Geocaching targets 2019

2 01 2019

Over the past couple of days I have been reflecting on what I have achieved in the way of geocaching during 2018, why it was like that and what are reasonable targets for 2019. This is what I arrived at:

1. Find a cache in one new country.
2. Find 10 multis.
3. Find 10 large caches.
4. Place 3 caches.
5. Complete the alphabetic mystery owner challenge Questionable COs: A-Z Roll of Honour Challenge
6. Find caches in all boroughs of one Swedish county that is not yet complete.

In other words a very low key set of targets. It imagine that it reflects how I am looking on geocaching at the moment. I should have more time for geocaching as I retired in May 2018, but for some reason time has passed and little has been achieved. I hope that 2019’s SMART targets will be met as it’s always satisfying to meet targets!

For those who have noted my previous years targets will see that target 5 is there again for the sixth year (I posted a note on the log page 2013-01-27) and I just don’t seem to find the last letters needed. I am missing cache owner names beginning with Q U and W. Only one is actually needed to log a find on the cache as two wild cards are allowed. How difficult can it be?

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Geocaching targets 2017 and 2018

2 01 2019

Hang on a moment, you will say 2018 has passed and there were no targets published in the blog! That’s true, but I did have geocaching targets for 2018 and they were the same as for 2017 as I hadn’t been very successful in meeting them then either.

So this is what was in store for 2017 and 2018 and how I did.

1. Find at least one cache in Norrland.
2. Find at least one cache in ten new boroughs of Sweden.
3. Find caches in at least three more countries.
4. Find at least ten more earthcaches.
5. Place at least three new caches with different D/T ratings or types.
6. Find the 3 remaining puzzle caches to complete the Questionable COs: A-Z Roll of Honour Challenge.

2017
FAIL I didn’t meet the first two targets. Zero activity in that area.
PASS I found caches in 2 new countries (Albania and Isle of Man).
FAIL I found 8 of 10 earthcaches.
FAIL I placed no caches.
FAIL I didn’t find any of the missing puzzle caches needed.

2018
PASS I met the first two targets. We finally made the Norrland trip as posted in in the blog during the summer.
PASS I found caches in 2 new countries (Italy and Vatican City).
FAIL I found 7 of 10 earthcaches.
FAIL I placed no caches.
FAIL I didn’t find any of the missing puzzle caches needed.

It doesn’t take a lot to realise that either the targets were unrealistic, circumstances were adverse or I have lost interest in geocaching. Perhaps it is the latter although my activity during 2018 has been on a similar level to previous years. I have just not focussed on the targets.

Geocaching results 2018

So what’s in store? Read the next post!





Mega Sweden FAD 2018

8 11 2018

A week after WINTER GEOLYMPIX: ASHRIDGE 2018 it was time to attend another mega event. This time the journey was somewhat shorter as the event in question was Mega Sweden FAD 2018 just a 2½ hour drive north to Sundsvall. Last year’s FAD was in Uppsala and I went there with Madchicken and Ironhawk67. This year Madchicken had other engagements so it was just Ironhawk67 and I who made the trip. Of course, many other geocachers from Gävle found their way up to Sundsvall but all seemed to make a weekend of it and had driven up on the Friday. We just made it a day trip.

We made a short break on the way up to log Amors låda and Gubben i lådan, both with a high number of well deserved favourite points. I won’t spoil them by posting photos.

Our first stop in Sundsvall was the Mega itself where we registered and collected little goodies bag then wandered around. We found the fantastic dragon ”log book” which we duly signed.

FAD log(book) dragon

My nick on the log(book)

There were a couple of vendors of geocaching paraphernalia but to my disappointment the prices were much higher than at Geolympix so nothing was bought. I hadn’t bought anything at Geolympix apart from a few AAND’s as I didn’t think that there would be any difference in price but some items I saw were 10 times more expensive in Sundsvall and most twice the price.

Presentations at FAD

Mingle at FAD

We then drove into he centre of Sundsvall to do the daytime lab caches. On our way down we stopped for a very sneaky cache GC Sundsvalls Julkalender 2012 #6 St Nicholaus. A handful of people were there when we arrived but it still took quite some time before there was that ”aha” moment. I can see why the cache has so many favourite points.

The lab caches formed a multi of sorts with ten different places to visit. Each stop had a hint to the next so doing them in the right order helped even if it was not 100% necessary. Before setting off we stopped by the local kebab place for lunch. We needed energy for the walk around town.

FAD daytime lab caches

One of the lab caches was at the top of the stairs in Hotel Knaust

Once the lab caches were all found we ticked off a few trads and a virtual before getting to Panic Room, another highly favourited cache. The container was very special and I must admit to not having seen one like previously. We rounded the afternnon off with a Wherigo Sundsvalls stadspromenad. I couldn’t get the Wherigo loaded onto my iPhone but Ironhawk67 had no difficulties getting it on to his Android phone. In this case the problem was more probably the operator and not the phone.

We headed back to the FAD site to load the evening caches (GPS and smartphone) but stopped on the way up to find a couple of simple trads and a nite multi Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. This was a (very) short firetack trail that took us to a box with the final coords.

I normally use the standard geocaching app on my iPhone (usually as a complement to my Garmin GPS) but that doesn’t have the ability to load GPX files. I can see that I will have to invest 50 SEK for Cachly or 65 SEK for Looking4cache pro to get that functionailty. I also need to update the OpenStreet Map on my GPS to the latest version as the one I had didn’t show most (hardly any) of the tracks in the area around Södrastadsberget but the smartphone did of course.

After loading the night caches and warming up we set off again in the dark to find the multi FAD Sundsvall 2018 #1 – Tarzanstigen. There were other cachers out there in the dark and they had fun finding an alternative route to the cache.

Some cachers taking a short cut

We found a couple more trads before calling it a day and heading back home. I didn’t take a photo of the view over Sundsvall during daylight so I have to make do with this one in the night. Still quite a good view.

Sundsvall by night





WINTER GEOLYMPIX: ASHRIDGE 2018

2 11 2018

Last year I participated in my first Mega event which was Mega Sweden FAD 2017 as it ws not too far away from home. As I still had some frequent flyer miles to use I decided to visit WINTER GEOLYMPIX: ASHRIDGE 2018 as it was conveniently located less than an hours drive away from one of my brothers, and more relevantly the one that geocaches. He is half of ”zelger” and they had never participated in a mega and when I told them about my positive experience at FAD they were in.

I am not a keen myst solver and neither are they, however, we scratched our heads on the Friday evening and solved a handful of mysts. There was some lively discussion about how a myst can be listed as a letterbox/hybrid cache and even if we agreed it was stupid to give them that classification just because the CO stuck a stamp in the cache container of what is clearly a myst. It should be classed as a myst. Yes, I have read the geocaching guidelines, but I don’t need to like them. Rant over.

We started our journey mid morning and as always in England there is heavy traffic on most roads. When we got to Berkhamsted a closed road got us stuck in long queues. We finally made it and found a good spot to park on the road that passed by the night cache hub near Ringshall. Our reasoning was that there was probably going to be less traffic leaving from there than the main road in to the event site.

Even though there is no ”Allemansrätt” (free right of way) in England the woods were open for all to use and even though there are many paths we needed to leave them from time to time. As we meandered towards the event location we logged a few of the handful of mysts/letterbox hybrids we had solved including Hotter/Colder – WG2018: “Ice Cold in Ashridge!“and some of the Big G mysts such as Big G: Hanjie

Ashridge is a National Trust site where the Bridgewater Monument can be found. The main estate is popular for walking free in a forest which is not so easily done in England.

Bridgewater Monument

As we approached the event location we wondered if everything had been called off. There was a small party tent with no walls for registering at the event and for TB and geocoin exchange. There was no-one looking after that so if you were interested in trackables you just had to hang around and assume that everything there was dropped. When we were there, I was able to find nine trackables. I’m sure that if I had hung around more would have turned up. There was a stall selling a wide array of geocaching goodies and JJEF demonstrating his gadget caches of which I have found quite a few on earlier visits to England. We had a good chat.

JJEF caches

Otherwise, there were just a couple more stalls and a couple of lab caches that we didn’t bother with. We could log one lab cache and that was by pure luck. As we walked towards the event we met a guy in a green sweatshirt with a word printed on the front of it. We had no idea it was Simply Paul the main organiser. We then found that a lab cache consisted of finding Simply Paul and using the word on his sweatshirt as the key to the lab cache. Easy, peasy as a famous TV chef would say.

Not hugely impressed, we headed off to find Read The Flippin’… Yada Yada: WinterGeolympix’18. We couldn’t have missed it if we tried.

A “Large” cache

Our path then took us towards Tim & Jon’s 1st Re-Stashed (UK’s 3rd oldest/Eng#2) via The Mossy Tree which was house in an ammo can, a not too common site these days.

The Mossy Tree: Join the queue to log it.

A few years ago half of zelger and I had been in the area to find Coombe Hill, which is the oldest cache in England together with a very interesting visit to Bletchley Park, so it was great to now find England’s 2nd oldest cache.

I’m used to wandering around Sweden’s evergreen forests so it was quite a change to be walking through a forest of deciduous trees. Many of them were sweet chestnuts and there were a few people out picking them up from the ground. Roast sweet chestnuts are a delicacy.

We wandered back to the cafe and joind a long queue to get a cup of tea. The coffee was terrible by all accounts. We also took the opportunity to find a letterbox/hybrid cache Rescue This & Save the World! Winter Geolympix ’18 located indoors where we probably spent more time logging the find than was needed, but it was much warmer than outdoors.

A letterbox/hybrid in a warm location

Of course, we arrived on a dry day that gradually changed for the worse. After early afternoon drizzle we were treated to rain most of the afternoon that got heavier as dusk fell. We found our favourite cache of the day TrOll FREE in the dark as the rain turned to sleet. We headed back towards the car arriving there at 18:30 where we decided that another bunch of night caches probably wasn’t our ”cup of tea” so we left and headed back to zelgers home for a meal and a beer.

Will I visit again if the Mega is repeated? I suspect not and it had nothing to do with the weather, just that the set-up mostly based on mysts was not to my liking.





Sandhurst

1 11 2018

After our pleasant family day out in London I spent part of Thursday on my own as the others had to work. I took a local train to Sandhurst which lies about 50 km to the west-south-west of London city. From the station I made an anti-clockwise circuit around the Yately Lake fishing ponds and the nearby Swan Lake Park.

Sandhurst circuit around the ponds

The pleasant walk of about 5km took me to 15 caches of which 12 were placed by the same cacher, VR7. They all had a consistent theme and that was wood. Most were gadget caches or camoflaged in some way, so it certainly made a pleasant change to the PET-preforms that are now so ubiquitous. There were a number of fishermen in the area but it seems that they know that there are caches along the paths so they are used to people ”foraging” in the bushes.

At BRPW No 3 I made my 7000th find. The cache was a birdbox with a simple mechanism to release the container but it was a little different. I wondered what BRPW meant and it stands for Blackwater River Path Walk, so now you know too.

My 7000th find!

The next cache along, BRPW No 2, was also a birdbox and of course had a different mechanism.

A well constructed birdbox.

The only cache that gave me some head scratching was Under wood. If I had read the clue I would have known where to look and the small log would have been an obvious cache container. I won’t spoil all the caches by showing photos of them so that means I won’t say which cache this sneaky little hide was found at.

A sneaky litte hide barely visible where it was placed.

Needless to say all the caches were in good condition and it was a good warm up for Geolympix on the Saturday.





Clerkenwell London EC1

31 10 2018

My last visit to England was in April but I had no opportunities for geocaching. This visit was made in order to participate in GC75FTF WINTER GEOLYMPIX: ASHRIDGE 2018. As it is about an hours drive from where my brother lives it was a great opportunity to catch up with family and make a couple of small geocaching outings.

On Wednesday both my brothers, one with his wife and one of the daughters in tow descended on Kings Cross station for a wander around the nearby area of Clerkenwell using the CAMRA Guide to real ale pubs in London as our starting point.

As we were starting our wander at Kings Cross Station it was only natural that we should visit Platform 9 ¾. There was a long queue of Harry Potter fans waiting to have their photos taken with wand in hand. I sidestepped the queue and took my selfie from the side then moved on.

Platform 9 3/4

From here we walked north to the Regent Canal and the new gasholder apartments that have been built. The whole area was industrial wasteland for a long time but is now a super trendy and extremely expensive place to live. A penthouse apartment was on the market for £7 million!

A lock on Regent Canal


Expensive gasholder apartments

We followed the canal eastwards aiming for the first pub on our list. Along the canal bank we found Narrow Minded which both zelger (my brother and wife geocaching team) and I gave favourite points to due to it’s construction and placement. I won’t post a spolier photo.

After finding the cache GC3Y2QD Calthorpe at the gates of a small park we wandered on to the next corner and the Calthorpe Arms. Lunch was great value in this pub as was the quality of the beer.

Calthorpe Arms

From there we passed through a couple more pubs where real ale was served before walking down the pleasant street Exmoouth Market with small ethnic shops, stalls and cafes arriving via a short stop at the Exmouth Arms, at Bone House in Spa Field Park just as a police drugs bust was going on.

As zelger really enjoy multis we decided to try The Smoothe Field Mystery and spent an hour or so visiting 7 waypoints before arriving at the cache. As we were also sightseeing it was a great way to see parts of Clerkenwell that we would otherwise have missed.

For example, at step 4 we found this bed of nails and behind it a colourful wall mural. The spike were painless according to my youngest brother who tried it out.

Resting on a bed of nails

Decorative ironwork at Smithfield Market

An alien in London

Another alien in London

I found the alien mosaics fascinating and it seems that they are a very common sight in Paris but can be found all over the world. I recall seeing one on an earlier occasion but don’t remember where.

Near to the starting spot for the multi was a virtual from 2001 that we just had to visit. A Meating place for Martyrs. Yes, the spelling is correct as it is close to the Smithfield meat market.

We were now happy with our day in London and headed for the nearby Farringdon tube station to start our journey back out of London.





Rossholm Trail

17 09 2018

These days if I want to do any geocaching that doesn’t involve solving convoluted puzzles I have to drive some way out of Gävle. Because of it’s geographical placing on the east coast that usually means driving in every direction but east. There are active cachers 40 km to the west but very few to the north and south. I decided for about the fourth time that I should do more caches in Uppland and was intending to do the RH-trail when I visited a friend who lives in the village of Näsmo half way between Fagerviken and Hållnäs. I stayed there so long that there was no time over for the trail. I only tried to find Hållnäs Kyrka but DNF’d it.

Today my luck was better. I made a detour to Älvkarleby, Laxön to be more precise, as Carl XII bridge is being repaired and I wanted to see it as well as the photography exhibition on Laxön. That of course took time so I set off for Hållnäs later than initially planned. When I got there I went back to the same place I had searched before and after a couple of minutes I found the micro hidden in a very neat way in the signboard. Nice.

From there I headed off for the RH-trail which runs on a wide gravel road between Fågelsundet and Hållnäs. There are 32 caches and of course I chose to do the trail in reverse order. At the first spot, a car was parked. Typical I thought, so had to drive to #31. As is always the case on a trail, I was expecting the CO to use similar containers and that the first one would give an indication of what to expect.

It looks like a kind of birdbox

This was an unusual type of container that I had only seen a couple of times earlier. I wasn’t to see many like on the trail either, as the containers were a mixture of small round tupperware type or birdboxes or micros. I love birdboxes as they are muggle invisible (obviously they can be seen but they are usually completely ignored by muggles.

Birdbox

At #22 there was a sign pointing to Degertrusket an area that looked inviting. Obviously as I was on a mission, I didn’t have time for a detour like that so I will have to come back another time, preferably not in the moose hunting season.

Degertrusket

I found a couple more caches but got frustrated at #20. The hint was ”Inte två/Not two” meaning that I was looking for an ”En/Juniper”. The only problem was that there were dozens of them! I finally found the micro hanging in one of them. I guess it was within margin of error for my GPS but I decided to call it a day, but being curious I wanted to see the lookout tower that was market on my topo map as being just a few hundred meters further along the road. It was impossible to miss but wasn’t open to the public. However, as I had got out of the car I walked the 100 meters to the cache #12 before driving on to the asphalted road between Fågelsund and Hållnäs where I turned right and headed home. I’ll be back as it’s a pleasant area and I still have a couple of dozen caches to find there.








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