May 20: Souris

Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.

Souris

Souris


Almost all the geocaches on our walk along the South Downs Way between between Botolphs and Devil’s Dyke were small letterbox caches, just big enough to hold the cache log and a stamp for the letterbox. But one was larger – a clip lock box hidden under a water trough, and inside was a trackable, neatly tucked inside a small plastic bag. We had found Souris.

At the time we found Souris, we were unsure what species we had found: a hamster or a mouse? A girl, or a boy? (Editor’s note: we now know that Souris is a mouse but we are still unsure of the sex.)

Back home, we have had chance to research more about the trackable. Souris started off from Namur, in Belgium, in the first few days of 2019, and has travelled 1100 miles since then. From Belgium, there was a brief foray into France, and another visit to Germany, all in the company of Airhic1, the owner. Finally, in mid-April, Souris was placed where we found him/her, with the touching farewell log:

Please take care of my TB.
Farewell little mouse.

And we were the next people to collect Souris, and intend to honour that request, and also the mission of the trackable, which is …”to walk and rest”…

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May 18: 7 Deadly Ducks Tag – LUST

Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.

7 Deadly Ducks Tag - LUST

7 Deadly Ducks Tag – LUST


Back in the summer of 2016, Geocaching HQ in Seattle ran a trackable race called the HQ Duck Dash. For this, duck shaped trackables (and others) needed to travel as far as possible within a month, between July 20th and August 20th 2016. This one took part, then carried on afterwards.

This one, Lust, took part in the race, with the official goal:
Official goal: to be found and moved to another location.

But it has continued since, with another goal:
Unofficial sub-goal: to be photographed with other ducks.

Starting in Nebraska, it journeyed around the USA for a while, but had reached Iceland a year later. Then it moved to Germany, where it spent some while, had a brief holiday in Egypt, returned to Germany, and was dropped off in Krakow, Poland, in late 2018. It was collected from there and taken to England in early 2019. Since then, it has journeyed around the southern and eastern part of England, never (yet) going north of Birmingham or west of Southampton. We found it high on the ridge of the South Downs in Sussex, just east of Amberley.

We’ll take the duck further on its travels, and we have something duck-themed in mind that will suit it perfectly! More of that in a future post …

May17 : Trackable – GTR1400 1

During our walk from Bignor to Amberley we found a trackable at the bridge cache over the River Arun.

Curiously named GTR1400 1, it comprises the geotag (the unique reference number) with the Belgian flag. The main item, connected by a small leather strap, is an ‘E’ with Mickey Mouse running through it. Indeed the copyright ‘Disney’ is in the reverse of the E.

In it is unclear why the trackable is called ‘GTR1400 1’ and how it connects to Mickey Mouse. If you know any reason do let us know!

The trackable, has a goal (written in French) – to travel and discover the world with photos.

We are not sure our little jaunt along the South Downs Way is ‘the world’ but it is scenic.

The trackable, released in November 2017 has only travelled 1500 miles. Principally in Belgium but a couple of forays into France and Holland before arriving in the UK April 2018. It has visited Rye in East Sussex and much of Southern England including Cornwall. The furthest North is has been in the UK is Birmingham.

So the objective of ‘travelling the world’ has hardly been met, yet, so maybe the next cacher will take it to a new country! Or is that a Mickey Mouse idea ?

April 10 : Trackable – Get A Grip !

At the Farnborough meet there was the customary pile of trackables and geocoins to be admired and moved on. Amongst the pile GET A GRIP! caught our eye.

GET A GRIP!

GET A GRIP!


It was a small pair of grips or pliers, perfectly functional as a tool! Attached to it was laminated piece card stating that the trackable was in a race from Nottingham US to Nottingham UK. We knew we would be in Leicester (just 30 miles from Nottingham UK) over Easter so it seemed right we should take it.

When we got home, we discovered it had reached Nottingham many years ago!

Originally, back in 2011, it left Nottingham US (New Hampshire) bound for the UK in a trackable race. Before it reached Europe it travelled through some the Easternmost states in the US before leaving Florida in August 2012. It then went to Germany in Europe until March 2015 ! Eventually the grips made it to England but took a long route to Nottingham.. via South Wales!

After 8 months in the UK, the pair of grips made it to Nottingham…but its target cache had been disabled! It was placed in a nearby cache as a substitute. It is not clear whether this trackable won the race, or which other trackables it was competing against..but reaching the destination city is no mean feat.

Since reaching Nottingham it has travelled extensively in the UK, not helped by people believing it still needs to go to Nottingham! It has though visited Scotland and Marrakesh in Morocco!

We’ve emailed the trackable owner and the grips have a new mission… to travel the world.. perhaps Egypt? Italy? Japan? Australia? Here’s hoping it has further GRIPping adventures!

March 20 : Dartmoor Race Trackable 2019

In our previous post we mentioned that we were on a course in Warwickshire, and that we met another cacher who gave us a trackable. He was keen to give it to us, as it was in a race!

The trackable was a beautiful geocoin with a picture of Brent Tor on one side, and the Dartmoor National Park on the reverse. We were told it was in a race… but what was the race ? The geocoin description on http://www.geocaching.com said it was in a race… but when did the race start ? What other coins was it racing against ? The description didn’t say.

But when we returned home, google came to our aid.

The coin was part of an annual race run by Dartmoor Geocachers. Every year 20 or so geocoins race each other. The coin with the furthest mileage at the end of the year wins. (The winner of the 2018 race travelled over 24,000 miles and finished the year in Nepal!). We had picked up the coin owned by Jaynie15. She placed it in a cache in Devon on the 17th of March and three days later we had it in our hands in Warwickshire. We will move it on soon, probably on the Hampshire section of the South Downs Way so it should clock up a few more miles.

If you want to see how Jaynie’s trackable is doing look here :http://www.dartmoorgeocaching.co.uk/2019-dartmoor-geocoin-race-introduction – we will be watching throughout the year to see if it wins! Good luck Jaynie!

The reverse of the geocoin is here (with the trackable number removed – sorry!)

March 20 : Billesley – In the footsteps of Shakespeare

Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.

Billesley Trussell, a few miles from Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, was a village which became depopulated after the Black Death, leaving just the manor house, and the tiny church, All Saints Church, overlooking the lumps and bumps of the deserted village. It’s alleged that William Shakespeare got married to Anne Hathaway here https://www.visitchurches.org.uk/visit/church-listing/all-saints-billesley.html

All Saints Church, Billesley

All Saints Church, Billesley


We were in Warwickshire for a 2-day course being held at Billesley Manor Hotel, right next to the church. (Editor’s note: Billesley Manor has loads of history too, some, inevitably, associated with Shakespeare. It’s said that he wrote “As You Like It” in the library. Read about the history here: https://www.bespokehotels.com/billesley-manor )
Billesley Manor

Billesley Manor


Having found there was a cache based on the church, we’d done a bit of research beforehand to solve some of the numbers we’d need to work out the coordinates of the cache. After parking, we read a noticeboard looking out over the deserted village (and to check some of our research), then walked along a short path which led to the church, and another noticeboard (where we confirmed the rest of our research). Having worked out the coordinates, Mr Hg137 began searching, while I wandered into the unlocked little church for a look around. As I emerged, I came upon … Mr Hg137, holding the cache … I’d walked within inches of it without realising.

Caching over, the course started. During a break, we were talking about hobbies to one of the other attendees. He was a geocacher too – they get everywhere! He, too, found the cache during his visit, and passed on a geocoin which is taking part in a race (more of that in another post).

February 26 : Wood

Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.

“Wood” is in the description for this trackable, but it doesn’t entirely describe what we found. The description reads:

“I once heard someone say that if you want a trackable to survive, you need to attach the tag to a rock or something else that nobody would want to keep. I, along with most cachers have experienced having a trackable item be stolen, or go missing. I’m testing my hypothesis that this trackable will last longer than others simply because it’s boring and ugly”

We lost the first trackable we placed, because we didn’t realise it would fare better if attached to a larger object, so we quite understand the above comments. And, it’s true, we found a trackable attached to a lump of wood. But it was also attached to something else – a model helicopter. This was very appropriate for the place we found the trackable, which was approximately opposite the gates of the RAF memorial above the River Thames at Runnymede.

And on to the journey of this trackable: it started its life in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in April 2016, with a goal of returning home. It was dropped off in Hong Kong, China, in May, and within a month had been picked up, shown off at a cacher’s meet, and transported to London, arriving in July. It moved to the Midlands, and was unlucky enough to get stuck, twice, in rarely visited caches. By September 2017 it was off to Scotland … where it had another wait, till August 2018, when it was found and taken to the Yorkshire Mega event. It was picked up by one of the organisers of the 2017 Mega, in Devon, and taken back there. After a brief trip round Devon, it went back to north-west England, attended some more caching events, and finally made a trip to Berkshire, which is where we found it.

That’s quite an adventure, and quite a lot of events: we suspect this is because of the size of the objects the trackable is attached to, which would limit the number of caches it could be placed in. Most simply aren’t that big! But we will take it along with us and will place it in the first cache it will fit inside and maybe it will get closer to its home in Canada.