May Day Bank holiday weekend and the weather was set to be stonking hot! The desire to geocache was there but this was coupled with not wanting to expire in the heat. So we decided to stay local and tackle a couple of multis in nearby Bushey, getting out relatively early and thus avoiding the hotter parts of the day.
I was looking forward to getting out for some cache time with Sam and Shar and I therefore felt it was unnecessary of the cat to vomit in one of my slippers just prior to leaving.
I didn’t need any extra motivation to leave the house for a bit, but I certainly got it. Perhaps we could swing by the pet store while we were out and see if they would be interested in part exchanging the cat for something a little more friendly, like a big snake or a spider.
First up was a village sign cache placed by our good friends Smokeypugs, VS#235 Bushey (GC5MK6H). I love the village sign series, you always get to learn something interesting about the location and by their very nature, they are usually situated in pleasant surroundings. We spent a short time looking at the sign and reading the description before then collecting all the information we needed to calculate the final coordinates. It was a relatively straight forward process but it did require some team work and quite a bit of concentration to keep track of all the numbers and how to substitute them into the formula, but we had the job done and dusted in less than 10 minutes and we didn’t even have an argument while doing it.
We trotted off, metaphorically of course as there was no reason to rush and doing so in the rapidly increasing heat would have just been silly, and soon found ourselves at GZ on a leafy residential street a short distance away. The location of the hide was clear and we were certain we had the right spot, but alas there was no container to be found. A brief conversation with Smokeypugs via messenger and our suspicions were confirmed that it looked like this one had gone walkies. We searched a bit longer in case it had got lost in the leaf litter on the ground but by this point we were attracting a bit of attention from a local busy body resident who came out and just stood by her gate staring at us.
Sharlene wasn’t going to be phased by this though and after making eye contact with the woman called over a cheery “Hi” which no doubt disarmed her a bit to start with. She called back “hi” and asked if we were ok in a suspicious tone of voice, to which Sharlene just replied “yes thanks.”. There is little place to go from here. The woman obviously wanted to know more, but she wasn’t getting it from us and so had to retreat back to her house.
It was however time to leave, the cache wasn’t anywhere to be found and so it would be a reluctant DNF log on this one. I did check my bag and discovered I had a spare cache container but the Smokeypugs had used a magnetic fixing for the hide and I didn’t have any magnets in my bag, and there really was no other way to affix a cache at gz despite the fact that I even had some spare cable ties with me, so we couldn’t even offer to replace the container.
Seeing as we had unwittingly parked the car only a short distance away from gz, we hopped back in and drove a short distance to a handy car park that was near our next cache, Church Micro 10237 Bushey – St James (GC6XKK3). It certainly seemed to be the day for doing national series caches today, first a village sign, now a church micro. As we approached the church we were greeted by the sound of the church bells, presumably a bit of campanology practice as there didn’t actually seem to be anything going on in the church itself.
We made speedy work of the number collection for the multi and after some simple formula work we had the coordinates which were just a short distance away along a footpath through the churchyard. Once at GZ we made a quick find of the tiny container on a fence post and took a break to sign the log and step aside as a large group of ramblers came barrelling through at quite a pace.
We were making excellent time and so decided to go for a nearby trad, On The Edge (GC7AKZ8), that was a short stroll away through the woods. When we were about 70 metres away we came onto a road which we had to cross and then head into a field which looked as if it played host to cows from time to time. Shar elected to stay back and wait for us, siting unsuitable footwear as her reasoning, so Sam and I left her to amuse herself with her phone for a bit and we set off.
Sam did a great job of making sure I didn’t stray into any cow pats and it wasn’t long before we were at gz and searching anything metal as the description said it was a magnetic hide. We were next to a small wooden bridge that spanned a stream and there was a metal fence running through the tree line that sat either side of it. A closer inspection of the description and we found that the cache was on the site of an old boundary marker and after a quick search we located it, slowly being reclaimed by the rapidly growing nettles. It was indeed metal and braving the stingers I managed to retrieve the micro from the bottom of the marker. Geocaching isn’t geocaching without a couple of nettle stings after all.
Collecting Shar on the way back, we retraced our steps through the churchyard, stopping only to snap a pic, and then made our way back to the car.
One DNF two smileys and no one got sunburn, and so to celebrate we offset all the good ness of the fresh air and exercise by stopping in for a Macdonalds on the way home! Happy days.
This geocaching adventure took place on 7th may 2018 and took our total cache count up to 1865.