Today we headed into the heart of Captain Jack country for a family caching day. Who or what is Captain Jack? I hear you ask. Well I didn’t hear you ask but I assume you were thinking it. CaptainJack is a geocacher who seems far more interested in hiding caches than finding them. He, or she for that matter as I can’t be sure, never having met them, has hidden over 500 geocaches and the vast majority of them seem to be in nearby Buckinghamshire. The caches aren’t labelled or numbered as being part of specific sets as such but with a little planning it is quite easy to string them together into circular walks, which is exactly what I had done for our adventure today.
Actually to be more precise I had created a figure of eight walk that was just under 4.5km in length and took in 15 geocaches on the way. I had designed the route so that there were options to do either a shorter, medium or full version of the figure of eight depending on how we felt on the day. On the map below we started at the far right hand side in the middle and walked west towards the middle crossroads, then turning south we completed the bottom loop arriving back at the crossroads again and then finally turning north to complete the remainder of the figure of eight taking us back to the car.
The caches were all relatively easy to find, most being hidden in or around trees. Sam and Sharlene were on particular form today scooping up nearly all of the finds between them, leaving me to find only 1, the first one, on my own. The walk was mainly level with a couple of slopes and only one rather steep hill as we headed back to the crossroads after completing the bottom loop. There was mud though. Rather a lot of it in places and there was a lot of squelching and slipping around at times but we managed to complete the whole walk with dry feet although our boots and trousers were extremely muddy. My gaiters worked very well again keeping my lower legs dry and free of mud mainly.
Highlights of the day included Sam releasing one of his new TravelBugs that he got from Nanni for Christmas. He attached it to one of his toy cars and we placed it in a regular sized cache that we found on the trail. You can visit the page on geocaching.com for his Supercar MK I Trackable here>/A>. I also managed to drop off the last remaining BBH Cake race TB that I was holding on to and hopefully that will be picked up and moved on shortly.
Sam took great pleasure, as any 9 year old boy would at the names of some of the paths and lanes around the area in particular “Bottom Lane”. You wouldn’t get me sniggering at childish stuff like that… honest, you wouldn’t…. well not much anyway.
Only a couple of mishaps on the walk. I managed to attach a spindly thorn branch to my face at one point and it just wouldn’t come out. It has left me a nice scratch on my cheek but no real harm done. Sam hell flat on his face in the mud at one point after tripping over my cane as he was walking along staring at the Lego toy he had just swapped out of a cache and not looking where he was walking. Just a bruised ego on that one I think and a short sulk afterwards after being told off by mum.
The weather held for most of the day, it was overcast and cold but the rain didn’t come until the last half an hour and it was that fine rain, that soaks you through so we barely noticed it until we had almost finished and realised how wet our coats were. The walk on the whole was thoroughly enjoyable and the route easy to follow with straight forward clearly marked footpaths in all places. The caches were not too challenging, maybe a little too easy in most cases as I hardly got a chance to search before Shar or Sam had found it. They were all close together, around 200 to 300 metres except for one which was just under 600 metres but that didn’t seem that far at all as it was very much the exception on the day rather than the rule.
By far and away the muddiest part of the walk was the final tromp back to the car after the last cache where the path ran along the edge of a ploughed field and the mud was extremely copious and somehow both slippery and sticky at the same time. As the last of the daylight started to slip away, our limbs started to ache and the rain continued to fall but nothing could diminish the warm glow of satisfaction that we all felt inside of a great days caching with 15 finds and no DNFs. Happy days.