It has only been just over a week since we last found a geocache, but for some reason it seems like a lot longer. If everything had gone according to plan then last Sunday we would have gone out with our friends Geoff and Melissa to start some of the Aylesbury Ring. Then, probably, during the week Sharlene and I would have planned a caching day out for just the two of us. But as Robert Burns wisely wrote, “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men, Gang aft agley!” Unfortunately all our plans went out the window last Friday evening when Sharlene took a fall on the stairs. Thankfully there was no lasting damage done, but she was left with some considerable back pain and a very bruised bottom. Consequently there has been no caching for us this week and as a result we are both now feeling rather cache deprived. She is well on the mend now and hopefully next weekend we will be able to get back out and find some geocaches.
That is not to say that our world of geocaching has stood entirely still over the last 7 days. On Tuesday, Sharlene was starting to feel a bit better and whilst was in no fit state to be bending down and searching for caches, she was happy to go out walking. It was a perfect opportunity to test out a new walk that extends from our Wall Hall series of caches to assess the potential for placing new hides sometime in the future. We ended up walking a route that was about 8km long around some very nice countryside and spotted lots of likely looking hiding places. Hopefully over the next few weeks and months I can get around to making some more definitive plans for the caches. I am trying to decide if there will be a theme to these ones or maybe even a bonus cache.
In other news, I was chuffed to bits to discover that I have finally attained my Sapphire gem stone Author award on project-gc.com. This website is not directly connected to geocaching.com but has been developed by a third party to entertain those geocachers that are statistic obsessed. It allows you to analyse your finds and hides in all sorts of ways and compare yourself to the rest of your area or country etc. People use it to help them track their progress for achieving various challenges such as finding a cache on every unique date of the year or finding at least one of every Difficulty and Terrain rating. There is another site called badgegem which breaks down all your geocaching activities into areas and awards you points and badges/gem stones as you progress. It is all virtual and there are no prizes or real world awards but it is fun and is great at allowing you to make yourself specific challenges to keep the interest going.
The Author award is all about how long your logs are. Some people really don’t see log writing as an exciting or fun part of the hobby and tend to write very short and meaningless entries. I on the other hand think it is an integral part of the game and one that I enjoy greatly. I suspect that this is because it plays to my passion of writing and seeing as I am not so good at certain aspects of geocaching, being blind, this is one area that I have no excuse about not being able to do well at. The Sapphire gem stone is the third highest level with only emerald and Diamond above it and indicates that my average log length is over 80 words now. I hope to be reporting my Emerald status and then Diamond before too long as it is my current personal mission to ‘make it so’.