As the nights are drawing in and Autumn is snapping at the heels of Summer, a whole new world of Geocaching is being opened up to me. Night caches!
Halloween is fast approaching and with it an event that I am very much looking forward to. The Halloween Mega 2014 will be the first Mega Event Nige and I have attended. I think Nigel is more excited at the prospect of dressing up though than the actual caching! More on this in a future blog post though.
Last week I treated myself to a new torch in preparation for caching in the dark. What better way to test it out than by going out to find my first night cache. Hunting around on Geocaching.com threw up a few likely candidates. There is one in Ashridge that I have had my eye on for a while, but I still haven't solved the puzzle yet. There are a couple in Ampthill that look interesting and a few more further afield that sound quite challenging but I am saving those for another day.
The cache I decided upon as my first night cache is called TheWitching Hour !! - Night Cache. It is set in
Linford Wood in Milton Keynes and has a short puzzle to solve to locate the starting point of the trail. I had solved the puzzle part back in the summer and was waiting for the right time to venture out to find the cache. My new torch provided the perfect excuse.
Another reason I chose this cache is because I have always had an interest in the paranormal. Whilst I have not had any supernatural experiences of my own, I am very fortunate that Dunstable and Houghton Regis has a rich history and an abundance of ghostly tales.
It wasn't quite the witching hour when we headed out to Linford Wood on Saturday evening, it was closer to eight o'clock. We parked up and "look[ed] for the Hunter of the Fox where the day begins" to find the start of the trail. The sky was an eerie red but it was still dark enough that when we shone our torches into the woods we found the shining markers that would lead the way. As we walked along we had a debate over whose torch was the brightest, Nige had a tiny little thing compared to mine so I was winning until he pulled a Maglite out of his bag. At that point I shone my torch in his eyes, completely by accident... Honest!
The walk along the path was easy enough; I kept a look out ahead for the markers, whilst Nige had our back looking out for zombies. After a while the marker trail seemed to go dead. We knew the trail was going to lead us off the path eventually so it was just a matter of shining our torches through the trees until we found the next marker. Nige was the first to spot it and disappeared into the tree line. I hastily followed as I knew we were getting closer to ground zero. Trying to find a way through this part was tricky and I nearly tripped up a couple of times in my haste. Nigel was ahead of me and found the three markers to indicate our goal.
We were expecting a regular sized cache, but on retrieval were pleasantly surprised to find a large container filled with an array of goodies. As I was fishing the log out, Nige decided it would be funny to point out all of the spiders that were crawling around me with his torch. I was not amused! I quickly signed the log and replaced the cache. It was time to find the car.
|Not quite the Blair Witch!|
When we usually go out caching, Nige always asks me how many hides I have planned for us to find. I always say "just a few caches" to which he always replies "it's never just a few caches with you Kel!". He was quite astonished this time to find that it really was just the one cache this evening. What I didn't tell him though was that there were more caches in the area but the cache files had disappeared from my GPSr!
The downside of visiting Linford Wood when it is dark is that we missed out on the things to see and do around the woods. There is a series of sculptures hidden in the undergrowth according to this website and it is home to an assortment of wildlife. However, now that I know this place exists I shall definitely head back there some day.