Tag Archives: shifty the mega duck

Day #371 – Geolympix Mega 2016

Trad: 15 Multi: 2 Challenge: 1 Letterbox: 3
Virtual: 1 Mega: 1
Walked: 7.5 miles

Shifty Saddled Up And Ready To Go!
Shifty Saddled Up And Ready To Go!

Today it was time to head to Ashridge Estate to attend the Geolympix 2016, my second Mega event.

I was delighted to test out the geo-bike properly. Ashridge is a big estate and it enabled me (and Shifty Duck!) to get around and find a good few more caches than we would have managed on foot alone.

Shifty bagged the jump seat pretty quickly – and certainly turned a few heads as we rode along!

Little Quacker was also keen to help out with the finds and signing the log!

Little Quacker Joined In
Little Quacker Joined In

We found some interesting fungi in the woods too.

LQ WIth Some Fungi
LQ WIth Some Fungi

The birds were a bit worried about the camo for this cache!

Cannibalism?!
Cannibalism?!

If I was worried that Shifty would be the biggest kid on the block, I needn’t have – look at this monster bear who was helping out on the Mega sign-in desk!

A Big Bear At Sign In
A Big Bear At Sign In

At 2pm the participants of #UKGeocachingHour on Twitter got together for a little meet up. It was well attended! Nice to meet folks in person who I’ve only chatted with online before now.

#UkGeocachingHour Meetup
#UkGeocachingHour Meetup

Three Irish cachers turned up for the meetup – The_Chris, lulybelle and Saramur – great to meet them too, I’ve been chatting with Susan (lulybelle) and Sarah for ages, so lovely to put faces to names.

The Irish Contingent!
The Irish Contingent!

After riding around looking for a few more caches, I returned to the main site to have a rest and watch the National Geocaching Awards – there were some worthy winners – some of whom seemed particularly ecstatic to have won!

National Geocaching Awards
National Geocaching Awards

It was a very enjoyable start to my geocaching holiday, and I managed to find a few more boxes on the way back to the car, arriving just as it started to rain! In the nick of time…

I then made my way to the Travelodge in Hemel Hempstead for the night, so that I would be ready to set off again, bright and early tomorrow, for day two of my trip.

Day #366 – Teddy Bears’ Picnic

Event: 1
Walked: 3.5 miles

I ordered sunshine for my Teddy Bears’ Picnic Event today and it worked! We had lovely weather for my little gathering on Galleywood Common and there was a great turn out.

Picnic Gathering
Picnic Gathering

There were plenty of teddies (and other animals!) in attendance, as well as human cachers. it was a nice relaxed way to celebrate my 366 Day geostreak.

Waiting For The Rest
Waiting For The Rest
LQ With Friends
LQ With Friends

Vanguard3 (Bob, Mr Certificate) presented me with a surprise Essex Cachers achievement award, which was an unexpected bonus!

Bob Presents My Certificate
Bob Presents My Certificate

I also got a delightful hand made card from a couple of the younger cachers in attendance, which was very sweet.

Surprise Card & Certificate!
Surprise Card & Certificate!

So, am I giving up now? Well, not quite. I’ve decided to keep going up to 400 days (which should occur on 29th August 2016). That’s a good round number. Keep an eye out here for forthcoming adventures!

Day #353 – Magic Wanderings

Trad: 12 Multi: 3 Puzzle: 2 Letterbox: 1
Event: 1
Walked: 8.8 miles

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’s Magic 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 🙂

Magic Wand Magically Open!
Magic Wand Magically Open!

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).

View From A Bench
View From A Bench

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.

VS Gainsford End
VS Gainsford End

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.

CM4644 Stambourne
CM4644 Stambourne

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.

VS Toppesfield
VS Toppesfield

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.

CM1332 Toppesfield
CM1332 Toppesfield

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!

Shifty Contemplates Ryan's Dinner!
Shifty Contemplates Ryan’s Dinner!

Day #297 – Amber Gricer

Trad: 4 Multi: 1 Event: 1
Walked: 1.4 miles

It had been raining for most of the day but it finally stopped around 4:30pm, so I headed out to find a few boxes before the Essex Meet #40 near Braintree. I hit the A12 just as the slow slog commute began, so arrived in Rivenhall End a little later than I had hoped.

Parking the car, I headed towards gillywig’s Amber along the railway line. It was  a multi with puzzle element thrown in – and of course, railway themed. It didn’t take long to locate the shiny amber pot after working out what to do with the numbers!

Shiny Amber!
Shiny Amber!

Despite being quite wet after my waddle through damp undergrowth, I then headed towards Silver End to pick up a Church Micro which was missing when I last passed.

CM2789 - Silver End
CM2789 – Silver End

From the modern, to the ancient, my next stop was a very quick cache and dash at Church Micro  1102, Bradwell.

CM1102 Bradwell
CM1102 Bradwell

I found another couple of trads around Bradwell, as well as scoping out some hides near the meet which will need my waders again.

Echoes In Time
Echoes In Time

Finally, I got to Essex Meet 40 about 7pm, just in time to bag the last car park space and order some dinner before the event began at 8pm!

I had a great evening chatting to folks and was delighted with my 6000 Finds certificate, which Shifty The Mega Duck sat guarding for me for the rest of the evening!

Shifty Admires My Certificate
Shifty Admires My Certificate

Day #294 – Shifty At The Seaside

Trad: 10 Puzzle: 1 Event: 1
Walked: 7.3 miles

More fun and games today, with another of BEASTMARSTA’s silly half-hour Flash Mobs by the coast, this time in Holland-on-Sea.

Holland Flash Mob
Holland Flash Mob

For a change, I took along a random couple of geocoins from my own collection to be discovered at the event. One was my 2010 Lackeys coin, a monster 2″ thing which I’ve never seen another like.

Except today! Someone had brought it along to put in the TB bucket as it was out in the wild, travelling! What are the odds? All rather weird, considering I rarely take my own coins out for a spin, they tend to stay at home!

Twin Trackables!
Twin Trackables!

A large geo-mob set off after the event to find a couple of caches along the seafront, and then I continued on my own to find a few more in the opposite direction as people went back to their cars.

On The Hunt Along The Sea Front
On The Hunt Along The Sea Front

I enjoyed a tasty bacon butty from a kiosk on the prom for lunch, and Shifty decided he wanted to paddle in the sea! All good fun. 🙂

Shifty Goes For A Paddle!
Shifty Goes For A Paddle!

Day #293 – Kentish Capers

Trad: 2 Multi: 1 Puzzle: 1 Challenge: 12
Letterbox: 2 Event: 1
Walked: 7.3 miles

I had a grand roam around Kent today, picking up specific Challenge caches which I have qualified for around Ebbsfleet, New Barn, New Ash Green (I climbed a tree!), West Kingsdown, Leybourne Lakes and then onto the Kent County Cachers meet #80 near Sittingbourne. Finally, I returned northwards for a few more Challenges around Swanley, Dartford and Bexley! Phew. Another 12 challenges completed!

The View From GZ
The View From GZ

There were some divers training at Leybourne Lakes, not far from one of the caches.

Divers Emerge
Divers Emerge

Shifty The Mega Duck went along to the meetup in the pub. He had to wait ages to be served, I think the bar staff thought he was under age!

Hooky Ducky?
Hooky Ducky?

One of the many footpaths I found today:

Path Across The Fields
Path Across The Fields

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 #266 – CITO At The Seaside!

Trad: 8 Multi: 2 Event: 1 CITO: 1
Walked: 9.8 miles

A busy day today attending an event and a CITO, plus bagging various caches around Mersea Island. My first stop was to DNF infinson’s 2 for the third time – not even the presence of Kitty!! this time could help us locate the cache, just a hook where it had been!

So we headed off to console ourselves at the Geo-Coffee Club meet in Little Braxted. Shifty insisted on coming too, but was disappointed when I ate all the cake. Cantankerous bird!

Shifty At The Cake Meet
Shifty At The Cake Meet

Having consumed the delicious cake, we set off to the CITO event at Cudmore Grove on Mersea. On arrival, Geotrowel was busy fanning the flames to get a brew going for all the hard-working litter pickers.

Geotrowel Fans The Flames
Geotrowel Fans The Flames

I followed along behind a few folks and for the first half mile or so, the beach was spotless as they had already picked it clean. But there was evidence of much recent cliff-fall along the way – a sobering thought considering how firm it had all looked back in August when we were last here for the Mega CITO event.

Cliff Fall!
Cliff Fall!

Eventually I got to a spot where the others had turned back with full bags and carried on from there, with my trusty companion, Larry The Litterpicker! He was soon set to work munching discarded rubbish and putting it in the bag.

Larry Gets To Work
Larry Gets To Work

After our litter-picking was done, we returned to base camp for more well-earned tea and cake. Then I had a lovely potter around various bits of the island picking up some more orphan caches which were still taunting me on the map. A grand day out.

Another Nice Box
Another Nice Box

Today’s finds also brings up the 100 days left milestone until I complete my 366 Geostreak! Gotta keep going…

Day #159 – Older But No Wiser

Event: 1
Walked: 2.0 miles

I enjoyed my Birthday/New Year event today, hitting my 4000th find with perfect timing! Alistair gave me a geocoin to commemorate the milestone. And  I encouraged everyone to wear a silly hat and the “log” was rather well themed too…

Signed The Log Hat!
Signed The Log Hat!

Even Shifty The Mega Duck had some new head wear for the event. What a smart bird!

Shifty's New Hat
Shifty’s New Hat

Now I’ve reached 4000, I can find as many as I like in a day, rather than rationing myself as I have been over the past few days.

Day #4 – Teddies & Highwaymen

Event: 2 Trad: 5 Multi: 1 Earth: 1 Letterbox: 1
Walked: 8 miles

30th July 2015
30th July 2015

Another two great UK Mega events today – starting off with a Teddy Bears’ Picnic at The Museum of Power in Langford. Of course, Alistair & I took teddies! (and a big, troublesome duck)

Shifty, Falkirk & Geo-Bear
Shifty, Falkirk & Geo-Bear

Himself, photobombing my pic of the picnic.

Photobombed!
Photobombed!

The new cache in the museum Café

The Cafe Cache
The Cafe Cache

This evening’s event was The Highwayman’s Horror at South Weald Country Park. We were escorted around the gloom of the woods, looking for dastardly Dick Turpin. All great fun!

The Grim Reaper
The Grim Reaper
Dick Turpin
Dick Turpin
Donna And Her Potions
Donna And Her Potions