Wednesday, 29 September 2010

700 caches

Today, Little QC and I hit the 700 cache milestone.
It was a good walk. We did a small section of an 8 mile loop. We enjoyed this part greatly so we'll be back to complete the rest of the series.
The next big milestone will be 1000 caches, can this be achieved before the end of the year? It works out about 3 caches per day...every day!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Hotel California

Ok, not a hotel, but a cache! Our Marmalade travel bug is now residing in a cache in California! He was placed there yesterday. This means Marmalade has traveled just over 5500 miles. Where will he go next?

How are the other TBs getting on?
Little Dolphin is stuck in a cache surrounded by human poo. The cache is currently inactive until the poo situation clears.
Para is missing but has been tracked down. The cachers who took him from a CITO event have given up caching, it didn't occur to them to place the TBs they had found into a cache before giving up. Thankfully, all is not lost and hopefully Para will be collected by another cacher.
The Vendee Gem has made it to France so is getting closer to it's final destination.
Panda is still in the dizzying heights of Lincolnshire. He hasn't been logged since the middle of August, so we are not sure if he is still in his cache.

The car has been spotted 3 times this month; twice at a cache meet and once as we were driving through Swindon.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

The not so BRRR BIR!

This week, after dropping Big QC at school, Little QC and I drove to Burbage to have a walk round the BIR series. There are two series in Burbage; the Outer (10 miles) and the Inner (3.5 miles). We parked up and set off round the route. It was a beautiful morning, the sun was shining, the birds were singing and Little QCs electronic buggy toy was playing madly! En route, we had to find some answers to questions, these answers would provide the numbers to the bonus cache.  We had a brilliant walk; we saw cows, pigs and ate blackberries. I learnt a lot about the village and the surrounding areas from the the excellent cache description pages. One day, I will have to tackle the 10 mile outer loop.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Birthday Caching

Friday was Little QC's 1st birthday. After his music class I took him for a walk along the canal. It was a beautiful day; we saw lots of boats, ducks and trains. He loved eating all the blackberries growing along the path.
Poor old BOB (the yellow buggy) has had two punctures recently hence Little QC is sitting in his old red Nipper. The difference between the two buggies is vast. BOB is now sorted with new inner tubes and is ready for this week's caching.

This weekend we took our inlaws out on a lovely caching series. Big QC loved finding conkers, feeding the horse, watching the gliders and collecting feathers. Little QC enjoyed eating blackberries...again!

September Challenge- 19 days in and so far, so good!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Happy Birthday, Little QC

Little QC turns one tomorrow. We started caching when he was 6 months old- he's now on his 622nd cache!

The September Challenge

This month's challenge (set by Big QC) is to find at least one cache per day for the while of September. We are now half way through the month and a day has not been missed yet!

We found a great local cache today. I had intended to find it yesterday (and claim a FTF) but the car had a puncture so we were unable to drive anywhere. Today we were passing through so stopped and completed the Multi. Having lived in this area on and off for the past 8 years I never knew there was a 'stag' that watched over a local village! It is really just a very tall tree (or trees) that protrude from a hilly woodland area. The tree has 'antlers' and a very domineering appearance!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

My first event

Last night, I braved a Cachers Meet Up. I'm not the most social of people so walking into a room of strangers was going to be hard.
First I debated what to wear. Do I wear my best Goretex and trail shoes or do I go in jeans? It wasn't a hard decision to make; I picked jeans very quickly!
Next, how would I recognise a bunch of cachers? Should I look for copious amounts of Goretex and lycra clad sporty people? Should I wear my GPS or carry a copy of The Times? I quickly rejected the idea of sporting a bright yellow Garmin!
My next worry was that I was too inexperienced as a cacher to attend. Compared to some cachers, my paltry 619 cache finds is small change for some.

I left home at 6.45pm with the plan of picking up 2 caches in the area that I hadn't found. I picked up the 2 new caches and then headed for the pub. I sat in the car, checked my mail, read some Facebook, sent a text to Daddy QC and then, with a deep breath, I got out of the car and headed for the pub.

I got home at 11pm having had a brilliant evening. I met loads of cachers who have been round our series, I put faces to names, discussed and swapped caching stories and life as a caching addict. I was made to feel very welcome by all. A number of the top 100 UK cachers were there with some very funny stories to listen to. My 600+ finds wasn't laughed at, especially considering we've been caching for 6 months and always with a buggy in tow. I'll be back next month to meet up with everyone again.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Our toughest series yet

Who'd have thought that a 3.5mile series could take so long?
Every cache has a difficulty rating (out of 5 stars, 1 being the easiest) and a terrain rating (same scoring). This series was given a 2.5 for difficulty and a 3 for terrain. Bah, we thought, it'll be fine! We are so used to climbing stiles and gates with the buggy as we encounter them all the time.

Cache #1- We had to find an alternative route to this as the buggy wouldn't fit throught the overgrown bushes
Cache #4- we had to negotiate a broken stile, a muddy bank and a tractor tyre being used as a bridge over a small stream...all on a steep incline
Cache #5- the steepest hill we've encountered with the buggy, we carried it in some places.
Cache #7- a footpath so overgrown with brambles and thorns that I gave the Big One a piggy back ride through. The Little One got scratched as his buggy was wider than the path.
Cache #11- one bull in the field and two sets of electic fences to cross, plus an unfinished bridge
Cache #12- bridge too narrow for the buggy so we had to carry it above our heads. Another very steep hill to climb.

This was by far our hardest set of caches, but we had a great walk. The views from the hills were spectacular and the weather was great. We well and truly earnt our smiley faces for this!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

How many cache types....

How many cache types can I find in one day? This was an idea we thought we'd try out.
The aim was to find a traditional (standard cache), a multi (staged cache), a puzzle (solve a puzzle and find the co-ords), a letterbox (the precursor to geocaching), an Earthcache, a virtual cache and a webcam cache. 7 different cache types...could it be done?

#1 Letterbox- a quick find of a decent sized cache.
#2 Earthcache at Lockeridge Dene. A beautiful area.
#3 Lockeridge Dene Multi. A lovley walk exploring the area and a quick find.
#4 Kennet Longbarrow Virtual cache- we had a lot of fun up here despite the little one being scared of the dark
#5 Avebury Stone Circle Webcam cache- after parting with a small fortune for parking, we enjoyed this cache.
#6 Swindon View Traditional cache- a quick cache and dash
#7 A Swindon Puzzle cache- a very fun puzzle to solve followed by a walk full of blackberries for the little one to eat.

I did it!

Yesterday we also got 3 new FTFs (first to find). An email notification came through at lunch time so we headed over and found 3 in the pouring rain!

Monday, 6 September 2010

The Planets

TinyDippy and I went and did a fantastic multi-cache today. We parked in a village we'd never visited before and set off to the given co-ordinates. We walked up to The Millennium sundial which consists of thirteen pairs of standing stones arranged in a semi-circle. As the sun shines between each stone, the time can be calculated.

There is model of the solar system set into the ground. In the center is the sun (the photo shows TinyDippy standing on the sun). The planets are placed around the sun, each engraved with facts. We found all the answers to the clues we needed, a bit of maths later and we were on our way to the final cache- a rather cunningly hidden ammo box.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

September challenges

BabyDippy (age 5) and I were talking about challenges today. She has some challenges and steps that she has to try and achieve so we were discussing those. She decided that if she had to do hard things then I should too. So I asked her to set me a challenge.

My challenge for September is to cache every day.

We're only 2 days in. Yesterday was easy as I made the most of both kids just needing to rest so we did some drive bys. Today though was much harder as it was the first day of school and I had people to catch up with. I wont let BabyDippy go caching on a school day/night so that only left the evening. I made the most of DaddyDippy being home from work early, packed the bike in the car and went and finished off a multi-cache (The Square) I've been meaning to complete for ages. It was a fab set of caches with some brilliant hides.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

To Marracache in Morroco...

There is a cache in Marrakech called the Marracache (it could only be called that); our dilemma before we headed to Morocco for a week of sun was 'do we take the GPS and the cache details or not?' In the end, we took the cache details and decided to play it by ear. Unfortunately, Marrakech was a 3 hours coach ride away and the thought of taking 11 month old TinyDippy on a 6 hour round trip in 105 degrees of heat was not appealing.
It was a fantastic holiday thought and just what we needed.

The withdrawal symptoms of not caching for 10 days kicked in today, so I made the most of 2 jet-lagged, dozy kids and headed off for a few cache and dashes. I'm not a fan of cache and dashes but this felt necessary today! BabyDippy decided that we needed to hit #555 today so we took in 11 caches to make our total up to 5-5-5!