Monday, 18 June 2012

Big tractor, piglets and favourite caches

Yesterday we wandered off to an Open Farm Day over in Maidenhead.  This is an annual event where a working farm opens up to the public so that they can have a look around. S was amazed at the size of the tractors and combine harvesters and enjoyed seeing the horses and piglets.We did queue for a tractor/trailer ride but after 15 minutes we gave up which was probably a good thing as apparently they were lasting around 45 minutes and N would never have stayed still that long!

After our farm visit, we headed out to collect a few caches we had seen at a public bridleway a couple of fields away.  We managed to park right by the entrance to it which was lucky as the road this is off is another very fast one with no parking on it other than the odd little piece of track. Everyone decanted from the car and off we went.

Despite the rain having held off and some pretty good tree cover, it was very muddy in places.  Thank goodness we all have wellies (an essential piece of geocaching kit I feel).  More than once hubby had to help me by lifting the pushchair up and carrying it and N over the mud.  We are never put off by things like that though.

The first cache we came to was Get My Drift, a letterbox cache. This was our first letterbox but unfortunately we didn't have a stamp with us so we just signed it as a normal cache.  GZ was easy to spot and the cache was nice and tidy so we left a Geocoin there after photographing it for the owner, to continue it's travels.  I had a feeling this set of caches could be good for dropping some TBs off :)

Off we went again, by now starting to eat our little picnic lunch as we went along.  As a family, we do love to have some sandwiches and fruit everywhere we go you know ;-)

The next cache we came to was called Newton's Pendant and sounded intriguing.  We weren't disappointed.  This cache was basically a log high up in a tree and attached to it by a rope which was tied near the base.  You untied the rope and lowered the log.  Once you had the log, you took the lid off, which the rope ran through, and inside it was hollowed out and there was the cache log container.  Ingenious!  This delighted everyone (as you can see from the picture) and got an instant favourite point from me.

Smiles all round, we carried on up the path crossing the area where the farm rides were running. We watched two tractors/trailers go past and S waved to the people bumping along.

Our next cache was Mice May Dare which J decided she was going to find on her own. I pointed out what I considered was the cache area and she had a look around it, muttered "eugh" a few times and then said she thought it was a little further on.  She was looking all over the place and I turned to hubby and said "I'm sure that is where it is" (sometimes I am told I am not allowed to go look - I'm just GPS girl!) and he picked up the object that J first looked at and there it was.  If only she'd not been worried about getting her hands a bit dirty ;-)  Another nice little cache so I left a Taz TB there to carry on it's journey, having taken a nice picture of it first.

Our last cache in this area was The Clingon and it was another that didn't disappoint.  Again, the coordinates were spot on and S and hubby went into the little clearing bit of the hedgerow and spotted it quickly.  This was another log, hollowed out with the log inside, covered in ivy and hung up in the branches with two little hooks.  The CO certainly has made a great effort with their caches around this location and we have enjoyed every one of them.

We turned around at this point as I worked out we really needed to drive around to get to the next lot as it would be quite a long walk for everyone otherwise but we intend to come back to this area as the CO has placed quite a few more a little further along.

We weren't in the mood to head off at that point so we went into Maidenhead and had a look for a few more in a group we could do before dropping J off.  There were some up at Pinkneys Green so we went up there.  This is a nice area of maidenhead with two lovely greens as part of the little village.  As we arrived by the main one, there was a scout summer party going on in one part and a game of cricket next to it in another part.  How nice.  We parked up and headed off.

The first cache we found was Pinkneys Green 8, which was a quick find for J and S.  We walked back through the grass path on the green itself.  This was probably not the best idea as J had hayfever starting and, as a typical teenager, had not taken her tablets that morning. DOH!  We found this wonderful tree near the next location which S and J found fascinating.

The next cache was Pinkneys Green 7, which was right where the cricketers were playing. This would take stealth.  Note to self - stealth is not J's strong point. I must remember that.  However, she did a good job this time....at first.  The cache was apparently at a joint of the posts/rails at one side of the car park.  We stopped and looked at the cricket match whilst J sat on the rail and, in true 007 fashion, moved along grappling around each upright.  When she reached the far end, no cache was in hand. I went over and stood by where it should be (in a puddle of water) and she came back and had another prod. I bent down and had a look and an explore but nothing.  J then got off the rail and crouched down by each post exploring. Heaven only knows what the cricketers thought was going on around their cars with this teenager bobbing up and down by the grass bank.  She had to stop when a taxi pulled up and the driver got out.  Not our best stealth tactics so a DNF for us.

Off we went for one last cache at Pinkneys Green 5 (not sure how the CO was working out the numbers here!).  We ploughed along the path with J's eyes starting to water badly.  This really was the last one as she was beginning to suffer. I guess waist high grasses that were all blooming wasn't the best idea with her.  This cache seemed to be hidden in a small clump of trees.  The clue suggested to look for the 'natural path' but lots of sun and rain had helped the nettles grow to about 5' tall and the brambles take over everywhere else!  This was not going to be an easy one.  Hubby was determined though, so whilst J sneezed with the girls, he stomped the nettles down, followed by me with a pen.  A few owch's later (or words to that effect muttered under his breath), the cache was in hand and signed and we headed back to the car.

The predicted rain had held off for us all day and we had really enjoyed ourselves.  All together we had walked for 2 1/4 hours today which isn't bad considering S walked the whole way with us and the bridleway was heavy going in places.

2 comments:

  1. Aww poor J with the hayfever. I am so glad you include J on your geocaching events, its so funny to read her antics and we all know teenagers are funny (i have one myself of the male variety). Loved reading about the different cache styles, how brilliant, as for nettles yes id be muttering something under my breath as well but they don't normally bother me, its summer and i trample them down size 7 style haha

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    1. J does take a bit of dragging out at times but once we are on the move, she's fine and loves finding the caches. However, she is awful at logging them too and yet can spend hours on the PC! Kids... *sigh* I am not allowed to just tag her in pictures on FB anymore of our adventures - just in case her hair is messy, etc LOL

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