June 21 : Dinosaur Hunting in Oxfordshire!

Have you every been dinosaur hunting ? There’s a great caching series in South Oxfordshire where all the geocaches you find are… DINOSAURS !!!

Before we attempted the series, we felt we needed divine help, guidance and strength for our adventure. We got this by attempting the nearby Church Micro in Checkendon. A lovely little church, with paintings and stained glass windows. We collected all the information we needed (variously from a noticeboard, the church door, and a gravestone), looked inside the church and went in search of the cache.

Checkendon Church

St Peter and St Paul, Checkendon

Church at  Checkendon

Stained glass and wall paintings

Now most Church Micros we’ve found have been near to the Church and we stupidly thought we wouldn’t change into our walking boots to find the cache. No sooner had we stepped away from the pavement of the typical Chiltern village at Checkendon, and we were on a muddy footpath. We dodged the mud, as best we could, to find our only non-dinosaur cache of the day!

A short drive later we had parked near to the Dinosaur series. The series called ‘Fathers Day II Dinosaur” is about 3 mile circular walk (it can be shortened) encompassing 13 caches, each one being a dinosaur. In most cases a bison tube containing the logbook is attached to the dinosaur. With one exception none of the caches allow for swaps, but children love dinosaurs and their knowledge far outstrips the dinosaurs (adults) accompanying them on the walk. A slight problem with the series is there is no real place to park on route, we search Googlemaps before we left, and discovered that near Cache#13 was the most promising.

There is a small amount of road walking (notably between #13 and #1, and between #9 and #11, but these are quiet roads with minimal traffic.

On the dinosaur trail

On the dinosaur trail

As we noted earlier our knowledge of dinosaurs is rusty and we could only to name a few of the dinosaurs on the way round. We found at least one Stegosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, Diplodocus (and the perceived pronounciation of that has changed since we learnt about Dinosaurs… is it “Diplod-icus” or “Dip-lo-do-cus” these days ?) We even found an Apatosaurus (the name was printed on the dinosaur belly).

Initially the route went around the edge of a field, and then through quite thick woodland.
Due to the Summer tree cover, the GPS wobbled a bit through this section until we arrived at a cottage.

A cottage in the woods

A cottage in the woods

**** BAD PUN ALERT **** BAD PUN ALERT **** BAD PUN ALERT ****

Here we passed a gardener undergoing hedge trimming duties. A cache was just out of sight of the garden. We quietly found the cache and wondered afterwards about a new species of dinosaur “Do-you-think-he-saur-us” ? Maybe his name was Terry Daktill ?

These bad puns caused us to forget to look at the GPS before we set off for the next cache. We walked 100 yards through some very tricky, slip-slidy, mud before realising we should have turned away from the main path. Those bad puns soon got their revenge!

A small bridge was our next target, and underneath… yet under dinosaur!

Who is brave enough to go dinosaur hunting under this bridge ?

Who is brave enough to go dinosaur hunting under this bridge ?

Most of the dinosaurs we found were palm-size or not much bigger than a hand. One however was 2 feet tall! Seen here for scale against our GPS! Another was just a dinosaur head, peering out from the trees! The skull could be opened and inside we retrieved a trackable and left the trackable in our possession, Tilly the Hedgehog! Yes, a hedgehog was swallowed whole by a dinosaur!

A fabulous series, and if you’ve got kids who are into Dinosaurs, this series is a real treat.
We’ve included pictures of every dinosaur we found, we found them all, so if any of our readers can identify them we will be most grateful.

ROAR!

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