Dan Q found GC6H7JG Herbology

This checkin to GC6H7JG Herbology reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

I get precious little time for geocaching lately: between work, childcare, household and volunteering commitments it’s a challenge to squeeze in a quick expedition here and there. That’s doubly-true as the days get shorter: after finishing work, feeding the children etc. it’s already starting to get dim, and caches that I know will be more-challenging to find – like this D4.5! – become a race against time.

A fortunate side-effect of my unusual living arrangement is that I’m only needed for bathtime and bedtime story-reading duties two nights out of every three, and so when this evening achieved the hat-trick of me not being on bedtime duty, not being urgently needed for work in the evening, and the weather looking good, I leapt onto my bike to come and find this cache. I’d found its sibling Geology a fortnight ago without two much difficulty, but – knowing that Herbology would be much harder! – I’d planned to come out and perform a dedicated search for this and this cache only this evening. I cycled to South Leigh and then up the old Barnard Gate road, stopping at N 51° 46.366, W 001° 25.259′ to lock my bike to a wooden footbridge at the point at which a footpath crosses the road. From there, I jogged North up the path to find the GZ (bringing my front bike light for use as a torch, should the need arise).

I had anticipated that a search would be needed and had a few ideas about the kinds of things I might be looking for, but when after approaching half an hour I’d found nothing at all and had resorted to poking at candidate hiding places with a stick while I shone my torch around, I was worried that this expedition might be a bust. Swallowing my pride, I messaged the CO to see if they might be able to provide a further hint. Amazingly, they were not only online but able to give a hint that pointed me at exactly the kind of thing I ought to be hunting for… because it turned out I’d already moved the cache container while hunting elsewhere in its hiding place!

Upon returning this expertly-stealthy cache to its hiding place, I realised that I might just have time to find the third of this triplet, and so I took off at top speed for Zoology.

Map of 51.776217,-1.427233

Dan Q found GC6FD6N Cumnor Minions – Norbert

This checkin to GC6FD6N Cumnor Minions - Norbert reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

A quick almost-CnD on the school run. I’d love to come back and do the series someday! Found easily (although the hint object is nowhere in sight!), but container was challenging to open! Luckily the edge of the carabiner I use to clip my GPSr to my belt was up to the task! TFTC.

Map of 51.7347,-1.337933

Dan Q found GC93T66 Mistletoe and Wine

This checkin to GC93T66 Mistletoe and Wine reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

“Solved” all the puzzles some time ago, then came out to find this cache as a drive-by (on the minor, not the major, nearby road, of course!) while in-between other errands nearby. Was looking for something smaller when I laid my hands on the cache container, which I thought looked “out of place”, but the weight balance of the thing I’d picked up felt wrong… like something was loose inside? That’s when I realised I was holding the cache! Signed log and returned it to its spot. TFTC.

Map of 51.6836,-1.423317

Dan Q found GC98N4G Tar Lakes/South Leigh Loop #9 Speed

This checkin to GC98N4G Tar Lakes/South Leigh Loop #9 Speed reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

Third time was the charm for me with this elusive cache! On this and my last visit the coords kept pointing me to the centre of the road, giving me a pretty big search radius. Eventually found it – with the help of properly interpreting the hint – at N 51 46.314, W 001 25.758. Hope this helps anybody else with the same problem! TFTC, and once again for an excellent series.

Attached image is from my second visit, when I was trying to look unsuspicious and like I had a different reason to be hanging around here!

Dan outside a disused bus stop repurposed as a "beach hut".

Map of 51.771967,-1.4294

Dan Q found GC2549F Motorway Mayhem M6 Junction 19

This checkin to GC2549F Motorway Mayhem M6 Junction 19 reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

I was heading South on the M6 when my phone beeped to warn me that the road was blocked, ahead. Turns out there had been some sort of crash, and traffic was being directed into Knutsford Services. Naturally, I used the break as an excuse to park up and hike out to this and another local cache.

As I came over this bridge, it looked like traffic was flowing again, albeit slowly and with a lane closed, so I’m going to complete my loop and get back on the road. Thanks for the distraction while I was stranded!

Motorway traffic moving past a 50 limit and "stranded vehicle" warning sign.

Map of 53.306233,-2.406783

Dan Q found GC9FJ8P Nuts & Bolts

This checkin to GC9FJ8P Nuts & Bolts reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

The M6 Southbound got blocked by a crash this afternoon so I diverted to Knutsford Services and took a walk out to the local caches while I waited for it to clear. I had a feeling what kind of thing I’d be looking for when I got here and I turned out the be right, making this a much quicker search than the 20 minutes or so it took me to walk up here! I possibly wasn’t helped by my choice of route, though: thanks to a badly signed footpath through the lower part of Tabley Hill Farm I ended up off-course and found myself in the cattle yard at N 53º 18.345′ W 002º 24.147’… right as the cows were heading to the milking parlour! Got there in the end, though. TFTC!

Map of 53.311083,-2.394983

Dan Q found GC7JRT4 Preston Docks – Oh Buoy!

This checkin to GC7JRT4 Preston Docks - Oh Buoy! reflects a geocaching.com log entry. See more of Dan's cache logs.

What an excellent cache container! I immediately spotted it but then disregarded it when I couldn’t see an obvious ingress. My sister Sarah, though, whom I’m visiting in Preston, tried touching it a different way and soon discovered how to get at the cache. Log almost full – space only for one or two more entries.

Excellent cache. FP awarded. TFTC.

Map of 53.759583,-2.74225