Blimey O’riely, its two weeks into 2016 and I haven’t even written my review of 2015, let alone geocaching goals for this year. Better get on with it then, huh?
Some numbers first. We found a total of 504 caches last year, a surprisingly similar number to the year before which was 479. Those figures are nice but not sure what they mean to me if anything. I mean I am glad that we found quite a few caches but only because this meant we were out having a lot of adventures. I don’t really want / need the number to be higher or lower, it just is what it is. If I was that anal about numbers I would have held back to finish the year on exactly 500… and I didn’t. *twitch*
We past a pretty big milestone this year finding our 1000th geocache and yet again I was reminded how difficult it is sometimes to plan your milestones and make them work. As it was it turned out to be an event which was really nice as it reminds me of all the friends we have made along the way (See πevents³ = 1000). Like a drug dealer getting you hooked, Groundspeak throw milestones at you thick and fast when your numbers are low but when you hit 4 digits, man do they ever leave you twisting in the wind. You have to work bloody hard for your next milestone, which is at 2000!
We cached further from home than we have before this year. Although we only added just a couple of miles with our New Year’s Eve find in Sheringham, Norfolk which is 112 miles from home (See Steam and Supple Wine – New Year in Norfolk). It’s not exactly far is it? That is now our furthest cache East too.
Numbers, snumbers, what about the adventures. Well we set out the year with a couple of goals and I think we did pretty well in achieving them. We started, found, maintained and completed the Chiltern hundred series which gave us many laughs, sore muscles, muddy clothes and the odd tear or two during the 5 months it took. I feel really proud of our achievement, we cut no corners on this series and I now get pleasure at reading logs from those thanking us for our maintenance work keeping this historic series alive. The cache owner was very grateful too. (Check out our Chiltern Hundred Adventures)
Another goal was to complete the epic cache that is Your Mission and we finally managed it in October. And when it was finally finished, I was sad that there was no more of the adventure to complete. When you save the world from an anti-matter bomb, life afterwards seems like a bit of an anti-climax. This must be how James Bond feels! Seriously, I cannot recommend this cache highly enough, as long as you have the patience and dogged determination to rise to the challenge. (See our efforts to save the world by undertaking Your Mission)
There were a good smattering of PugWash adventures with our friends Geoff and Melissa in 2015. These days out are always entertaining and provide me with excellent memories, not to mention stories for my blog. I really hope there will be more madcap voyages on the good ship PugWash this year. (See our PugWash Adventures)
One thing that 2015 did bring home to me was that it is getting harder to find a series of caches close to home. There are still loads and loads of caches to find but we have definitely thinned out the nearby trails over the last couple of years. I am having to string together caches to make our own trails more and more often which is not a problem but I do miss the simplicity of finding a ready-made series and just loading up and heading out. A couple of new ones have popped up which is awesome and I hope there will be more this year, although density in Watford and the surrounding areas is starting to become a bit of a problem.
As for this blog thing. Well, I think it has gone OK this year, what do you think? I’ve been quite consistent with putting up articles and rarely feel like I am neglecting my (small) readership… I know you are out there, I can hear you rolling your eyes. I am really pleased with the Geocaching Blogs list that I have continued to maintain this year, I hope it helps people find interesting and funny caching blogs. It is hard being a lonely blogger out there in the big wide inter web net thing and if my list helps people find their way to other people’s blogs then that is all good. I do feel that there are loads of great caching blogs out there, people just don’t know about them. That is why I started my “Showcasing the GeoBlogosphere” feature this year as a way to…. well, Showcase the Geocaching Blogs out there. I have gotten some thank you from the bloggers that I have featured, so I am happy to continue it in 2016. I am hoping to do some more interrogations this year too as it is always fun to get to know the other bloggers and how geocaching impacts their lives.
Geocaching continues to be one of my favourite pastimes and during 2015 have enjoyed it in all its many forms. From the GeoDates that Shar and I have on our own to our family days when Sam comes along and brings his unique pre-teen madness with him, to the social group caching days with friends. Happy days indeed!