Sunday, 28 November 2010

2 Degrees West

Whilst out caching this weekend, I came across a cache with the westings w002 00.000  Well, why not? Off I set to grab that one! The furthest west we have cached though is w004 in Wales.

This weekend saw freezing temperatures and some light snow. Big QC wanted a 'Daddy Day' so I headed off on my own for a morning of caching. I set off for a series (or two) around Devizes. I parked up and walked round the 5 miles route in just over 2 hours. It was cold so I had to walk fast! With some spare time, I headed up to Calne and completed a short series of 8 caches before returning home. I was home, washed and recovered before Daddy QC returned with both kids.

Today, after a trip to the indoor playcenter, Little and Big QC went over to the Common where we found 3 caches, we then did a few drive-bys on the way home. One of the caches we found was huge. It was a 10L bucket (with lid) hidden in the cacher's front garden. It felt very odd getting the cache whilst the owners were home!

This week was an excellent week for caching. I found 72 new caches, which is my equal best week! My caching streak is now 89 days. How long this can keep going is now dependent on the weather.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


My little Garmin Trex GPS has broken!

We parked up near the series we were about to walk round, I switched on the GPS to warm it up...and nothing! I changed the batteries to fresh new ones...and nothing! I banged it (a bit)...and nothing. The 'ON' button just would not click on. That was it, I knew the iphone would not last a 3 mile walk so we did a few drive bys and headed home.

Once at home, I opened up the unit and had a fiddle. I fear it will never be water tight again, but I got it working. I cached on Monday, then, on my final (and tenth) cache, it switched itself off and has failed to work since.

Today I had to cache using the iphone, which wasn't too bad. I found 2 of the 2 caches easily and hit the 1100 mark.

A new GPS system is winging it's way to me right now.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

The Stiles, oh the stiles!

Stiles; the bane of my life! Big QC loves climbing them, but have you tried getting a buggy over one?
We were faced with this huge stile last week. You also had to be careful of the barbed wire strung across the top.

How do we manage stiles when it is just Little QC and myself out caching?

1. Approach stile and sigh
2. Unstrap Little QC and climb over the stile with him
3. Place him on the ground and climb back over the stile
4. Get the buggy and hoist it over the stile. Our buggy weighs in at 18lbs
5. Climb over the stile
6. Retrieve Little QC from a puddle/nettles/tree...and remove leaves/sticks/berries from hand
7. Fight to strap him back in the buggy
8. Walk on!

This was Little QC at the Old Stile Cache in Axford.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

The Ridgeway

One of my favourite places to walk and cache is along The Ridgeway. Today I headed out to a cache called 'Lammy Down' set by a local cacher. The setter has some fantastic caches in the localish area. You can always expect a good walk and amazing scenery from him. I parked up alongside 10+ Landrovers and 4x4s and headed off. The walk took me along The Ridgeway and then up a bridle path to a place called Lammy Down. I found the cache easily, another ammo can, rescued the TBs that had been stuck in there for 6 months, signed the log and headed back down hill. 

I then decided that I had some more time before having to pick Big QC up from school, so headed over towards another cache. I was 0.22 miles from the cache when I rounded the bend and was confronted with the men from the Landrovers, all carrying large guns and surrounded by their hounds; it is pheasant shooting season. I was not about to walk through these men, hunt for a cache and then walk nonchalantly off! I double backed and headed back to the car.

The old caches

Earlier this week, I needed to find a quick local(ish) cache. I was pressed for time, but wanted to maintain the 'cache a day'. I headed out to one that looked a quick cache and dash, unfortunately the weather was hovering around freezing and all the leaves, sticks and foliage were stuck together making hunting for the cache too hard. I logged a DNF. So what now? I needed a cache. I fired up the iphone and saw a cache nearby, the down side to this cache was that it hadn't been found since April this year. I headed over, loaded Little QC into the sling and walked up a lovely bridlepath. Lo and behold, there was a huge ammo can dating back 7 years. I read through the log book spotting names I knew, signed the log myself, replaced and headed back to the car. This was so much better than the cache and dash I'd intended to do.

Monday, 15 November 2010

How are the TBs getting on?

Here is a quick run down on the Travel Bugs we have out:

Our car- Spotted 13 times, most recently on the M4 as we drove to Wales.
Marmalade- The Marmalade TB got taken to California. He is now there and being moved around quite quickly. He has clocked 5500 miles.
The Vendee Gem has finally been moved. This is the first time since July. It is somewhere in France.
Para (aiming for Sydney) was lost for a while. The person who had him gave up caching. He was tracked down and is now in has headed a little south!
Mountain Panda also got lost, but this time, he was lost in someones old car! After a quick email, he was placed in a cache, retrieved and then placed in the Lake District.
Little Dolphin is somewhere presumed missing.

We've now found 90 Travel Bugs and Geocoins.

Caching in Amsterdam

We spent the past weekend in Amsterdam visiting family. Seeing as we've maintained the 'cache a day' streak, we had to take in a few caches. We picked up a few caches near to Heathrow; we had some time to kill before picking up Daddy QC from work. These caches were easy drive bys.

We really needed a cache in Amsterdam that was big enough to take a TB (Travel Bug) I'd had for a while. It's goal was to go to Rotterdam, so I figured that Amsterdam was a good stepping stone for it. We found a TB sized cache but it had been muggled the day before. Thankfully, there was another cache close by. This though, involved lying on ones stomach and reaching under the bridge to retrieve the cache.
We picked up 2 caches on Sunday, including the one at Centraal station. This is a super busy cache with over 1,500 finds.

Today, I had to pick up some work for Daddy QC, so spent a few hours wandering round Basingstoke. I do not like urban caching as I always feel so conspicuous looking for some bit of plastic packaging hidden in some odd location. I got 11 finds and about 4 DNFs.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Moulsford Downs

What can I say except that this was a fantastic series. Little QC and I had arranged to walk round the series with some new friends. We parked up, headed over the first stile and then we were on our way. The series took us up hills, up more hills, up some more hills, down a little and then back up! Over the course of 5 miles we found all 14 caches. The views, the scenery, the mixed terrain, the variety of caches and the company made for an excellent walk. I really recommend a walk round. Naturally, we ended our caching day with a large cake. Who wants to cache and dash when you can cache and cake?!

I am now the proud owner of a new Geocoin! Thanks to A for finding it for me, it really sums up my quest to cache every day...which is still going strong! I will not be releasing this coin, this is one for my (small) collection!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

1000 caches!

This morning, Daddy QC offered to take both kids out for the morning leaving me with a spare few hours. Decisions, decisions...what could I do in a few hours? The answer was simple; a caching route that we wouldn't be able to do as a family and/or one that couldn't be done in sections. I looked at the map and decided that Temple Bottom was to be my series of the day. The route was about 8 miles with 36 caches up, down and around Temple Bottom. In true stupidity, I decided to bike it; naively I thought it would just be Ridgeway paths with some hills! I managed to bike a good two-thirds of the route, the rest I had to push the bike. My bike (and myself) were absolutely caked in mud by the end. It was a fantastic series with some amazing views and variety of caches. I found 35 out of the 36 caches en route, plus a few extra that had been placed around the paths by other cachers. I'm not one to end a day's caching on an odd number so I did 2 drive-bys on the way home to give me a nice round number of 40 caches in one day; our best day yet.
I was home before Daddy QC and the kids got back from their indoor playcentre trip.
I can now show off my shiny new 1000 finds geocoin!

Today's caching is a great milestone for us. We started caching just over 8 months ago. In that time we have discovered new places in our local area, explored new counties, got to know South Wales fairly well and discovered lots of nice places to eat (aiding recovery)!  We have met new people, made great new friends and perhaps, got slightly fitter. As a family we have something new that we can all do together. We have something new to talk about, we have seen places we would never have seen without caching and we've had fun.

Here's to the next 1000.

Monday, 1 November 2010

La Cache, Les Vaches!

Zut alors, les vaches sont a venir!

Yep, we got chased by cows...again!

On our way to a cache we had to cross a field. In the distance we could hear (but not see) a herd of cows all mooing very loudly. The din was awful. Big QC was chatting happily and Little QC was babbling on as we picked our way through the cow pats. All of a sudden the mooing stopped and there was silence. It was eerie after all the noise that the cows had previously made. Then we heard hooves and the mooing started again. We couldn't see anything though so continued on our way...until I yelled "RUN". Big QC ran at the nearby stile and climbed over quickly. I pushed Little QC, unstrapped him, put him over the fence, threw BOB over, then leapt over myself just as 20+ cows drew to a running halt. Little QC promptly fell in a puddle, Big QC was screaming at the closeness of the cows and I was relieved BOB was ok!

Thankfully we found the next cache!

Caching in Wales

Last week, I took Big and Little QC to Wales. We were meant to go to France but de to their striking issues we decided against it.
In our week away we:
Found 56 caches including 2 EarthCaches, 2 Puzzles and 1 Multi.
We failed to find 9 caches which is a 'record' for us in one week!

We found a lot of  bog standard caches, plus we also got got some very innovative caches. We came away with a lot of new ideas for caches!

Our hardest cache was rated a 5/2. Whilst we waited for the GPS to settle, Big QC walked right over to it and announced her find! She was, and still is, feeling rather smug about this!