My second year of caching, with the speed of finding picking up a bit from the previous one. 2011 yielded 731 total finds over the year.
Let’s start by posting a pictorial representation of the year.
This section just shows days of the year on which I’ve found caches. My matrix at the end of 2011 looks like this.
End of Year Summary – Increased from 88 to 184 different days, so I guess there were 96 different days during the year when I found at least one cache.
This one is all about filling in dates in the year when caches were placed rather than when I found them. At the end of 2011 my matrix looked like this.
End of Year Summary – Increased from 140 to 268 days. This one seems to be remarkably easy to fill up.
The matrix of months since caching started. Now this one is a bit tricky to complete because it requires finding some quite old caches. There aren’t so many of them around and it takes careful choice. However, as I discovered recently, if you go for older caches you tend to find bigger boxes and more spectacular locations, on average. My status at the end of 2011 was like this.
30 months acquired over a period of 12 months.
Caches are rated 1-5 for difficulty and 1-5 for terrain, with half points awarded, so that makes a matrix of 9×9. This looks quite tricky to complete.
Here is the snapshot of my efforts at the end of 2011.
End of Year Summary – Risen to 43 out of 81 – an increase of 14. Quite a productive year then, given that this challenge gets harder and harder as you have to find caches matching the D/T combinations that your actually willing to have a pop at.
UK and Ireland Counties
And finally the counties map.
I had absolutely no expectation of being able to finish this off as it requires traveling to the furthest extents of the UK to finish.
Here is my snapshot of this matrix at the end of 2011.
End of Year Summary – 19 counties completed in total, and 9 new ones acquired during the year.
India. I went there on a business trip. There aren’t many caches in India, but there were a few in the bits I went to.
So what did I actually do on the caching front in 2011 then ?
January (56 finds)
- On January 1st we took a New Year’s Day stroll around Willen Lake – 2 finds
- On January 2nd we travelling over to Long Compton (see Long Compton) – 16 finds
- On January 4th I made a single find locally in Milton Keynes – 1 find
- On January 5th I made another single find locally in Milton Keynes – 1 find
- On January 6th the same again – 1 find
- On January 9th I scooted out to the east side of Milton Keynes – 5 finds
- On January 14th I headed up to the north side of Milton Keynes – 7 finds
- On January 15th I returned to the north side of Milton Keynes – 6 finds
- On January 16th I popped out from home for one local find – 1 find
- On January 18th I popped out of work at lunchtime to grab a new cache – 1 find
- On January 21st I returned to the north side of Milton Keynes again – 3 finds
- On January 22th I returned to the north side of Milton Keynes again again – 7 finds
- On January 25th I made a business trip to Blackpool and grabbed a cache on the way home – 2 finds
- On January 26th I popped out of work to make one find – 1 find
- On January 28th I popped out to Little Brickhill at lunch, trying to avoid getting covered in mud as I walked around the edge of a field- 2 finds
February (79 finds)
- On February 2nd, I scooted out of work at lunchtime to grab a few – 3 finds
- On February 11th I shot around Milton Keynes in the evening to grab a few while the girls were off up north for the weekend – 5 finds
- On February 12th I travelled down to Chesham for a bit of a monster day, in which I walked absolutely miles in the freezing cold (see Chiltern Hundred 1) – 60 finds
- On February 13th my feet hurt but I went for a stretch around the north of Milton Keynes – 2 finds
- On February 15th, 16th and 18th I popped out after work to grab a few caches – 4 finds
- On February 23rd there was a caching event on the A5 down towards Leighton Buzzard and we went to grab a few in Stockgrove Country Park – 5 finds
- On March 2nd I made a business trip to Preston on the train and managed to grab a couple – 2 finds
- On March 5th I went up to Salcey Forest with Ami to meet up with CASH and Gary – 7 finds
- On March 10th, 11th, 12th, 14th, 18th and 28th I popped out of work to grab a few caches – 10 finds
- On March 29th I popped out for a while in Milton Keynes – 4 finds
- On March 31st there was an event down in Leighton Buzzard – I left work promptly and met up with another cacher to grab a few before the event – 17 finds
April (68 finds)
- On April 1st I popped out from work to grab a handfull of local drive-bys – 5 finds
- On April 2nd I went up to Salcey Forest – 4 finds
- On April 4th I made a one-day business trip to the north-west, travelling up via the M6 and back via the M1 – 2 finds
- On April 6th I scooted out after work up to the north of MK – 2 finds
- On April 7th I went over to the east side of MK, but have absolutely no recollection of doing so – 3 finds
- On April 11th I grabbed one in a car park in Leeds whilst on a business trip and then another in the woods near home once I got home – 2 finds
- On April 13th I scooted out of work at lunchtime to grab a new one nearby – 1 find
- On April 16th and 17th we were up in the north east and I grabbed one on each day – 2 finds
- On April 20th we were at my folks’ in Measham and I went out to grab a couple – 2 finds
- On April 21st we were still at my folks’ in Measham and it was Easter weekend – I completed a long day doing the Burgo and Beans” series – 29 finds
- On April 22nd we were still still at my folks’ in Measham and I drove to the other side of Coalville to grab a few in the morning – 4 finds
- On April 24th we were back home and I did a couple of local caches – 2 finds
- On April 25th I went up to Salcey Forest again – 4 finds
- On April 27th I was working in Bracknell and stopped off for a couple of drive-bys – 2 finds
- On April 28th I popped out in the evening to grab a cache at Bletchley Railway Station – 1 find
- On April 29th I made a few local finds – 3 finds
- On May 8th I grabbed a couple on an otherwise dull Sunday afternoon – 2 finds
- On May 10th and 12th I grabbed one each on two work days – 2 finds
- On May 13th I grabbed 3 during the work day and then went out on my bike in the evening for another – 4 finds
- On May 14th I grabbed a couple up near Oakhill Wood. One was only for ladies, so I had to take the kids with me – 2 finds
- On May 15th I cycled to north MK to do a few – 4 finds
- On May 24th I took my car up to Stony Stratford in the evening to grab a short series – 8 finds
- On May 25th there was an event over towards Stewartby, so I left work early and ran round the lake whilst grabbing caches, and then went to the event slighty smelling – 15 finds
June (67 finds)
- On June 2nd we were down in that there London and grabbed a handful whilst walking around – 3 finds
- On June 5th I’d just arrived in Bangalore on a business trip and I hired a taxi for the afternoon to take me out caching – 2 finds
- On June 12th I was back home and popped out on a Sunday afternoon to find a few local ones that turned out to be truly awful – 4 finds
- June 13th was another “grab one at lunchtime” day – 1 find
- On June 14th there was an event in Chesham to celebrate a caching milestone of Dr Solly’s (20,000 finds, I think) so I took a couple of hours off in the afternoon to have another go at the Chiltern Hundred series (see Chiltern Hundred 2) – 43 finds
- On June 21st I did an array of caches spread out across Milton Keynes, so I’m assuming there were a few at lunchtime and some more on the way home from work – 6 finds
- On June 25th I took a Saturday morning stroll down to Coombs Quarry with Ami while the other two ladies were having their hair done – 4 finds
- On June 30th I went out on my bike in the evening in the general direction of Winslow – 4 finds
July (59 finds)
- On July 3rd I went down towards Winslow again, in the car this time, to grab one I hadn’t reached earlier in the week – 1 find
- On July 10th we were up at my folks’ and I went out for a few done as part of a morning run – 8 finds
- July 11th had a single find done in lunch break – 1 find
- The weekend of July 16th and 17th had a number of finds in MK parks – 8 finds
- July 18th had a single find done in lunch break – it was so close to work I assume I walked there – 1 find
- On July 22nd and 23rd Kas took the girls up to her mum’s while I stayed at home. Notionally I had some work to do, but I didn’t feel like doing it on a Friday night, and by Saturday afternoon it was sufficiently under control that I went to finish the Chiltern Hundred series in the early evening (see Bozeat) – 28 finds
- July 31st was a bright and sunny Sunday morning at my folks’ house, so I shot out and grabbed a handful near Ashby as part of a long training run – 12 finds
August (43 finds)
- On August 3rd we were still at my folks’ and I dashed out to grab a few local ones – judging by the number, I was having the day off – 7 finds
- On August 4th I made a single find in Lancashire, so I was evidently on a trip to Blackpool for work – 1 find
- On August 5th I was back at my folks and we went to Breedon-on-the-Hill to grab a couple – 2 finds
- On August 10th I was on a business trip to Blackpool but had time to go out in the evening when I got home – 9 finds
- On August 15th we were having a week off up at Kas’s mums in the north east, and we made a few finds in Cleadon – 3 finds
- On August 16th the week’s holiday was interrupted by a work meeting that I apparently couldn’t miss. It was in Warrington, so I got the company to provide me with a rental car for the day – I filled in a lot of counties on that day by choosing to drive over the M62 and come back up the A19 through North Yorkshire – 6 finds
- On August 17th and 19th I was back in Whitburn and grabbed a few more – 6 finds
- August 20th and 30th both yielded single finds near home – 2 finds
- August 31st was a nice enough evening that I persuaded the girls to come out with me to do a few after work – 7 finds
September (112 finds)
- September 3rd included a singler in MK – 1 finds
- September 6th must have been a day off because there’s no way I could have done this many if it wasn’t – 12 finds
- On September 11th I was on a business trip to Bangalore again and got a taxi driver to take me out for a find – 1 find
- On September 15th I arrived home at Heathrow Airport and drove straight to Birmingham without going home first. I was far too early so my evening event, so I went caching (see Bats in the Belfry) – 23 finds
- On September 16th I drove home from Birmingham via a couple of caches, emptied and re-filled a bag, and then travelled with the ladies of the house up to the north-east for the weekend – 2 finds
- On September 17th we were in Newcastle and made a handful of finds – 6 finds
- On September 18th it was the Great North Run and I found a cache at either end of it – still a record for my greatest distance travelled on foot in one day between two caches – 2 finds
- On September 19th I grabbed a few on a trip out from work at lunchtime – 3 finds
- On September 24th there was a caching event to celebrate The Other Stu’s 40th birthday, and he’d set new caches – I did some with the family on the 24th and then returned on the 25th on my own (see Getting on a Bit) – 47 finds
- On September 27th and 28th I did my usual trip out at lunchtime – 3 finds
- On September 29th I was back up in Newcastle again, this time on a business trip where I’d travelled up by train and rented a car – 12 finds
October (61 finds)
- On October 3rd I did a lunchtime dash – 1 find
- On October 9th me and the girls walked around Peterborough for a bit while Kas ran a half marathon – 6 finds
- On October 14th I did a lunchtime dash – 2 finds
- On October 16th I went out in the car and did a fairly widespread bunch – 5 finds
- On October 18th I grabbed a handful after work on a run – 3 finds
- On October 20th I was in Blackpool working and had time to find one – 1 find
- On October 22nd we were back up in the north-east and I grabbed a cache with the kids whilst doing a parkrun – 1 find
- On October 23rd we left the kids at Kas’s mum’s for a couple of nights and went up near Bamburgh to enjoy a mini break – 1 find
- On October 24th we were still in Bamburgh and I got up early to go for a run / cache before we went home – 10 finds
- We didn’t go straight home because it was half-term, so on October 27th I went for a run from my folks’ house – 10 finds
- On October 28th I wasn’t working and went for a run around Kingsbury Water Park (see Kingsbury Water Park) – 21 finds
November (48 finds)
- On November 2nd I went by train on a business trip to Preston – 2 finds
- On November 5th we went over to Ampthill, met up with a couple of people and did a couple of puzzles – 2 finds
- On November 6th I FTF’d a new(ish) puzzle in Milton Keynes – 1 find
- On November 17th I made a quick find on the way home from work – 1 find
- On November 19th I popped up to the north side of MK with Izzy for a bit of a walk around – 10 finds
- On November 23rd I made a quick find after work – 1 find
- On November 24th there was an event over towards Letchworth, so I skived off work early and drove over – 9 finds
- On November 26th I noticed Simply Paul had released a new series, and it seemed a shame not to go attack them on their first day (see Life Begins) – 21 finds
- On November 30th there was an event over to celebrate SP’s birthday, and the new series I’d already done most of – 1 find
December (55 finds)
- On December 3rd I went to finish of the series of SP’s – 16 finds
- On December 6th I made a quick find on the way out to work – 1 find
- On December 7th I was on a business trip to Leeds and stayed the night – 10 finds
- On December 10th I drove up to Wolverton for a few Saturday afternoon quickies – 7 finds
- On December 11th we met up with a bunch of friends to do a night cache in Linford Wood – 1 find
- On December 23rd I nearly got an FTF locally – 1 find
- On December 24th I went out for a few in the afternoon with Kas while the kids stayed at my folks’ – 9 finds
- On December 27th we’d migrated to the north-east and went for a walk round a local country park – 8 finds
- On December 28th I drove down to the northern edge of Sunderland to grab a couple of new ones – 2 finds