Caching One Day At A Time
I had once walked 101 caches in a day and never thought that I would be able to beat that. However with the publication of the Essex and Herts Border series, I thought that I could have a chance to beat that especially if I had an electric bike. The series has over 300 trads and all of them are 1.5/1.5, all placed to be found.
Now a few challenge caches had made themselves known to me. One was two 100 caching days in a month and then there were the 125 caches in a day and the 150 caches in a day. I definitely have the first one in my sight but today’s challenge was the 125. I had planned a cache and dash run in the car for the first part and then I would take to the bike to do a number of small circular runs. I didn’t expect to find 150 caches today but if I got to 125, I would be happy and I would try for 150 caches in a day later in the month.
So I drove up into Cambridgeshire and dropped down to towards #1. I found the first one at 0541 and did a series of C&Ds down to #23. When I was planning the day, I had seen what looked like a concrete parking area just past here and luckily I was right.
I parked up and assembled the fold-up bike in order to set off on a circular route around to #66 finishing at 0938. There were no problems en route and all the caches were quick finds. Back at the car, it was back to a section of drive-bys down to #75 for 1032.
It was then back to the bike and I set off from #76 down Chestnut Avenue towards the outskirts of Audley End to #83 at 1111. I then had to re-trace my wheels back up the Avenue to #84 for 1125. The next section was all downhill and the journey down to #93 was hairy and quick.🥴 My right hand is still sore from all the pulling on the brake for the back wheel. I reached the last cache in this section at noon.
Unfortunately #94 had been disabled but as it turned out #95 was way back up the steep hill that I’d just come down.🤔 Luckily the next one on my list was #151 just down the road. I pedalled my way up hill and down dale to #160 just outside Arkesden but I couldn’t find #153.
I found the CM Arkesden trad but also found that I had no phone signal so would have to busk the hints until it came back. I have been meaning to write out all the hints on big series in cases like this so it will be an imperative from now on.
I was now going to head back in the direction of the car so rode over #166 but followed the route against the grain down to #147 arriving here at 1328. I decided to backtrack a bit to pick up #148 to #150 rather than leave them hanging.
I had obviously been keeping my eye on the numbers and I was now on 122. I had decided to call it a day at 125 and was looking for the quickest route back to #75. I could see that this would be going through Littlebury Green and there was a line of the series going from #103 down to #95. I decided to pick up the first three just in case.
I haven’t mentioned much about the bike but it was really handy to be able to “turn on the power” when I needed it. I hadn’t been out for a full day before on the bike so wasn’t aware of battery life etc., I could see the battery life gauge slowly falling but by moving up and down the gears, I regained some power. I wasn‘t aware of the remaining terrain and if it was uphill, I didn’t want to run out of battery.
When I reached the Littlebury Green Road, I could see that I was going to up a hill. Luckily I picked up the remaining caches and the battery held out.😀 I wouldn’t have liked to have pedalled up that hill under my own power.🥴 So I had met my first target and as long as I could get at least another hundred this month, I would be happy. However 150 would qualify me for another challenge cache! 😀 By the way, I found the last cache at 1457.
I’m still keen to finish off this Anniversary challenge that I have been going on about so I have found two candidates down in Kent which should complete the challenge.
One of these was down near Mereworth in the woods and the other one was up on the North Downs near Kemsing. Here's how the morning went.
I was up early and through the tunnel (well, over the bridge before dawn) and pulled off the M20 and down into Wrotham Heath. This was also going to be a bit of a Letterbox day too and the first one on my list was the 4. Kent Mega 2015 Cache and Dash. I soon followed this up with a DNF at 5. but quickly found 8.
Down in Hurst Woods near Mereworth was the Mereworth Meander series of trads. I parked up in the suggested parking spot and set off towards one of my main target, the Trigtastic #56 trad. I pick up #15 of the Meander on the way to the trig point. Gawd knows when this trig was placed but now it is in dense woodland and it took a while to even spot it. The birthday cache was soon found though. On the way back to the car, I added #13 and #14 of the Meander series to the list.
I now embarked on a series of drive by Letterbox caches in places so small, I didn’t always see a village sign. I had been keen to see the sign in the first place but I didn’t see one. ☹️
So I passed through Buttsole, Plaxtol, Coursehorn, Finglesham and Shipbourne. For good measure, I also found the Letterbox cache at Kent Oast Houses #17 just outside Shipbourne. I had one more birthday cache to find so I set off for the familiar village of Kemsing.
I parked as close as I could to the Pilgrims Way and started the climb up the North Downs towards Trev’s Treasure 2, a 2/3 trad, which now from experience be at least a 4T. 🙁 The ascent was a creaser and luckily it flattened out around the search area for the Treasure. I soon found the well hidden cache and I was now qualified to claim the 4.5/3.5 Anniversary Challenge Cache trad that I had signed on 24/4/21 down in Hampshire.
The views on the way down into Kemsing were spectacular and well worth a photo. I found another cach, the Busy bees in the woods 2 trad for no other reason that it was there.😀
2 Unknown 6 Traditional 9 Letterbox