October 23 – Lackey Crossing tag

Hello, Mrs Hg137 here again.

This travel bug wants to ‘Travel from cache to cache and visit all the continents.’ and has been doing so since August 2012. Since then, it’s been round much of its home country, Slovakia, made a quick visit to Gdansk, in Poland, and has now landed in England where we found it at Bletchley Park.

IMG_6675

Advertisements

October 22 – Travel Bug Dog Tag

Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.

The mission for this much-travelled bug … “On our 30th anniversary, Sep 3rd, 2013, My wife and I will travel to where the travel bug rests to retrieve it. Keep it moving, Don’t want to end up going to Dunsmuir Calif to pick it up !” This is a nifty idea for a travel bug mission; maybe we’ll try something similar.

IMG_6624

The travel bug was released in late 2008 at ‘25th Anniversary Cache’ in California (appropriate, if you do the arithmetic!) and has notched up 22000 miles in the intervening 5 years. Somewhere along the way, it lost whatever it was originally attached to, and is now joined onto a cardboard heart. I’m not sure that the owner, ‘peaceofmind’, was around to collect it on the appointed day as we found it soon afterwards at Bletchley Park.

October 21 – Moonwalk geocoin

IMG_6673
Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.

This geocoin wants to ‘walk the world’ and has been doing so since setting off in early July. Since then, it’s been round much of the Netherlands, a quick trip to Antwerp, in Belgium, the across the Channel to England where we found it at Bletchley Park. Keep on walking, little geocoin!

October 20 Day 295 Caches Found 5 Cumulative Total 379 (+1 bonus, +2 cachers’ meets)

 

Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.

It was our last day in Milton Keynes and we decided to take in some of the sights before returning home.

First up was an iconic location in MK.  And there was a cache nearby – ‘GC10: The Concrete Cows’.   It also seemed a most suitable place to drop off our Geokret, ‘Der Champion’. 

The Concrete Cows

The Concrete Cows

The GC10 series was placed to commemorate 10 years of geocaching and includes 10 iconic locations, such as the Giant’s Causeway, White Cliffs of Dover, Edinburgh Castle, and … the cows!   Well, we found the cows easily enough, and then we searched for the cache, and searched, searched, and searched again.  We couldn’t find it.  Curses.  (Addendum: the cache was indeed missing and has since been temporarily disabled.)

Oh well, on to the next cache. 

Once again we searched, searched, and searched again.  And we couldn’t find it, again.  And the rain was beginning to fall.  We hardly ever fail to find two caches in a row, and this was not going well.  Perhaps we just hadn’t engaged our caching brains? 

We moved on again, to the remains of a Roman villa (we didn’t know there was one in MK, but a friendly muggle dog walker had mentioned  it) and to another cache.  This became a ‘Did Not Attempt’ rather than a failure, as we didn’t fancy a tree climb and a walk through a nettle-field, but time was passing, the weather was not so good, and we hadn’t laid hands on a single cache.

Roman Villa Remains

Roman Villa Remains

We decided on a change of scene: it must get better (mustn’t it?). 

Off we went to central MK, where there are a number of public artworks, along with nearby caches.  Our luck changed, and the rain eased.  We found three caches very quickly and easily and one was a suitable sized container that could take the Geokret.  A laurel hedge was not quite the iconic location we had in mind… but it’s on the road, travelling again.

MK Artworks I

MK Artworks I

The last cache we found was close to Milton Keynes station, so we diverted slightly and grabbed one of the ‘Sidetracked’ series that are spread around the country near stations.

Besides, the rain was threatening again and thunder was rumbling in the distance … It was time to stop.  We’d seen some varied sights after a disastrous start and it was time to stop while we were (just) ahead. 

MK Artworks II

MK Artworks II

October 19 Day 292 Caches Found 2 Cumulative Total 374 (+1 bonus, +2 cachers’ meets)

Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.

Our second day in and around Milton Keynes was to include a visit to Bletchley Park, and to the National Museum of Computing.  We’ve both worked in IT and we both like codes and puzzles, so this place had been on the bucket list for a long time.  Hence we’d prepared just two caches for the day.  The first was a simple cache and dash very close to Bletchley Station.

The Mansion, Bletchley Park

The Mansion, Bletchley Park

The second was in honour of the occasion; Bletchley Park was the home of British code breaking operations in World War II.   The cache, ‘Station X’, was a difficulty 5 cache (the hardest, and also the first we had attempted) which required the deciphering of a chunk of text to find the cache location.  We’d both spent a while trying to find the key to the code, but without success.    Then I spent a couple of hours reading up on methods of enciphering text, and another hour or so repeating what I’d read to Mr Hg137.  He retired to the bath with a copy of the code … a while later there was a shout of triumph … he’d cracked it!  I spent the rest of the evening deciphering the message … and the cache was really easy to find once that was done.  We picked up three trackables from the cache, then spent the rest of the day being tourists.

A real Enigma machine!

A real Enigma machine!

Colossus - well, part of it

Colossus – well, part of it

Bletchley Park is a fascinating place, well worth a trip. You can see a real Enigma machine, visit the huts where the codes were cracked, and look around the Mansion House and grounds.  The National Museum of Computing occupies the same site and we spent a couple of hours here very easily. You can see the first ever electronic computer in the world (Colossus); this was running on the day we visited and is fascinating, but so unlike today’s computers – and crikey, all those valves give off so much heat!  If you’ve ever played computer games, there are plenty of historic examples – BBC micros, ZX81s, etc, etc, on which you can revisit your skills.  And there’s a computer room where some of the larger computers are running.  It was here that Mr Hg137 had a real surprise; one of the techies stepped out from behind a computer and hailed him by name; they knew each other way back, over 20 years ago.

It’s a great day out and we’d recommend it.

October 18 Day 291 Caches Found 4 Cumulative Total 372 (+1 bonus, +2 cachers’ meets)

We decided to have a weekend away. But where to go ? Believe it or not Milton Keynes came top of the list !

Our long weekend started with a visit to the National Trust property of Stowe Landscape Gardens. The gardens are extensive and were laid out by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown in the 1740s and are adjacent to Stowe Public School. Paths criss-cross the gardens around a number of lakes and the highlights are the statues and temples which you encounter as you walk around the grounds.

Sadly there are no caches in the main part of the National Trust Gardens!

However there is a caching trail which circumnavigates the National Trust property and we found 4 caches we could reach easily whilst we were ‘within’ the NT gardens.

The caches were a mixture small bison tubes, 5ml tubes, and tupperware boxes. The 5ml tube was an interesting find as the obvious place for it was in a fence-hole, but after much searching we found it on the ground under leaf cover. We replaced the cache in one of the fence-holes and informed the cache owner!

One of the easier finds was a tupperware containers in a laurel tree, but the tree was full of ladybirds! So much so that we were still finding ladybirds on our coats and in our hair half an hour later.

Another of the caches was close by the final ticket collection point before entry into the Gardens. We explained to the NT volunteer what we had been doing, she had heard of the cache but never found it…. we didn’t tell her either!

The photos for a change are not of caches but the monuments, statues and buildings in Stowe Gardens.
We had taken the Geokret trackable ‘Der Champion’ on our trip but we had plans for him. He was to be dropped off at a special cache in Milton Keynes so we kept him with us for now.

Stowe Folly

Stowe Folly

Stowe School

Stowe School

Rotunda

Rotunda

2 Saxon Deities

2 Saxon Deities

Spacious Gardens

Spacious Gardens