We head back to Chesham to vanquish a DNF and take another bite out of the Chiltern Hundred.
Even though we had been caching on Saturday, seeMiniKnight’s 400th Milestone and our first whereigo, we set out for the hills on Sunday to find a few more caches in the Chiltern Hundred series. It is extremely unusual for us to cache on both days of a weekend but Saturday’s outing had been a special trip as Sam had wanted to do a whereigo for his 400th milestone. Sunday’s adventure was our 2nd visit to Chesham. You can use the following link to see all our Chiltern Hundred instalments.
The Chesham ring of the Chiltern Hundred consists of 49 caches and our last outing saw us tick off numbers 1 – 11 and 44-49, with the exception of number 3 which we had been unable to find. This time I had planned another loop that would take us away from the car picking up some caches that aren’t part of the series and then returning via number 17 thru 12. Why do them backwards, I (don’t) hear you ask. Well, I knew the Chiltern hundred caches would be accompanied by a certain amount of mud but some of the others ones were semi urban, so I thought do those first, which would mean we wouldn’t have to walk around residential streets covered in mud. I’m not just a pretty face you know.
But before we started with those caches we had a previous DNF to deal with. CH003Chesham heights (GC1ECHG) had eluded us last time, but when we had returned home I contacted one of the previous finders and he set us right as to where we had gone wrong. Luckily the cache was not too far from a small housing estate and we parked up and set off. Once we got to GZ, we made the find quickly, the small tub was perched safely in a tree, and we launched back into our maintenance routine. At least we would have if Sam hadn’t left the bonus number cards back in the car. Shar went back to get them and he attempted to sulk. I was having none of that though, and I set him to work signing the new log and getting things ready for the arrival of the cards. We were done and back at the car within 10 minutes of having left it. I expect if anyone had taken notice it would have seemed a bit strange. We had arrived, spent 5 minutes putting on boots and gaiters, walked off towards the footpath and then returned in just a few minutes.
We then drove to the Hen and Chickens Inn and parked up, having a spot of lunch before heading off for the main event of the day. The hen and Chickens seems a strange name. Chicken is a species of bird and Hen is the female of that species. It would be like calling a pub, “The Woman and People”. Anyway, even though it was Sunday lunchtime, the 16th century pub didn’t look very busy. This didn’t bother us, we were only making use of their facilities to park our car and eat our sandwiches as we enjoyed the unusually warm winter sun.
Our first two caches, Stumped at Botley Road (GC312CJ) and Botley Road Gate (GC30MXE) were quick finds, both being spotted by Sam almost instantly. The route to them was along Botley Road which was a bit busy. Thankfully we left the road on our way to the next cache, Alley Cache (GC3EQHG), walking via a footpath to some football fields before joining up with some smaller roads. Again it was Sam that plucked the tiny nano from its hiding place on the back of a sign at the entrance to an Alley, he was certainly on good form.
A short walk along another busy road and then we branched off onto a footpath that took us to a much quieter suburban residential road. I suspect that Conker It (GC3AGRV) may be actually placed outside the house of the cache owner. Its placement was very clever being in the top of a stone pillar and the contents of the cache were in perfect condition. I imagine that having a cache outside your house allows you to maintain it easily and often. It was a lovely hide and I felt comfortable dropping off a TB that I had been holding on to for too long.
Another short stint of road walking took us to a footpath that ran down the side of a school, which thankfully was quiet, it being a Sunday. When I was planning this one I couldn’t quite work out how we would get toPlimsaul’s Haul (GC50d33), there being no marked path, but once we got close it became clear that there was a well walked route along the side of a crop field. At the corner of a field we found the cache in a fabulously sturdy camo bag nestling in a tree. The cache was in great condition and contained a stack of geocaching report cards for finders to take, marking their performance. I suspect that the cache was placed by someone who worked at the school. We pulled out a TB that started its life in Canada and wanted to visit night caches. I was a little puzzled as the cache hadn’t been found since November and yet the TB wasn’t actually logged into it, but instead reported itself to be in the hands of a cacher. I resolved to grab it from them.
It was so peaceful as we stood at GZ, the warm sun and lack of wind making it a very pleasant place to be. If it wasn’t for the mud, it could have been early summer. Our next planned cache was beyond the field, but it appeared that the best way to get to it was to walk around the edge of it rather than hack straight across. This allowed us to pick up another cache that initially I hadn’t thought we would have been walking near but our route now took us directly past it. I was the only one with it loaded on to my phone and I counted down the distance to the other two and as we approached GZ, Sam yet again spotted a likely hiding place. Post a Field note 3 (GC317Z8) was a captain jack cache and we are fairly familiar with the types of hides he tends to use.
From here we carried on round the field along the edge of a wood. Just beyond the GZ of Lycrome Wood (GC2vZPY) we found a place to cut into the trees and soon made our way back to the cache and this time Sam had it in hand whilst we were still around 20 metres away. After a brief stop for water and a snack we were on the move again following the edge of the wood to where it met the footpath that the Chiltern Hundred caches were placed on. We were now at the furthers point from the car that we would be and the route back was along one long footpath that had six caches for us to find on the way. The first one, CH017 – Lyegreen farm (GC1ECQ9), was actually my only find of the day. I had to stoop down and almost crawl on my hands and knees into the bush to make the find of a plastic screw top container that was behind a large tree. We did our maintenance routine, disturbed only briefly by a muggle that wanted to squeeze past us on the narrow footpath.
CH016 – Hilltop view (GC1ECQ6) was placed inside a small cluster of bushes and trees and I wonder if the name was ironic as you couldn’t actually see anything of the view from in there. Sam made the find yet again although it was only a 35mm pot and we wondered whether the original container might be still around. drsolly used no 35mm pots when he originally placed all 109 caches but over the years one or two have been thrown down to replace containers that have disappeared. A search didn’t turn up the original so we assume that it had long gone.
Our walk back to the car was a lovely stroll on a gently downward hill with not too much mud. It was glorious to be up in the Chiltern hills in the peace and quiet and more than once it made me think of how noisy it is where we live just outside the town centre of Watford.
CH015 – Brockhurst farm (GC1ECQ3) was hidden at a point when the footpath crossed a road. We had already moved to the other side before we realised it was on the side we had just left. As we went to cross back we noticed a muggle family hanging around by GZ. We waited a little awkwardly on our side until they finally moved on before crossing back for Shar to make the find. CH014 – passing Codmore (GC1ECPV) was found in super quick time by Sam, AGAIN.
When we arrived at the GZ of CH013 – Codmore view (GC1ECPK) there were some horsey muggles flaffing around. We waited to one side pretending to look at the view or our phones while they mounted up and proceeded, finally, to trot off. Shar found the cache, in fact she found 2. Sitting side by side was the original container and a another that had obviously been placed at some later date.
The last cache of the day, CH012 – Lee farm (GC1ECP9) was found, again by Sam, on the ground. It should have been hanging according to the hint, but it was neither hanging or a container that could be hung. We performed our Chiltern hundred maintenance dance and then tried to decide what to do with it. Not having any way of hanging the cache to the evergreen hedgerow, we elected to find a snug spot and wedge it in amongst the branches so at least it matched the elevation that the hint suggested. Due to my superb planning we now found ourselves just 80 metres from the car and as we walked the short distance we congratulated ourselves at how enjoyable and productive the afternoon had been. Removing boots and perching in the boot of the car for a welcome drink of hot chocolate, the sun bathed us in its weak rays and I could have quite happily sat there until it disappeared below the horizon. Happy Days.
This geocaching adventure took place on Sunday 8th February 2015 and took our cache count up to 962.