill the gaps. As of today I have just one left! The tricksy D5/T4.5:

DT Grid, 28th May 2016
DT Grid, 28th May 2016

Together with geobuddy Infinson, who only had 3 empty squares to fill, and his son fincache, we headed off to Kent today to make sure we finished off the task!

The first was The Nest, a D5/T4.5 which both Ian and I needed. We chickened out and sent Ryan up the tree. He is a climbing instructor, so he knows what he’s doing!

Ryan Goes Up The Tree
Ryan Goes Up The Tree

While that technically meant we had done the job, I wasn’t happy until I’d actually got my hands on a D5/T4.5 under my own steam. So we headed to our backup cache, North Downs Adventure #10 (4×4 Cache & dash MkII) with my new telescopic ladder! There we go, cache in hand. Who needs to climb? 😉

Me Completing The Grid With D5/T4.5
Me Completing The Grid With D5/T4.5

I had anticipated I might finish off the grid today, so I brought along my 81 Star Geo-Achievement coin to pose with once I had done it.

DT Grid Complete!
DT Grid Complete!

We stopped off at several other high DT caches around Walderslade and then headed for OMG – which is a jaw-dropping D3.5/T5 along a pipe over the River Medway. I wanted nothing to do with this one! But Ian gamely sent his first-born son up there to do the deed. That was his penultimate square ticked off.

Ryan Goes Up - OMG!
Ryan Goes Up – OMG!

Infinson’s one remaining empty square was the elusive D1.5/T5 at Damp Ankles near Dartford. It was pretty dry today, and we made short work of it!

Under The Boardwalk
Under The Boardwalk

So there we go – two of us finishing off our DT grids today and Ryan having a lot of fun too. Here’s to adventures!

Three Musketeers
Three Musketeers

And once I had come home and logged the finds, my grid now looks very satisfying indeed:

DT Completed! 11th June 2016
DT Completed! 11th June 2016

Anyone for Round Two?

Day #318 – Of Abbots And Kings

Trad: 6 Puzzle: 1 Letterbox: 1 Virtual: 1
Walked: 7.5 miles

This evening I took a trip over to Kings Langley and Abbots Langley to pick up a few specific caches. The first was a letterbox hide, which is part of a series in Kent – yes, really! It was an easy enough find, but I made the mistake of not wearing long sleeves and got nettled to death for my troubles. Ouch.

Nettled To Death!
Nettled To Death!

The next stop was an old Virtual in the grounds of Kings Langley church. There’s supposed to be a “sword” up there somewhere! Couldn’t see it, but found the info to enable me to log the find.

Virtual Up A Tree
Virtual Up A Tree

Then I took a little potter around the town and along the Grand Union Canal to find a few more trads.

Reflecting In The Grand Union
Reflecting In The Grand Union

After that successful mission, I relocated to Abbots Langley a short drive away, to look for a cache with D5/T4 rating, Something In The Pipeline. I had come prepared, so was able to find the little blighter without too much trouble! Must be getting good at this!

Tricky Beast, Tamed
Tricky Beast, Tamed

In preparation for my visit, I had already solved the puzzle for the nearby Side Tracked – Kings Langley hide. I passed this wind turbine on the way, just as dusk was falling. A good evening’s hunting with only one DNF.

Windy Miller At Dusk
Windy Miller At Dusk

Day #313 – Brainiacs Or Maniacs?

Trad: 11
Walked: 7.3 miles

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’s Takely Trail a few weeks ago. Thankfully, we managed to turn all but one into a nice smiley – phew!

Grassy Hell!
Grassy Hell!
Slithery Dude
Slithery Dude

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!

Larry Helps Up A Tree
Larry Helps Up A Tree

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!

Ready For Action!
Ready For Action!

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!

Kitty Signs The Log
Kitty Signs The Log

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.

Apparition In Brain Tunnel
Apparition In Brain Tunnel

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!

Made It Out Alive - Relief!
Made It Out Alive – Relief!

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.