24 February 2013 (Sunday) - Catsfield
I woke perhaps a little earlier that I might have done this morning. After a spot of brekkie I put Fudge's coat on him. He wasn't happy, but it was a cold day. We collected those of the troops who were up for a walk in freezing temperatures, and made our way to deepest Sussex where it really wasn't that cold.
Catsfield is my old stomping-ground. When in the Boys Brigade I used to hike round the area a lot. So today we went on a geocaching mission there. The "Catsfield Catastrophe" was described by the originator as an "amble around Catfield countryside following the 1066 route. Just remember it will be a catastrophe if you don't bring the appropriate toolkit! " The required toolkit being two 17mm spanners, string, magnet, and a litre of water, Some of the caches we found were rather traditional; even dull. Some were more interesting. Some were frankly works of genius. Whoever had put the series of caches out had clearly put a lot of effort into planning an excellent country walk, and in making some of the most interesting geocaches I've ever found. Floating logs from tubes, unspannering logs, solving co-ordinates from anagrams. Pure genius.
Or... (at the risk of appearing negative), it was a work of genius when it was first made. Geocaches by their very nature are exposed to the elements. Some of the paper logs in the caches we found were wet. That is unavoidable and a rather trivial criticism. Some of the cleverer caches were broken, which was a great shame. Some of them were missing. Actually missing - we found obvious parts of them.
In several cases we read on-line logs reporting these problems a few months ago. I'm hoping the cache owners have merely not seen these logs and haven't abandoned the series - it was one of the best loads of caches I've seen.
As we wandered round a fourth member of our bunch joined the "1000+ club"; having found his 1000 cache. Fudge and Suzie didn't squabble once, and the snow only flurried occasionally. An excellent day out.
We finished our stroll with daylight to spare, and a quick perusal of the map showed a series of caches nearby designed for winter caching - to be done as drive-bys. So we picked up those ten, and a few others while passing.
By the time we got home both me and Fudge were looking forward to putting our feet up. Him more so than me - he has more feet.
And my back would seem to be getting better. Two weeks of agony, and it's better in time too go back to work. Ho hum...