|Madcats with the cache|
We tend to opt for halfway (or thereabouts) locations to meet and this time we went for Chesham. What a place! If you look a that map on geocaching.com for the area, you are absolutely spoiled for choice. Talk about a cache-rich location.
I had downloaded a PQ ready and G had put the caches onto her iPhone too. We had decided before heading out to do the Ashley Green series.
Finding a pub we could meet at, we opted for The Black Horse on Chesham Vale. Somewhere good to have a spot of lunch and a nice little ring of 16 caches nearby for us to do.
Getting there was another story. It was ok for G coming from the opposite direction from me, but I decided to come up through from Beaconsfield and Amersham to be met with the whole of Chesham town centre closed for a fete/show with floats, band and dancers. Doing a u-turn in the road (with most of the other traffic) I headed back out of the area having been less than 1 mile from my destination. Thank goodness for a GPS as when I felt I was far enough away for it not to lead me back to the same area again, I turned off and it guided me happily around the road blocks and to the pub. It had taken me over 2 hours to get here.
|Soaked but having fun|
Wisely, we took our waterproof jackets which was a good call because it started to rain a little as we were heading to our first find.
First of the day was Ashley Green - Hollow a nice easy one for us both. Which way shall we now go. Right was the option and away we went. Ashely Green - Nesting was another easy spot. Somehow the more people try and 'hide' the cache, the more obvious it becomes. Even without knowing the exact coordinates, seeing a pile of sticks at the side of a tree is a pretty sure sign. Stick-o-flague put back and away we went. It was now raining quite a bit but under the tree coverage we were fairly well protected.
|Trying to keep the phone dry|
Ashley Green - Tree was next. What can I tell you about this that you can't already guess? Yes, lovely tree. Cache found and signed and away to the next. Ashely Green - Post a Field Note took us a few minutes to locate. The rain was heavy now and the GPS was bouncing around a bit. There were a few suspects around too but we got there in the end. Much of our missing it at first was to do with the fact that we were engrossed in our conversation - well, what would you expect of two women out caching?
Ashley Green - Flamstead Farm was next for us. Took a while to locate this one as we spotted an obvious place (complete with a few sticks) but nothing seemed to be there. Upon climbing up the bank a bit, it was clear that the container had gone and all that was left of the cache was a small, temporary log book in a plastic bag. Dry enough to sign but we popped a maintenance request on for the CO.
Ashley Green- Snowhill was next and we crossed the road and headed up the alleyway. The rain was pouring down, thunder boomed all around us and G was hunched over her phone reading the clue. What kind of idiots cache in this weather? Madcats and DreamScorpio it seems! Not to be deterred by the noise around us, we started our search. Probably took a little longer here than we needed as we were getting drenched but we got there in the end. Now a decision. Did we go back down the alley and off to get the rest of the Ashely Green caches that were on the map or did we detour to a wooded area a short way ahead to collect some of the Hockeridge series? There was a nice little loop around the forest after all. Well, we were out, we were wet already so we may as well grab a few more in woodland right? Off we went.
|Madcats and DreamScorpio with the cache|
G nearly fell down the rather steep bank on one side was we were making our way to the next cache. We were discussing if the area had been a chalk pit due to it's depth and shape and she slipped on a tree root. I grabbed her but luckily she was stumbling backwards rather than forwards. I didn't fancy carrying her back to the car.
Bones 13 Hockeridge was a bit of a tricky find. On the bright side, the rain was dying down and the sun was trying it's best to make an appearance but everything (including us) was very soggy and the GPS was having a mad moment. We had both forgotten what the clue was so were searching multi-trunked trees until G re-read it (memories like goldfish we both have) and then we made the spot. All the containers around this circuit are a pretty good size so a shame there were no TBs to be found for us. Signed and for the first time we took our hats/hoods off and the birds started to sing.
|Pond in the middle of nowhere (well, a forest)|
Hockeridge - Triple Trunks speaks for itself. Cute little log book here. It's raining again. Hockeridge - Post a Field Note had has stumped. We got to GZ but despite the good clue and the GPS pointing us to the location, a thorough (we think) search turned up nothing. It wasn't easy going due to barbed wire protecting the farmer's field and quite a selection of holly bushes. Never to be deterred though we got stuck in. Nothing came to hand so we considered that perhaps we needed to be in the field itself so walked up a bit further to see if there was a path but all we were met with was more barbed wire and signs saying private. A DNF for us here so we ventured back along the forest path.
Hockeridge - The heart of it was next and the GPS was trying to get us to go over the ancient remains of a wall into private land again but fortunately caching senses took over and we soon had it to hand. Surprised to see a packet of chocolate buttons in the cache. I don't know anyone who would give their child sweets or chocolate from a cache but I could see it causing a lot of problems for some poor parent. Perhaps the person who put them there didn't realise they aren't things to leave in a cache. Hockeridge - Fallen had us looking under the wrong tree at first but realising we couldn't get anywhere near the other end of it, we spotted a more likely candidate and made the find quickly. More sweets in the container. Thunder and rain had stopped again now, thank goodness. We are positively steaming!
|Soaked in the field|
Ashley Green - A Micro Gate was next for us. Which gate though as there were quite a few along here? GPS finally settled and we were at the right one. Much fumbling under the gate(s) and prodding turned up nothing more than a few slugs out due to the rain. A DNF again for us. We're not the only ones though so perhaps it has gone.
Across the field we went to Ashley Green - Treehouse. We had to walk across a field to get to this that had grass at knee height and a very narrow piece of 'path' through it. To say that we both got completely soaked again was an understatement. I now realise my boots have a hole too! At least the sun was shining now though and with the wind that was starting, we should be blow-dried in no time.
|What are you doing?|
Ashley Green - Unhinged took us past a collection of animals on the farm. G, who keeps chickens, commented on the lovely breeds that were there and took some photographs. The alpaca was quite curious about what we were doing but not as curious as the horse who stuck his head over the gate and whinnied at us repeatedly. Maybe he thought we had polos on us. We were being beaten by the wind at this point and the sky was an amazing array of colours with the the sun trying very hard to break through the black thunder clouds. What kind of nut goes caching in this weather? What next for us? Snow? Anyway, the gate was soon in front of us and we had another fumble around and the cache was soon to hand. We were drying nicely from the wind and now had more of a field to walk across giving us ample time to natter and dry out.
|Wet, wet, wet....|
|Now a bit windswept|
Ashley Green - Tube had us stumped. The post clearly said that it was private land beyond. The public footpath was where we were so surely we weren't to trespass again? Nothing around the post at all. A cachers path seemed to lead under the holly but neither of us had any intention of (a) crawling under a holly bush or (b) going into private land. I'm sure the farmer would be less than impressed to see people grovelling around in his holly. Reading some logs we saw that indeed it seems that we need to enter this area. Nope, not for us. Off we went listing another DNF (we're the only ones again).
Ashley Green - Butcher's Grove was to be our last of the day. Once again we wandered past engrossed in conversation. Not too far to go back though to make a retrieve of our last of the day. Fabulous. It was now 6pm so we headed back to the pub and had a dessert to share (we opted not to have pud before we went caching) and a well deserved drink before parting company and heading off home. I'm pleased to say I was home in less than an hour.