The Fairy Elevator

Traditional geocache
Map of 51.822867,-1.301367

Description

Like many woodlands, the trees alongside Rowel Brook are said to be home to all manner of fairies and other magical creatures. If they walk with care and show respect for nature, the young of heart and spirit might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of these wonderful little people… but even if you don’t spot a fairy, a walk along this path almost guarantees you the opportunity to see their unusual architecture. Nestled into nooks and crannies of this pleasant walk or else built right into the sides of the tree trunks themselves can be seen hundreds of beautifully diminuitive doors: each the front door of some fairy, gnome, elf or wood-spirit. I hear that there’s even be a goblin or two living amongst them, but don’t worry: I’ve been reassured to hear that they’re of a friendly disposition.

Rose the Fairy
Rose the Fairy

The other week, I met a fairy by the name of Rose, who lives high in the branches of one of the tallest trees. Her little house enjoys a spectacular view which stretches across the canal, brook, and fields, but she seemed less keen upon the arduous climb she daily had to make in order to reach her front door (not all fairies have wings, and those without tend to prefer their houses closer to the forest floor to spare them the climb). “What you need,” I said, “is an elevator!” I’d meant it as a joke, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised that this was exactly what Rose – and some of her neighbours, too – needed!

With the help of an trio of helpful gnomes equipped with miniscule crampons and ropes, I was able to install an elevator right here on the trees. Rose is delighted that she can now get up and down with ease, and by way of thank you, she and the other fairy-folk have consented that the lift shall double as a geocache. This way, other giants (that’s what they call us humans!) might get the opportunity to come and visit this wonderful little fairy village, too.

The elevator is equipped with (among other tradables as usual) a huge array of fairy furniture (including ceramic flowers, postboxes, signposts, fences etc.). Even if you’re not leaving something in trade, you’re welcome to take an item of furniture so long as you help the fairies by installing it in the vicinity of any of the many fairy doors that decorate the woods alongside this footpath.

Finding this cache

If coming by car, limited on-street parking is available at N 51° 49.398′, W 001° 17.867′; please park considerately.

Not far from where the lift is tied off (behind the tree) are the rusted remains of a barbed wire fence. At the GZ, smaller geokids should be encouraged to stay in the vicinity of the “fairy doors” and near where the lift will descend to, where it’s safer (try not to drop the elevator onto their heads, though!). Larger geokids should be supervised if “operating” the elevator: it requires more force than you’d expect to raise it, and you should ensure that they’re aware where the barbed wire is. In general, it’s probably worth keeping children on the side of the trees nearest the footpath.

This cache is suspended high in tree, but if you look carefully you’ll find a white hook attached to a narrow plank where the lifting mechanism is tied-off. Slip the loops off the white hook to allow the elevator to descend; please hold the cord and release slowly rather than allowing it to free-fall. Before leaving the site, hoist the container back into position by pulling firmly in a downwards direction, and tie it off as described below (this secures the elevator safely but makes it easy for the next ‘cacher to unhook it just by slipping the loops off):

  1. Keeping it pulled taut, run the cord underneath the plank and up to the hook.
  2. Pass the cord over the hook and pull downwards.
  3. Make a loop and pass it behind the other part of the cord.
  4. Put the loop over the hook and pull it taut.
  5. Repeat steps #2 to #4 a second time to lock it off. The loops can be slipped off the hook by the next geocacher, but will not come loose and drop the cache by themselves.
  6. Please tuck the loose end tidily away behind the ivy.

Logging this cache

You can log this geocache at any or all of the following:

  • OK045C [opencache.uk]
  • GC7R0HB [geocaching.com] (premium members only; Rose expressed concern that she didn’t want too many “giants” tromping through her garden)
  • This page, by leaving a comment, trackback, or pingback to this web address

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