Thursday, 24 November 2011

Molly - Woodside - GC2WWDT

Second time lucky with this one - I was so miffed at not finding this one earlier in the year that I didn't even bother to log a DNF. I pretty much new where it was, but the bramble and thorns were high and it so was dark and gloomy (and raining too) that I couldn't bear to look for long. I can't say that I like this type of cache environment much.

Anyway, today it was bright, sunny and very mild for mid November, and so I decided to have another go. It also helped with the CO having checked it was still there and some other geocachers finding it recently. This time I went straight to it without using the GPSr after getting the first bearing. Bingo!

Indigo Ninja - GC35GWG

Today I found the eighth and final cache in the Ninja series, after just missing picking it up last week. It was a bright, sunny and unusually mild mid-November morning and so I set off of my bike with high hopes of success. I didn't need to use the GPSr much for this one, as I had a pretty good idea about where it was from doing the previous caches in the series. Within a minute or so of reaching GZ, I had located the cache and had signed the log.

After finding the cache I met a friendly walker and we chatted for a while about how nice it is for walking and cycling round here, particularly on a day like today. He told me all about the local farmer and his family and what was going on where in his fields. It was really nice to learn a little more about this area.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Yellow Ninja - GL6ZJGWV

This Ninja cache took us a little longer to find than any of the others in this series, as there were so many possibilities that matched the hint. In fact we were about to head off for home but after 'just one more look', I managed to find it. This was not before putting my foot deep in some bright orange swampy gunk which stained my boot with it's iron-rich pigment. Seasoned cachers usually quickly 'get a feel' for where a cache is going to be when they get near to GZ - to us however, this one was not in what we would call the 'obvious' place.

We decided to leave the only Ninja cache we hadn't done (Indigo) for another day, as it would have meant backtracking a little along a route we'd already cycled (and in the direction of the dog mentioned in previous logs), and by now the sandwiches were calling us from home! But we were quite happy to have found 5 out of 5 caches on our little cycling expedition around the outskirts of Leigh and Tyldesley.

Sensei Ninja - GL62ZJG1Y

Still shaking off the mud from the over-excited dog attack just before the previous cache, I suggested to Sarah that we did this cache next, rather than Indigo Ninja, so that we could cycle in the opposite direction to the one in which the dog was being walked. So we headed off along the excellent cycle paths in search of the Sensei Ninja, whatever that means.

This Ninja cache was a lot easier to find that it might have been, being quite a small container and fairly well-hidden. However, I found it quite quickly, mainly thanks to some of the vegetation in front of it having been recently trampled down.  After signing the log we cycled along the sandy footpath trail to what would be the fifth and final cache of the day for us.

Purple Ninja - GC35GWZ

This was the third cache on our circular cycle route list for today. Just before we arrived at GZ, I was enthusiastically 'attacked' in a playful way by a large bulldog type dog (probably called Winston) whilst its owner pathetically ordered it to stop from a distance. I came to an abrupt halt when the dog got in front in my front wheel and stopped it, nearly bringing me off my bike. It was nothing serious, but it did cover parts of me in unwelcome mud which I tried to shake off, whist the owner made some less than convincing attempt at an apology.

When this little episode was over, Sarah and I continued towards the cache with me explaining why it was not a good idea for her to cycle alone along the canal towpath to work, just in case something like this happened and she ended up in the canal. We found the cache very quickly and then decided to alter our cycle route to avoid meeting the dog again.

These Ninja caches seem to be multiplying quite regularly as I'd already done some of the earlier ones a little closer to home in Tyldesley. They've been great for exploring this area by bike and, true to form, we found some more new places doing these caches today. We're looking forward to the next batch appearing soon.

Leigh - Secret Passage - GC34ADJ

After redesigning our circular cycle route to make it a little shorter, we reached GZ without much difficulty from the previous location. It was in another unexplored part of Leigh for us, close to Leigh Bowling Club, which we'd never seen before.

The cache was quite a straightforward find as we knew the type of magnetic container we were looking for and reckoned it would only be a matter of time before we located it, which indeed it was. After signing the log, we headed for the Avenue and Lilford Park to get on the Ninja trail.

It's a walk in the park - GC31W9Y

Sarah and I decided to use this unusually mild and sunny mid-November morning to do a spot of geocaching by bike. I'd planned a circular route around the outskirts of Leigh and this was the first cache on the list.  We've driven past this small park thousands of times on our way to Leigh without really noticing it, although it does look to have been 'spruced up' fairly recently.

It was quite a straightforward find except for the lady muggle who was throwing a ball for her two dogs with one of those ball-throwing contraptions - she must have thought we were mad as we skulked about in the vegetation looking for the cache container! However, unperturbed by her presence, Sarah continued to look and eventually found it.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Red Ninja - GC2YG57

I came to this final cache in the Ninja series along the muddy footpath from Black Ninja. I walked some of the way to avoid splashing mud everywhere and getting dirty. Once again the countryside opened up from wooded footpaths into open fields with cattle and horses in different locations. From here I could see the churches in both Tyldesley and Atherton as well as over to the Howe Bridge area in Leigh.

As I approached GZ I noticed what I thought was an obvious place for a cache and indeed it was there - I didn't need to recheck the GPSr or read the hint to find it. Although it was in a good hiding place, I'm not sure how long it will survive here due to the number of passers by and the fragile nature of the location.

Anyway, having completed the short Ninja series, I headed off happily homewards along the cycle track.

Black Ninja - GC2YG4Z

I came to this cache from White Ninja. I needed to backtrack a little down the footpath before crossing over Miller's Lane onto another footpath at right angles to the lane. It was very muddy down here and so I decided to walk with my bike to avoid splashes and getting dirty. I didn't walk far before the proximity beeper went off on my GPSr and so I parked my bike and headed off into the trees.

It took a few minutes before I saw what seemed to be an obvious place for the cache container - I oouldn't see the wood for the trees, so to speak! I found the cache soon after after but I must confess to still not understanding the meaning of the hint given. Unfortunately I couldn't sign the log because it was missing - I looked around to see if it was on the ground nearby but didn't see it.  However I did take a photo to prove I as there as well was the 'Key to the Cat Flap' travel bug to move on.

White Ninja - GC2YG4W

I came to this cache from Blue Ninja - the countryside had now opened up into expanses of green fields from the woodlands of the previous area.  The cache location was down a slope with a stream at the bottom where there were several possibilities for hiding a container.  It took me about fifteen minutes to actually find the cache as it was very well-hidden, but I was enjoying being out and about in the morning sunshine and so the time didn't matter.  And most importantly, I found it!

Blue Ninja - GC2XZZB

I went out geocaching by bike again today as this group of four Ninja caches have recently appeared close to my home. Although I have lived in this area for over 28 years, I have never found the time or had the inclination to wander around these footpaths before. However, my relatively new hobbies of birdwatching and geocaching have given me the incentive to do this now, and they have opened my eyes to this wonderful area of countryside so close to my home.

I started off by riding along the paths at the back of the Gin Pit sports and social club until I met Squires Lane, which I followed until it became a public footpath through the fields which met Miller's Lane. Here I turned right and soon I had come to the route of the old railway line which is now a wooded path. It took me longer than expected to find the csche, even though I had an idea of where it was almost immediately - the woodland camouflage was excellent.

After taking a couple of pictures of the area, I was on my way to the next one. A great start!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Firebolt 2 - GC2TC4C

Today I was out geocaching by bike for the first time and, after a successful find at Pirate's Path which is also in Lilford Woods, I checked my 'phone for other caches in the area. This cache was a bonus as I didn't know it was here before I set off.

I started by cycling along the lower path through the woods and avoided the temptation of diving into the trees the moment my GPSr arrow changed direction as I knew the path turned back on itself a little further on. This proved to be the right move as the cache was located only a few metres off the top path.

Unfortunately, being on my bike I had not brought a pencil with me and there wasn't one in the cache container, so I just had to take a photograph of the box to prove that I found it.

A great place!

Pirate's Path - GC2V9YN

Today I finally got round to going geocaching by bike. I'd been thinking of cycling from Tyldesley to Lilford Park in Leigh along the footpaths and bridleways for ages and, with the prospect of a cache and perhaps a green woodpecker in Lilford Woods, today was the day I went for it.

It turned out to be a lot closer than I had realised and the footpaths were great for cycling, so very soon I was in the woods and looking for the cache. The tree cover didn't prove to be much of a problem as it it often is and soon I had the cache in hand.

Unfortunately I had forgotten to bring a pen with me (I usually have one in the car) and the pencil included in the cache container had not been sharpened on either end. After failing miserably in thinking of some way to leave my mark in the log, I just took a photograph of the box as evidence that I actually found it - I may return to sign the log on another day.

P.S. Shortly after leaving the cache location I met a lady walking her dog who engaged me in conversation for over 25 minutes (actually, she did most of the talking!) about all sort of stuff ranging from the history and geology of the area and the use of its plants in homeopathy to how unhappy she was with Wigan Council about their plans for this beautiful part of Leigh. She was a little eccentric, but very knowledgeable and I may put a fuller account here later.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Mark's Wardle Cache - GC12698

This was to be the last cache of the day for Sarah and me - we'd found six caches around Watergrove Reservoir and had DNF'ed on one. The slope was quite steep up to this location, but it was short and we found the cache easily. After one last look at the wonderful views and to check where we were heading, we set off for home.

P.S. On the way back to the car we had another look for the cache we'd missed earlier (Beautiful Wardle) but still no luck.

Dam Fine View - GC1B840

Sarah and I got the approach to this cache wrong having just found the Holy Stone cache, We should have kept our height and walked along the same contour line instead of going back down to the bridleway below. Consequently we had to climb up the slope again and this time it was even further with a fence in the way.

When we got to GZ we once again admired the wonderful views over the reservoir and surrounding hills - it was a great place to be on a sunny August day.

Holy Stone - GC245ZY7

This was the third find of the day for Sarah and me on our sunny walk round Watergrove Reservoir. We could see the holey stone from a way off but it took us a little longer than we hoped to get there as our breathless bodies trudged up the steepish slope from the bridleway- we're not as young as we used to be!

Th'art - GC1KDGP

Sarah and I came to this cache from Bluepot Tunnel West after a short walk round the reservoir in which we paid our respects to a friend who's ashes are buried in the 'Life for a Life' memorial plantation here. At first we couldn't see what Th'art was, we just thought it was a wall, but on standing back and having a better look we noticed it was very creature-like with a long spiny back.

Bluepot Tunnel West - GC15BTN

This was the first first find of the day for Sarah and me on a sunny walk round Watergrove Reservoir. Sarah had been to this cache before so it wasn't hard to find without resorting to the hint. It's a shame the tunnel is now gated as we might have attempted to get to the cache on the other side. Nice view of the reservoir from here.

Another Note To Self

I need to blog and log these caches:
  • Beautiful Wardle - Not Found
  • Bluepot Tunnel West - Found
  • Th'Art Cache - Found
  • Holy Stone - Found
  • Dam Fine View - Found
  • Mark's Wardle Cache - Found

    Tuesday, 16 August 2011

    Normal Service Will Be Resumed Shortly

    Well, after a break of around four months, I'm back with a new blog design and some more cache finds.  I had to put my blogs on the back burner due to the pressure of work and lots of other things that I needed to do, but I hope that normal service will be resumed from now on.

    Details and photographs of some caches that Sarah and I did yesterday around Watergrove Reservoir in Rochdale will be posted here shortly. See you soon.