Keen to take a break from school uniform and supplies shopping – Sam is off to secondary school in September – I suggested a spot of geocaching. Something local and not too many was the response I got and so I set to work to find something suitable. What I found was a clump of 7 caches in Oxhey woods, just a stone’s throw away. To be fair you would have to have a throwing arm like Fatima Whitbread and even then the stone might need to be picked up and carried in a car for another couple of kilometres but you get the idea.
This wasn’t our first visit to the woods, we had done some caching there back in the old days of 2013, when we were still total newbs – see 18 days on Oxhey, Whippendell and Ely. Two years later those caches have been archived and been replaced by some new ones. It is always a pleasure to walk through Oxhey woods where the paths are relatively easy going and as a bonus there are sculptures dotted around for you to discover as you go.
We soon discovered that one of the caches I had identified was actually outside the woods and so we elected to leave that one for another time. Aside from one DNF we managed to find the 4 other caches in the woods with relative ease. There were a couple of creative hides amongst them including this “handy” one.
I totally couldn’t resist hamming up my log which was as follows.
After a lovely walk through the woods there was just one more cache a short distance away. It was by the same CO as all the others and although the route to it took us out of the woods it was still a nice walk through some meadows to get to GZ. Once there we were faced with a massively overgrown clump of trees and I spent a number of painful minutes trying to fight my way in to where the cache seemed to be, only to be rewarded with a discarded wheel from a child’s ride on car. Back out on the path Shar and Sam were exploring other possible hides and Sharlene found a cat for her troubles. The appearance of the cat was soon followed by the barking of a dog and then a few minutes later by the CO, TeamTeegan, and her husband whose house backs onto the meadow where the cache is placed. They were alerted to our presence when Teagan, the dog who the cache is named after, started barking which apparently is a very rare thing. We have met the CO a couple of times at local events and so when she looked to see what was causing the dog to bark she recognised us lurking furtively at GZ. We still hadn’t made it through to the cache but help was at hand as Mr TeamTeegan popped back into their garden, returning a few minutes later with a rake. Said rake was then employed to open up the route to the cache somewhat and soon Shar was signing the log. We stayed and chatted a little longer, before bidding farewell and heading back towards the woods for the trek to the car.
Despite a bit of pre-teen moaning at one point, I think we all really enjoyed our walk in the woods and meeting the CO was an added bonus. Finding 5 caches takes us up to 1199 which would allow us to neatly log the UK Mega that we are planning to attend on Saturday as find number 1200. I was disheartened to discover that this number is not an official milestone, indeed once you pass 1000 the next one isn’t until 2000! Eeek! Regardless, the walk and caching was fun and served as a welcome distraction from “big school” preparations. Happy Days!
This geocaching adventure took place on Tuesday 28th July and took our total cache count up to 1199.