10 Counties In a Day
When we checked the UK records page on Geocacheuk we noted that the only record that we had any chance of breaking was Nicktinknick’s 6 counties cached in a day, so we set about seeing how it could be done.
First we checked the county boundaries to see where we could just nip over the border and get a cache before moving on to the next county. There was a lot of looking at maps and mapsource and checks on geocaching.com to find some 1 star caches to do on the day. We made a list of counties, with two possibilities in each one – just in case we could not find the target cache. Once we had a list for the counties, we tried to plan the best route to travel to get to each one in the best and most efficient way possible. At the end of the day we had a list of counties, 2 caches in each and a route linking them all up. Next we prepared food for the day ahead, sandwiches, biscuits, crisps and a bottle of lemonade! After filling the car up with petrol and parking it ready to go on the drive we retired to bed.
We Got up at 6am and were washed and dressed and out by 6:30! But……we were back at 6:45 for the forgotten mobile phone!!! D’Oh!! Good start, and it was raining!!
As we live in Nottinghamshire this was an easy one to get to, but as we had done all the caches in the county with the exception of two, one of which we’d already tried to find twice, and the other being a new cache in the wrong direction, this gave us a worrying start. We went toStanton Plaque in the hope of third time lucky. Arriving at 7:30 we had found it within two minutes – not believing that it could have been there on the last two visits! We took a Norwegian coin and left “Two Cheetahs” TB.
Lincolnshire is very short of caches at the moment and most of the existing ones are near the coast – too far from where we needed to be for our record attempt. We decided to go to Woody’s Stash. We had been on the Viking Way before and so knew roughly where to park, however it was fairly foggy when we arrived. We walked along the canal and the bike path and the footpath – thinking that this was a long way to walk for a 1 star cache, when we got to the site we wanted to sign the log at the obvious – but wrong place – after a lot of bashing of brambles and nettles and being nettled we found the right (and easier) place. We found the cache at 8:50am and took George from Rainbow and left Sonolento TB . Then the long walk back to the car – too long for a one star cache! The sun was now out and warming our backs.
We then went on to the smallest county in the UK with only one cache, Blighty – Rutland. We drove around and the GPS went down to 0.6 miles which was nearer than we had walked on the last one, so decided to look for a parking place. We found the car park – but it was pay and display so decided to park elsewhere and walk back. We found a dead end road and parked there and walked back up hill to the car park. The sun was very warm now and so were we after the walk! When we got back to the car park there was a map and we realised that we were in the wrong place completely, with a very hot walk back to the car!!! So much for planning!! We drove to the right place and found the unusual cache fairly easily at 10:36 am. Swapped a car TB with “Tweety Bird” TB we found it. This was a beautiful place will return here again.
The next cache was Copse ‘n’ Robbers a new cache, after getting off the main road we spotted a speed trap up on the bridge over the road, so we were glad that we got off where we did!! After trying to find the cache in an industrial estate, we found the right parking place and saw why the cache was so named. A lovely short walk brought us straight to the correct place, thankfully someone had found the cache recently and posted new co-ordinates so we used those and found it straight away at 11:50. We took a necklace and left a Euro 2004 Football Sticker. We had thunder and lightning just after we found this one!
Howe wood was the next cache, the sun had come out again and was very hot, we found the parking co-ordinates eventually as there are lots of little roads around here, all almost but not quite leading to the right one! There was lots of rubbish in the lay-by but undeterred we popped into the wood and found the cache almost immediately at 13:10. Took a Bagpuss badge and leftTravelling Beemer TB – Nice Travel bug – it seemed appropriate to leave it in Essex!
Exactly an hour later at 14:10 we had found Periwinkle on the Meridian even though the GPS struggled in the woods. The sun was scorching now and on the way to the cache we had our sandwiches watching the farmer in the next field harvesting the corn. We took a skeleton and left “Drummer” TB. Couldn’t work out the Periwinkle part of the name until we got back to the car.
Having completed Hertfordshire – we had equalled the counties record!
Onwards to Devils Jump (turn your sound on when you visit the cache page! – ed) This one took ages to get to as we seemed always to be on the wrong road. We eventually parked at the side of the road and followed the path to the cache, a good hiding place but we found it at 15:55. We were so pleased to have broken the record here we left a Canadian Geo-coin and took some ornamental beads. The weather was still hot but clouding up.
We’d broken the record!
We found Dog Walk #5 at 16:40 – this was a nice cache and a very easy one to find. We parked within 200 ft from it!! The cache had no pen or pencil so took the log book and filled it in at the car, took the logbook back with a pen and a Beyblade skateboard, took a mouse TB entitled “Hare Today”. The weather was getting darker.
Exactly an hour later at 17:40 we found long arm of the nene. This was after an unscheduled stop at the side of the road due to the severity of the rain, thunder and lightning! We passed so close to the cache on the main road until we realised that we were on the wrong one yet again!! We parked near a hump-backed bridge and walked to this one and there was a nice twist at the end over other canal caches we have done – we took Donald Duck and left some Bodyshop Bath Oil.
Our tenth and last county cache Niether On The Hill Or In The Hole was found at 19:05 – The rain was now horrendous and we were glad that we only had a few feet from the car to the cache – which we found 2nd time lucky. We took our own “Kay’s Eye Lash Curlers” TB and left a very large Motorbike TB. Due to the weather and the radio reports we decided to call it a day.
We had raised the bar a bit higher for the next people, but we were thinking when we got back to Nottinghamshire and the weather was so much better, we could do Staffs and Derbyshire….but didn’t…maybe next time!!!