Saturday, 25 January 2014

Swept away!

I dragged J out today to come get a cache with me to fill in another day on my grid (yeah, I know, I have tons to fill in but so what).  She was the best teenage daughter you could wish for today and got dressed in 5 minutes, not even putting on make-up (shock-horror) to come out with me.

Away we went to Chobham where I had seen the Watery Lane cache and wasn't sure it was suitable to go to with the whole family.  As it turned out, parking was easy down the nearby lane and we hopped out and popped on our wellies.  GPS was pointing across the road to where the stream was running pretty quickly.

We just knew we were going to wade for this one so J got straight into the water. It nearly pulled her feet from under her by the main bit of the bridge but she wasn't going to be deterred.  She started the search.  This was going to be fun.  She did ask me what I would do if she fell in. I thought for a split-second and gave her my honest, loving mummy response - "laugh my head off".  She considered this "typical" of me and we carried on looking.

I decided with her covering one side, I'd hit the other. Boy that water tried to take your feet away as I entered from the bank behind.  J wondered if it was going to be right underneath. Why not?  That's where I would have put it!  She started to look but as I turned around to do a cursory sweep of the location, I spotted the cache.  I have to say, I was disappointed.  Never mind, no matter where it was hidden, we had made our own fun in searching.

The log was soaked, as was the bag holding it so I dried as best I could (probably with a hankie that the girls had blown their coldie noses in more than once - sorry, it was all that there was in my handbag!) and put in a new piece of paper with our names on.

J couldn't resist having a bit more of a wade upstream.  Yes, I'd have laughed if the branch broke.

Her feet were freezing and she'd managed to get a small pond in each wellie. How?  Who knows.  We got home and she took her wellies off and wrung out her socks.  Another box checked off on the grid and a good giggle for 20 minutes.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Smokin' under water

My uni - nothing at all to do with caching but a nice pic
I decided to check one of my caches today with all the flooding that has been happening locally.  Fortunately in Woking we've not been too badly hit, but as the cache is in woodland, I expected to find some saturation. I was not wrong.  Approaching GZ, the cache was indeed under water. Fortunately I could just see the tip of it from it's small, newly formed pond environment.  A stick was needed to help me make the retrieve.

I had wondered why some finders had said it may have broken Groundspeak rules. I know why now.  The original 'tube' that I had found for it to sit in - something that was already poking its head above ground - had gone and the cache was therefore planted into the ground.  Fair comment but also slightly debatable I think as I've found many caches that are bottle tops, snails, etc stuck to tubes that are most definitely in the earth.  A mute point anyway as the cache was getting close to needing scuba equipment to retrieve so it was moving house.

I had a good look around for somewhere to place it.  Lots of likely looking areas but nothing quite right for my container. Umm...what to do.  I also wanted to try and find somewhere relatively dry under current conditions. No point relocating it to another pond was there!  I finally found somewhere close by that was, quite honestly, as good as it was going to get.  It's not ideal but I know that there are a couple of other puzzle and multis that finish near mine so I couldn't make too much of a move.

I didn't want to change its D/T rating as I appreciate people rely on caches staying the same for their grids and have seen a lot about it recently on forums.  I found a suitable location but I think the D is far easier now.  I'll let others judge it for me and if it is, I'll archive the original to let people keep the D/T for their grids and put a new one in this location.  I think that's fair.

So, off I come home to find that my phone has done something nuts and decided I was in a totally different location when I put the coordinates in.  Great.  Today I went back and got the correct coordinates so at least people can find it without wading around in the wrong area about 3 miles away!

As for the picture, well it's got nothing to do with the cache. I was just at uni this morning and the light and mist looked so nice.  Wonder if I can place a Royal Holloway cache?

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Of couse we look suspicious on footpaths

If you spot people grovelling around this alleyway...
My friend G came down to have a catch up and a spot of light lunch with us today before going off to buy some more chickens (but that's another story).

We had a good old natter, tried (and failed) to install a few fun apps on our phones - the problem being she is on an iPhone and I'm Android - and then, as we do, headed off for a couple of quick caches.  It would be rude for us to meet up and not go walkabout even if a bit of urban caching was on the cards.

We drove to just outside Woking and parked up.  Thankfully no restrictions on a Sunday and were right by the footpath leading to the first cache we wanted to find - Bullet #1.  Stolling along nattering, we were soon at GZ.  Having read the clue and searched the couple of likely items on the opposite side to where the compass pointed (well, you never know) we set ourselves in for the big search.  Down low said the clue. How low was 'low' though?  I decided it could be anything from 3' downwards and worked on that basis.  We took an end of the railing set each and started, working in towards each other having first checked that it wasn't exactly where our respective compasses were pointing!  We had to stop intermittently as this was quite a busy footpath.  Unfortunately, I was crouched down and G was bent over with the pair of us intently touch searching the metal at almost ground level when that typical sneaky pedestrian was upon us.  He gave us the most peculiar look as we both grinned at him.  He was not amused. I thought that most people would find it perfectly natural for two women to be searching the ground in an alleyway over a railway line on a Sunday afternoon....or is that just me?

Our little digits were getting cold so we decided, having met each other in the middle more than once, to call it a day.  We headed back down the footpath to Bullet #2.  As we approached a couple of young lads cycled past us and stopped at the other side of the road, clearly at one of their houses. We had to be discreet. Up high was the clue.  We had at least 2 obvious objects and went in for the search.  There was a shopping trolley parked next to one and I wondered if we needed it to reach high enough...surely not?  G went around the corner and was burped at by some old fella who had clearly been to the local hostelry and was on his way home.  Not really what she expected - although he was happy enough.  We did some more searching but with fingers beginning to numb, we decided that 0 out of 2 was our score so far. I logged another DNF.  Damn.

Off we went for our final one - Bullet #3.  This was only a 1 star rating so if we failed here, I think we'd have to give up caching!  However, after a stroll around/through the housing, G made an instant spot at GZ.  Hooray, 1 out of 3.  Signed and back we headed to the car.

As we approached #2 from the opposite direction, I spotted it instantly.  How had we missed this?  Having now read the logs, it looks like there was another cacher around today too and s/he had found it on the ground and put it back where they thought it belonged.  That's why we hadn't seen it - we had been looking high only.  Well done them and hopefully it was in the right place for us to make the find (it seemed to fit well). Signed the log and away we went feeling slightly more chuffed even if a little colder.  Back for some soup in a bowl to cuddle now to warm up our hands.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Snail Mail Again

A quick cache and dash yesterday with J in Maidenhead.

It was pouring with rain and pitch dark by 4.30pm so the cache we were going to get we decided against.  It was down a footpath about 200m from where we could park and we didn't fancy (a) the walk in the rain or (b) trying to do it in the dark (we didn't have torches).

We therefore headed off to Burchett's Green in Maidenhead and parked up at the local pub to make a quick collect.

At first J thought it was real as it was wet from the rain too but then realised it wasn't.

Whoopie, another box marked on my caching grid for the year.  I am going to try and fill in as much as I can of the grid during 2014 for the 365/6 days of caching challenge.  I have quite a task in front of me as I have most of February and March to complete in full!  However, I'm pleased to say lots of new local caches have appeared so if I keep those for my 'one-a-day' I shouldn't have to travel too far.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Blowing the cobwebs away

Yesterday we took the opportunity to get out - between the storms - and have a walk around Wisley together.  The sun was out, the sky was blue and it certainly wasn't cold. Amazing weather considering how much it has rained recently.

It seemed many people had the same idea as the car parks were extremely full and one of them quite flooded too.

I don't think I've seen Wisley this busy for a long time but they are very efficient at the ticket/membership booths so by the time I'd found my purse with membership card, we were at the booth and away.

The girls led the way and we had a walk around the 'new' part of Wisley we had discovered. Some of it was taped off due to the ground being very marshy and Natasha slipped over once.

 We weren't there long as little legs got tired due to being housebound so much lately I'm sure but at least we got out.

Friends over to play when we got home so it was a fun day.  Glad to be over our coughs, colds and chest infections!