Another weekend, another day caching

I toyed with the idea of driving over to Clare so I could colour in my caching map for both Essex and Suffolk on the same day, but eventually decided save that for a weekend later in the year when there’s a bit more daylight. If I have to spend over 3 hours in my car then I want to have enough daylight to be getting 80-100 finds, to be honest, I don’t want to drive that distance and only have time to do 35.

So I picked an apparently very new series at Hauxton (it had only been released 4 days previously) and headed off with Ami for company, planning to get somewhere in the region of 50 finds. We had to drop Izzy off with Kas after parkrun before we could set off, so with that, and with the need to stop for breakfast and provisions on the way, it was more or less 11am by the time we parked up to begin caching.

The designated parking for the series was alongside the A10 in what was actually a bus stop with a very long run-in. Probably not. The bit I parked in had white dashed lines instead of the solid yellow lines of the bus stop, so it must have been OK. By the time we got back there were about 5 cars parked behind me anyway, so “not my fault guv – not me causing the blockage”.

The walk took us on a grand clockwise loop from Hauxton across some fields and then around towards Harlton. We included a small offshoot to go find an obelisk on the top of a hill. There was a cache there too, so it wasn’t a wasted climb.

When we got to the village of Harlton we found ourselves following another pair of cachers around. We caught up with them in the village but then we got lost trying to find one they’d already done previously and they got away from us. We did catch up with them again later on and walked around the last five of the loop with them. It was “flamingo chaser”, although there were two of them. At around the same time we met local cache-setting junkie poshrule walking with Kev from Lorri-Ann & Kev. They were walking around anti-clockwise. They obviously like to live dangerously.

As we were getting back towards the car it was starting to get a bit wet, so we decided to give our legs a bit of a rest and do a few drive-bys near Hauxton, Harlton and Newton. This took us back down a bit of road we’d previously walked, but ho hum !

We very shamelessly parked at a pub in Fowlmere and used their toilets before deciding we’d probably got enough daylight left to do another short series. Cunningly, there was one nearby that involved walking out over 2-3 large fields and then back collecting numbers for a bonus cache. This series were mainly letterbox caches, so they added a bit extra sport.

Once we’d finished that walk the light was getting distinctly dodgy, so we went back into drive-by mode and grabbed a couple more in Fowlmere and one in Harlton before deciding that it was time to head home. Having logged our first find at 10:50 we logged our last at 17:50, and in that 7 hour period we’d logged 63 finds and 4-5 DNFs, which I thought was a pretty good total for a late-morning start in February.

The caches we found were:

Silverstone Woods

Silverstone Woods

As with last year I’ve been struggling a little with my geocaching mojo again this year. Things have just got in the way. Well, mainly, redecorating Daughterus Maximus’ bedroom over the course of several weekends has got in the way, but the effect is quite good now it’s more or less finished. Back at the plot, today was my first day of caching in February, so I was due a bit of a session to get the month moving.

Geoff&Steph released a new series up in the woods near Silverstone about a week and a half ago, and it had 47 caches on it. That makes for a pretty decent day out. It makes for as much as we can manage, to be honest, given that Daughterus Minimus was coming with me. It’s not that Izzy lacks mental toughness – far from it, in fact she has several brilliant ways of playing through the boredom and/or pain to keep going – it’s just that her legs aren’t very long, and they have to take an awfully large number of steps. I estimated that this walk would be just about on her tolerance limit, and so it proved.

We set off some time before 9 am with Daughterus Maximus still doing her best impression of a log and the Good Lady Wife out for her customary Sunday morning run, which turned into a disaster by all accounts. Our route out took us around the outside of Stowe and up to a small car park by the side of the road in between Silverstone Golf Club and the bottom end of Silverstone Circuit, and we arrived at about 9:30. The first cache was sort of in the car park, so it didn’t take us long to get on the board.

The series takes you on a figure-of-eight to the south and west of the start point, with the northern loop being somewhat smaller than the southern. The first part was through some rather pleasant woods, and we found it quite easy going up here, despite the rather large number of dog-walking muggles. Sunday morning must be “taking the dog out” time in these parts. Most of the dogs seemed to be Labradors.

Meanwhile, out of the woods, the footing got a bit heavy as we started to cross fields. We were only about a quarter of the way in at this point, but somehow it seemed a bit longer. We’d been out just over an hour and had done 12 caches.

We picked our way along quite smoothly from here, albeit not quite as fast as I might have liked, and we eventually found our way back to the car after about 5 hours, having found 47 caches. We grabbed three random others from the car on the way home to make it up to a nice half-century.

The caches we found on the day were: