Category Archives: Geocaching

Road Trip South Shields–Geocaches 150-151

Due to the need to acquire various pictures on my geocaching profile, I headed out to South Shields today to grab two caches that would fulfil all of the requirements of the Road Trip and bag me no fewer than 5 souvenirs! Not a bad haul for two caches!

IMG_20150831_115301778
Rowan berries my phone camera didn’t cope well with.

I solved the puzzle cache The 55th Parallel (GCNZDG) the internet way yesterday afternoon, and headed out to grab it this afternoon. I took the bus towards South Shields. Along the way a wasp got on the bus (without a ticket) and caused plenty of chaos. Happily I avoided most of it and got off near the final location sting-free, past a lovely rowan tree.

Once I followed my GPS, the cache was quickly discovered, signed and put away. As I wasn’t sure if my coordinates were correct, I was very pleased to be able to locate the cache so quickly. This cache earned me the three souvenirs below.

image

A Souvenir by: Geocaching HQ. Additional Information:Favorite Points are a geocacher’s way of figuring out which geocaches are the best of the best. You earned this souvenir during the Geocaching Road Trip ‘15 by finding a geocache with 10 or more Favorite Points.”

image

A Souvenir by: Geocaching HQ. Additional Information:Sometimes you just have to get your adrenaline flowing or your mind racing—and what better way to do that than with a geocache? You earned this souvenir during the Geocaching Road Trip ‘15 by finding a Terrain 5 or Difficulty 5 geocache.”

image

A Souvenir by: Geocaching HQ. Additional Information: It takes determination and brain power to conquer most Mystery Caches. Way to power through and make the find! You earned this souvenir during the Geocaching Road Trip ‘15 by finding a Mystery Cache.”

IMG_20150831_121505411_HDR
South Shields beach at the end of Ocean Road.

I walked along Ocean Road past the fair and up along the leas towards the earthcache Frenchman’s Bay (GC1XQHD). The view from the leas is often spectacular, and Frenchman’s bay is no exception with its perfect sandy beach, now inaccessible to people.

IMG_20150831_125322722

IMG_20150831_125105933
Frenchman’s Bay.

This cache brought me the last two souvenirs below.

image

A Souvenir by: Geocaching HQ. Additional Information:The geocaching game board, a.k.a. the Earth, is pretty awesome. Good job learning about it or for cleaning it up! You earned this souvenir during the Geocaching Road Trip ‘15 by finding an EarthCache or attending a CITO event.”

image

A Souvenir by: Geocaching HQ. Additional Information:You did it! Way to go! Thanks for being a part of this amazing geocaching journey. You earned this souvenir during the Geocaching Road Trip ‘15 by earning all five of the other souvenirs.”

Without really meaning to, I have taken a very minimalistic approach to this challenge, and completed it in only 3 caches. I’m not sure if it would be possible to do it in any fewer.

On the way back I also came across this beetle which I’ve tried to identify. It was running along the sandy gravel path on top of the cliffs and dove into the grass. I managed to take a picture of it before it buried itself completely, and it seems to be a Violet Ground Beetle / Rain Beetle (Carabus violaceus). That article has a much better picture of one, but here’s mine.

IMG_20150831_130602018

It could run very fast, and the sides of it were very iridescent – the picture I captured appears to show them as light blue. It was 4-5cm long with the antennae.

I was very lucky to get home just before the clouds started leaking.

Advertisements

DNFs in Sunderland – Geocache 149

Terri and I got onto the metro, but only got as far as Sunderland when the service was suspended… That put paid to our idea of riding around and grabbing metro caches! Unfortunately, the day had started how it meant to go on, with a whole lot of bad luck. It wasn’t all bad though – we had lots of fun and a 6-mile walk into the bargain.

We started off at Park Lane, where we discovered that the cache which had been archived. After a bit of lunch we headed off to SideTracked – Sunderland (GC5NX1F). Despite a good squint around at the correct spot, it wasn’t to be found.

Not to be put off, we headed back across town to Mobray Park, looking for the well-named cache Mowbray Park – (GC4WDEX), which we had failed to find in the past. The DNF struck again and we didn’t manage this one either.

IMG_20150826_141755478_HDR

Next on our list was a multi on the edge of the park – W.M.#23 We will remember them ~ Mowbray Park (GC5EY9V). We did all the calculations at the location, but unfortunately couldn’t find the final! We were feeling pretty disheartened by now!

We decided to take a little break in the Winter Gardens for a change and regroup, and walked around the garden for a while.

IMG_20150826_142610326

We headed out of town towards the bridge, but stopped off to search for Church Micro 7959…Sunderland – St Mary (GC5X4E0). Needless to say we came up empty handed there too. We hoped crossing the river might change out luck.

W.M.#40 We Will Remember Them ~ Stadium of Light (GC5JVG8) was next on the list. This is part of the series based on War Memorials, and the statue here was quite unique with its SAFC connection. We did the required calculations and went to the indicated spot… and there was the cache! We were so happy to find it!

IMG_20150826_152706383

We searched for a reprieve across the river by the Stadium of Light, looking for the Stadium of Light Multi (GC4X2C1). We got to the final location just fine, but couldn’t find the final! At least we got a walk around the stadium and found some very fitting plants.

IMG_20150826_160638262

Finally, we decided to call it a day. I hope we can find them again some other time. Fingers crossed.

IMG_20150826_161543786

A Trip to Seaham – Geocaches 147 and 148

Today I went to Seaham for lunch with mam and Lin. After we were fuelled, we set off to find some nearby geocaches. The first was THE PIRATES GRAVE! (GC4NDGV), near St Mary’s Church. Lin got her hands on the cache very quickly, and I logged the find.

We had a bit more trouble with the other one, Church Micro 6853…Old Seaham (GC5HCJX). The clues were quickly found, and the final coordinates were calculated. After a thorough search in the wrong place, I rechecked the coordinates and found the cache in no time – slightly futher away from where we had been looking. Oops.

IMG_20150825_140001165

Mam and Lin fancied a walk on the beach, and seeing it was a pebble beach I wondered whether it would be any good for seaglass. It turned out to be a brilliant spot! We found lots of lovely pieces as we walked along, and the walk quickly turned into a stand as we combed the beach.

There were plenty of people walking along the beach, bag in hand. One man walking his dog said hello and gave us a bagful of glass he’d collected. Apparently he collects it every day while walking his dog, and always hands it to someone else. Today I was his lucky “customer”.

IMG_20150825_153604052_HDR

When I got home I looked up Seaham for seaglass, and discovered that it had been the site of a glass works run by John Candlish. You can read lots more serious information about him on his Wikipedia page, and in this article about the factory. There’s a rather more romanticised article on the Guardian website about finding seaglass in Seaham too.

IMG_20150826_141755478_HDR

Seaham certainly has a much greater variation of glass than any other beach I’ve collected on, and there are plenty of very nicely-rounded pieces too. Because of the way that waste glass was dumped into the sea in big lumps, I have found plenty of multicoloured glass here, which is really beautiful. I’m looking forward to spending lots more time on this beach.

Action Stations at The Bridge–Geocache 146

Just a quick pop in to this event to meet some cachers and grab the souvenir for the Geocaching 2015 Road Trip! (GC60D65). My first souvenir of the road trip.

image

A Souvenir by: Geocaching HQ

Additional Information:It’s an old geocaching saying: “Sometimes the best finds are other people.” And where better to find more geocaching friends than at an event? You earned this souvenir during the Geocaching Road Trip ‘15 by attending a Geocaching Event. Learn more about the Geocaching Road Trip ‘15 at geocaching.com/roadtrip”

Church Micro 7723…Heworth–Geocache 145

This was another cache and dash to celebrate International Geocaching Day. Finding myself in Heworth for the evening, I made sure to pop to Church Micro 7723 … Heworth (GC5TJ1M) to tick off the souvenir! A quick think and an even quicker search meant I soon had it signed off!

image

A Souvenir by: Geocaching HQ

Additional Information:Happy International Geocaching Day! By logging a geocache on August 15, you have joined thousands of geocachers around the world who are celebrating geocaching.”

First to find race–Geocaches 141-143

My phone went off and signalled a geocache had just been published near by. Then another one came in straight after! I called Terri and off we went, after frantic discussion about which one would be the best chance to get a first to find. We opted to go for Tree’s a crowd (GC5V7MH).

Tree was a nearly a crowd when mistyduneTerri and I arrived to find another cacher already searching! Having scrambled our respective helicopters we were quite surprised to have been beaten to GZ, but we all spent a good few minutes more looking! Eventually I went the opposite way to the other two, driven by a hint, and the cache was ours! Joint FTF with our searching companion! As soon as the log was signed…”Right… See you at the next one!”

IMG_20150510_173405186

And so the challenge continued to St Benet’s (GC5V7Q7), as we raced to our vehicles…

…the drama continued as we wondered who would be the first to arrive. It wasn’t us! Our caching nemesis had unearthed it only moments before, but we shared in the FTF. It was great to meet another cacher and share the hunt!

To round off the evening, we went back to a cache we had missed on a previous hunt. Part of a series on war memorials, W.M.#62 We Shall remember them ~ Whitburn (8GC5NEB). It had not been there, but was replaced when we had our second try. We had solved the puzzle earlier. A telltale pen lying on the ground hinted that we were in the right spot! The tall one grabbed it in no time this time around!