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 ?

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!)

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.

February 26 : Englefield Green

Englefield Green is a large village sandwiched between Windsor Great Park, Egham and Staines-upon-Thames.

We attempted 10 caches in three separate locations within the village; these locations were over a mile apart so we moved our car between each.

St Judes, Englefield Green

Our first location, centred around the village centre, involved finding 3 Church Micros. The first two, were combined as a Church Micro Twin. The two churches (St Andrews, a Greek Orthodox Church and St Judes, Church of England) each had three waypoints to find – with degrees of overlap between them. We walked between the waypoints, and wrote down numbers making sure we kept the two sets apart.

St Andrew’s, Englefield Green

However when we undertook the two calculations we realised we’d gone wrong! We’d misinterpreted our findings from the Greek Church, so we re-calculated and arrived at two more plausible locations.

We were still unsure of our calculations, so we proceeded to the nearest location, and after a but of rummaging found the cache. Inside the Tupperware box, was a beautiful and apt log holder.

This gave us confidence walk to the location of the second cache. It was hidden some distance from the Churches, passing by a residential area on the outskirts of the village. A quick find meant we could head for our third Church Micro (the Church of the Assumption of our Lady, Catholic).

The Church of the Assumption of Our Lady, Englefield Green

Here we looked for 2 adjacent benches to acquire some dates. However one of the benches had been moved, and it took us a few minutes to find it. The benches did give a good opportunity for an early lunch, and a good spot to work out the final cache co-ordinates. An easy find at what was a very apposite spot for a Church Micro.

Open countryside

We returned to the car and moved it to the Village Green area of Englefield Green. Here we would undertake a 1-2 mile walk in the countryside attempting to locate 6 caches. These were all standard caches – no multi calculations to undertake. This walk was very pleasurable, at times the traffic noise from the A30 and M25 were inaudible. Few, if any houses, were in view – we could have been far out in the country, instead of the extreme outskirts of London.

A ‘Little Bridge’ – but where is the cache?

The caches were, on the whole, fairly straightforward finds. The easiest was by a stile, completely uncovered.

Three were hidden in woodland, where on each occasion our GPS wobbled and we walked around in a several spirals until we arrived at the appropriate hiding place. The remaining two are best described as being attached to ‘poles and pipes’ ! All six caches were fairly standard cache containers… with one exception…a mouse!

Our last cache, was another short drive away. It was hidden just outside the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede. We didn’t have time to visit the Memorial itself (it lists all 20000 members of the air Services lost during WWII) but we did pause to remember the fallen by the entrance gates. (Our pause was slightly enforced, as two large lorries were vying for road-space in a relatively narrow lane, near where we were standing!).

Air Forces Memorial, Runnymede

The cache yielded an interesting trackable, Wood. There was an object connected to Wood – a helicopter. We weren’t sure whether to take the trackable or not (since it was in an apt location), but we did and we will blog about its adventures shortly.

So 10 caches attempted and 10 found. Three church micros undertaken and a pleasant walk in the country too.

Here are some of the caches we found :


February 15 : Trackable Smiler

Our walk around Weston Patrick took us to Erika’s Treasure Chest, about a quarter of a mile from our car and a quick find. Inside the sizeable container, was a trackable. a plastic shark, called Smiler.

Smiler

Smiler


Originally Smiler was an aluminium shark released in the UK with the intention of seeking out coastal locations to terrorise. (The plastic shark features an uneaten human leg!). Smiler did indeed travel the world visiting several caches in Peru and Brazil as well as major cities in Australia. Its journey to Australia was via Korea and one of the most famous stations in that country – Gangnam. The cache it visited is, of course, “Gangnam Style” where finders are invited to pose in front of signboard showing associated dance moves! It is not clear whether Smiler took part in this activity!

Sadly the Aluminium Shark was retrieved from a cache ion Poltimore, Devon in 2016 and never put back in the wild.
After 2 years out of a cache, the original owner. Bizkitman, replaced it with a plastic variant to resume its quest of coastal locations.

We are not visiting the coast soon, but we will move it on, into a suitable container, at the earliest opportunity!.