The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Monday 15 February 2010

Seven Eighths of Success

Together with Mick's brother and sister-in-law, we managed to get ourselves organised to leave Ma-in-Law's house whilst it was still morning, and over to Ogden Water we travelled.

Our objective for the day was to try to find as many as possible of the eighteen Geocaches secreted around the area, with 16 being our aim.

It wasn't the best day for introducing Geocache-virgins to the pastime, as whilst the cloud had lifted to above our level, it was still a damp (sometimes wet) day.

Onwards we strode anyway, and half an hour later we found the most enormously huge (and well-hidden) cache. Think of the sort of plastic crate that you might use for under-bed storage - and in it was a glass-fronted wooden TravelBug Lodge.

Returning it to its hole and rebuilding the stone wall in front of it, onwards we went, into lands of boggy yomping. And then it started to rain.

It was at the point the furthest from the car that the rain really started coming down, which was unfortunate as our companions had no waterproofs.

As a result, as soon as we reached a track that led back to the car park they wished us a good walk, heaved a sigh of relief (perhaps swore that they would never again accept an invitation to walk with us), and hotfooted it back down the valley.

In the meantime, Mick and I continued in our quest and with much time spent searching at quite a few of the locations (plus, later in the afternoon, time spent whistling nonchalantly whilst waiting for dog walkers to pass by).

It was wet and it wasn't hugely warm, and when we got to the Visitor Centre for a cup of something hot we found it closed. But to counter those negative factors we (by 'we' I actually mean 'Mick') found one incredibly well hidden cache which, from the previous logs, I hadn't expected to be able to locate. I was equally pleased to find one which was about half the size of a thimble!

With time marching on and rain still falling I rejected the intended 4km circuit up onto t'moor just for the sake of one cache. Instead we decided to divert on our walk back to Ma-in-Law's house (as we had no car by now) to pick up one which hadn't been on our list for the day.

Five hours after setting out we arrived back (about a third of which was spent searching, or otherwise not moving), with water just starting to reach my right hand through my Buffalo mitt and (not quite waterproof) overmitt. We had walked 12.5km and found 14 out of 16 caches.

In spite of the persistent wetness we were rather pleased with the outcome of the day - although we did rather wish that we'd packed some lunch (or maybe some of the two cakes I baked on the weekend). We really must remember before embarking on the little outings that searching for lots of plastic tubs adds significant extra time to a walk!
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