Charlie’s Sixth Loop

This day started off as a bit of a “can’t be bothered” sort of a day. I’d planned to go on a monster session over towards Hatley but got up in the morning, looked out of the window at the freezing cold and generally dank conditions, and decided I couldn’t be bothered.

After breakfast I had another think about it, and decided to scale my expectations down a bit and go to find another one of the excellent Charlie’s series that had been popping up in Milton Keynes over the previous few months. There was an interesting looking loop called “Charlie’s Sixth” up in Brickhill Woods, which looked like it would make a reasonably short day out.

The kids, as ever, couldn’t be bothered with it, so I left them to cosy up at home and get all their homework done.

There’s not a lot to say about the caching except that many of them involved some kind of a field puzzle, and were therefore worthy of a favourite point. Despite being in the woods they were all fairly easy to locate.

On the way home I took the opportunity to fetch a new Church Micro in Woburn Sands and also to stop near the Open University campus at Walton Hall to grab a couple of new cache from Charlie’s Fifth Loop – these were in spaces made vacant when I archived on of my own Church Micros. I had one at Walton Hall that was a persistent problem.

The weather stayed poor all day, but at least in the woods the rain was getting stuck in the tree cover to some extent. It was cold all day too.

The caches I found during the day were :

Another Heart Attack

Another day, another trip to the Hatley Heart Attack.

On this day I was joined by (or, I’d arranged to go out with) DJ:CD and we decided we’d start in Sutton and aim to do the loop around there.

I’d previously done a couple of loops to the south-west of there and had left every other cache around the stretches that form part of both loops, thereby ensuring I had something to go back for.

We had a few shenanigans trying to meet up (meeting times are always a bit of a variable concept when you have kids) so I had time to grab a couple of drive-bys on the way in before parking up in the street and heading off for our walk.

It was a fairly reasonable day for January, with some sunshine and not too much cold. We managed to find 38 caches during the course of the day without straining too much.

The caches we found (well, the ones I found. DJ:CD probably found different ones because we did different drive-bys and he found some on the shared bits that I’d already done before) were :

Magenta and Blue

All good things come to an end, unless they’re a Möbius strip. You could walk around one of those for weeks and not realise.

And so it was time for the MK Boundary Walk Blue and Magenta sections to be consigned to the great tupperware box in the sky. This, however, was no simple task. It’s a walk of about 15km one way, and as was the problem for most of the lives of the MK Boundary Walk series, it has to be a point-to-point walk. Parking spots up here are somewhat limited. You basically need two cars.

I’d been threatening to remove them since the summer (OK, I’d promised to do it at the end of the year, rather than threatened as such), and now was the time. The day of reckoning. A few of them had been reported missing anyway, so I thought it would be interesting to see how they were getting on, having been out in the field for over three years.

The second car for today was provided by the good lady wife, so we started off by driving up to Warrington, where we abandoned my car in a lay-by for the day, and Kas then drove me all the way back to a random dropping off point on the road between Stoke Goldington and Salcey Forest. That was always the problem with the Magenta section. The start point has nowhere to park. At least at the end it was possible to park in Weston Underwood, but at the start there is an entrance to what apparently used to be a car park, but which always has the gates locked now. How anybody ever actually completed this section defeats me.

Back at the plot, where people had reported them missing, I went to the site anyway, just in case. Some of them were subtle hides. So I found at least one of the ones that was supposed to be missing. I also found two boxes at one point, where someone had put a throwdown without checking first. And then I was unable to find a couple of them despite others having found them only days previously, apparently.

At the end of the day I had collected about 40 boxes, most of which were in perfectly good condition aside from needing a spruce-up in the camo ducktape department. It was quite quick walking too, given that it was January.

I still don’t like the walk through Killick Wood though. It gives me the creeps.

On the bright side, I got back to my car before it went dark (just) and my car was where I’d left it, which is always a bonus.

I didn’t take my camera with me because I was expecting to be in a hurry, so in the interests of adding some visual interest to an otherwise dull post, here are some photos I took of the route when I was setting them.

Goodbye MKBW Yellow

Say yellow, wave goodbye….

No, not the 1982 smash hit by Soft Cell. That would be spelt differently. No. The end of a chunk of the MK Boundary Walk series of caches, which had passed their sell-by date some time ago and had started to be visited fairly infrequently. In fact, it’s amazing how there was a bit of a flood of interest in the series when I added a note to each one saying that they’d be archived at the end of the year.

As with all sections of the boundary walk, it’s essentially a point-to-point, requiring cunning logistics and/or more than one person. It’s about 10km from the start in Newton Longville to the end up near Hazeley School. On this one I think Kas both dropped me off at the start and picked me up from the finish. It didn’t take too long though, because it’s somewhat quicker to collect them up than it is to place them (or find them), especially when a fair few have been reported missing anyway. There were supposed to be 28 caches on the section, but I think I collected only about 20 usable boxes.

That cleared a nice space for some new ones though.

I didn’t take my camera on this walk, as it was quite poor weather and I just wanted to get it over and done with. So, in the finest traditions of Blue Peter, here’s some I took earlier.