Tag Archives: geocache

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!

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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Frenchman’s Bay.

This cache brought me the last two souvenirs below.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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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”

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!”

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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!

Churches, Red Houses and 15 Years – Geocaches 138 – 140

After a gloriously lazy morning finishing off my book, it was time to geocache!

The weather was absolutely horrible! So why cache today? 15 years ago to the day, Geocaching was born! As such, there was a new souvenir to collect on Geocaching.com, and who can resist a new .jpg for their profile?

Terri and I headed out to pick up some local caches that have sprung up over the winter. We started off with Attention Defici… oooooh shiny (GC5PJNQ), which is nearby the National Glass Centre. When we got to the parking place we were surprised to see this:

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HMS Ocean is staying in Sunderland this weekend. It’s a really huge boat. We walked up onto the glass roof of the centre to get a better look. This is the weird view you get up on the roof – the gift shop many floors below.

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Terri hoped that these designs weren’t covering up the cracks!

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Back to the geocaching though. We found the cache near the Red House, a sculpture nearby the National Glass Centre.

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Quite a view from the living room.

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After a short drive up in the hideous weather, we ended up on top of the cliffs at Roker. The picture below doesn’t do justice to the wind and rain we were enduring by this point! Traditional Bank Holiday weather.

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Next up, Top Bombing (GC5NM3R). Continuing the military theme we headed for a multicache set near an old Sea Mine.

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We solved the clues from the nearby information board, and ran along the clifftops to the final location to keep warm. The elements didn’t want us outside today. Once we got to the final location, we quickly hunted out the cache and signed the log.

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On the way back to the car, I picked up Church Micro 6343…Roker (GC5CCZ7) – which Terri had already found. Still freezing, we ran back to the car.

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From one church micro to another, the next one on the list today was Church Micro 7369…Whitburn (GC5NA9Y). In our own traditional style we headed straight for the church in Whitburn. Except it was the wrong church. Whoops. Still a nice church though.

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Nearby Whitburn Parish Church is this other red house The Red Cottage, which has cricket-themed decorations.

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Anyway, we were in exactly the wrong place for the church micro. We walked back through the village towards W.M.#62 We Shall remember them ~ Whitburn (GC5NEB8). The War Memorials series is a relatively new one, and you complete them by reading information on the monuments which reveals the final location of the caches. The church micro series has really taken off, with at least 7000 in the UK. I wonder if the W.M. Series will do the same.

Before going to the final location for this cache, we went to the Methodist Church in Whitburn (the correct location this time) but were unable to unearth the cache. We had similar luck with the final location of the war memorial cache. We should have quit while we were ahead!

At the end of the adventure, we were left with a couple of new DNFs in the area as well as our finds – it’s been a while since we’ve had some local DNFs to grab! The souvenir unlocked itself and presented us with a new mission of finding various types of cache on various days throughout the summer. I wonder if we’ll manage it!

Pi Day–Geocaches 135 and 136

 

In what is now a two-week long tradition, Terri and I grabbed a couple of local caches before heading to the gym. Our first one was Church Micro 7370…Fulwell (GC5NYCA) and after withdrawing last week due to dog walkers, we had to have another go this weekend. The coast was clear, and we went straight to it – a real cache and dash!

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Because of Pi day, there was a special souvenir to be unlocked on Geocaching.com. Finding a ? (puzzle) cache would do the trick. As we had already got a puzzle cache ready to find, we went for the final part of the BTB Cleadon series – BTB – Cleadon C (GC32XAH).  We had found the 4 feeder caches ages ago, and thought today would be the day to grab the final cache!

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It was a fairly quick find somewhere in the vicinity of the church, which we had suspected all along given the cache owner… you’ll know what I’m talking about it you’re from around here! Souvenir bagged, we went off to the gym!

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A Souvenir by: Geocaching HQ

Additional Information:Computing more and more digits of pi has been a goal of some mathematicians throughout the years. It’s almost like solving a very complex puzzle, which is why this souvenir was awarded to those who found a Mystery Cache on Pi Day, March 14, 2015 (aka 3.14.15).”