Friday, no work, Kas is out all day, kids at school. Must be cache o’clock.
Today’s plan, because Kas is out all day, and therefore not able to ferry me around the place, is to go hoover up a few of my collection of un-done caches around the north of Milton Keynes.
There are about 40 caches in MK I haven’t done, and 37 of them are north of the H5. Which is quite a lot.
My other plan, more of an objective really, is to meet the twin targets of 2000 total caches and 1000 caches this year. This requires completion of 18 and 22 caches respectively. On the face of it, not a huge number to do in a whole day. But that doesn’t allow for geographical spread. Or them not being there. Or me not being able to find them. Or the fact that the ones I haven’t done yet are all the ones I failed on previously, so they’re probably quite hard, or something. That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.
I also didn’t allow for the fact that we had what could only be described as “a fair amount of rain” the previous night. So Milton Keynes was kind of like a group of islands at the time.
So back to the plot, the scene being well and truly set. Set to death, probably.
I decided to start up in Two Mile Ash for This Sporting Life – Golf, next to the golf course, funnily enough. Easy find, but somewhat squelchy on the way over from the car. And when I got to GZ, the ground was actually frosty. The photo looks like it was taken in the evening, but it was actually taken at 9.26am – just a trick of the light that makes it look like evening.
Next up I popped round to Keep Your Chins Up – this is one I’d been too before and failed with. It turns out I failed last time because I read in too much complexity and forgot to check the bleedin’ obvious. A quick call for a PAF confirmed that, although I’d already been over the stream by this time. Which was closely followed up by some dodgy parking at Daytona for a quick walk round to Let’s go orienteering – 6 – a series that sprung up a couple months ago in various bits of MK. I seem to have done quite a few of them today.
And then along a bit further to grab Ills n Olla’s, which is near the site of a previous search. This one took a while because of a bit of Helicopter GPS syndrome. And because I went to the wrong place. And it was wet. Really wet. And slippy.
But I found it eventually, in a pretty obvious place really.
Which then lead me up to Heelands for another go at not one, but two previous failures. There’s 3 multis based around a weird castle on a stick, birdhouse thing in Heelands. I got the second on my first attempt, but not the first and third. I rechecked my coords, like you do, and wandered off down to the site of Castle in the Air 1, but once again couldn’t find it, despite it having been relocated. Mumble, mumble. A failure. Breaks my run and makes life harder. So I moved the car a bit and tried Castle in the Air 3. This time I did find this one. This, too, has been moved. It says it moved a bit. It was about 30 yards from my first search, so I guess I calculated wrongly last time.
The next obvious location from here was to go have a pop at Linford Wood. Four in there I haven’t found yet, so that would move me along quite well. Only a Little Saunter proved tricky, and I picked it up on my way back after a bit of inspiration from other logs. The Lone Pond required jumping a very wet ditch and scrambling out of the wood to get to the correct pathway. Cache in a Dash was quite easy, as was Leap the ditch – Coz we had too.
Better get a shift on then. Stop rambling, man !
And then up to get Welcome to Pennyland! 2, which wasn’t the best ever but at least it was quick.
I have long looked at Brick Outhouse and somehow (I don’t know why) I had a picture in my mind of some kilns in the middle of a field surrounded by long grass. It couldn’t be further from the truth. The kilns are in a quiet little space between trees and houses next to a pathway and quite close to the canal. Can’t say where the cache was though. Didn’t find it. D’oh ! Two failures. But thankfully Let’s go orienteering – 3 was a nice easy one to get me back on the straight and narrow.
Tongwell Lake is another one of those balancing lake thingies that stops all the houses and streets from getting flooded every time it rains for more than 2 minutes. It’s the source of a couple of previous failed visits. Blake Friday 2 was a previous failure but I can say with great authority that it was definitely not at this location last time I came. sticky trickster is one I have not tried before. And now I found it, I guess I won’t have to try it again. Lakeside Hill Stash was another failure – spent about 20 minutes, with no success. Did a couple of PAFs by text and voice but probably won’t go back unless I’m doing maintenance on the one of my own which is nearby. I’d already moved on to football match and to be honest, time was marching on and I couldn’t be bothered to go back. 2pm and only 15 finds in nearly 5 hours.
A chance call with Wavvy put me off attempting the one in Newport that’s up a tree, but Push the button! looked easy and quick, so off I went. It wasn’t. I didn’t find it. Bum. More wasted time. Still, I did pop over into the bargain booze shop nearby to acquire lunch – a very healthy snack of crisps, chocolate and coke. And one of those crunchy peanut caramel bar things. I love them – when I see one, I have to buy it.
From here I tried to drive past Newport Pagnell Services to get to a couple of missing ones on the Stanton Low series, but I was greeted by some signs, a bunch of cars executing dodgy 3 point turns, and a lot of water.
But back at the plot, I circled back and had a go at STANTON LOW SERIES: GATEWAY, which proved remarkably easy when you’re on the right side. By now I was obviously progressing my way along the road from Newport to Wolverton, like you do. So and obvious next stop would be somewhere near Zebedee’s gone trad ! and Brian’s gone trad ! – both of which I found, although Brian took a bit of time as a result of him not being where he should be. He seemed at home where he was, but the owner said I should put him back where he was meant to be.
Park Life was very close to being a failure – the field was rather on the damp side, but thankfully the host item was a little way away from the wet bit. A little way.
Another previous failure was SIDETRACKED – WOLVERTON. I parked some God awful distance from it, having passed right by a few others, and walked back about 500 metres in failing light. It was there this time. MK Aeolian #1: Wolverton Park takes the award for worst location of the day. Not just because I couldn’t find it, just a bad location, I thought.
Cache versus Trash ? eluded me. I kinda know what it is supposed to be, but couldn’t see it. Light was failing anyway so I didn’t spend long. It’s not a great location.
Which left me just with Colley’s Mill. It requires a walk around a nice old windmill in Bradwell to gather some info, then a short walk over. Previous logs indicate that it wasn’t in place, so when I thought I had the coords I walked over, checked around a bit (using my torch) and decided it wasn’t there. I left a temporary replacement there in the hope the owner let’s me claim it as a find.