30. Nov, 2019

Five Long Years

No, this is not going to be a reminder of the classic number one R&B hit by Eddie Boyd. However, I did have the pleasure of being introduced to the famous blues pianist, singer and songwriter, backstage at the LSE in London about 50 years ago. Now I used to be mates with the original Fleetwood Mac but more about that another time. Eddie had just recorded an album on Blue Horizon with the band and was guesting at the gig. So no “Third Degree” about “Five Long Years” with Eddie Boyd.

Today is the 5th anniversary of my first cache. I had got to hear about the ”hobby” from Andrew the son of The Avenue Two. When I finally got a smart phone, I quickly loaded up the Geocaching app and was looking for an opportunity to use it. I was well into birdwatching then but needed to do more exercise for health reasons. I thought that this new hobby would help with this. It would certainly be better than sitting in a hide for hours waiting for a ten second fly past by a Bittern.

It was on a birdwatching trip to Rutland Water that I walked down to CM Egleton to look for my first cache. This turned out to be a tiny plastic tube pushed into a piece of branch. That was it, I was hooked and I’m still here 10,000 caches later. I don’t go birdwatching much now.🤔

I was going down into Kent this morning. I’m sure that I have told you about the Cellular Mutation Challenge cache series near Crockenhill. The series consists of gathering specific amounts of finds in a number of cells on the D/T grid. I finally qualified for #1 by finding at least 10 caches in at least 50 cells so this was my first task of the day.

I was in the search area just before dawn but the cache was so well covered that it took me a while to find it. I was so glad to add another 5/4.5 cache to my stats. I headed back into Crockenhill to do as much of the Swanley Orbital Series as I could in the time that I had left.

I was able to collect #75 to #71 as drive bys but there came a point when I had to start walking. I donned my boots and set off down the footpath. I picked up #70 and #71 before I got to the railway line. After crossing the footbridge, I continued down a wet and muddy track until I reached an open area. I could hear heavy machinery and the map indicated that there was a quarry behind the trees but I couldn’t see anything.

i quickly found the well hidden #62 and continued up the wet track to #61, a 2.5/3.5 trad. I couldn‘t find it so set off to #60 which had the same D/T for an amazingly quick find. I now had to return as I had found all the caches in the series that followed. Back at #60, I struggled for a while and was thinking of leaving it when it literally hit me on the head. It was head high, cable tied to a horizontal branch, so very cunning. So two 2.5/3.5 in quick succession which was very welcome.

I was heading back in the direction of the car now and had just time for one more cache as I was about 30 minutes from the car. Luckily #62 was a quick find thanks to the hint and then it was time for home.


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