1. May, 2019

SideTracked?, Really!

It was time to spend a day caching in Essex and visit some of the new Really SideTracked caches along old disused railway lines. I had a number of solved puzzles that I wanted to find but mainly I wanted a quiet day in good old Essex. Here’s how the day went.

I made an early start to miss the traffic and travelled quickly along quiet roads. I found the tricky trads at RST - Felstead and the Queens Pump in Little Dunmow before finding the trad at a very large supermarket in Great Dunmow. I had breakfast there and then drove the short distance out to Little Easton for the Fine Pair multi. I’ve only just found out that there was formerly a station here that was very busy during WW2 ferrying bombs to the USAF airfields and casualties to local hospitals 

I found my first Puddingstone Trail trad at the church in Tilty and then the SideTracked trad and the Windmill virtual in Thaxted. I was now on the track of the Elsenham & Thaxted Light Railway. I quickly found Cutlers Green Halt mystery and the Sibleys multi caches and then the Horace’s Dating Dilemma Mystery.

I visited the Stone The Crows mystery cache near Debden. I had solved this one ages ago. As soon as I saw the cache title, I was whisked off to another age and the source material for this cache. I had seen the Crows at the LSE in London just before guitarist Les Harvey’s death in 1972. The lead singer was Maggie Bell, a blues rock powerhouse likened to Janis Joplin.

Whilst I was in the area, I gathered the Puddingstone Trail 4 trad and then moved on to Newport. I found the SideTracked trad but had to give up on the Postman’s Nightmare Wherigo as all the info was not available.

I moved on to Henham to continue my journey along the former Elsenham & Thaxted Light Railway route, I found the Henham Halt SideTracked mystery and then the Mill Road Halt trad. The trad at Elsenham SideTracked was the next one on my list and this had been the start of the E&TLR. I quickly found the well placed cache and retired to the tiny cafe next to the level crossing for lunch. I didn‘t think that there were any manned level crossings left but the chap here certainly earns his wages.🤔

Suitably refreshed with coffee and bread pudding, I set off down to Stansted Airport for a few caches in the area. I walked the short It’s Plane To See series of trads accompanied by a cacophony of incoming airplanes. I then carried onto collect the SideTracked mystery for Stansted Airport.

In Takeley, I parked up in the lay-by next to the football ground to look for the Really SideTracked - Takeley trad and then continued back into the village to find the Village Sign mystery and the Heathen Stone Earthcache. I had been to the ground before to see Takeley’s first game in the Essex Senior League a few years ago. Basildon United spoilt the party that day.😀

I then drove down to get back on the track of the old Stortford to Dunmow railway. I found the Really SideTracked - Stane Street Halt and the Flitch Way Finds #5 trads and then the Start Hill Sums mystery. It was time to head south and homeward bound but there was time for a couple more.🤔

I found one of the Binary Bind mysteries in Woodside Green but dipped out on the other as the hint was as much use as a chocolate teapot and then drove down to Newman’s End for the UnMatching - Five Facts mystery. I was now off to the trad at High Laver Church and this as definitely going to be my last cache of the day. I parked the car outside the lovely church and walked up to the search area. The hint threw me for a while but I realised what the CO meant and quickly found the well placed cache. However it wasn’t where I expected it to be. Once I had carried out my admin duties, I replaced the cache exactly where I had found it. It has been a long day, I’m going home with no stops on the way.😀