Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Raging Racing Bull increases TravelBugBaja™ lead

The Detectorists' Raging Racing Bull Travel Bug has increased it's lead in the July 2010 TravelBugBaja™ after being placed into this Harrogate cache.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

New race leader in the July 2010 TravelBugBaja™

The Detectorists' Raging Racing Bull TB has leapt into the lead of the July 2010 TravelBugBaja™, thanks to a 160.3 mile move by cacher Postie!

Bl4ck4dd3r's '84 Pontiac creeps a little further

Bl4ck4dd3r's Travel Bug has moved along 1.1 miles in the July 2010 TravelBugBaja™ Race.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Is there a cache no.209 in the UK?

As a sequel to my previous post, I decided to check what is the highest number (of an unbroken sequence) available in the UK.

Obviously the famous Skeg to Ness series goes up to #207, so from no.208, what about the Church Micro series? Well, it's okay for no.208, but no.209 has been archived, and I can't find another 209 cache in the U.K., so it looks like a trip to Denmark, Sweden, Norway or the U.S.A. could be neccessary!

Countin' Bones is countin' caches

A few months ago I launched this Travel Bug, X400;

(whose name derives from the last 4 characters in it's logging code) with the intention of seeing if cachers who find it can take it to numbered caches in numerical order from 1. So far it has slowly worked it's way to number 3, although it wasn't logged into the cache. So, I figured why not try it myself with a TB that I carry with me, taking photographs at each stop?

Introducing Countin' Bones, who made his first stop today at Dave & Andy's Stationary 1;

I've not shown the actual cache container, so as to avoid giving away the surprise!

Now, where to for a number 2 cache..?

TravelBugBaja™ update

bl4ch4dd3r's '84 Pontiac Travel Bug has moved up one position into 2nd place after being dropped into this cache in Lancashire.

Overseas blog readers will probably be bemused by the cache name!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

July 2010 TravelBugBaja™

For the benefit of all entrants in the July 2010 TravelBugBajarace, I've added a current standings list to the top left of this blog, which I will keep updated.

Check out The Great Travel Bug Knock-Out for more race action!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

How do you keep a cacher in suspense?

I'll tell you later!

Seriously, sorry for anyone who's been waiting for an update on this blog, but I've been too busy driving this:

Yes,  I've left Boots and moved to these guys. The hours can be long as the entire country is covered from the one warehouse in Shirebrook, Derbyshire (the above photograph was taken in Watford, Herts), but I'm really enjoying it!

Anyway, check out my new blog for details of my new Travel Bug Race, open to all.

Happy caching, STP

Saturday, 19 June 2010


I was just adding up how many First-to-Finds I had made and figured as I hadn't posted on here this week, it might make interesting reading. As always, Your Milage May Vary!

Oddly enough, I almost had a First-to-Find with only my second cache. I had made the decision to look for just one cache a day, and after finding one of Angellica's local hides on Day 1, I spotted an unfound cache in Samson Woods, Calverton Branch Line 7 to go for on Day 2. A slim dark-haired woman with a boy passed me just before I reached the cache and I'm 99% sure that was First Finder Sephora and her son, so I missed the FTF by less than 10 minutes.

My eventual first FTF came on Day 29, with Sam's favourite places #3. What made this one more satisfying was beating Chesterfield cachers cats-eyes. I've since met Ginny and Dave and they're really nice people, but to a newbie that I was at the time, they really appeared to be hogging all the FTFs!  Speaking of cats-eyes, I'd noticed that they always started their FTF logs with Yabba-Dabba-Doo, so I had to think up a FTF catchphrase of my own, but all I could come up with on short notice was EFF-2-the-TEE-2-the-EFF!! Well, it serves it's purpose I guess ;-)

Oh, and another good thing about this cache is that the owner, dog-walker had left a nice certificate for the FTF;

I really ought to make some of those up for my caches, they're better souvenirs than FTF badges.

FTF number two arrived on Day 52, when before leaving for work I noticed a new cache from Carlton cacher Jacaru named No Tracking Here!. A nice simple find.

I had decided that I wanted to find a cache in Lincolnshire and so had checked to see if there were any unfounds in Lincs. I spotted an new puzzle cache that involved song lyrics, which I recognised instantly. A couple of minutes work on google had the rest of the puzzle solved, but I had to wait until the following day to bag the cache, FTF on July 2nd of Mary-Jo-Lisa, a fantastic well-stocked ammo can cache. Amazingly this cache was not found again until September 18th.

FTF no.4 was Baggers Bounty Bonanza #7 - Level Crossing part 1. I could have FTFed the entire series, but I was sticking to my one-cache-per-day rule at that time. Three days later FTF no.5 was Baggers Bounty Bonanza #6 - Barking Mad. This one had been muggled before anyone had found it, giving me the opportunity to bag FTF on the replacement cache!

FTF no.6 came more than a month later, but was very close to the previous one, Ling's Corner being further along the same trail as the Baggers' series.

The very next day I bagged FTF on Bridgford Hall at 4 am!

FTF no.8 made 3 FTFs on 3 consecutive days, Sound & Vision. I had actually tried another nearby cache earlier in the day, but had been put off by a combine harvester. If I had found that cache, then I couldn't have done this one due to my one-cache-per-day rule!

FTF no.9; Tri-County (1)

FTF no.10; Queen's Hotel. I'm still a little proud of my log for this one. The next finders took the cache home with them!

FTF no.11; Motte and Bailey. At this time Deceangi was regularly publishing caches very late at night which meant that I could get some effortless FTFs on my way to work. Simples!

FTF no.12; Busby's Box. Well, that's what it was originally named.

FTF no.13; Wellow Woods Nature Trail #4. Anyone who has done this series will know how tricky these caches are, especially when they were first placed as some of the co-ords have since been amended. A fantastic series though; Recommended by STP!

FTF no.14; Wellow Woods Nature Trail #9. What a nightmare this one was, and yet when found one could only think "How could I ever miss this one?!". This was a joint FTF with The Detectorists, and here's a picture of them with my daughter Eleanor;

Well, that's the first 14, more to follow tomorrow.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Anyone for a TB race starting in July?

Plans for my knockout Travel Bug race are on hold until the 2009/2010 EmCache TB Race ends, when I'll have more time to devote to it, but in the meantime I've entered the July Travel Bug race at TravelBugBaja and I'm trying to drum up some more entries.

The rules are simple, all you need is a Travel Bug Dog Tag attached to a hitchhiker with wheels. I've used an old Matchbox truck:

The great advantage of this race is that any cacher anywhere in the World can play, because your milage starts from the first cache that you put your Bug into in the three or four days after the race starts on July 12th. This means that cachers from the UK or US or Germany or anywhere else can all compete on equal terms without having to deliver their TB to a specific starting cache or event. Race On!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Anyone for a Travel Bug race?

Followers of my other blog, EmCache Race will be aware of my enthusiasm for Travel Bug races! That particular race has a set finishing date, but has run into various problems due to a lack of foresight regarding the rules prior the start.

I'm thinking of starting a race organised by myself, with the following rules;

1. Only Travel Bug Dog Tags with hitchhikers attached allowed. Reason: Each entry will be equally attractive to viewers of the cache page, and anyone retrieving the TB would receive the same icon. This would stop someone entering an unusual GeoCoin which would attract the attention of icon-hunters.

2. No-one with an entry in the race would be able to move any entry, including their own. Reason: No-one would be able to help their own entry of hinder anyone else's. This would not stop anyone creating one or more sockpuppet-type GC accounts in order to move their own TB along, but hopefully cachers will play the game fairly.

3. Only the first move by a cacher will count. Reason: This will not stop "dippers" from doing their thing, but it does mean that only their first dip counts.

4. All Travel Bugs must have a picture on their page. Reason: So that a "badge" can be made so that the race positions can be easily checked. Help will be given to any cacher unable to upload a picture of their TB.

5. A stolen/lost/muggled TB can be replaced, but the new Bug would start from 0 miles unless the original Dog Tag is found. Reason: Muggling are unfortunately part of geocaching.

Basically my idea is that the race would be a knock-out with the bug with the shortest distance travelled each (period to be determined) would be elimated until only one remains. How this would work is that if 10 Bugs were entered for the race and the race started October 1st, and the time period was determined as 1 month, then the Bug that had travelled the least distance by November 1st would be out, then the least travelled of the 9 remaining Bugs on December 1st would be eliminated until just 1, the winner, remained.

Yes, I'm still caching!

Yikes, is it really more than three months since I updated this thing?!

I'll post something later today, promise!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

The 5 Pits Trail, 12/1/2010

Again it was a case of not much time today, so I chose to look for just one cache of the Baggers Bounty Bonanza series, #9.

Thanks to the snow from late last week still lingering, the 5 Pits Trail was still a magical white crispy pathway. The cache was a simple find and contained an interesting microgeocoin;
Shown here larger than actual size!

As the coin had no particular mission, I decided to place it in my next find, and try to concentrate on fulfilling the missions of the two TBs that I was holding.

Another cache-and-dash, 11/1/2010

Wanting my every-day-this-year caching streak to continue, I realised that a small diversion on my way home from work would enable me to bag this microcache. So I did! Not much else to say, except that this was alongside a very fast and surprisingly busy road, so take care anyone else who chooses to look for this one.

Poolsbrook Park, 10/1/2010

Sunday, so time for a father/daughter bonding experience (a.k.a. geocaching!). Unfortunately due to one reason or another, we didn't have much time so we just popped over to Derbyshire for what was more-or-less a cache-and-dash to find this cache, which I knew would be large enough to drop off the Austin Powers Travel Bug that we had.

A very quick find followed and we were delighted to discover three Travel Bugs in the cache. We took the two most interesting ones and left Powers to "interrogate" the remaining bug.

This picture shows the two TBs, Chicken Run - Rocky and Painted Ponies, along with an item that I can't believe anyone would leave in a cache, a packet of dry-roasted peanuts! I always remove foodstuffs from caches, in case they attract animals that can damage or disturb the cache, although as these nuts were 6 months out-of-date, they had probably been in the cache for a year or so, so maybe they hadn't attracted wildlife, but even so...

Rocky the Chicken had been touring the World for almost 5 years, pretty good for a TB, and was trying to get to Liverpool, whilst the other TB wanted to visit traditional carrousels. Not many of those around here, but I could think of one not too far away.

SpaceMarine, 9/1/2010

Games Workshop is a Nottingham-based company designing and manufacturing roleplaying boardgames. Since late 1997 the company has been based in Nottingham at a HQ with several statues of their roleplaying characters in the grounds and this cache is hidden very close to this statue;

Yes, I found this cache at 4:30 am on a Saturday morning in a minus 2°C blizzard. Am I mad? Well, the security guard who came out to check on me probably thought so!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

A quick cache-and-dash, 8/1/2010

Oops, I've been neglecting this blog somewhat. Not much too say about this one, just a quick cache-and-dash on the way to work in -2°C temperatures at 4:35 am! Retail Therapy

Thursday, 14 January 2010

First pre-dawn cache of the year - 7/1/2010

Had time to stop for a cache-and-dash on the way to work this morning, so chose Help Our Heroes, a microcache hidden at a War Memorial in Mapperley, Nottingham. The Memorial (and very nearly all places in the UK have them) is a tribute to local soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who lost their lives serving their Country, not a tribute to war itself.

A nice, simple find, and a sturdy container too, better than the usual 35mm camera film pots that are often used for microcaches. After signing the log and replacing the cache I decided to take a couple of photographs of the monument in the snow at 4:30 am. This one is without flash assistance;

I was about to take a shot with the flash when I noticed a police car cruising past very slowly, and as it is now illegal to "be in possession of any material useful to a terrorist", i.e. any photograph of a place where members of the public are likely to gather, I decided that one snap would be enough and returned to my car.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Another visit to Colwick Country Park - 6/1/2010

Having had a long day at work on Tuesday, I was able to finish earlier today and so returned to Colwick Country Park to clear up the outstanding caches.

I walked clockwise around the park starting with Watch The Birdies. There are only two places that this cache could be, so naturally I tried the wrong place first! Whilst I was signing the log the birdies were watching me...

After replacing the cache it was on to The Post, a simple but sneaky hide. The lake was pretty much frozen over here;

Next one around was Ship Ahoy!, an extremely easy cache to find, visible from some distance away. I hope that it stays unmuggled.

Fourth cache for today was Lakeside. A tricky find, but mainly due to the snow; I'm not certain that it genuinely rates a three-and-a-half star difficulty rating.

Lakeside turned out to be my final find for today because I couldn't find Parachute Tree, despite it being my second attempt having visited with my daughter Eleanor a few days before. After hunting high-and-low for almost 30 minutes, I decided to call it a day and head back to my car. On the way back I almost immediately bumped into Cache Owners Jacaru and Wemnog who were on their way to check the cache after a couple of other cachers had posted DNFs on it. I'd met Jacaru and Wemnog before and it was great to meet them again. They offered to show me where the cache was hidden but I refused as I would prefer to find it myself (stubborn streak!) so we exchanged Travel Bugs instead. I passed on Nigel, whom I picked up in Lincolnshire on the 3rd and grabbed G.O. Powers, a TB that was launched more than 5 years ago. What a trip, Baby!

Extreme close-up, Yeah Groooovy!!

Cache-and-dash in a snowstorm! - 5/1/2010

Another day, another visit to Colwick Country Park. Due to having a long day at work I didn't arrive until 6 pm, when it was well dark and cold and with quite a bit of snow falling, but at least I didn't have to worry about muggles!

It was on with the headtorch and a short tramp through the snow to More Than Five Feet Up!. I guessed what I was looking for and found it at the third tree that I checked. A simple find really, just what I needed in this weather.

First solo caching of the year - 4/1/2010

In an effort to continue my caching-every-day-in-2010 streak alive, I stopped on the way home from work at Colwick Country Park for a crack at another one of Jacaru and Wemnog's new series of caches.

I chose Two Bridges  microcache because I could see that it was a simple cache-and-dash near to the car park.

I spotted the cache quickly and was able to retrieve it without attracting the attention of muggles by using the bootlace-tying technique. Imagine my surprise when I slid back the lid to find a perfectly clear block of ice containing the log like a fly in amber. I was so amazed that I laughed out loud. I daren't take a photograph for fear of attracting the attention of muggles, so here is a snap of a duck instead;

After cracking open the ice I was, again to my surprise, able to sign the moist log without problems. Total time from parking up to back in my car was 10 minutes, a real cache-and-dash!

Monday, 11 January 2010

More Geocaching with Eleanor - 3/1/2010

Eleanor wanted to find larger caches today, hopefully with more swaps in them, so I decided that a trip to Lincolnshire was in order.

First stop was the village of Welbourn where there was a new, unfound cache waiting; Welbourn Treasure Trunk, which according to the cache page contained toys.

Upon arriving at Ground Zero I quickly found a 35mm film canister with carefully hand-painted camouflage. "This doesn't look right" thinks I, and upon opening I knew that it wasn't the cache that we were looking for as it had signatures on the enclosed log dating back almost 2 years!

Nevertheless, I signed the log and returned the cache to it's hiding place, and it was only then that I spotted the actual Welbourn Treasure Trunk only 3 feet away. Our first First-to-Find of 2010! Eleanor chose a water pistol as a swap and left a racing car, and I also dropped in the Prisoner badge trackable from yesterday.

Upon checking later in the day I was able to pin down the microcache as this archived cache.

The view from up near the cache(s) was pretty good...

After that we headed across to Horncastle and visited a cache in someone's front garden. Yes, really! The cache is question was 'Tis the season at number 34, a huge and generous cache set by The Croft House Cachers. Read the cache page to see how generous this cache is as there are wrapped gifts for each caching team that visits plus a lucky dip for children, and a bag of swaps too. Eleanor chose the gift for us, which turned out to be a fun animal racing game, and her lucky dip gift was an elasticated wooden wonky dog. Thank You and Happy Christmas Croft House Cachers!

We left the Brumby GeoCoin from Silver Birch here and collected this attractive Travel Bug;

Can you guess what it's name is?

That's right, it's Nigel! Nigel's mission is to visit every mainland UK county, so having collected him in Lincolnshire, it's back to Nottinghamshire for Nigel.

On the way home from Horncastle we stopped at two quick cache-and-dashes, The Meaning Of Life which was a good cache but in a terribly stinky area. Not the usual countryside smell, but that foul landfill / dirty Biffa-bin odour. The other cache was Odder-ty (a pun on oddity I presume), another simple find on this cold day, and as previous finders had noted, home to a colony of snails (the hide, not the actual cache container!). Eleanor was happy with the swaps that she made at both of these caches, so she really enjoyed her day out, as did I.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

GeoCaching in the snow

Eleanor and I went to Colwick Country Park today to attempt a new series of 14 caches by Carlton cachers Jacaru and Wemnog. As we arrived it began snowing, but we ploughed on anyway. We decided to go around in an anti-clockwise direction starting with Cradled In The Fallen Tree. Despite quite a search we couldn't find the cache so it was on to the next one, Ivy The Fence!, which we found almost immediately, although Eleanor was disappointed that it was a nano, without swaps.

The next one we tried was If You See A Crocodile. We found the crocodile easily...

                                                    ...but no cache!

Next we headed on to Parachute Tree, and again despite searching for a good 20 minutes, we couldn't find the cache.

Undeterred, we headed on to Riverside for a simple find (at last!), in fact it was replacing the cache that was tricky here as there were so many muggles around, but we managed it eventually. I left the German Frog Travel Lizard from yesterday here and collected this unusual TB...

                       ...who's mission is to reach Lismore, NSW, Australia.

Our third find of the day was Polo Tree, another simple nano.

From there we found Silver Birch who's hide was to a cacher like a neon sign, being an unnatural looking pile of sticks. I found this great GeoCoin there...
...all the way from Australia! It's mission is to collect photographs of horses.

Eleanor (and I, to be truthful) had had enough snow and cold for today, so we headed back to the car, and were surprised to see some people searching around the Ground Zero of Cradled In The Fallen Tree. We introduced ourselves and were delighted to make the acquaintance of Skippy49 and Purplerain1275, especially as they found the cache and immediately handed it over for me to sign. Thank You for the smiley, guys! Eleanor was also happy as she got a bouncy ball from the cache, leaving a clockwork sprout in exchange.

Tomorrow we're planning a trip to Lincolnshire, weather allowing of course!

Friday, 1 January 2010

Did I go GeoCaching today?

Yes I did!

After a hearty cheese, mushroom and onion omelet (one of the few things that I can cook!) it was time to get my 5-year-old daughter Eleanor and myself togged up and out on the road.

First up today was GC1NA8V For Your Earthcache Only. As you may have guessed from the punning name, this is part of a series based on the James Bond film series, of which I have done a few in the past. Slippery roads apart, this was easy-peasy (so I cheated and read the hint, that's what they're there for!) find and it was soon back in the car and on to GC1NA8K The Man With the Golden GPSr. Again a simple find (being careful to avoid the icy stream nearby) and joy for Eleanor as she was able to swap for a doll's blanket. I collected an interesting frog Travel Lizard from Germany from here:

As he has no mission, I'll pop him into wherever I feel like, probably tomorrow.

Third cache of the day was Maple syrup, a simple cache-and-dash next to an interesting viewpoint. I dropped an attractive GeoCoin into this cache. I would have swapped it with the TB at the previous cache, but forgot until I was back in the car.

Fourth cache today was Curse of the FTF Notts #3 - The Junction. I decided to do this one as I had placed the previous cache in the series. It was very icy on the lane leading to the cache, and although a fairly straightforward find, it was a nightmare to replace as muggle after muggle sauntered past! Still Eleanor had fun posing with cache...

After we returned to our car Eleanor complained that her feet were getting cold, so that was it for today and back home. Eleanor wants to go back tomorrow and find more caches, so why not?