14 December 2013 (Saturday) - Geo-Meet

Last night a new geocache went live. I looked it up on the map; it seemed to be out in the middle of the countryside. Chatting on-line with a friend who knew the area it turned out that the place was on very steep slopes and that the footpaths there are treacherous at the best of times. Knowing full well that I would be wide awake early in the morning I thought I would go out at first light for a First to Find.
This morning I checked the e-log to see someone had been daft enough to go out overnight. Much as I like the smugness that goes with being first, there are limits. Falling arse over tit in the dark on the Wye Downs on a December night would very likely be something you wouldn't survive. so rather than going out with "Furry Face TM" I had another two hours laying awake in bed.

I'd actually dozed off when a text woke me. I'd forgotten all about fence fixing. After a firework had destroyed a fence panel a few weeks ago I'd offered to help with the repairs. Today was fix-it day. Chippy picked me up at 9am and the job was done within fifteen minutes. A crafty bacon sarnie and I was home and walking "Furry Face TM" by 10 o'clock.
As we were passing the place, we popped into the vets. It gets him used to going in there and he doesn't think of it as somewhere of which he should be frightened. Whilst we were there we met a staffie which was trying to tear the throat out of every other living thing on the planet except the small woman it was draggging ono the lead behind it. That woman looked as though she was about to cry. Some people have the nastiet dogs.

Once home we settled "Furry Face TM" and we went out on the main business of the day. The Kent Geocacher's Christmas bash was on today. Pretty much everyone who is anyone in the local fraternity of hunting small pllastic boxes met up at a pub just outside Maidstone. We had a rather good lunch, and chatted with friends. We met people who up till now have merely been strange names on pieces of paper found in the countryside. There must have been over fifty people along.
Whilst we were there a series of caches went live. We could have gone out, but we were too busy chatting. However we did go out once those who went earlier had returned. WIth the co-ordinates of the bonus cache revealed we (we being about twenty of us) blatently followed them to the bonus cache. The bonus was something special. It had the highest difficulty level; it was a sneaky hide. And it had the highest terrain level - it was ten (or so) metres up a tree.
Those who know what they are doing rigged up ropes and, one by one, those who wanted to go for the cache were hoisted up the tree. I don't know much about ropes, but I can pull on one. And that was what I did for much of the afternoon. So many people thanked me for helping to pull them up a tree. I was just grateful to have been a part of what turned out to be a really fun afternoon. And I was very grateful to be hoisted up myself to be able to claim my third 5/5 cache.

With the last person safely down just as darkness was falling we all went back inside the pub. Whilst we'd been out the raffle had been called. I had won what I would have considered to have been the first prize. A selection of novely geocaches. I won't say what they are, but some time over the next few weeks I shall be setting a new series of caches.
Today was a really good cachers' meet.It's actually now a year since I attended my first ever geo-meet. I've now been to nineteen of them (having organised two myself) and today's was up there with the best of them.

Home, where "Furry Face TM" was still chewing on the bone I''d bought him from "Pets at Home" this morning. We thought about having some tea; we were neither of us hungry. The pub lunch had beeen more than enough. And with er indoors TM" off to the film night I setled down with my dog and watched dross on the telly...

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