23. Nov, 2021

The Lynford Stag

So here’s the plan for the day.πŸ˜€ First stop will be in Ipswich to collect the CM Ipswich ~ St Nicholas Wherigo that I couldn’t find before and then whiz up the A14 corridor to pick up some series caches. The final destination will be Thetford Forest in Norfolk to look for a series of Challenge caches, some of which I had qualified for and some I hadn’t. It would turn out to be a day of highs and lows.πŸ™

So as dawn broke, I pulled into the car park next to the final stage. After checking that parking was free (it was until 0800) I parked up and walked the few yards needed. This time I had a quick find and that gave me seven icons in Suffolk. I should now qualify for the 3rd Iconic Challenge Cache down near Northfleet in Kent.

I now set off up the A14 pulling off for the Creetings. I soon found the VS Creeting ~ St Mary trad and the CM Creeting ~ St Peter trad. I am sure that there was a circular series that passed through here some time ago but it must have been archived. Just up the road was the Letterbox letterbox that I know that I had been to before.πŸ€” I picked up the VS Creeting ~ St Peter trad on the way out of the village.

I drove up to Stowupland but unfortunately the village was very busy with cars dropping off kids at schools and nurseries so I had to park some way away from where I wanted to be. I walked back to CM Stowupland - URC Chapel and quickly found the trad. I carried on down to the CM ~ Holy Trinity multi but here I came unstuck. The coords were soon found and I set off the few hundred yards to the final stage. Now I looked all along the fence line and there was no cache. The CO checked later and said it was there in full sight. Now either the coords or out or I need to go to Specsavers.🧐

I walked back down to the VS and quickly found the trad. Unfortunately there had been a road traffic accident at the junction and there were many police here. However they took no notice of me and vice versa.🀫 I headed up to Elmswell and soon located the CM trad.

I had to leave the A14 now and head north. It was 0945 and I wanted to get started on the caches in the Forest so off I went. I drove up through Thetford and almost up to Mundford. The designated car park was in Lynford and the first thing that I saw was the famous Lynford Stag.🀫

There was a series of trads through this part of the forest (Stag”ger) and I had worked out a route taking in all the challenges plus a selection of the trads. The first one was 01 (Stag”ger) Easy peasy to get ya going and it was a quick find. I worked my way up to the first challenge which was the 4.5/4 Full English Challenge. This one, as well as the wherigo, was the whole reason for today’s visit. Collecting a cache in each English county took me a lot of planning and toil so I was so pleased to tick this one off.πŸ˜€

The next cache was the 5/2.5 Lynford 4 x 100 FP’s challenge and then a few more trads took me up to the 4.5/5 Lynford - 5* Terrain x 3 Challenge. This was a tree climb so up I went and signed the cache. Unfortunately I do not qualify but I signed it anyway.

There was a time when I wouldn’t sign a challenge that I didn’t qualify for even though I was passing by. However after I had qualified for a couple and found that they had been archived 🀯🀯🀯 I made myself the promise to sign them all.πŸ˜€

After a few more trads, I reached the 3/1.5 Lynford Bicycle Attribute Challenge. This was a quick find which was nice.πŸ€” I carried on with a few trads and then reached a part of the forest that had Danger of Death notices at the start of the ride. I couldn’t see a working party or hear any sawing noise, so I carried on until I reached the 4/5 Lynford Mile High Challenge. This was another tree climb and one I didn’t qualify for but sod it, I signed it anyway.

There was another trad before the 3/1.5 Lynford Souvenir Challenge. I think you had to have earned 100 souvenirs but I had 165 so no problem. This one was followed by another two challenges, the 4.5/4 Lynford 366 Calendar Challenge and the 3/3.5 Lynford 1000 Unknown Caches Challenge. These were quickly found and one more trad took me back to the motor.

I decided to drive the few miles down the road back to Thetford for a late lunch. There were quite a few caches here and didn’t think I could do them justice today. There was another challenge nagging at me so checked the quickest route home and it took me past Newmarket which was where the cache was - result.πŸ˜€

I set off and as I was drIving towards the centre of the horse racing centre, I passed by the CM Newmarket ~ St Agnes. I had failed here before but it was MIA. There was no problem this time though. I hit the centre and swung a left, driving out of town towards the final cache of the day.

Size Matters - A Cache Size Challenge was a Large 4.5/2.5 cache, very well hidden in a copse. It took some time to find the huge container but I was well chuffed to add it to the day’s tally.πŸ˜€ 

So the day was one of highs but I wasn’t expecting the low that was coming. As far as I was concerned, the Wherigo would be the final qualification for the 3rd Iconic County Challenge Cache. I needed seven icons in seven counties and now I qualified. So I could add the Project.GC blurb to my log, I ran the challenge checker and I failed.πŸ€”πŸ₯΄πŸ€― What!!! The requirement was eight in eight and I only have seven. I already had seven icons in Suffolk.  So now I need another county so I will now concentrate on Surrey.

1 Letterbox 1 Wherigo 7 Mystery 23 Traditional