Due to moving home recently we have not been able to do any geocaching for a while. I have been suffering severe withdrawal symptoms, I think my right eye developed an involuntary twitch and I have been muttering a lot more than normal. Finally this Sunday we managed to get back out amongst the nettles and stingers and continue our quest for Tupperware. We decided that this long overdue return warranted a real special caching adventure so we chose to start “Your Mission”.
Your Mission is a multistage puzzle cache spread over lots of locations and employing a number of skills and techniques to complete it. The adventure is all centred around a narrative involving Mad Igor the inventor of an Anti-matter bombe and the secret agent “Wolverine” whose task it was to locate and diffuse this bomb. Unfortunately Wolverine went missing but has managed to leave a number of clues for us to follow to locate the bomb and hopefully diffuse it. We are not the only people looking for the bomb though… all the time we have to be mindful of the muggleovians as they are on the trail too and will stop at nothing to thwart our attempts to find it. The cache description is brilliant and really draws you into the adventure right from the start. It warns that this is not an easy cache and many people do not manage to finish it. Those that do often take many visits and sometimes weeks or even months to complete. It has a D/T rating of 5/4 and has been awarded a favourite point by over half the people who have found it.
Keen to do our bit to save the planet we signed up to be Special Intelligence Service ((SIS) agents and embarked on our mission…
Phase 1 took us by means of provided coordinates to a car park in Hitch Wood not far from Codicott in Hertfordshire. It was from here that we had to follow the instructions in the cache description which comprised a transcript of a radio message received from Wolverine. The message was a bit garbled in places though and only fragments remained. We had to start by following the white arrows from the car park and so like keen, enthusiastic agents on an important mission, as soon as we arrived we broke out the sandwiches and ginger cake.
After lunch we made our way into the woods to follow the arrows. The next part of the message said to fork left but I think we forked too soon and soon felt we were off track and just wandering around a forest. It would seem that the muggleovians might have thwarted us at the first turn. Not perturbed we retraced our steps and carried on following the arrows, ignoring one or two more forks feeling that we would know the right turn when we came upon it. Sure enough a little further on we found a fork in the path and the white arrows pointed not only straight ahead but left too which set this apart from the previous forks.
After the fork, according to the message, we needed to find “Joan’s memorial” and we agreed that we were probably looking for a bench with a commemorative plaque on it. We trudged on through the woods and low and behold shortly we stumbled upon exactly what we had suspected we would find. Once at the bench we had to take a magnetic compass reading of 118 degrees and walk for 80 feet in that direction where we would hopefully find our next clue. I used the iPhone compass, ensuring it was set to magnetic and not true north, to find our bearing and we headed off the path and into the trees counting our paces. The message eluded to an old dead something and we reckoned we were looking for a dead tree. Our instincts were right and presently Sharlene found, not only the dead tree but a container that held our next clue. While Sam and I kept a watchful eye out for Muggleovian agents, Shar extracted the paper and read out the directions
Wolverine’s next clue had us heading for an old Oak tree not too far away and coordinates were included. We dialled in the cords and headed off, Sam taking up the point position with me at the rear so that we could protect General Mummy all the time. Our direct route took us a few hundred metres through a restricted area and we had to be extra careful as we crossed through here. Once at the coordinates it wasn’t long before we located another container and inside this time was a diary page that Wolverine had left for us. We ripped out one of the duplicate pages as directed and proceeded to try and find out what it would have us do next.
Upon reading it we figured out that we had to go to another location, but this one was not within walking distance. When we put the numbers into the phones, we discovered that our next target was over 12km away. Keen to get out of this muggleovian infested area, we high tailed it back to our car, pausing only briefly to find a traditional cache that we noticed right near the car park.
We were caught up in the excitement of the mission and all agreed that we wanted to carry on and try and find the next clue. We set the car sat nav for the next location which was in some woods near Luton and set off, taking care that we weren’t being tailed. A short drive later and we were out of the car again and heading off down a footpath back into woodland in search of the next location. We hadn’t been walking long when we heard the engines of dirt bikes and we figured that the locals were doing a bit of illegal biking around the woods. We pushed on and chose to think of them as Muggleovian Agents trying to track us down.
Getting to the provided coordinates took a bit of work, tracking around a field and through the woods looking for paths that would give us a route to where we needed to be. Finally, after about 45 minutes and a few close encounters with the dirt biking agents we arrived at the correct location. Our next clue wasn’t here though… nothing as simple as that. The diary page described how Wolverine had travelled from a different place to this location where we stood now and so we had to try and reverse his description so that we could backtrack to his previous location where we would hopefully find the next clue. Following lots of discussion and scratching of heads I suggested a way to go and we trudged off. None of us were really sure we were going in the right direction and by this point I wasn’t even sure where we were anymore. Yet again I had forgotten to mark the location of the car with the iPhone and so I was a little concerned that we would be able to find our way back.
After stumbling through the woods for a bit we broke out onto the edge of a field and whilst this didn’t look quite right we quickly figured out where we should be and headed there. Once there we had to look for a beech tree and a large clump of Ash trees and this is where we would find our next instructions. We don’t really know a beech tree from a hole in the wall and the same can be said about Ash trees too. We really must buy an idiot’s guide to trees!! We searched for the best part of half an hour but were unable to locate our next clue and after being buzzed by the dirt bikes a couple of times again, we decided it was time to give up and head for home. A bit of umming and ahhing and pointing and squinting by all of us and we worked out how to get back to the car so off we trudged, slightly deflated at not having retrieved the clue.
Despite not getting the next set of instructions we all agreed it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and feel totally engrossed in the narrative of the cache. We can’t wait to head back out into the field and continue on with the next part of our mission and hopefully… save the planet.
Special Agent Washknight signing off…for now.