It is always intriguing when something a little different falls into your lap, that is of course assuming that that the something different isn’t an annoyed cat with claws at full extension! Thankfully it was not a perturbed pussy having a hissy fit that found its way into my metaphorical lap recently, but a travel bug, more specifically, Interception Bug 2.
In conjunction with its counterparts, Interception Bug 1 and Interception Bug 3, it is possible to determine a shiny set of coordinates where the mystery cache, Interception (GCGY6N), can be found. The TBs are just pieces of card that have been laminated, but it is what is written on them that is of interest. Each one contains 3 unique values that, when combined with those on the other two cards and inserted into a formula, will reveal the location of the geocache container. In order to find the cache you need to physically find all three of the travel bugs. This is easier than it sounds as, in theory, they could be anywhere in the country. The rules state that the travel bugs must remain within the UK, but otherwise that they are free to be moved around like any other trackable item.
I knew none of this until we drove to Ely to meet my mother (Lavender Bill) who was “handing back” Sam who had been spending a week up in Norfolk with her and Granddad Peter. Whilst out caching local to where they live, they had happened upon this TB and grabbed it. That is how it came to be in my possession, but it wasn’t until I got home and plugged in the old internet thingy that the full story became clear.
My first eyebrow raising moment came when I found out who had dropped the TB in Norfolk. It happened to be none other than Bones1, who is a local cacher to us and one who I have had cause to mention on more than one occasion in this blog, most notably as being the first geocacher we ever met in the flesh after only having been caching for about a week or so. Bones1 had been visiting Norfolk to attend an annual event, Bucket and spade time Again!! (GC57A6V), held on the beach in Old Hunstanton. He wasn’t aware that my mother lives not far from there and he didn’t, therefore, realise that he had dropped the TB in the cache closest to her home. So a cacher who lives just a few miles from us in Watford, travelled approximately 90 miles to attend an event and dropped a TB into a cache less than a mile from where my mum resides, who then retrieves it and brings it to us, resulting in the TB ending up back in Watford just a short distance from where it started off less than 2 weeks ago.
So having discovered the purpose of the TB my attention turned to where the others were. I feared that they could be anywhere in the country and was prepared to resign myself to not finding them. On the contrary, it turned out that Interception Bug 1 was currently languishing in Portland (GC51PB8), not too far away, on the other side of Hemel Hempstead. On a hunch I contacted our friends Smokeypugs who knew of the cache and said that it was pretty much on his route to work and offered to go retrieve it the next day. True to his word he did and a few days later we were able to meet so that we could “discover” each other’s TBs. So now we both had the information from Interception Bugs 1 and 2… that just left number 3.
Interception Bug 3 turned out to be in the hands of connie159, who I had communicated with once before when we did their Stubbings Wood series of caches in Tring (Stubbings Wood – Do bogeys smell of fish?). I could see my chance here to get my hands on the missing TB but before I could contact them, they dropped it off. The geocache that they had left the TB in was in St. Albans which is only a short drive away, so I let Smokeypugs know and also made plans for us to travel over there to retrieve the TB in the next day or so. Before we could get there though it moved again and I groaned as I realised that it could end up going anywhere.
Luckily though the person who collected it, JDOT67, had investigated its recent history and also that of the other 2 bugs and knew that I was wanting to get my hands on it. My eyebrows shifted even higher and were in danger of leaving my head altogether as fantastically, he is also a member of our local Facebook group – Beds, Bucks and Herts Geocachers. I was delighted to see a message pop onto the group stating that he had retrieved the bug, knew that I was looking for it and would be dropping it into a Watford cache over the next day or so. Sure enough yesterday I got a watch notification to say that the TB had been placed in Garage for birds and frogs (GC4MCF9), which was a cache I knew well, in fact it had been our 200th (see 200th Geocache), almost exactly a year ago, and so we were able to grab it later that day.
Amazingly we have managed to locate all three of the TBs and now are in possession of the necessary information to go find the container. I have worked out the coordinates and the cache is somewhere in the vicinity of Tring which is about a half hour drive away and so I am currently in search of a good reason to head out that way to be able to snap up this interesting geocache and complete another caching adventure… I will keep you posted.
So dear reader, have you had any similar, interesting Mystery cache experiences that require travel bugs in order to locate the container?