Rumour had it that there was going to be a birthday party at a pub in Ashwell in celebration of Hertfordshire’s most prolific cache setter, ryo62. To be honest, in the run-up I’d totally forgotten about it. But a couple of days beforehand I decided I had bandwidth for a day of caching, so lined up a day out.
The sketch was to meet up with Candleford, DanSpurs14 and Palmer28 for a hack around Steeple Morden before heading to the event. I wasn’t up for a “monster” day. I only needed 30 or so finds to make the Shifty Fifty Challenge for May 22nd, so a relatively light day was in order. In any case, the weather looked warm, and hence a heavy day wouldn’t be wise.
I arranged to meet Candleford at the pub in Ashwell that would be hosting the event later in the day. That seemed a better option than parking roadside somewhere. So on the way in, I stopped off for a couple of caches in Newnham on the way, as I was a bit early as ever.
Parking at the pub was good, and we were off in good time to meet up with the other two at the start of the Steeple Morden Stampede at 9 am.
We did the Steeple Morden Stampede in numeric order starting from #1. That meant an anti-clockwise walk, but I’ve just about got over any sense of that being bad luck. Well, almost. I offered a small prayer, just in case.
The caches were all fairly easy and the walking was quick. By the time we got around to Steeple Morden village we had a decision to make. We had time to add a bit of the Steeple Morden Shenanigans series too if we wanted. Palmer28 and DanSpurs14 had been around most of these on the previous day. I hadn’t done any of them but wasn’t especially bothered about doing half a series, so we extended our walk here to include an extra 11 before returning to the Stampede series.
Adding that short extra walk and others in Steeple Morden made a total of 41 finds on the walk, and put me on 44 when we returned to Ashwell.
When we got back into Ashwell we still had just over an hour before the event started. There were 5-6 extra caches in the village that I hadn’t found as well as a series of Ad Labs. That was about right to fill up an hour. All were quite easy to do. We bumped into Simply Paul whilst walking around.
The event itself was held at a pub in the centre of Ashwell. It was well attended and afforded the opportunity to chat with a good number of cachers, some of whom I knew and some I didn’t. It was sunny enough for everyone to stay outside. That was great, aside from the fact that I’d neglected to take suncream. I had to keep turning myself around so that I was getting cooked evenly on all sides.
The Final Countdown
By the end of the day I’d got to 63 finds. That was enough to tick off several milestones. I’d passed 15,000 total finds and also 1,000 total finds in 2022. On top of that, I’d obviously also raised my finds for May 22nd to something over 50. The event was good and the weather was excellent, resulting in me having some sunburn when I got home. So a good day all round.