The Sketch

I hadn’t been out for a decent caching session for a month or so, but heard a rumour that Pesh and the Happy Hunter were planning a trip out. They invited me to join them for the relatively small cost of taking my car. The plan was to head into Hampshire to have a pop at the “Stamped in Stockbridge” series. It’s a series of 42 letterbox caches. Each is located by performing a simple distance-and-bearing calculation from the given coordinates. This can be done in advance, thereby rendering the walk into a simple task of hunting at known coordinates.

The Caching

There were also a number of “hangers on” around the Stockbridge series. I’d pre-solved the nearby Michelmersh Mystery Meander too, in case we had time for a few extra. It was a warm Bank Holiday at the end of May and we set off early enough to give ourselves a good, long day of searching.

The Stockbridge series was one of the most creative I’ve done. That’s not because of the means of calculating the final coordinates, but for the cache containers. The CO had gone to great lengths by creating quite elaborately ornate “special” containers and field puzzles. The net result was a number of excellent surprise finds which were worthy of a favourite point. On the way around there were a couple of church micros and others. Once back into Stockbridge village we also managed to find another church micro before heading back to the car with some drinks.

We decided we’d got time for a few more and drove a couple of miles south towards Michelmersh. The caching here was a bit more painful – it took a lot of time to find each cache. When we’d set out from home we thought we might have time to go for a third circuit, but about halfway around this one we realised we had no chance. It was just taking too long for each find and it was quite difficult walking too.

The Reckoning

In total we made 69 finds on the day, which is a decent number. I wasn’t unhappy about it, but the day ended with the slightly frustrated feeling that it could have been better.