March 29 – Geocacher’s flash mob … and a swing bridge

Hello, Mrs Hg137 here again.

Time for something different: a geocacher’s flash mob.  The location was described on the event cache (a sort of time-limited geocache) with the hint  ‘Look for the big brick thing over the canal.’   And so we arrived in Church Crookham, at Poulter’s Bridge over the Basingstoke Canal, where a motley bunch of geocachers and geodogs were assembling.  We stood around for a chat in the warm spring sunshine – soooo different to yesterday – and talked to friends old and new; we’ve met up with quite a few other geocachers now in various places and ways (in the field, in the pub, via email etc) and it’s always good to put a face to a name.   Then it was time to sign the log, take part in the group photo, and to spread out into the surrounding area to claim some local geocaches.

 

Inventive cache container

Inventive cache container

A short series of five new and unusual geocaches had been released especially for this event and we found them all.  It wasn’t that hard, really, as there was a sort of extended crocodile of geocachers making their way from the flash mob around the circuit.  Many plaudits must go to ‘The Mad Cacher 007’ for such an inventive set of caches.  After finishing the circuit, we walked back along the towpath towards the geocar, arriving at a swing bridge over the canal.

The swing bridge

The swing bridge

Well, we already knew about this swing bridge because we knew that there was a geocache right underneath it, but it is very hard to reach, difficulty 4.5 out of 5.  The approved method is to approach in a boat, though the more agile get to the cache by climbing under the bridge, suspended above the water.  We didn’t have a boat and we didn’t fancy the climb … but I did have a key, which had been languishing on my keyring since the days when I did a lot of walking along canal towpaths … and it opened the padlock on the bridge.  We were thinking about what to do next – bridges are heavy – when a posse of other geocachers came into view.   A unanimous decision was made to go for the cache. The bridge was manhandled open and swung round.

Another discussion followed about where exactly the cache container might be and how to get to it (thanks to ‘Fay, R+R’) and then Mr Hg137 and others crawled underneath, emerging some little while later with the cache and quite a bit of the towpath mud. Log signed, cache replaced, and bridge swung back and locked again.

Job well done. Smiles all round. Teamwork!

PS Mr Hg137 was NOT allowed back into the geocar in his muddy state.  He was required to partially disrobe before entering the car!

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