My very first “ski-o-cache” was 9 years ago, down in La Tania: this was my second! Found the host easily at the coordinates and found the cache in the third hiding place I tried. It’s quite stiff and hard to extract right now! Needed to wait to return it while some other skiers took pictures of one another at the GZ, but got there in the end. Salutations d’Oxford, en Angleterre. MPLC!
Field between Cumnor and Appleton, West Oxfordshire
I haven’t hashed for long enough that my home graticule got marked as inactive. I’ve got a little free time this morning, so let’s fix that!
It took two attempts to reach this hashpoint.
The first attempt saw me set off around 09:40, with a plan to drive over the world’s stupidest toll bridge (paying 5p for the privilege), park up in Cumnor somewhere, then work down the Cumnor-Appleton footpath before dipping into the fields (which are likely to be fallow this time of year) to claim the hashpoint. I suggested to take the dog, and the 7-year-old child asked if he could join me too, so the three of us with our eight legs set off.
This winter’s seen heavy rain around these parts, and the stream that runs alongside the footpath had broken its banks and flooded the fields. The water had receded, but the ground remained extremely boggy. That kind of thick, wellie-sucking mud that means that if you stop walking for more than a couple of seconds, you might as well give up and say you live there now because your boot is never coming back.
The kid found the going especially-tough, especially after a particularly-deep puddle splashed over the edge of his wellies, and asked to turn back. The dog was finding it a bit challenging too! So we doubled-back and found a geocache a little way off the path. We’ve generally been disappointed by Cumnor’s geocaches and especially this series, finding them to be ill-maintained or completely absent, but it looks like the cache owner has been working on repairing and replacing them towards the tail end of last year and this one was soon found. I drove the dog and child home (back across the toll bridge), then came back out myself (paying the fivepence toll a third time). So began the second attempt:
Unburdened by short-legged dogs and damp-footed kids, I made better progress. At points, the path was completely flooded-out, but this gave me an excuse to walk along the “tramlines” of the cultivator that must’ve been working in the field last year, which put me on a better course to reach the hashpoint. By 11:06 I was well within the circle of uncertainty and declared the mission a success.
Then I plodged back through the mud, changed my footwear, and drove over the toll bridge a fourth time. The attendant, clearly sick of seeing me driving back and forth, took pity on me and let me off without paying yet another 5p piece, so that was nice.
Found after trying a few different hosts while out on an expedition to try and reach the 2024-02-10 51 -1 geohashpoint with the 7-year-old and the dog. The path to the hashpoint is really waterlogged and the little man said his wellies were leaking so we doubled back and retrieved this cache. Extracting the log was a bit of a challenge owing to tune container shape but we managed in the end. TFTC.
Out for a dog walk with the younger child (and the dog, of course!). We’ve come to the nearby ruins many times before but never taken the time to do some caching here, until today. Needed the hint to guide us to the right host, after which it was an easy find, although the 7 y/o‘s little fingers had to work hard to extract the cache container from its (temporary?) hiding place! Log damp, but was able to sign “DQ”. TFTC.
Cache removed and temporarily disabled. The council have just started installing new signage to advise of a new 20mph speed limit around here. 🎉
When they recently did the same in a nearby village, they removed a cache of this type as a (presumably accidental) side effect. I don’t know if this cache’s host is among those that’ll be affected but I suspect it will so I’ve temporarily removed this one as a precaution and I’ll reinstate it after the works are complete.
An extended search by three adults, two children, and a dog failed to find this cache. We found what we think might have once been its camouflage near the obvious hiding place at the GZ, but nothing else.
Out for a walk on my 43rd birthday, left the kids playing with their other parents in the (beautiful) ruins of the abbey or I hacked my way around to the GZ. Started searching at my evaluation of the target point and spiralled outwards, eventually finding the cache about 10m away (downhill and further from the abbey) after interpreting the hint. Good sized container in a great location, TFTC and greetings from Oxfordshire!
Found while walking into High Wycombe to work after dropping my canine caching-companion (pictured) off at the nearby veterinary hospital for an operation. Didn’t need her help with this easy find, luckily! Shame about all the fly tipping littering this otherwise pleasant path. Greetings from Oxfordshire!
The poor little geopup’s only got tiny legs, and the 8km we’ve walked so-far has got her pretty tired-out, so this’ll be the last cache of the series before we go and find ourselves some lunch and go home. It’s been a very enjoyable series so far, and I fully intend to return to complete it (and perhaps find some of those earlier caches that I failed to spot).
For this final cache of the morning (well, afternoon: barely!), I found the likely spot straightaway and picked up something that looked out of place. Nope, no sign of the cache though; that’s strange. It took a few seconds to realise that yes, the cache was hidden behind the thing I’d picked up… it was just also covered with leaf little and detritus. Soon had it retrieved in the end, though.
A huge number of butterflies flocked in the field to our right: it was quite impressive. I’ve snapped a picture showing just one, so that I can later look up what kind of butterfly it is!
Sometimes the geo-sense “just works”. This was one of those moments. I was approaching the area and checking the distance. Then I walked straight to a likely location. Then I picked up the cache. Done and done.
Turning South and crossing our own path, the sun came out at last and we were bathed in glorious warm light. Between that, and the familiarity of the trail we passed, the geopup and I completely forgot for a moment that we were out to look for this next cache and overshot it: we had to turn back to get to the coordinates and find the cache. TFTC!
Worra lorra porkers! The geopup is a huge fan of sausages but I don’t think she understood that the cornucopia she was looking at across the field was the same thing, just a few years off being ripe. Great cache container too. TFTC, and let’s chuck an FP in because this series as a whole has definitely earned another one in my mind by now…
The geopup and I tried a couple of likely hiding places before we found this one. A nice-sized container and well-suited to its hiding place, here, TFTC!