October 9 : Earthcache Day

Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.

I’d noticed that October 9th was to be Earthcache Day. And Mr Hg137 had decamped to Milton Keynes to play in the National Scrabble Championship finals so I was all alone. (Editor’s note: I didn’t do well enough to qualify this year.) So it seemed like a good idea to use my free time to find an earthcache.

The definition of an earthcache, taken from the geocaching web site http://www.geocaching.com , is:
EarthCaches don’t have physical containers, but instead bring you to a unique location and teach you a geological lesson.

There are not so many earthcaches nearby, and the nearest such cache that we hadn’t yet found was ‘Wokingham Without Iridescence’. It’s in St Sebastian’s Cemetery, adjacent to St Sebastian’s Church, a place we’ve visited before to find a Church Micro back in November 2013. (Editor’s note 2: ‘Wokingham Without’ is a place, just south of Wokingham, the name doesn’t mean that something is missing.) Finding the cache involved looking at several of the gravestones in the cemetery and answering questions about the rocks that they are made of, which is larvikite, a type of feldspar mined in Norway.

Larvikite

Larvikite – feldspar from Norway


I duly turned up and parked the geocar in the road leading to the cemetery, next to some depressing signs warning that items were being stolen from the graves. Trying not to look like a grave robber, I walked in. There are lots of large and very ornate graves, but it’s quite easy to spot the area of graves I needed to look at. I walked towards them, but there were a couple of people standing nearby, looking at a grave. I thought that maybe they were also geocachers, but a few moments looking showed that they were muggle visitors, so I walked on, past both the cache site and the visitors, and did a slow circuit of the site, still trying not to look like a grave robber.

Eventually I was alone, so I returned to GZ and sorted out the answers to the questions. I’d have stayed longer, and taken some pictures, but rain seemed imminent, and another muggle family had turned up to visit a grave, so I made my way back to the geocar and away.

I’d loaded one other cache, a mile or so along the road home. This one was a simple cache, or so I hoped. I knew the road very well, having driven along it at least once on most working days for the past ten years – but I had still never noticed the inconspicuous water pumping station set back from the road. I headed to the spot which the description and hint said the cache should be hidden, did a pretty poor search and failed to find it. Next, I believed the GPS, and followed if fifty feet up the road, to peer over the fence into a private front garden. Clearly others had done so, too, as one fence post looked as if it had been searched by cachers. That couldn’t be right – private land is off limits – so I paused to re-read descriptions, hints and logs. They all said that the cache should be where I first looked, though some logs remarked that the GPS signal was not accurate here, under tree cover. That all made sense, so I retraced my steps to the location of my first search, bent down, moved a small piece of concrete … and there was the cache. Doh! Why had it taken me fifteen minutes to think of that!

So that was it – a short but pleasant little caching trip on Earthcache day.

( Editor’s note 3: Mr Hg137 finished 29th )

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