Drumroll for the Blog Roll

Almost as soon as I started geocaching back in June 2013 I started reading blogs about the adventures of others. I learned so much from some of these blogs, marvelled at the daring and determination of those that challenge themselves and have laughed a lot at the amusing and, sometimes, downright dumb situations they got themselves into – never catch me doing that :)

I found the process of discovering blogs quite tricky and have spent a lot of time, trawling through search engines, blogging sites and taking note of any blog URLs I have noticed on Facebook groups and forums. To make it a little easier for anyone wanting to explore the geocaching blogs that are out there I have developed a list that details as many of the active sites that I can find. This is by no means an exhaustive list and I welcome any suggestions of ones that I have overlooked. The blog Roll can be accessed from my blog at anytime by using the “Geocaching Blogs” link that appears in the banner. Additionally it can be found at http://washknight.wordpress.com/blogroll.

Thanks to all the geocaching bloggers out there for all their hard work in maintaining their sites, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

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Interrogations – Heading North

I’m heading North to bring you the next two interrogations. Admittedly one is the North of England and the other is somewhat latterally position to the west, but Canada is still North of me… honest!

Phil Lives not far from Leeds in the UK and caches as Fox 661L. His blog is a treasure trove of interesting and often funny articles about caching and his other interests. He has a quick and wicked sense of humour and this comes through in his blog entries, so click on over to his site and see how Phil got on under interrogation.

HurricaneLaurk lives and caches in Ottawa Canada and has been caching since 2013. His blog is an excellent account of his progression through the hobby of geocaching and gives him the chance to demonstrate his talent of photography. His caching also seems to end in interesting adventures including making an XXX rated discovery recently, breaking the odd bone and Oh, and he also has a trackable tatoo! So go check out how HurricaneLaurk met Washknight’s Interrogation challenge.

To quickly find all the posts listing the other bloggers that have taken my challenge use this tag search – Articles tagged with Washknight Interrogates.

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Interrogating a truly global cacher

Just when you thought It was safe to go back to your blog feed… the interrogations have returned!

Martin lives in Sweden and caches under the name DS8300. He can lay claim to having cached in over 40 countries and enjoys travelling and adding to that list whenever he can. As of early 2014 he has found over 4000 caches and the split is almost 50 50 for those in Sweden and those abroad. His blog is informative and well written and his caching adventures, inspiring. . Read how Martin rose to the challenge

To quickly find all the posts listing the other bloggers that have taken my challenge use this tag search – Articles tagged with Washknight Interrogates.

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A fistful of Interrogations…

I must say the geocaching bloggers are wonderfully accomadating people and don’t mind being interrogated at all. For my double act today I present one from just a handful of miles down the road from me and one a considerably greater distance away across the pond.

Dave DeBaeremaeker is a name that you may be familiar with as he has featured on many podcasrs about geocaching. Originally from Canada and now living in North Carolina USA, he loves rock music, LEGO and caching. His blog has a good mix of all of those and is well written and peppered with excellent photographs and a great sense of humour. Slide on over to his site to see how Dave tackled Washknight’s Interrogation.

Kevin lives in Buckinghamshire UK and maintains a fantastically well written blog that is packed with stories about his family’s adventures. As well as geocaching, which he blames his wife for getting him into, his blog contains articles about travelling and he and his wife’s passion for running. A good writing style and a dry cheeky sense of humour will keep you coming back time and time again. Check out how Kevin answered the questions.

To quickly find all the posts listing the other bloggers that have taken my challenge use this tag search – Articles tagged with Washknight Interrogates.

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Climbing a Ladder and slipping past 800.

Sometimes a geocaching trip serves to satisfy but one simple desire – the urge to find caches. Conversely there are times when getting out in the woods functions as a means to two, or even more, distinct ends. And so it was this weekend that a foray into the pleasant environs of Aldenham offered us the chance to mortally wound a plethora of animals of the avian variety with no more than a singular masonry projectile.

In addition to wanting to pick up a few caches, we also needed to return to number 10 on our Wall Hall Series to do a little maintenance again and this would, of course, require us to take the ladder. As well as that, I was keen to give my newly acquired iPhone 4s another run for its money to assess its accuracy and battery performance. With my acquisition of this new phone, my old iPhone 4 is being handed down to Sam as his first smartphone and upon hearing this he was ever so slightly more excited than usual about going out for a few geocaches. With all this in mind and the publication, last week, of a 29 cache series called Moosey’s Trail that overlaps with our Wall Hall series in a number of places, a journey to Aldenham seemed like the perfect stone to kill all our birds.

We parked up near the last cache in our Wall Hall series and set off for the 10 minute walk into the woods so that we could perform the required maintenance. The first time I took the step ladder into the woods I felt extremely self-conscious and, well to put it bluntly, weird. This being the third time now, I was feeling fairly relaxed about it all despite the fact that it was a Sunday afternoon and the weather was good which meant that there was lots of walkers, cyclists and even horse riders that we passed on the short trek.

Paul strides out along a grass covered footpath shouldering a large metal step ladder

Just out for a stroll… with my ladder

On arriving at the GZ Shar set up the ladder and I was soon up with my head in the branches fiddling with the cache. The mechanism itself was still working fine and our visit today was purely to replace the lid of the enclosure and secure it properly as it had become dislodged by a well-meaning person trying to retract the cache. I could have left the box uncovered but my concern was that with winter on the way and the weather likely to take a turn for the worse soon, if I didn’t protect it, then the mechanism would become wet and this might hinder the operation of the workings. I replaced the lid and used a couple of cable ties to hold it in place and after a few experimental pulls on the mechanism, was happy that this was all that needed doing for the time being.

Not wanting to have to lug the ladder all the way to the car and then return back to the woods to do some caching, but equally not wanting to carry the ladder all the way round, we elected to backtrack towards the car a short way and secure the ladder to a fence in the undergrowth whilst we went in search of tupperware for an hour or so. We used Sam’s bike lock which I had suggested we bring just in case such a situation as this should arise. With that done we set off back into the woods to find some geocaches.

Rather strangely the first two that we were looking for were our own. Since our Wall Hall series went live back in June we have had around 30 visitors to each hide. With that in mind and winter approaching we wanted to get out and check on as many as we can to make sure that log sheets get replaced and that the integrity of the containers is still good. So far we have managed to check on numbers 12, 11, 10 and 2 which we happened to be passing while we were scouting out a new route for caches that we hope to place later in the year. Today I could see a convenient route that would take us past 9 and 8 on our way to the far end of the woods where we would cache our way back locating some of the new power trail that has been place by TR64 recently. Both caches were in good order and after replacing the old log sheets for new ones we headed off to find our first proper cache of the day, Moosey’s Trail 07 – Roland Hill (GC5DM0M).

Sam excitedly whipped out his new iPhone and brought up the caches that I had saved onto it for him. Not having a micro sim yet the phone is operating effectively as an iPod at the moment but seeing as we had saved the caches when on the Wi-Fi at home this was not a problem. Out came my 4s and Shar pulled up her Samsung Galaxy Ace, soon to be replaced by an S3 mini, and off we went. Even though we have placed caches in and around these woods our trip to the first cache was on a trail that we had never walked along before. The weather was still not cold and with the rains of the previous day now gone, it was a perfect day to be caching in the woods.

Sam stands at the side of the path with a hedge behind him. He stares into teh distance holding his iPhone out in front of him

Sam with his new iPhone

At the GZ, both Sam and I were focusing a bit too much on how accurate our phones were rather than using cache sense which is what ultimately led Shar to find the cache neatly tucked behind a fence post. As she signed the log she commented that so far, 5 people had already logged it today and it was still only just gone 3pm. It appears that we were not the only people to think that this was a good day to be out doing a little caching.

The next 4 caches on the power trail, Moosey’s Trail 08 – Resting Tree (GC5DM0P), Moosey’s Trail 9 – Stake Out (GC5DM0Q), Moosey’s Trail 10 – Chip off the old block (GC5DM0T) and Moosey’s Trail 11 – After Pre (GC5DM11) were all on the same footpath that led us alongside the M1 motorway that lay just on the other side of the trees. At times the path was no more than 30 metres from the carriageway and the noise was a little overwhelming but for most of the way it was just a dull drone. The hides were all good, straight forward and relatively easily found. In between number 10 and 11 we paused to search for MI5 Reservation (GC4C3C) which is a cache we have been to before back at the beginning of the year. Back then there had been no other caches in these woods at all and this one was quite a find as it was a very old cache, having been placed back in 2002.

We were searching for it again as even though Shar and I had logged it, Sam had not, so it would be a perfect time to try for it now. When we reached the point on the path when the arrow pointed us into the trees towards the motorway, Sam set off, phone in hand into the trees. It was quite hard going under foot with lots of loose logs and undergrowth. I followed a short time later and then I heard the familiar cry and thump of Sam falling over. I made my way to him as quick as I could and discovered him sprawled on his back in amongst the dense foliage on the floor. Thankfully no harm was done and he was soon back on his feet and off in search of the cache again. A short while later and after he and Shar had taken a far easier route to the cache than I had, we all converged next to the noisy road to inspect the contents of the container. It was interesting to see a proper log book with entries dating back to 2002 when people actually took the time to write a few lines in the physical book. Unfortunately the log book is very damp and the container really needs replacing but it is good to see that it is still here. If I manage to get hold of a suitably large container at some point I might go back and give the cache some much needed tlc as I don’t think the CO is active anymore and I definitely don’t want to see this cache disappear.

Another easy find along the path and then it was time to turn left along the edge of a field which would take us past another cache on the way to where we had locked up the ladder. Moosey’s Trail 12 – Quercu Foramen (GC5DM14) was hidden at the base of an impressively large oak tree. I love a really thick trunked oak tree, they always put me to thinking of what the area would have been like when the tree was a small sapling, close to a hundred years ago at a rough guess. I can tell you that back then there was no M1 motorway and barely a main road running near there at all. The estate encompassing the woods was very much in use though, enjoying one of its periods of opulence in the hands of the gentry of England. From the field where the tree stood I reckon you could have had a clear sight all the way to the Red Lion pub that is now a Toby Carvery and hidden by the motorway – shame.

I realised later as we were in the car on the way home that this cache had been our 800th find. It had completely slipped my mind that we were getting close and it just passed us by like any other cache. Even though we hadn’t realised that, we did stop to take some pictures at the GZ.

Shar and Paul Pose on the grassy footpath beside the woods

800 in Berrygrove Woods

From here it was a short walk to where the ladder was hidden and from there we carried on back to the car stopping only briefly to collect our last cache of the day, Moosey’s Trail 13 – Aircraft Shed (GC5DM14). All in all it was a very enjoyable afternoon. Sam seemed to really enjoy having his own device to navigate to the caches with, I saw in him a level of engagement that we don’t often see when out caching. As for the 4s, well I am happy with the accuracy, being no more or less accurate than Shar’s Samsung. The battery performance is pretty shocking but I expected as much. I went through about 60% in just under 2 hours although I had forgotten to use the screen curtain function which would have improved that somewhat. Although this battery performance isn’t great it is manageable seeing as I carry my power pack charger whenever we are out caching these days.

On returning home and checking my emails I can tell you that at least 10 other geocachers were out in the woods during the course of the day as I received a shed load of logs on various caches in our series and even a few more favourite points on the cache we went to maintain, which now has 28 in total. At the end of the day, I think we well and truly killed a whole flock of birds with the proverbial stone. Happy days.

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Big in Japan

My latest interrogation takes us back to the other side of the world again to meet a blogger who might be unique in that he composes all his blog entries solely on his iPhone.

Cam has lived in Japan for over 25 years now and has been caching since 2009. He has cache not only in Japan but Canada and Italy where he says some of his most memorable caches are. “Tales From The Big Rice Bowl” details not only his interesting adventures finding caches but also his contributions as a cache owner. His blog is the first and only place that I have seen the word “geogasm” used. So click on through to see how Cam tackled Washknight’s Interrogation. You might need ROT13 :)

To quickly find all the posts listing the other bloggers that have taken my challenge use this tag search – Articles tagged with Washknight Interrogates.

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The Wizzard, The Baker and The Podcaster

Sounds like the weirdest bible story ever! and so it came to pass that three presented themselves before Washknight to suffer his mighty interrogations… or something like that. lol

Steve has the interesting caching name of WizzardPrang and loves tech, off roading and, of course, caching which he does in and around Hertfordshire where he lives. His site is the second ever geocaching blog that I found and I have been following it for over a year now, tuning back in to enjoy his wry sense of humour and follow his ongoing quest to one day finish the Chiltern 100. I have had the pleasure of meeting him in person a couple of times and I can say he is a bloody nice guy, so go check out how he stood up to interrogation at The Washknight Tapes.

Elanor started caching at the beginning of 2014 and has recently achieved her 100 cache find milestone. Her blog contains a cache by cache account of her adventures as she picks up the smileys, often accompanied by her caching buddy Terri. If the lure of interesting geocaching blog entries isn’t enough to get you to click through then you will also find some very yummy cake recipes on her blog too :) Go on, you know you want to, go read her Interrogation on her blog Sun and Cake.

Colin who caches as Cornell Finch signed up on geocaching.com in 2005 but it then took until 2009 before he actually found his first cache. Probably best known as being one of the hosts of the UK Geocaching Podcast and more recently the Chasing Smilies podcast, He lives in Hampshire in the UK and has an has a nasty habit of being inappropriately dressed whilst out caching. Be sure to check out how he tackled the challenge of Washknight’s Interrogation.

To quickly find all the posts listing the other bloggers that have taken my challenge use this tag search – Articles tagged with Washknight Interrogates.

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