Last weekend, we had decided to do a little geocaching… there’s a surprise. 😉 On Saturday morning it snowed and so that idea went out the window. I think that snow remains the only weather condition that we have still not cached during; that and a sandstorm. I know that readers in Canada and many other places around the world don’t consider the white stuff to be a reason not to grab the GPSR and head out but, here in England, Snow is for sitting inside and looking out the window at; possibly popping out for half an hour later to have a snowball fight – “Do you wanna build a snowman?”
By Sunday the light dusting of snow that we had been subjected to the day before had completely disappeared and in its place were clear and bright skies, and so we packed up and headed back to Aldenham once more. The purpose of our visit was, like a pamphlet, three-fold. We were going to finish off the moose once and for all; the moose in question being the Moosey’s Trail powertrail that we had previously taken chunks out of – see Climbing a ladder and slipping past 800 and Back on the trail of a Moosey. Secondly we were going to perform maintenance on a couple of our Wall Hall caches. And lastly we planned to scout out a location for a new cache.
After parking near the village green opposite the pretty church of St. John the Baptist, we headed down church lane towards our first cache, Moosey’s Trail 14 – Suspense (GC5DM19). Sam made a quick find here and then we walked along the crescent and picked up a footpath that would take us past 4 of the 5 caches we had left. The walk was lovely, if a bit muddy underfoot but at least it wasn’t snowing.
After we had found all four, Moosey Trail 16 – River Kwai (GC5DM1D), Moosey Trail 17 – Basi Quercu (GC5DM1F), Moosey Trail 18 – Take a pew (GC5DM1H) and Moosey Trail 19 – Enter the Arbour (GC5DM1), we carried on along the bridle path to where one of our own caches, Wall Hall 07 – Otterspool, was place. It has only been just over 6 months since we put our Wall Hall series out but I could barely remember where exactly I had place this one. Well that isn’t exactly true, I could remember where I had put it, but it wasn’t there. I knew the cache was somewhere around because people were finding it on a regular basis; the last being the day before. It took Sam and Shar about 10 minutes until they finally found it about 5 metres away from where we had put it. To be fair though, our original hiding spot was a bit exposed now that winter had set in and in all honesty the new hiding place was a bit better so after performing a bit of maintenance we put it back there and I made a note to update the hint a little.
From here we walked through the pretty hamlet of Wall Hall and then to two more of our caches to do some maintenance. The first one,Wall Hall 04 – On The Drive, again had migrated a couple of metres but to a worse position than where we placed it so we put it back where it should be. The second one, Wall Hall 03 – End of The Line, was a container on the end of a piece of fishing line that hung down inside a sign post. Unfortunately a cacher had reported that it had broken while they were retrieving it and the cache had presumably fallen to the bottom of the pole. I had fashioned a cunning tool consisting of a magnet fixed to a string in order to try and reclaim the missing cache. The pole being metal I had mounted the magnet on an old cane tip that I had that consisted of a disc about 2 inches in diameter. By sticking the magnet in the middle of the disc I could lower it down inside the pole without the magnet sticking to the sides of the post as it went down. Clever huh?
Well, I dropped the home made device down inside the pole, jiggled it about and pulled it back up; nothing. I tried again and jiggled it a bit more. It got stuck on something; not the magnet, the whole thing got jammed inside the pole on something and after pulling the string for a few minutes, it snapped and now there was a geocache and a homemade device with a magnet stuck on it inside the pole. Bugger!
Being a realist, I had come prepared with a new cache on a bit of fishing line. I had hoped to get the old one out but had to admit defeat and put the new one in place. I just want to be there when they decide for whatever reason to cut that pole down one day and retrieve a load of detritus from inside it. 🙂
On our way back to the car we found Moosey’s Trail 15 – I blame the squirrels (GC5DM1A) the last cache in the Moosey Trail series; all 29 now logged. Woo Hoo!
After sandwiches and hot chocolate, we headed back out into the cold once more to search for a good hiding place for a new cache. Sam has decided he wants to be sole cache owner on a hide and seeing as the pretty church of Aldenham did not currently have a Church Micro cache, we agreed that this would be an excellent place. We walked through the churchyard and found a great spot just beyond the church grounds. It is not advisable to place the actual hides for Church Micros on church property, but instead as close as possible. A lot of the 7000 church micro caches in existence are multi caches that use information on the church or gravestones to calculate the position of the final hide. Sam decided however that he wanted to make a puzzle cache as the basis for the hide. He has already got an idea for the puzzle and now that we have placed the actual cache he can go ahead and request a number from the person who coordinates the church micro series and start work on his description and puzzle. I have said that if he wants to be sole cache owner then he needs to do all the work himself. Obviously we are happy to help but he has to be the one that drives it forward. We shall see how long it takes to get done 😉
This Geocaching adventure too place on Sunday 18th January 2015 and took our total cache count to 914