Thursday, 31 December 2015

Delta68's Caching Year in Review - 2015

Delta68's Caching Year in Review - 2015

This brings us to the end of yet another action packed year of caching.

We did a few short trips for Mega and Giga events but the most significant trip was our trip to the US

(see this blog) and Mark's insane trip to Seattle for the last ever Block Party blog)

Miscellaneous stats /achievements:
Once again we concentrated on 'rare' caches and in 2015 we found:
  • 261 Wherigos
  • 18 Webcams
  • 68 Virtuals
  • 185 Lab Caches
  • 13 CITO events
  • 7 Mega Events
  • 2 Giga Events
  • 1 ‘Maze’ Exhibit
  • 1 HQ
  • 1 Block Party
  • and 3 benchmarks!

'Hi' - Ontario, Cananda

Two new countries: USA, Canada
Lego - einer ist zuviel

Also re-visited Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg and The Netherlands

16 US States!

New Furthest West
Kerry Viewpoint Park GC62C8 United States

New furthest distance: Jimi Hendrix Memorial, GC1A1EP United States

Finally completed the Jasmer Challenge!

YAY Jasmer Challenge all done!

Three new cache types: Benchmark, Geocaching HeadquartersHQ Blockparty

Hosted 1 event: 'Hi!' in Canada GC5ZY7E

A Happy New Year to everyone!

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Brampton Valley Way

For my birthday in November, Mark bought me a brilliant cycling book, there are loads of great bike ride ideas.  A few weeks ago we did a bike ride in the Afan Valley in Wales and today we decided it was time to tick off another ride.

Our son and daughter are now home from uni for Christmas so they asked to come along too.

Today's bike ride was along the Brampton Valley Way in Northamptonshire.  The Brampton Valley Way is a 14-mile trail built on the way of the former Northampton to Market Harborough Railway in Northamptonshire.

The trail is flat and follows a traffic-free route along a fine gravel path which is quite stony in places.  The trail starts at the Windover pub near Northampton passing the Northampton and Lamport heritage steam railway before heading out into the countryside. 

The route crosses a couple of busy roads and takes you through the Oxendon (418 metres) and Kelmarsh (480 metres) tunnels which are both unlit.  We had visited the Kelmarsh tunnel section of the trail on two previous occasions and it was great fun whizzing through the tunnels again. 

Just before we reached Market Harborough the heavens opened and it started raining, it rained very hard which was a bit of a surprise as the forecast didn't mention any rain at all.  We had to cycle nearly 14 miles in heavy rain - it was not pretty as not only were we very wet we were also filthy and everything was sprayed in silty mud.  We passed a few other people that had been caught out by the rain which made us feel a little better.

I can't remember if I mentioned this before but I bought a new GPS watch a few weeks ago, a bit of an early Christmas present to myself to record my walks/bike rides a little better and to motivate me on my evening walks when all I feel like doing when I come in from work is slumping on the sofa - and also to record my walking challenge for 2016 - more about that another day. Anyway, today was the first time I'd used it on the bike, it was brilliant and very useful as it vibrated every time we completed another mile and in total we cycled 27.5 miles.

We were relieved to get back to the car and get changed into dry clothes.

The bike ride was tiring but brilliant fun, would highly recommend the route and there are a few caches to be found along the way too.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Hatley Heart Attack

The Hatley Heart Attack is a power trail of over 400 caches, 479 to be precise, set in the Cambridgeshire/Bedfordshire countryside.  The outer ring can be walked all in one go (if you're mad) or you can use the connecting caches to split it up into smaller walks.  We decided to do the latter and tackle it over a number of weekends.

Here's a brief account of the route we took with lots of photos so you can see what the route was like. We're not saying this is the best way to do it but this seemed the best way for us to tackle it in the time we had.

The series

22 November 2015
Day 1:  332-348, 348/1-348/9, 272/12-272/1, 273-282, 272/13-272/20, 323-331

Today was the day to make a start on this series. We parked in the village of Sutton to start our walk. We enjoyed a 10 mile walk on good paths with only a small amount of road walking.  The ground was frozen for much of the day but we walked in beautiful sunshine for most of the day.  All the caches were found without any problems. Stopped off on our way home at The Town Fryer chippy in Sandy which we can highly recommend.  Back soon to continue with the series.

New boots!


No filter needed!

Luckily fenced in


After Day 1

28 November 2015
Day 2: 001-025. 025/1, 153-189, 397-423, 360-349.

We parked in East Hatley to start the walk at 001.  We enjoyed a 15 mile walk on mainly good paths, some stretches involved walking across very muddy fields and a couple of short stretches on roads.  Since our last visit there's been a fair bit of rain as there were some large puddles on some of the paths.  The weather was chilly and windy but stayed mostly dry with just the odd shower.  We found all the caches apart from 1 DNF which was missing so we will need to return at a later date to find that one.  Lots of photos below:

My new boots!



They didn't stay clean for long

The map after Day 2

29 November 2015
Day 3:
Walk 1: 302-084, 289/1-289/5, 311-322, 310-303,
Walk 2: 272-244

After staying overnight in St Neots we made a fairly early start and parked near some houses in Biggleswade for the first walk of the day.  For the second walk we relocated to Eyeworth and the route looked doable by bike so cycled up the road to start the section at Dunton and then worked our way back to Eyeworth via the bridleway.  We covered 12 miles today mostly on good paths. The forecast was for rain but we were very lucky and it held off until we were on our way home, it was just very windy for most of the day.  All the caches were found without any problems.  We've had a fab weekend.  Can't wait to return to continue with the series.  Photos of the walk for today are below.

After Day 3 - We're getting there

5 December 2015
Day 4: 060/1,  059-028, 152-137, 094/6-094/1, 095-062

As the forecast looked pretty good we decided to continue with this mega series and make another weekend of it.  We made an early start from home at 5.30am and started walking just before 8am and were back at the car by 4pm.  We enjoyed a 16 mile walk mostly on good paths.  All caches were found without any real problems.  We bumped into Kev and Wolfy450 a couple of times throughout he day and then Monki, Pfaffabouters and Baggie Dave in Great Eversden as we'd stopped for our lunch in the bus shelter - it was good to have a chat.  This is the first time we've bumped into other cachers while doing this series. Thoroughly enjoyed our walk today.  More fun tomorrow.   Here's a few photos for today.

Trig behind bars




Could do with a brush!


After day 4

6 December 2015
Day 5:
Walk 1 096-136
Walk 2: 365-361, 360/1-360/6, 246-228, 228/1-228/5, 369-366

We stayed overnight at nearby St Neots, parked up in Great Eversden and started walking at 8am. For the second walk we relocated the car to Wrestlingworth and were finished by 4pm.  The route was mostly on good paths today, although the section between 228/3 to 228/5 was across two crop fields where the footpath had recently been ploughed up!  Then the section between 367 and 366 involved a walk through a cow field but luckily they were very docile.  All together we enjoyed a 17 mile walk today.  All caches were found without any real problems. Here's a few photos from today's walk.  That leaves just one section left which we hope to complete in the not too distant future.

After Day 5
13 December 2015
Day 6: 390-370, 227-190, 396-387, 390/1

We parked in Tadlow to complete the final leg of this massive series.  The forecast was for light rain all day so undeterred we set off fully togged up with our waterproofs.  We were joined today by drempels (son) who is now home for Christmas and keen to accompany us on a few walks.

As it has been raining quite heavily this week the paths were quite waterlogged and we walked across quite a few muddy fields.  All caches, apart from one, were found without any difficulty.

The walk today was approximately 11 miles which brings the total up to 81 miles for the series.

We now have all the bonus info and during the week we found out what we had to do with the numbers so relocated the car for the bonus which was a quick find a a great container then off to the Bonus Bonus.

Didn't take anywhere near as many photos as I would've liked today due to the wet weather and forgetting my waterproof camera.

All in all a really enjoyable series which we are really pleased to have completed.  Rounded it off with a chippy tea at The Town Fryer in Sandy on the way home.

Day 6 - Series complete!