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The Sketch

I’ve had a half plan to go out and do some caching on this day for some time. The half plan turned into a big day out in Kimbolton & Shelton with Wavvy, for reasons I shall describe below……

Earlier in the year we tried (very unsuccessfully) to get some tickets for the London Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium, which would have meant a full day out down the Smoke for all the family, but it wasn’t to be. By the time I got through to the website there were no tickets left. Which is probably why I got through. There were no tickets left, so the website visits weren’t taking as long anymore.

ack at the plot, Plan B was that we might go to the annual Piratemania event, being held this year in Stratford-upon-Avon, but whilst thinking about that one, Kas decided that a trip up North in the first week of the school holidays might also be a lark.

Not having huge amounts of holiday, and having my time now occupied to a great extent by studying for the CISSP exam, I decided not to travel with them, and this meant that I absolutely knew that by Saturday I would need some time away from the house, the desk, and the CISSP Book.

As it happens, Mr Williams of “Wavvy” fame was also available for a bit of tupperware hunting. He had even gone to the trouble of deciding where he wanted to go. That worked for me – no time to plan myself but happy to follow someone else’s lead. I volunteered to drive. I think it was my turn after Wavvy drove us up to the Ton Up day.

Hi ho, hi ho!

So I picked Mr W up at about 8 am and we scooted off to Tilbrook to start our assault on the Kimbolton Krunch, placed by well-known local tupperware-dropper poshrule. Well, there was a random Church Micro there too, so we started there, logging our first find of the morning at 8.42am.

The first hour was a fairly productive dash over the fields. We managed to reach about a dozen or so finds. The second hour contained a couple of bits where the caches were slightly more spread out, and where we weren’t quite sure of the route, so it got a bit slower. But then by the third hour it had speeded up again. We strayed into another “shooting fish in a barrel” stretch of the walk. By which I mean the caches were closer together, not easier. And I certainly don’t mean there was any actual shooting of fish.

All of today’s caches were very easy, to be honest. A couple strayed into “slightly difficult” but no real demons. Anyway, this is ideal territory, as we discussed during the walk. The last thing you want when you’re out on a long walk is to spend 30 minutes looking for each cache. Just gimme the numbers, especially on a hot day like this. It was warm enough that we were both ready to melt most of the way around.

On the Kimbolton Krunch loop we got back to the car after 4 hours and 15 minutes. I’d found 41 caches and Wavvy 2-3 less as a result of us cutting the corner of another series that he’d already done. Not too bad a start. 7 miles, 41 caches.

Lunch Break

But it was sort of the middle of the day by now and the sun at its most fierce. The next hour or so was therefore spent in the car doing some drive-bys to let our legs rest a bit. These were mainly on the drive through Kimbolton itself. A nice little town, if a bit “middle-of-nowhere”.

It did have a nice little main street with some good old English architecture. It also had some kerbs that I managed to scrape my front mud-flaps on. And an electrical shop selling very expensive batteries for Wavvy’s GPS. And finally nice deli up a little alley that did an excellent line in pastry-encased meat products. Fresh out of the oven they were, and jolly nice when accompanied by a freezing cold fizzy drink from the fridge. Everyone say “Ahhhhh!”

Kimbolton also had the second of 6 church micros I found during the day, which is a new all-time record of all time for me. Wavvy was a couple short again, also by virtue of having been before.

Upper Dean

For the afternoon stint we parked up in the small village of Upper Dean, a few miles west of Kimbolton, and began what was according to the notes a two-hour walk of four miles or so. We should have learned by now, however, that the world doesn’t work that way.

I have concluded (after a little research on the subject) that maximum caching speed is about 9-10 caches an hour over agricultural terrain like this, so by that token, a walk of 29 caches total should take about 3 hours. And 3 hours is pretty much exactly what it took us. It was 5 miles the way we did it. With the 9 found in the car (including another Church Micro) that made 78 for me and 74 for Wavvy. We left one of the series at the very far end. It was a long walk out and back, so we decided we’d go back later in the car.

So once back at the car we drove round to the village of Shelton via another Church Micro, to pick up Shelton Scooby Doo #1, and a final Church Micro, giving me a grand (very grand) total of 81 for the day and Wavvy 76. Whilst in Shelton we had a close encounter of the muggle kind. There was a chap who has a Church Micro stuffed into a tree on the edge of his land. He doesn’t seem to mind and he now knows a bit more about the game. He also gace us a potted history of the church. So Wavvy and I now know a little bit more about the inside of Shelton’s church too.

Enough is Enough

By this time, however, I had received a warning text or two from Kas, who was hot-footing it down the A1 and M1 on the way home from Sunderland, so we decided we’d better get home.

There was just time to pull over and let Wavvy do the Church Micro at Milton Ernest though. I didn’t need it, as we stopped there last week on the way to the Little Staughton Sortie last week. And by this time the cloud was starting to look distinctly threatening. In Milton Keynes the threat turned to reality at about 7.30pm, just after I got home.

So, time to get back home though to reunite with the ladies of the family, sink a couple of cold ones, and watch that athletics we couldn’t get the tickets for. We had to watch it on the iPlayer. We’d both assumed it would be an evening event but it was actually held through the afternoon.

The caches I logged near Kimbolton & Shelton on this day were: