MKBW Grey, The Bottom

MKBW Grey, The Bottom

I continue to plod my way through various bits of the MK Boundary Walk caches that a bunch of us set in late 2012. Some of the legs are very long, and also a little way away from home. But to be honest, the biggest problem is that they’re all point-to-point rather than circular, so you either need a buddy to come with you so that you can park one car at each end, or you need your wife to come with you so she can drop you off.

In this instance we used the latter approach. Kas dropped me off just to the west of Cranfield village after I’d left my car in Salford. I started at MKBW Grey 32 – Welcome to Bed! and worked my way down to MKBW Grey 45 – Grey to Orange, via all those in between.

It was a fairly warm afternoon and all the caches were fairly straightforward to do, so progress was quick, and I was soon back at the car.

Not much else to say really, so here’s a few photos.

Dunstable Dash

Dunstable Dash

Hmm ! The day on which I planned to kill off a day in quite a long series of “matrix” days, but on which I realised that I should actually have gone out caching the previous day too. Ho-hum!

Anyway, back at the main event, I took the afternoon off as holiday because there was a caching event going on down at Gaddesden Row and it seemed a shame to drive all the way down there for just a handful of caches, so I planned to spend the afternoon driving down there at quite a leisurely pace and grabbing a bunch of other caches on the way.

My first stop was around Totternhoe and Eaton Bray, where I grabbed a puzzle I’d solved a while previously, and where I legged it up Totternhoe Knolls to find the YOSM on the top of Castle Mound.

From here I did a couple of drive-bys on the way around to Dunstable Downs, where I parked in the National Trust Car Park and grabbed another YOSM and a handful of quite creative caches in the National Trust woodland. I also had ice cream, but don’t tell the Mrs.

I continued my way towards the event by driving to Studham, right at the very bottom end of Bedfordshire, where I parked up in the village and grabbed a series of 19 caches in a couple of loops centred on the Village Green. I didn’t quite finish the whole series though, as time was running out and I needed to move over to the event.

At Gaddesden Row I managed to find the pub quite quickly but before going in for food I let myself get drawn into walking around a little series of 8 caches that had been published for the event. I wasn’t first round, but I was on the first day. By the time I reached the pub for the event I’d already done 39 caches, which is not bad for an afternoon.

It was quite a warm night so the event mainly took place outside in the beer garden. It was one of those slow-burning ones where people drifted in and out in a steady flow all night. Maybe this was caused by the presence of the new little series and the fact it stayed light until 10 pm.

The caches I found during the course of the day were :

Ton Up

Ton Up

Alibags mentioned a while ago that she needed only one day to fill up her matrix, June 15th. So thinking you might as well do it in style, I suggested we go out and try to do a hundred in one day. Might as well go from a zero to a three-digit in one day huh?

We’d been skirting around the subject for a while but eventually decided that the plethora of densely packed rings in North Northamptonshire looked like the best bet for doing this. There’s a load of rings up there at about 7 caches a mile, which is about as much of a “power trail” as you get in the UK. And we invited Wavvy as well, which proved to be a great idea because he “owed” me one from a previous trip and I ended up not even having to drive.

Our chosen area was the two loops at Sudborough and Lowick near Thrapston, with a side-order of Aldwincle. Those two loops have nearly 90 caches and have possible extensions to make up the numbers.

The day started off quite early, but the driving was a bit of a ‘mare because the road out of Olney was shut, which precipitated an unplanned trip via Bedford , so we arrived about half an hour before we might have, but it also meant that Wavvy got bored and stopped in the middle of nowhere to force me and Alibags to collect a “Just Northamptonshire” cache he’d done before. Not sure if the “White Van Man” parked up in the lay-by knew what we were up to.

Back at the plot, we parked up in the middle of Sudborough, right next to a Church Micro, and got ourselves suited and booted. This proved to be a conundrum with the weather being what you might call challenging. Cacky with a slight chance of rubbish. So we all took a coat, and a jumper, and some other stuff. And some drinks.

I seemed to be the only one who took food though. Wavvy had some excuse about being on a fasting day. Not sure about Alibags.

The first stretch was up a road, which wasn’t fun. Then we had a load of fields, which were better, despite the showers. And then we got into the woods. By this time we were about 17-18 caches up with no misses.

The next 20 or so was walking south again a little way east of the way up through some woods. At least the paths were mainly good so no problems with speed over the ground. And we nibbled a few bits of cheese, chicken, cashew nuts and the like as we were going.

At some point we made the choice to venture round the Lowick route too, with an option on stopping in Aldwincle for a pub break. When we got to that point though, the village seemed a bit out of the way and a long walk for something we could do in the car later. Apparently there isn’t a pub either. Or, at least, there wasn’t a phone signal so we had no idea. So we turned back and kept going.

There was a pub in Lowick. Quite a nice one as it turned out. And there was a church. Quite a nice one, as it happens.

So suitably refreshed we headed off to finish the two loops. Here we had our first two DNF’s of the day, and another one was only a find because Alibags spotted the log sheet soaking in a puddle in the road, and we replaced it with a new log in a plastic bag, but no container. But we thought getting back into the car with 85 finds was good. A new best for all three of us, to varying degrees.

Which left at least 15 to get done in the car. We plotted a loop through Aldwincle and around to Pilton  and Wadenhoe.

Pilton had a nice surprise Church Micro. Wadenhoe had a mill, with a pond, and possibly the most English scene I ever photographed, and a Church Micro we couldn’t find. Which meant we needed to find another one.

So we checked the goodie map and spotted a couple more on the way back round to Aldwincle, including the one from the Lowick series we missed earlier, and a Church Micro we somehow drove straight past on the previous circuit.

That Church Micro took me and Alibags to 102 finds and Wavvy to 101, so we decided that was enough for one day, especially with an hour or so to get back.

All in all a brilliant day, with about 8 hours of walking for 85 finds and then 2 hours in the car for the others. Can’t be bad. Oh, and we found time for a quick break in the pub too.

The caches I found on the day were :