Caching One Day At A Time

21. Feb, 2021

I need a good walk with a decent amount of caches that’s going to have me in place at dawn and home by 1000. After consulting my lists (by the way, I have 97 lists🤔) I come up with the 20 mystery circular walk in Scadbury Park near Bexley. I don’t anticipate much traffic and hopefully few walkers so it has won the prize.

The Scadbury Park series is based on trees found in the park and has been set by SkiCycle. I‘ve always been a Dendrophile so there was a lot of interesting text on the cache pages (for me) to read.

I must add that on the way around, I was treated to a cacophony of bird song. I could constantly hear and see Ring-necked Parakeets. I saw almost the whole range of Corvids as well as the usual Thrushes, Tits and Robins. I heard a Blackcap so the migration has begun.

So there I was, parking up just before dawn in the park car park and found the first cache by torch light. I made good progress until I got to #4 when I couldn’t find the cache. I knew that the cache had been found yesterday so what was I doing wrong. I noted in a previous log that the coords had been changed so I put my coords through the checker and got a red light.🤬 I did the sums again and quickly found the errant cache.

I was wondering whether I would have similar problems but there was only one change and I was now looking for them. I lost about 20 minutes at #4 which would have been handy later on, but such is life. I got to about #18 and knew that there were three Wherigo caches nearby of which I was eager to try at least one.

I settled on Scadbury Story as there was a bonus cache attached to it and it would only take about half an hour. So I got myself over to the posted coords and realised that I was in someone’s back garden.🥴 It now seems that I could have started the Wherigo anywhere but here so I carried on. I picked up #19 and #20 of the mystery series on the way whilst I was collecting gold coins to qualify for the Wherigo.

I needed 12 coins to get the cache coords and 15 coins to get the bonus. Oh, I forgot to mention that I was walking the same route as earlier and I had got mixed up on the timings as this one was actually a hour long. I had realised that I wasn’t going to make it home for ten and when I reached the 12 coin mark, I decided to go for broke...and the bonus.

However I got to the next stage at what is left of the Scadbury Manor House and was asked what other activity was banned from the Park. It wasn’t a multi answer question and in fact could be confusing. Well I got it wrong, didn’t I.🤔 I didn’t get a second chance and it gave me the obscure answer. Well I could have said, Hang Gliding or Archery or even Oology and still been wrong.

Anyway, I thought that I’d blown the bonus so head down, tramped the mile or so through the woods to the car and then off home.🙁 However, I was wondering if I’d been a trifle premature but I was running 30 minutes late anyway. I had to come back for the cache so checked the bonus data on the way home and it turned out that I could get one question wrong and still get the bonus.

This was confirmed by Mr SkiCycle when I contacted him so in the words of General MacArthur, “I will be back”, and in the words of Derek Trotter, ”luvly jubbly”.

One last fact for you all, on March 28th 1945, the last V1 Flying Bomb that fell in the U.K. during WW2 landed on ... Scadbury Manor House.🥴

20 Mystery 

#11886

19. Feb, 2021

I had been snowed in for a week and for one reason or another had been unable to get out until today. I had a morning to play with so checked my lists and spotted Maldon Clear Up which had a mixture of trads, letterboxes plus a multi and a mystery, perfick.

I arrived at St Peter’s Hospital, a clever trad and was on my way to the next one as dawn broke. I was about to embark on a series of a dozen trads called SID’S WALKIES set by local cacher, sidsgranma. I drove to #1 and it was missing. I drove to #2 and not only was the cache missing but the original host had been replaced. 🥴

My route took me past three drive trads in the No Mud! series set by another local cacher CrazyHedgehogs which I found very quickly apart from Ironwork, a well hidden 2/1.5 cache. 

Now I was back on the WALKIES and drove to the farthest one away #10 and followed the rest of the route by foot. I had received a message from Sylvie, sidsgranma, saying that she would walk SID past #1 and #2 to check on them.👍🏻

On the walk, I passed a couple of interesting items - a mural by local artist Peter Kennedy in 2008 on a wall in Thomas Beecham Court and just around the corner, in Fambridge Road, a very rare “G” type post box. This is only the second one that I have seen and the other one is outside Basildon rail station.

I was on my way up to Maldon Water Tower to try to find one of my bugbear caches - Water Tower #1 Maldon. I think that I first failed here about three years ago and DNFed a few times since. It had recently been moved slightly so I was trying to strike lucky today.

Nearby was the final of a mystery cache Home Alone At Christmas set by kareninwb. I quickly found this one awarding it a fave for the container and walked down to the tower. I soon worked out the coords for the multi and set off the final. Now I was only the second person to find the cache since the revamp but the container was in place but the log sheet was missing. Luckily there was enough spare paper on the shopping list for later that I had in my pocket to put a temporary log in.

 I was now finished in Maldon but before I could set off, Sylvie had come back to me saying that #1 and #2 were missing and that I could claim them.👍🏻 She added that she was relieved that I had found the rest of the series as she thought that the series was being targeted.🥴 

I was off to VS Heybridge Basin for a 3/3 Letterbox set by nathanjhunt and based on a jigidi. I had been here before but had foolishly forgotten to note the hint released when the jigsaw is finished.🤬 I didn’t have time then to solve a 200 piece jigsaw sitting on the sea wall which probably would have been very therapeutic. 

I walked over the sea lock and along the sea wall, spotting the Telegraph fishing smack moored up. This was built in 1906 in Boston, Lincolnshire and looks in good shape. It’s now part of the National Historic Fleet. I reached the search area for the cache and after read the very lengthy hint, had a very quick find. I really didn’t need the hint after all.🤔

By the way, I had been taking a few photos on my journey so far this morning and I have posted  them in the Photo Albums which you can find on the “drop-down” on this page.😀 These are a new addition to the blog.

Now I was on the way home via Bicknacre and I was getting hungry. I had noticed a burger van on route in a lay-by by Lion Seeds a few weeks ago and I hoped that it would out. But it wasn’t.🙁 There was another cache here that had been on my radar for a couple of years. I did a planning visit for the 2/2 multi Bicknacre Priory Back then but I had lost the notes so I had to start from scratch. However a new trad had been placed in St Giles Churchyard and I now knew that the church yard now an Essex Wild nature reserve held the key to the first part of the multi. I found the trad, gathered the info for the multi and set off for the original starting point for the multi.

It was time to don my wellies and walked across the waterlogged fields to what I knew to be the second stage, the 12th century gateway which was all that remained of Bicknacre Priory. I now had the coords for the final stage which I knew was going to be tricky anyway.

Now a couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have have the technique to find the final coords in my geocaching toolbox so experience is a wonderful thing.😀 As I tramped over the waterlogged fields to the final, I realised that there was a mystery bonus to the multi plus a helpful photo from the CO Mr Mercator. 

I got into position at the final and tried to marry up the photo with the natural scene as is now. The wellies were handy as I traversed the stream looking for the elusive cache. Eventually I struck lucky and had the the cache in hand. I was eager to get the coords for the bonus but I was rewarded with a bearing and a distance. But I have this new technique don’t I, and the 400m wasn’t too far away. I soon had this well hidden bonus bonus in hand and there was a further bonus in both caches were resuscitated.😀

I had two more caches to look for on the way home near Hyde Hall Gardens in East Hanningfield. The No Hydeing Place trad at the entrance to the Gardens was a very quick find but the best is best left until last.🤔

You Know My Number set by nathanjhunt is a 4/1.5 Letterbox (a very tasty D/T for my Letterbox grid😀). I had looked at this one before but couldn’t identify all the flags. However as I was coming out this way, I decided to have another try. I sorted out all the flags and then struggled to come with how to use the information. I had a flash of inspiration and the numbers came tumbling out. To cap it all, I had a quick find at the final stage.

So, all in all a great morning with all caches found. The only draw back was that I couldn’t find  any food.  

2 Letterbox 2 Multi 2 Mystery 18 Traditional 

#11866

4. Feb, 2021

You remember that I was in Epping last week to do the Epping : the other churches AdLab series. I didn’t have time to collect the bonus cache so I thought that I’d come back to finish off. So I based my morning’s caches around that plus another idea that I thought might be decent.🤔

I‘ve been looking for more challenge caches to see if I qualify and spotted a group of challenges based on finding Jasmers. You have to find one cache in every month in 2001, two in 2002, three in 2003 etc., 2001 Jasmer Month Accumulator Challenge Cache GC7EK94 is one example.

I fancied having a go at the series as I only need 2/2001 and 3/2001 to complete 2001. The trouble is the nearest two to qualify are in Ireland and Denmark. However I scrubbed the series when I saw that they are all in Newcastle upon Tyne. Still, I thought that I should have a go at mopping up the golden oldies nearby.

I started the morning at first light in Theydon Bois. Now is it pronounced Boys or Bwa? I‘ve always called Bwa but what do I know? I was in town for the Theydon Bois Wander, an AdLab series starting at the Underground station, wandering around the green and ending up at the church. I was hoping to get breakfast at a bagel shop near the station but they were queuing out the door.🙁

I picked up one of the everyone likes a C&D series of trads on the way and the mystery at the Village Hall. This mystery was a jigidi and jigidis can only be mysteries, right? 🤔 There will be more on this later.

I was now after Dick Turpin’s Ride (Epping) a 2/3 trad that has been in position since March 2005. This is on the way out of Epping going into London. It‘s always good to find an old ammo box complete with the original log and I was pleased to add this old timer to this list.

I had spotted a small trio of trads, a couple of miles down the road in Upshire, a small village nestling in Epping Forest that I don’t remember visiting before. It was very pleasant tramping over the waterlogged fields but unfortunately only one cache Back To My Roots was at home. The others were MIA as I found out when reading previous logs.🥴

Now was the time to go for the AdLabs bonus that I was telling you about. So I clicked on the list to check the hint and FFS 🤬🤬 the cache had been disabled yesterday. Well, that just about put the tin hat on things but as I was soon to find out, the game isn’t over until the fat lady sings.🤔

I was a bit dissolutioned driving down to the next cache but I needed a Little Bridge series cache for some reason so went to find Fee’s Cache. This was over the muddy fields and far away in the woods above Epping but I trekked through the cloying mud to the bridge. Previous logs showed that the coords were out, the hint misleading but I stuck to the task. I wandered around for about 20 minutes and eventually found the well hidden cache stuck under my nose.

I needed cheering up so parked up in Epping High Street and bought my usual brunch in Cafe Nero. Whilst feeding my face with a Butcher’s Sausage bap, I spotted a Blue Badge that I hadn’t seen before. Now I always thought Winnie was the long time MP for Woodford but I now know that the Epping constituency was subsumed into Woodford in 1945. So he served the good (and bad🤔) people of Epping from 1924 until 1965.

Feeling better, I decided to head for home by driving in completely the wrong direction up the couple of miles to Epping Upland, a place that I had definitely not  been before.

I was after the CM multi so parked the car in the church car park. I spent a few minutes watching a couple hedge laying. This is an ancient art using hedges to form stock proof fencing. I had actually done a course on this about 15 years ago on an Essex nature reserve turning neglected hedging into a healthy hedge. It’s deeply therapeutic and I quietly envied them. I still have my Kentish bill hook or brishing hook as they call it down there.

Now the multi, so what am I looking for to get the info to “magic up” the coords. Is it a flag stone or gravestone, a church notice, something to do with the architecture? So I walked over to the posted coordinates and open the cache page. WTF, It’s a f.....g 190 piece jigidi.🤬🤬🤬 I revert to my original question Me Lud, surely a jigidi jigsaw puzzle has got to be a mystery or puzzle cache, hasn’t it? It can’t be a ‘king multI.🥴 Another lesson learnt.

So that’s it I’ve had enough. I pick up another everyone loves a C&D trad just down the road and then the RST North Weald trad on the way home. I’m going home to lick my wounds.😀

1 Mystery 5 AdLabs 6 Traditional 

#11842 

31. Jan, 2021

Q

What Q do I mean? Is it Q, the race of people in Startrek or is it Q, James Bond’s supplier of gadgets in the dark arts of espionage? Do you give up? It’s a series of Mystery caches down in Crockenhill, Kent set by the supplier of dark arts geocaches, jazzyjessups.😀

All the caches start with words beginning with Q, well Qu, but the trouble is that you have to find the actual word Mr JJ is referring to from the hint.🥴 I have never spent so much time poring over my copy of the Oxford Shorter Dictionary.🤔 Some of the words were so obscure, I’d never heard of them and it took me many attempts to get them all through the checker. The fact that some of the words had been spelt incorrectly didn’t help either.🤯

There are 21 caches in the series and I was so convinced that I’d never crack them all, that I did four of the caches, the ones that I had cracked, last year. Any way, I did persevere through the pandemic and managed by hook and by crook, to solve them all. However reading through some of the logs, I got the impression that the series was about to be archived.🤬🤬 I had to move fast so I drove down there, taking great care and set about the 17 caches. 

I‘m looking for a range of D/Ts this morning, mainly 2 to 2/5 T but there are a lot of 4, 4.5 and even a 5 D so I’m hoping that my D/T ratio will rise.🤔

I couldn‘t find the first one so left it and then paddled through about 50 yards of flooded road to get to dry road. I quickly located the next two caches and then realised that I’d left my “dirty” gloves back at the last cache. I was wearing my “clean” gloves whilst going back but my dirties were not at the last cache. They were back on the road just as I’d come through the flood.🤬

It was a very cold morning and the ground, in the main, was icy but at least that had hardened the mud.😀 I made good progress around the route until I got to one cache. The hint said “tied to bottom of fence post” but unfortunately the track had been built up with stones and bonding material. 

I peered over the fence and just made out the top of the pot about ten inches down from the road. There was a linked fence that I could get my hands through and for ten minutes struggled with opening the cache. I could imagine that I was working on a radioactive isotope in a nuclear laboratory.😀 Eventually everything was sorted out and I was on my way. 

As I was walking across a field I encountered my first human on the walk, and I gave him a wide berth as did he. I had been sanitising after every cache and gate just to be on the safe side. Finally, I was back where I had started so had another look for the first cache. I looked on one side of the road and moved a bit of a railway sleeper. I saw a glimpse of porcelain in the earth and thought ”no it can’t be”. I scraped the earth away and it was a complete pot lid that is shown in the photo.💥💥💥 The “Is” is one old shilling and the lid dates from 1860 to 1910.🤔.

The cache was tucked away on the other side of the road.

So it was a great morning, all caches found and my D/T rose to 1.86D but the T stayed at 1.5. Happy Day! 

17 Mystery 

#11830

27. Jan, 2021

I’m visiting Epping this morning for an ecclesiastical extravaganza.🤔 I started off at the CM...Epping - St John the Baptist multi with its huge tower. I had failed to get the right coords here before Christmas but the CO pointed out the error of my ways so no problem this morning.

So with the Church of England denomination out of the way, I then started on the Epping : the other churches AdLab series. I visited places of worship for the Methodists, the Baptists, Roman Catholics, Quakers and the Plymouth Brethren.🤔 There was a bonus added for the series but I saw that it wasn’t found on its last visit so I saved it for later. As it turned out, I ran out of time so     didn’t look for it.

After a take away breakfast from Cafe Nero, I drove up the road and onto Stonards Hill recreation ground where I parked up in their car park. I knew that Epping Town had played here many years ago and they were in the Isthmian League so they were at a decent level.🤔

I quickly found the KMR’s Cache trad which had eluded me so time ago before embarking on the Stonard’s Wander series of trads. There were five here but I couldn’t find the first one. I didn’t want to leave it so spent some time here. I must have attracted some attention as a van pulled up and a chap got out. He asked if he could help me. I said that I was ok. He then said that he was the park groundsman and asked what I was doing so I told him. He said that he had heard of geocaching but I wasn‘t so sure. He then started telling me about all the drainage problems that he had had in that corner. 🥴 I asked him where Epping Town used to play and he was able to point that out to me.

I finished the rest of the series and was close to the B181 to North Weald so I decided to have a look for the bonus cache of the History of Epping AdLab series that I had missed out on the last time I was in town.

With this one sorted, I crossed the main road into a remnant of Epping Forest. There are two trads here that I want to look for, one is The Lake, a 3/3, and Lower Epping Forest, a 2/2. I got to the former easily enough and then discovered that it was a 3D printed field puzzle. 🤔 I had to go to the nearby lake to get the code to open the cache. I got the code or what I thought was the code and went back to the cache. No joy, so I took the cache to the lake but still couldn’t open the box. A plea for help to the CO got a quick response but by this time I was on my way to the other cache in this part of the forest.

I always know that it’s going to be tricky to find when the CO adds a spoiler photo.🙁 This one proved to be no different as all the Hornbeam trees looked the same here. Luckily I didn’t faff around for too long to spot the bison and then set off back to The Lake. With the right code, the cache opened quickly. This cache fully deserved a fave and now I want to find a supplier as I want one.😀

I crossed the North Weald road again and worked my way through the forest down to the start of the Coopersale Fields series.The fields were waterlogged making the journey longer as I didn’t want wringing wet trousers. 🤔 The caches were well tucked away but I found them all. I had time to veer off into more forest to pick up the Jessica-Amera Cache trad that had been on my list for a long time. By now I was back on paths and after about ten minutes, I was back at the car, deciding to give the AdLab bonus a miss until next week.

1 Multi 1 Mystery 5 AdLabs 13 Traditional 

#11813