30 Jul 2010
As I promised that I would let blog readers know which coins would be going in to my Ebay shop before I actually list them, here are the next three. There are two 10th anniversay coins, both a standard size and a micro coin, and a Leave Only Footprints, Take Only Photographs coin. Apologies for the poor photo quality on the micro coin. These coins will be listed in the shop on August 7th when I am back from my two short breaks. If anyone did want any before they are listed just email me and let me know.
I am having a few days away starting from Monday. I am taking my youngest son Cameron down to London for five days. There won't be any caching for me down there unfortunately as he doesn't enjoy it and to be fair, it is his holiday.
Straight from dropping him back off home in New Mills, I am going to be meeting Wemnog, his son Tom and Tom's mate Lewis in Warrington, before carrying on up to the Lake District for a long weekend.
Hopefully we should be doing some caching there as well as messing about on the water. We are taking our inflatable up, hopefully we should have a small outboard for it by then. We are also taking the Canadian canoe up. There are some caches around that can only be reached by boat, so we are hoping to do a few of those if we get a chance. We aren't daft though, we shall be staying in the motorhome, the two lads will be in a tent.
So, that's me, all blogged out for now. I am sure that I will have lots to tell you in the next blog, including the latest updates on the camping event and the UK geocoin.
All for now, happy caching.
27 Jul 2010
Well, saying that Wemnog and I had hardly done any caches when I wrote the last update, since then we have done another 29. As we were up in Yorkshire and Humberside remapping we couldn't resist downloading some caches on to the 550t. We ended up doing a circular series called Denby In Style, by 3 Edges. This was a series of 6 caches and a bonus cache. It was a really hot day and although it only took us an hour to do we were certainly in need of refreshments aferwards. At one of the caches the horses were very interested in knowing what geocaching was all about and Keith ended up explaining to them. Sometimes I think his last name is Dolittle!
We have also been up to the camping field that we are going to use for the Summer's End event (more of that in Splashes section) and did some more caching in the area. The Peak District really is a rich source for many different styles of cache and we do enjoy doing them. We found some more of cats-eyes C.O.D. series as well as their other series ~ Guide Stoops.
If you ever get up to the Peak District, as well as all the other brilliant places and caches to find, I really do recommend finding some of theirs.
One of their caches was at Ashford In The Water and the photo shows a view of the sheep wash bridge from Ground Zero. This was a particularly poignant cache to go and find for us. Our good friend Howard loved Ashford In The Water and spent a lot of time there photographing it from every possible angle. Unfortunately he died of cancer earlier this year, so we did this particular cache in his memory.
On the way home from our little weekend break we did a few more caches, some of which were the Skeg to Ness series. We haven't actively decided to do this amazing series, but as some were near we couldn't resist. If you haven't heard of this series it is quite an amazing feat ~ 207 drive by caches over 193 miles. I know some cachers personally who have done the whole series. I believe that other cachers have also done it in one go!
More news now on the Summer's End Camping Event. I have now put out two caches for this event, they are going to be published late evening on September 9th, so hopefully it will be someone who is at the event who will get the first to finds on them.
I have a third cache ready to go out, I had to wait for landowner permission before I could place it. The landowners involved are Natural England and just prior to writing the blog I was on the phone to them. They were a bit concerned as there are some open mineshafts near to where I want to place but after some very productive discussion they have agreed in theory to the cache being placed. I am just waiting for email confirmation and once I have that I can submit for review.
So why is this section called Splashes?
Basically because one of the caches that I have placed for the event requires people to wade out to it. When I was placing it I had the dogs with me. Meg and Rum didn't have a problem with this, but it was the first time that the pup, Fen, had encountered flowing water. She did a fair bit of splashing about, getting me wet as well in the process! The good news for Fen is that she soon mastered the doggy paddle! Here is a photo of Fen with Rum and Wemnog at a drier cache.
I am looking forward to reading comments about the cache that people have to paddle to. I have called it Bridge Over The River Wye, I couldn't resist the play on words.
Other news on the event front ~
The event coins have arrived, 20 trackable coins to give away in goody bags to all event attendees. I think that I may need to order some more though. Here is a picture of the event coin.
The farmer has now agreed that small caravans are allowed on the field for the two nights of the event.
We are having a barbeque on the Saturday night, if the weather is bad we have a marquee to put the barbeque in, it's gas, so no smoke issues.
The quiz sheet is finished and will be given out to all attendees, the one with the most correct answers gets a new trackable geocoin.
We are going to release 10 chinese lanterns at 10.00pm on the Saturday night ~ two reasons, firstly (officially) our way of celebrating 10 years of geocaching. Secondly, because I am a big kid and enjoy watching the lanterns flying!
Two caches already approved by reviewers for publication in time for the event.
One cache waiting for landowner permission.
More caches being put out nearer the time.
I am getting really excited about this event. I haven't organised anything like this for a long long time. Fingers crossed it will go well.
Park And Dashes
There is always a lot of debate on forums and meetings about the validity of cache and dash caches. A lot of people don't like the nano, micro, film canister caches where people can park up, grab the cache, sign the log and then drive off.
Personally I don't mind them and they do have their place in the caching community.
As much as I enjoy a good walk with the dogs and Wemnog, there are times that I just don't have time to do that, but know that there are caches in an area that we are in.
Furthermore, there are a lot of cachers around and about, either with small children or with disabilities who just can't walk, not even for a few hundred feet. Why should people who have difficulties, no matter what, be discriminated against? So for me, the cache and dash caches are just as important as those hidden deep in the countryside.
Sometimes they are even more difficult to find than those ammo boxes, or lock and lock boxes, hidden under a bush, stone, in the ivy etc etc. The people who place them use a lot of imagination and innovation in the containers and how/where they have been hidden.
Well I guess it is time to finish off for this session. As you will have noticed I have now put quite a lot of links at the top of the blog. I will talk more about the links in future blogs. One final question though.
Do you think that you will ever get to visit this cache and sign the logbook? Not sure that I will! GC26REM Would love to hear your comments about this one.
All for now...............Happy Caching.
19 Jul 2010
Well, it has been a quiet few days on the caching front, with only two to add to my numbers.
I have never really been one to chase the first to finds, though I do hold my hands up to those who do, some of them amaze me at how quickly they get to them after publication. I did go and get one on Wednesday morning last week. The notification came up and as I had nothing to do decided to go for it. I got there within half an hour of the first ting on my computer. This was the cache http://coord.info/GC2BG84
I must admit, I still thought that I would be beaten to it by my good caching friend Northking, only to find out later that it was his wedding day, so he couldn't really chase it! My second cache was yesterday, I dropped my son off at home in New Mills, in Derbyshire and as I had the GPS with me had a quick look at what was around. One that I had been meaning to do for some time popped up as being the nearest so I did that one. An interesting story behind this house, I was always told that the house Peep O Day was so called because the chap who had it built put a window in, so that as the first light of dawn came the sun would shine on his new brides head as she lay sleeping in her bed. How true it is, I don't know. That cache has been going for quite some time http://coord.info/GC19A15.
Hopefully Wemnog and I will get more caches this week. We are planning on camping again at the weekend, so fingers crossed.
The Geocaching Association Of Great Britain, an excellent site for cachers in the UK has had some competition this week. This is an ongoing saga between a couple of East Midlands cachers who seem intent on trying to cause trouble for everyone in the caching community, not just in the East Midlands but nationwide. They previously set up another site, icache, and that failed due to their inability to be civil to its members, banning people left, right and centre for questioning some of their motives. It will be interesting to see what this new site of theirs does,it is already getting slated on the main national forums, and quite rightly.
CAMPING EVENT LATEST
Planning for the camping event in September ~ http://coord.info/GC2B8HZ goes on apace.
I am in the middle of negotiating with the pub and cafe which are very near to the site as to whether they would allow caravans to park up on their car parks for either one or two nights as unfortunately caravans can't get on to the camping field, due to the angle of the gate and adjoining dry stone walls.
Quite a few people have now posted Will Attends, so it is shaping up to be a good one.
Already planned for the Saturday evening is a barbeque, with cachers bringing their own food to cook, we will provide the gas barbeque. If the weather isn't too good we will have a gazebo up to cook in.
The quiz sheet is already completed and will be given out to all cachers. The person who gets the most answers correct will win a prize, or prizes if there is a draw.
I have got an ammo box for people to drop TB's and geocoins in to and take out of so that should hopefully be a good way of swapping trackables that need to move on.
The goody bags are bought, and although I don't know exactly what will be in them yet, I can say that there is going to be a trackable Jacaru event coin in them.
Finally, on the Saturday evening at 10.00pm I am hoping that, weather permitting, we can release 10 chinese lanterns, just as our way of marking 10 years of geocaching.
Finally, after mentioning that I wasn't sure about having another Border Collie coin made, and yet more emails this last few days asking me to do one, I have decided on a picture that I am going to eventually use for it. This is a photograph of the latest puppy, Fen, it does beg to become a coin. What do you think?
Well, that's it for now, but in the words of that famous Californian governor ~ I'll be back.
12 Jul 2010
Wemnog and I had a weekend away in the campervan in Derbyshire. We had the three dogs with us of course, it was Fen the puppy's first time camping, she soon settled in to it.
We decided to stay at the site which we are going to use for the Summer's End camping event in September. That way we thought that it would be good to suss out some caches that we can point campers towards doing.
The photo above shows Peters Stone, the location of the first cache we did, C.O.D. Petrus,GC7A06, there is a cache there somewhere! We picked up our only TB of the weekend in this cache.Following on from the first cache we did the next one, Beyond Peters Stone, we had a bit of a scramble down to this one GCG6W0.
Then it was back to the campsite for some well earned food, and an early night.
Another very hot day on Saturday, so after a cooked breakfast it had to be a full day of caching. We did a lot of the C.O.D. caches (Curiosities Of Derbyshire) by Cats-Eyes. They have put some brilliant caches out that are well worth visiting. The first of the day though was a little way out, I Want To Be Wanted, a cache by the Wanted Inn, not too far from Chapel en le Frith. The only thing that I picked up there, apart from the cache was a load of dog poo on my shoe (not the best start to the caching day)
Then it was on to Monsal Head, well worth a visit at any time of the year, caching or not. The views here are spectacular. After stopping for an ice cream we ventured off to the cache and soon had it located and the log signed.
So the caching continued, one of the next caches we found was in the village of Great Longstone, a beautiful little village, not too far away from Monsal Head. The old water pump in the village was the location for this cache. Even with caches eyes, and knowing exactly what we were looking for, this cache took a couple of minutes to find, I blame the bright sunshine!
We carried on and bagged a few more caches including GC1G9E9 C.O.D. All Saints RC Church, Hassop. This one certainly was a curiosity. Hassop is another smallish Derbyshire village, but there, in the village itself is a massive Roman Catholic church. The size of it and the building material used certainly didn't fit in with the village itself!
We have heard a lot about the Skeg to Ness series from our good friends NorthKing and also Two Anchors, but we hadn't planned on doing any in the immediate future. However, the next cache on the GPS that flagged up for us was, in fact #129 in that series. As it was so near we couldn't resist doing it and we were glad that we did. It was another clever cache container. I have got similar ones out there, but this one went just that little stage further, we spent more time retrieving the log than actually finding the cache!
A few more caches around Stoney Middleton and chips from the chippy there and then it was time to return to the campsite for a cuppa and bask in the evening sunshine.
On Sunday we did a couple more C.O.D. caches, C.O.D. @ The Races and C.O.D. Well Fancy That, which is pictured below before driving on through the plague village of Eyam and on to the wonderful Grindleford Station for a well earned Sunday lunch.
Finally, below is a photograph of the campsite where the Summer's End event is going to be held. As you can see, it is basically just a field. Having stayed there though, we feel sure that people will enjoy it, pure back to basics camping, one sink, cold water, one loo, but loads of fun. Roll on September, there is already the promise of people bringing musical instruments, so although we aren't allowed to have campfires, it should be a brilliant atmosphere. If the weather is good, there is every chance that we will have a barbeque as well.
7 Jul 2010
I am getting a lot of comments, both on Facebook and by email about the new Collectable Preference status on their personal trackables. It doesn't really make itself clear what this means. When you go on to the Edit This Trackable page you then get a message "Is Collectable" YES or NO. This again doesn't really explain itself. It has led to quite a few people thinking that if you tick the YES box it means that whoever finds it can then basically grab it and add it to their collection. I myself am no wiser and I don't class myself as thick! I am hoping that someone can clarify it properly for us.
Whilst I am on the subject of trackables, I thought that it was about time that I blew my own trumpet! Blog readers will have now seen on here the design of my latest geocoin. Well here are some photographs of all the coins that I have had made.
The first one is of the Border Collie with the sea in the background. This is a photograph of our oldest collie, Meg, which was designed using a photograph that I took of her running towards me on a beach on Shell Island in Wales. I had 100 of these coins made and they proved to be very popular sellers on Ebay.
By now I had really got the bug (excuse the pun) and decided to look through my collection of photographs to see what else could be made in to a coin.
For a while I had liked taking photos of postboxes, I don't know why, I just kind of liked them. So I chose to have the King George V postbox made in to a coin. Again I had 100 produced and again it proved to be popular. A lot of expats bought it and I posted a lot out to America, Australia and New Zealand.
Staying with the postbox theme I decided to have the Victorian coin made. Although this has sold well too, it is my least favourite out of the coins that I have had made.
Next to one of my favourites, the telephone box. I love this coin. I am one of those people who is very sad to see the decline of traditional phone boxes in this country. Even in small villages now you are more than likely to NOT see one. These phone boxes are a true British icon and are identified world wide as being British.
the final coin is the green version of the border collie. It was never my intention to have another collie coin made. However, I got so many emails from people who had bought the original asking if I would have another version produced that I decided the easiest way was just to change the colours on the original.
I haven't decided yet whether to have a 2011 collie made, but if I do, it will be produced from a different photograph and to make things fair, a photograph of one of the other two dogs, either Rum or Fen.
UPDATE On Collectable Preferences
Whilst I have been writing this I have had a Facebook message from Dan1980 of nwcaching.co.uk who has clarified the Collectable Preference question very well. He has very kindly agreed that I can copy and paste his write up. Thanks Daniel.
Here it is
GC.com has just been updated and one of the many changes that have been made is the addition of "Trackable Collections".
In some ways this is good, as if you have a large collection of coins you can add them to your own personal collection which will take them out of your inventory (rather than having to virtually dump them all in to one of your own caches).
Unfortunately Groundspeak have also made it possible for other cachers to add your trackable to their own personal collection. This means that they can find your TB or geocoin in a cache, move it to their collection, hold on to it and never move it on again.
You have the option of setting whether your trackables are collectible or not when you activate them, but for any that are already out in the wild you will need to edit the details to make them non-collectible (the default is rather stupidly collectible).
To do this go to your trackable's page, click "Edit This Trackable Item". Near the top of the page you should see "Is Collectible:" - click the No radio button and then click Submit Changes at the bottom of the page.
You will need to do this for all of your trackable items that are currently out in the wild (assuming that you don't want someone else to add them to their collection).
Right, that's me off for now. I am going to try and get some caching done today. Even if it is just one cache, I want to check that I can still log my finds easily with my Oregon 550t as since GC have done all their messing about, it seems that people have been having problems logging. I'd better have a pen and paper with me just in case..................I'll keep you informed.
6 Jul 2010
Great news, I have just completed the order for the new United Kingdom geocoin. The latest pictures here show the coin design, the only alteration is that the United will be centralised with the Kingdom. The coin is going to be finished in antique gold. I will be launching it at the camping event in Derbyshire in September. The GC number for that event is GC2B8HZ. It hasn't been published yet, but hopefully it should be by the end of today.
If you are thinking about attending the camp, I do need to warn you that it is very basic, there is one toilet, one sink and no hot water!
However, the site only costs £2 per night per person so it isn't bad really.
This is the first event that I have held, so I am both nervous and excited about it. I have asked Kathy from UK Geocachers whether she will be able to attend on the Saturday evening after her shop has shut. Hopefully she will be able to and have some caching goodies with her that she will be selling.
If you don't want to do much cooking at the camp, there is a good cafe over the road and also a pub quite nearby.
Hopefully it will be well attended, but even if there are only a few of us we should have fun. I am even doing a quiz for people attending and there will be prizes for the people who get most answers correct.
More details will follow on here as they become available so keep your eyes open.
1 Jul 2010
We were remapping yesterday close to Castle Howard and thought that we would make the most of the beautiful weather and do some geocaching afterwards. The sun was shining, although the sky wasn't as blue as we have been seeing over the last few weeks.
We were very surprised to discover that there is a dearth of geocaches around there. We took for granted that there would be one near the memorial in the photograph. It is the Bulmer Hill memorial which isn't too far away from Castle Howard. In fact, looking down from the memorial you can see the gates of Castle Howard.
Now we thought that there was bound to be a cache sighted nearby, historical interest, great views, but alas nothing. So we ended up doing no geocaching again yesterday, but hey, we did get some great photographs of the poppy fields.
Driving around the country as we do, we are absolutely amazed at the amount of poppies that are around this year. Neither of us remember this many before. The warm weather must have something to do with it.
I have just received an email with a picture of the latest tweaks to the new coin. Hope you like what you are seeing. I have made a further couple of suggestions that I want altered, but it is getting there. I reckon that I should be ordering the sample coins within the next few days. Once I receive them, subject to everything being ok, I can put in my order for the first lot.
I would appreciate your comments on this new coin.