7. Oct, 2020

Beds and Bucks

You will have gleaned from the last blog that I need to find two SideTracked caches in two new counties to qualify for a SideTracked Challenge. I worked out how I could accomplish this in one journey and came up with Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. As I was doing a final stats check, I thought to my horror that I needed three counties and could have fitted in Northamptonshire but luckily I noticed that I hadn’t added the City of London.

So I planned a day that gave me a few STs close to the county border. I also included a number of 1/1 caches for another challenge and lots of CMs, VSs, VHSs and even a Virtual. So here’s how the day went.

I was up at five o’clock and on the road thirty minutes later off on the A127, M25 and then the M1, pulling off at Markyate for a couple of trad 1/1s. The next port of call was Houghton Regis for a 1/1 CM trad, a Letterbox WM and a trad VS. Back at the car, I plugged in google maps for my trip to Tilsworth. Unfortunately there wasn’t a CM here but there was a Virtual - Erected by Subscription just into the churchyard. After finding the info and texted it to the CO, I checked the map to see if there were any other caches in the village. Across the road was the trad, Stanbridge Circuit, Which Tree. The coords were spot on so I quickly knew which tree.

I moved on into the village of Chalgrave for the CM multi and then into Toddington. I couldn’t get all the info for the CM but made a reasoned assumption. I had two sets of coords neither of which were fruitful so I decided to moved on. I checked what else that I could reasonably go for and spotted the trad MINI SideTracked Fancott Station a mile down the road. This was in Beds so I had to give it a whirl. I had a quick find but dropped the lid which took me a few minutes to retrieve. That’s one county down but it isn’t County Down.🤔

I drove on to the dainty village of Milton Bryan. First up was the CM multi and then the VH multi. I unexpectedly found a TB here which hadn’t been logged in. It was in the Village Hall TB race so I had to move it on even though I also have a TB running in this race. I was able to drop it off up the road in the CM multi in Eversholt. There was also an unusual VS multi here. The sign was actually a mural although all the info was on a nearby plaque.

The next cache on my list was the trad ST Woburn Sands in Bucks. However when I looked the place up, the village straddled the Beds/Bucks border so which county was it actually in? Imagine my relief when I drove past the “Welcome to Buckinghamshire“ sign when I drove into the village. I parked up next to a Costa at the station😀 but then noticed that it was shut.🤬 The cache was a quick find so I was able to claim the ST Bearley Challenge.

I visited Ampthill for the first time next. I presumed that it was a sleepy little place but it was bustling with nowhere to park. It was the sort of place that I wanted to get out of as soon as I could. I parked up where I could and walked through the throng to the CM Methodist trad and the clever CM Baptist multi. Back at the car, I noticed another trad across the road so picked that up and left town. 

I was hoping that Flitwick (with a silent W) would be quieter. My original plan for a Beds ST was here plus quite a few trad 1/1s, which was nice. I parked near a Costa, which was open👏 so that was lunch sorted. After a sausage muffin and an Americano with cold milk on the side, John, I set about cleaning up.

The ST trad was quickly found and then the Off Yer Trolley. I then did a cache and dash trip around town. I was in for a surprise at Flitwick Mill which I had presumed was at the site of a former mill. However it was very much in existence and even more, the water mill was actually working with the wheel revolving before my eyes.😀

A couple more trads plus the CM multi and I was on my way out of Flitwick (with a silent W) onto Harlingto for more 1/1s. The ST trad was a quick find and one more trad brought the days caching to an end.

1 Letterbox 1 Virtual 9 Multi 16 Traditional