22. Mar, 2018

E - R - O - V - E - R

I’m working on a Challenge Cache where I need to spell out my Geocaching name by letter and in order and in a week! I have already found VANG since Sunday so I need EROVER today. I have planned my day around getting these caches. However with nearly 7K caches already found, it has proved a lot harder than I thought to plan this. I need to travel a bit so I’m starting near Coggeshall, working my way up to Gosfield, dropping back down to Bradwell and then up to Halstead. This is how the day went.

I had to have a back up plan in case of DNFs. My problem would be ”E” as I only had three possibles on my list and I needed two. I had the worst possible start with a DNF at EJ’s Cheeky Cache #4 but at least #5 was nearby. I parked up the best I could at GZ and quickly spotted the hint item, a traffic sign. Unfortunately, it had been hit by a lorry or similar and was now laying on the ground. Luckily the cache was still in place so now I was off to find an R.

I had a few Rs on my list but the nearest were a couple left from the Rough Diamond series tucked away in farm land at the back of the former Earls Colne airfield. I parked up as near as I could and then had a decent walk down the footpath to #3. I had a quick find of the cache and it is in very good condition considering that it has not been visited for nearly a year. Whilst I was out here I went out across the fields to #4 and this hadn’t been found for nearly two years.šŸ˜€

About two miles away round the lanes was On The Pull, a well hidden trad that I added to the list. For a V, I had a solved mystery VR on my list but this was north of Halstead or I could go for a VS. I checked if there were any around and there was VS Gosfield.šŸ˜€ I had a quick find of a well concealed cache here and noted that a small series was in Gosfield Pits Nature Reserve including one called Rooted.

I had to drop down into Bradwell on the A120 for the E. Echos In Time was another trad but it was a 15 minute drive away. Once I’d parked up and found the footpath to the bridge crossing the river, I had a really quick find. Now all I had to do was find an R to complete the challenge and I had one lined up back in Gosfield. It was now about 1015 so I had could relax and find a few more caches. I found the nearby Papadum and had a look at Gone Fishing!! 4. Once I’d got down to the fishing lake in an old quarry, I realised that the boat and snorkelling attributes were missing off this 4/4.5 cache. The log that the cache was supposedly on floated away when I put my foot on it so no way, Jose!

I noted VS Stisted was on the way back to Gosfield. However, I solved the multi at the VS but the cache was a DNF. I know that I was in the right place as I did a PAF with Frantica to check the coords.

So now back in Gosfield, I parked up and looked on the OS map to find a footpath to get into the reserve to look for Rooted. Reading previous logs, it seemed that this choice for R may not have been a good one. It was difficult to find and once I saw the terrain with uprooted trees everywhere.šŸ¤¬ However, I found the cache deep under leaf litter in the second root base that I looked. So, I’ve completed the challenge, not so difficult really.šŸ¤” I checked where the challenge cache was and it’s in Surrey šŸ˜¬, it’ll have to wait until I go to Gatwick or that way, anyway.

I picked up the other three caches in the reserve including Undulating, an aptly named change considering the terrain. This 3.5/3 trad was about 15 feet up a tree with well placed branches.šŸ¤« Once I had negotiated myself back to the car, I was now free to go after caches as I fancied and looked at stragglers on the approach to and in Halstead itself.

I found four trads including the Halstead Water Tower and many letter boxes on my way into town before parking up near the Holy Trinity Church (New) multi. This was my first cache of this kind. I had to find a cache in the churchyard to get the clue for the cache in the church itself. I finally found what I was looking for and wondered how many churchgoers knew about this cache not far from the pews. This had to have a fave. I now drove into town and parked up for free in the Co-op   so I could celebrate with a coffee and cake.ā˜•ļøšŸ°

After the lemon drizzle cake had been washed down with an Americano, I had a short walk to the other side of the causeway for Keep You’re Eyes Open. I’d failed at this cunning Infinson cache before but after a short search, I found the micro nestling in the compost.šŸ˜€

I was now off for a couple of short walks along each side of the River Colne going out into the countryside. The first stretch was south of the river taking in the trads, Monty’s Field, Caesar’s Farm and the recently DNFed The Offshoot. This was a good walk taking in the historical features pointed out by the CO but it also ran along the former trackbed of the Colne Valley Railway.

Re-tracing my steps, I set off for the three trads of the River Walk series On the north side of the river. However, I paused, wrong word, spent time looking for the fiendish Refresher Cache at the bridge. Infinison says it’s there, numerous cachers haven’t been able to find it. I carried on and easily found the three trads that I was looking for. However then came the natural highlight of the day when I had a close encounter with a Muntjac Deer. It posed so I could take a few reasonable but not brilliant photos before it skipped away.

I walked back to the car, this time pausing at the Refresher and decided that there was enough time for one more cache in town. So I went to tackle the mystery, Johnny Cache. Based on you know who, I was sent east of town to GZ. I then realised that this was only the first stage of the puzzle. Gaining the coords for the final, I had a 15 minute walk each way out to the well hidden cache. It was now time for home but I reckoned that I could get two more trad caches on route. VS Falkbourne and Poods 1 in Witham were quick finds to finish up the day.šŸ‘šŸ»

Checking up on my Interplanetary progress, I’m now past Venus and approaching Uranus with 175 points. šŸš€šŸ˜€ Reagarding my fitness progress, I did 21,525 Steps, walked 16.4km and climbed 19 flights of Steps.šŸ‘šŸ»

1 Mystery, 1 MultI, 24 Traditional