Geocaching Journal | My adventures with Geocaching
Barbara has been caching under the name StarSpotter since 2010. She lives in Somerset in the UK and loves caching with family and her trusty GeoHound Tara, who has an unfortunate aversion to mud. The articles on her blog are both interesting and well written and are accompanied by a good selection of photographs.
As I had worked out the co-ordinates from my previous visit I looked to see exactly where the cache was so parked in a nearby car park, we walked to GZ using my GPS which took me to the middle of a space behind a warehouse. It was difficult to look as there was a man near the entrance loading his van and he kept looking at me, I sat on the wall and when he wasn’t looking I felt around a guard rail where I thought the cache would be. After 10 minutes or so I decided to give up as I felt I had been there too long and the man was aware I was there. The hint said there were two at GZ and it was the one on the right, where I was there wasn’t really anything to correspond to that clue so decided to walk along the road in the opposite way we had come to go back to the car park and look around on the way, I then noticed two large objects behind a wall, I looked behind the right one and there was the cache. I signed the log book and we were on our way, so my co-ords were a little out.
The next cache I decided to find was near a petrol station called Fuel Cache and Dash, I drove there due to it being very busy on the road which I would have to cross, I had to go all around the one-way system to get there!
Luckily there were parking spaces in the shade so I left Katie geohound in the car and found the cache amongst the trees.
I had some caches in Oldfield Park, a very hilly area as much of Bath is, planned not far from where I was, the first was the side-tracked cache at Oldfield Park station but there was no-where near to park due to residents parking. I then drove to St Barts church and had problems finding anywhere to park but just managed it. We got to the church and there was someone cutting the grass close to GZ so I walked down the hill as there were quite a few munzees (yes I collect munzees when I can) in the area we got 3 munzees and walked back up the hill, stopped to chat to another greyhound owner and by then the man mowing had moved to the other side of the church. The cache was soon found and the log was signed.
St Barts. Oldfield Park
The next cache was next to a school and as it was 3 pm the school was turning out so I drove past. I then found a brilliant cache called Oldfield Park Helipad, I cannot say much about it without giving it away but it’s the type of cache I would never have found a few years ago.
Hopefully I can return to find some other caches in Bath.
This summer I reached 500 caches! To me this is a great achievement. I know that some people are able to reach 500 in a short time but for me it has been quite a journey.
I started geocaching in 2010 and by 2013 I had reached the grand total of 34 caches, I have a big gap of almost a year in 2012 – 13 due to a back problem when I did no caching at all.
You can read about my first ever geocache here – it was quite exciting!
In 2014 I found a total of 33 caches so I was improving! In reality it was time that prevented me as I was working full time so only had the weekends to cache, often it rained and when working full time weekends are catching up with what needs to be done.
In 2014 I retired so I was able to go out caching whenever I wanted, then in 2015 my sister started caching so we went out together and by the end of 2015 I had found 224 caches. 2016 has been my best year caching and I hope to continue.
I still have the problems with my back, plus fibromyalgia so I do have a major problems walking any distance, I can manage 2 miles on good days. So most of my caching is short trips, unfortunately my sister likes to get as many as possible and walk long distances when we go out so I have gone back to mainly caching alone with Katie geohound.
So my 500th cache had to be a special one and I chose to go to Bath to find the cache at Sham Castle, I am making my milestone caches follies or some sort of architecture.
Information from wikipedia:
Sham Castle is a folly in Bathampton overlooking the city of Bath, Somerset, England. It is a Grade II* listed building. It is a screen wall with a central pointed arch flanked by two 3-storey circular turrets, which extend sideways to a 2-storey square tower at each end of the wall.
After exploring the folly and looking at the views over Bath, my son and I walked the short distance to find the cache. It was hidden amongst stones and there were plenty of stones! We were under tree cover so the GPS was a little jumpy. Overall it didn’t take long to find the cache and it was a good sized cache which contained lots of swag.
We signed the log book and walked back down the steep hill and drove into Bath for the all important tea and cake!
I stopped blogging after my dog died in April, I was very upset and just didn’t feel like blogging. I have continued to go geocaching although it was not the same without my geohound.
The following are the highlights of the past few months caching.
West Wells Wander was a series of 13 caches near the city of Wells, I say was as they have now been archived which is a shame as it was a really good walk. We did the walk in three stages as I cannot walk long distances, even then one of the walks turned out to be 4 miles which was really a bit too far for me and it took a long time to recover from it.
There were some really good views on the way but also some difficult stiles as the first step to get on the stiles were so high.
Some of the West Wells Wander caches:
A trip to Tintern with my son and girlfriend was a brilliant day out, we went to the Old Station where they have the most delicious cakes in the cafe.
There are lots of walks from the area, we chose to walk to the village of Brockweir finding 3 caches along the route.
Wells Cathedral is a puzzle cache, to find the final co-ordinates two other churches in Mid-Somerset have to be visited to get the clues for the numbers. This I had done over several weeks, I chose to go to Wells to find the cache in the evening as Wells can be a very busy place during the day. A really good hide and easily found.
I went back to Bristol for an event and some more urban caching. This time I went by bus so I didn’t have to worry about parking and my son cycled there. After the event my son and I walked to St Mary Redcliffe, a very good multi-cache which involves getting clues from inside and outside the church. The church is well worth a visit anyway, as I was brought up in Bristol I am rather fond of the church anyway.
After St Mary Redcliffe was a very clever cache and one of the best my son and I have found, St Mary Redcliffe view I cannot say much about it without giving it away, here is a photo of my son’s cycle with the cache in view!!
Sadly this cycle has since been stolen (even though it was chained up). If you ever visit I recommend doing these two caches.
Some of the trackables I have moved on over the past few months:
There were more caches but these were my favourites.
Most of the caching I do is in the countryside or the small town where I live but last week was my first foray into caching in a large city.
Goodness, urban caching is so different! So many muggles around! It was so different wandering around streets because you follow the GPS and there are so many obstacles in the way such as houses, walls, bridges! We ended up walking further than we needed to as unlike the countryside you can usually within reason follow a straight-ish line.
It was different but I enjoyed it. Tara geohound got rather tired and it took her a couple of days to get over it.
We decided to find some of the caches in Sally’s Stroll a series near Temple Meads Railway Station but we only found two! The first one was on the cycle path and was a good easy find, the next was in a park The Dings and we looked for ages but couldn’t find it.
Next we walked to Temple Meads station and found the side-tracked cache at the station, it was a very good hide which my son enjoyed looking for. I wanted to find this cache due to spending rather a lot of time at the station over the years when my son and daughter were at University, I think the dog I had at that time thought it was our second home!
Apparently it originally was a train but it went missing.
We then wandered back to get a Little Bridge on one of the two modern bridges in the area, I spotted it straight away, my son was amazed at the cache and how it was placed, in fact, on reflection, I should have let him find it.
We then walked back to the car as we only had 3 hours parking we got back just as the traffic warden was on his way.
After lunch at my son’s house I had planned more cache for the afternoon but I was too tired so we just went and found a couple of local caches. I particularly liked Rainbow Bridge which was a good sized cache and an easy find.
It was a good day and hopefully we will go out again when my son has some spare time. I have solved a puzzle that I want to go and get.
My next geocaching outing with my sister was to the village of Oakhill where there are 3 church micros, two of them multis. One of them Church Micro 6190 – Oakhill URC is now split into 2 private dwellings – I went marching up the driveway to take a photo and realised when I got to the locked gate that it was no longer a church. For the question we had to walk up a nearby road to get the answer. The actual cache was half a mile away with a steep hill to climb.
The next multi was at the CM 6114 – Methodist church – no photograph as it would be a spoiler! Again the cache was a half mile walk with another steep hill, when we got there we realised we had been there many times in the past – not always when geocaching, although we had walked past when doing some of the Zider Zeries.
We sat in the sunshine in the churchyard of CM 6113 – Oakhill All Saints for a while, after all the rain we have had this winter it was good to feel the sun.
Oakhill All Saints
I found in the village that the GPS was taking ages to settle after I had entered the new co-ordinates, there were quite a lot of overhead wires in the village so I don’t know if that was what was affecting it. In the end we looked at the hint and on our way to another cache we found it. While in the village we found two more of the Zider Zeries which we are doing in stages.
Company while caching!
The next villages we explored were Croscombe and Dinder near Wells, Somerset. There are two Church Micros in the village and another cache which was in a field with cows we decided not to cross the field, we don’t like going into fields with cows we are not that brave. In Croscombe we decided to go to the pub (The George) for morning coffee, I tried the door but it was locked, as we walked away the landlord opened the door and invited us in so we had a very nice drink complete with a plate of biscuits. Such good hospitality.
Dinder was just the Church Micro a pesky nano which we found after quite a search, we then enjoyed a walk around the village. There is another cache near the village but I had found that one previously.
A massive yew in the churchyard at Dinder
At the end of the month I found a cache called End of the Road, on a lovely sunny Sunday morning. The cache was at the end of a country lane and was a very small bison tube, I was surprised it was not a bigger cache as it was not near any houses.
Tara at the End of the Road
Did you get your Leap Year Event souvenir? I was busy during the day but luckily there was an evening meet in Frome which I was able to attend to get my souvenir.