A.K.A. How to pass the time

It was a nice-looking Friday night, with nothing better to do. No school or work tomorrow, so let’s go caching!

We decided to have a pop at a couple we previously missed (see the Stony Strut). All the targets were part of Wavvy’s Ouse Valley Walk series. First up though is to get some sustenance down the daughters. Ami plumped for McDonald’s. I don’t know why though, because they always have Chicken McNuggets, so we might as well go to KFC. The real reason was soon revealed. You don’t get a toy at KFC. Plus McDonald’s is one of the places where both daughters will reliably eat both protein and carbohydrate (and a fair amount of fat too, I dare say).

Seriously though, Ami actually eats the chicken and Izzy eats the chips. They wouldn’t do that at home. Normally they manage a balanced diet between them rather than each. Izzy eats meat, Ami eats carbohydrates. Oh! And both of them eat Ice Cream, which I think is a whole food type on its own. Does Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food count as a source of protein? The description does say “Chocolate-shaped fish pieces” rather than “Fish-shaped chocolate pieces”. That tends to imply it is a valid source of Omega-3.

Oh go on then, let’s find some geocaches

So to the caching. We parked up in the little layby at the end of stony High Street and headed roughly east towards Ouse Valley Walk – Pipe dream. This was a previous failure but should be easier with the Garmin to hand. Not so, it seems. Kas was doing the honours but was suffering a bit of helicopter compass syndrome. She was here, there and everywhere. The rest of us were in and out. Izzy kept getting spooked by the nettles.

We also had an incident involving a poo in the grass, just as some muggles were passing. Good job we’re parents and have cleansing devices and plastic bags handy. However, there’s no hiding a small child with no pants beside the path though. Eventually Kev elbowed in on the action and Kas walked out for a breather. Two minutes later, what’s this under these bits of…..That’ll be the one then. This caused much consternation with Kas who had spent the best part of 15 minutes fruitlessly rooting around in the nettles and brambles. Better let Kas look for the next one as well then.

Here Comes the Flood

Which cunningly leads us on to Ouse Valley Walk – Flood Plain. This was one where we spent an age doing tree identification last time and eventually gave up. This time the Garmin identified the relevant vegetation easily and Kas walked up for a nosey. Somehow, this time, the hint took her right there. Don’t know how we missed it last time as it was pretty obvious really. Not the type of cache described in the text, but an easy find.

Kev had to reach to get it, which shows how high up it is, but we award that one to Kas. As we were returning to the car we had to delay a bit and then very bravely walk right through the middle of the worryingly large flock of sheep who were moving between fields. It took a while to persuade Ami the sheep were more frightened than she was. Lesson learned – sheep go in groups and they will approach you only if you aren;t looking at them. There’s no such thing as a predatory sheep. So we got back to the car unscathed. The car was also unscathed, which is always reassuring.

More, More, More

And so we decided to try a couple more. We moved to the far (south west) end of the park to the little car park and headed off down the path to find Ouse Valley Walk – Stumpy, which the iPhone now thinks is present. It was. We had the usual tree selection problems and the object seems to have levitated somewhat in comparison to the hint, but it was quite obvious when Kev spotted a suspicious looking arrangement of detritus and then told Ami to take a look under it. Sure enough, there it was.

So the key to success seems to be that you should always look for things that aren’t quite right. What glacial geologists might call an erratic, or film watchers might call an anachronism. Basically, something that has been put like that, or something you wouldn’t normally find in a place like that, but something where the average man or woman in the street wouldn’t notice or just wouldn’t think twice about it. In this case, it was “bits of tree bark don’t normally break off in bits that large, and if they did, they most certainly wouldn’t land like that.” This cache was therefore quite a quick one, despite some muggle activity.

So back to the car park to snaffle Ouse Valley Walk – Convenient Parking. The GPS led Kas to a location and she immediately spotted an erratic and told Izzy to lift it up. There it was. That makes one find each for the evening. Not bad for just over an hour with two kids in tow.

It’s always nice to end on a high. Just time to capture stage one of Historic Town 1 – Stony Stratford by 4OnTheMove. Can’t say what the answer is. Go count them yourself. Still, what should we care. This log is being updated in December and we still haven’t attempted the rest of this cache, so we’re going to have to go back there anyway.

Top Friday night caching action.