12 November 2012 (Monday) - Another Day's Geocaching
A week or so ago I went on a stroll round Brabourne helping to work out a circular route for a series of geocaches to be laid. Last night I got notification that the series was in place and was ready to be found. For all that I'd helped with the route, I had no idea on what the hides would be, so doing this series could not be seen as cheating in any way.
I posted on one of the geocaching groups asking if anyone wanted to come with me and Steve to try to find these caches. There's no denying that my piss boiled with many of the responses. Perhaps people mis-read what I'd said. If I wanted to know who couldn't come, I would have asked who couldn't come. What I asked was who *could* come with us. A subtle difference.
In the end there was only one taker to come with me and Steve. But I was glad to have made the offer, and was glad to have made a new friend. Sid drove down from Thanet and met us in Brabourne. It must have been quite disconcerting for him to be faced with meeting me and Steve (and dogs) for the first time. But it's more fun to go on a walk in the countryside with company than on your own. And we had a great time. The weather was good, the caches were varied, the company good and the scenery beautiful.
Bearing in mind that the caches went live last night there was the possibility to have been "first to find" on some of them. Or so we thought. There is a chap locally who delights in being the first to find any geocache, and as we went round and read the logs we saw that he'd beaten us to all of the caches; having been out in the deepest parts of the countryside shortly after midnight. Others, including "er indoors TM" and the Hose Beast, had also been along after dark.
Personally I don't like night caching. You can't see what you are doing, you look very suspicious, and you can't be sure that you've hidden the caches properly afterwards. We found some that hadn't been re-hidden at all well. One in particular was in plain view on the roadside. Being in daylight we made sure that we re-hid everything properly as we went.
Having read the logs it would seem that no one else had actually done the series of caches (what I would call) properly. There are many ways to play the geocaching game. There is no right or wrong. But, for me, I feel that if a series of caches has been laid out then you should start at one end and work to the other following the route laid out for you. We were the first to start at the beginning and to them all in sequence. I think we can feel suitably smug about that.
Steve had brought Sasha - his German Shepherd dog - on the walk today. It was interesting watching Fudge's behaviour around another dog. I have always said I would trust him with small children but not with other dogs, and I think I would stand by that. The two dogs were mostly fine, and when off the leads would play nicely. However Sasha would get rather fractious when crossing stiles or bridges and would whine. And that whining would make Fudge snap at her. The morning passed off mostly without dog-incident; but it came close a couple of times.
At one point Steve walked both dogs together, and I think that improved Fudge's demeanour a lot.
The series of caches had been billed as a four hour walk; and that was what it took. But all too soon the walk was over. As luck would have it we got back to the cars just as the rain was starting to fall. We said goodbye to Sid (who had to go to work later) and went back to Ham Street for lunch. Fudge helped himself to Steve's dogs' lunches and picked a couple of fights.
And then we drove across the Romney Marsh clearing a few more geocaches off of the "to-do list". It would have been nice to have done more caching, but by 4pm it was getting noticeably darker and the rain had got so heavy that Fudge was soaked. And as a consequence of Fudge being soaked so was I. So we came home where I showered the fox poo off of Fudge. He does love rolling in that stuff.
Fudge then spent the rest of the afternoon and evening snoring. Lacey has told me off in that past because she feels I walk Fudge too much. Perhaps I did today - he was shattered. He slept on my lap whilst I watched some of the stuff I've been recording onto the SkyPlus box over the last few weeks...