29th September 2023
Before I get onto the walk, I realised that all those high level walks in Switzerland last week had actually given me a cumulative height that was higher than Mount Everest. Having beaten 8,848m, I had now qualified for the 5/1 All About a Challenge #7 - Everest, down in Farnborough, Hants which I had signed a couple of years ago.😀
Moon Pack Wolves was a series of 42 mystery caches which once solved formed a walk in a horseshoe shape between Ware, into Wareside and then round to Stanstead Abbotts. Previous cachers estimated it as about ten miles, however, there was the problem at the end to get back to the start. Evidently there were good transport links back.🥴
I had spent a couple of weeks studying the taxonomy and the lifestyle of wolves but in the end I could only solve 40 but decided to go with it anyway. I was up nice and early with no tunnel to worry about, just the M25 and I parked up about half a mile away from the starting cache. I logged #1 at 0720, realising that I could have parked near the allotments and saved myself a ten minute walk.🤔
I failed to find #2 despite an intensive search. I did contact the CO for a further hint but it wasn't forthcoming. I plodded on and started to realise that the terrain around here was undulating. I carried on picking off the mysteries until I got to the stretch between #10 and #12. I found an easy trad with a title too long to type and #11 was one of those that I couldn't solve. I just couldn't find #14 and wasted a lot of time here until I just had to move on.
Some of the caches were easy to find as the hints were spot on but some of the 1/1s with no hints were dastardly.🤔 I spent more time on those than some of the more difficult T caches.🙁 I reached #20 at 1047 and at 1107, I found the Little Bridges... Wareside trad to break the cycle of mysteries. I reached #30 at 1206 and had recouped some of the lost time.
I hadn't solved #37 but it was at #39, the day's drama erupted.🥴 Previous cachers had commented that the cache was well off the footpath on the farm road bisecting a couple of very large fields. The cache was hidden in trees along a stream and had a number of DNFs. I had searched both sides of the stream and had to walk back to the footpath each time. I had decided which was the right side and was in the tree line when I could hear a vehicle on the road.
Suddenly the vehicle which turned out to be a Land Rover was hurtling towards me and stopped about six feet away. The farmer wound the window down and said "what do you think, you're doing?" I said that I was geocaching and he said "not down here, you're not!" He proceeded on a rant about this was part of a special government scheme and that I was trespassing etc., Of course, I profusely apologised and said he told me to get back to the footpath and that I should have known better.🙁 I returned to the footpath and carried on towards #40. However, he came back twice to see that I hadn't returned.🥴
I continued on the walk and found #42 at 1409. Now on the main road, I realised that there was a shortage of good transport links.🥴 I had to walk back to Ware, adding a couple of needless miles to my journey. I had another try for #2 but still no joy. I didn't see a bus stop anywhere until I got into Ware. By this time, I was knackered and I needed a coffee and cake. However the traffic into Ware was horrendous so I drove out of town to elavuate my next step.
I had solved the WM - Great Amwell mystery so I drove down there for a quick find. Nearby was another base for the Amwell AdLab series so I added that to the tally and made it my last of the day. I timed this at 1515 so it was time to head for home.😀
I must add that the walk had taken more out of me than I had realised. Later on, I got up from the settee to get severe cramp at the top of both thighs. I couldn't walk and had to be helped up the stairs to bed.🥴🥴 That's made me re-evaluate my caching days. I'll have to do shorter walks or just do part series and then drive bys. I'll maybe have to act my age.🤣🤣🤣
1 AdLab 2 Traditional 39 Mystery