First in series: GC3B89X Walked on: 29/03/2013
Easter is traditionally my best month for geocaching, we usually go camping as a family but the weather this year wasn’t expected to be particularly nice so I decided that I’d book into a B&B and make it my base for a few days. The Keyston Kache Kaper was the first series of the weekend which I walked on a cold Good Friday afternoon having driven the couple of hours or so from home.
The walk started from the little village of Keyston, parking very near to the start of the trail head outside the village pub. A warning of “bull in field” greeted us at the first field that we needed to cross, fortunately none around today so I was safe to go through it with geodog Pip. It was 3 degrees and a little windy bringing the feels like temperature well below zero! I put on several layers of clothing and Pip (geodog) and I headed out to the first cache. There wasn’t any snow at all when I left Swindon earlier in the day but there was a little bit here along the edges of the fields and in the ditches.Underfoot it was reasonably okay until we got to no.5 when it suddenly became very soft and I wasn’t easy to avoid sinking into the mud along side the edge of the fields. Poshrules, the cache owner, had warned about the mud and he was right. Time therefore to get the walking pole out to help me along. At this point too the trail began heading uphill and was quite tough going at this point but it did help to warm me up! By the time that I reached the top of the hill the snow was quite deep, so instead of sinking in mud we were now sinking in the snow!
The next few caches took us around the edge of a little pine woodland, the path here was a nice wide grass track, the snow here had virtually all melted, just the occasional drift here and there. I enjoyed walking this section, it was nice and flat and the mud parts were quite easy to navigate around and the trees kept the wind down.
Jumping across the ditch was a requirement for the cache no.17 and the next few, this is quite tricky when the ditch is full up with snow and you have no idea what lies underneath! However, with the aide of the geopole to test the depth and then to help me falling into the the ditch I managed to find them all.
The Cambridgeshire & Northamptionshire border dissect the the foot path between no 16 and 24, so when I look back in GSAK the caches are split across the two counties. The trail at this point was heading towards Denford along a footpath and then a short road section that passed a huge water tower.
Just after the tower we turned off the road and back onto a footpath heading northwards through some big drifts of snow that still lay along the field edges. At Denford Ash Farm I had my only dnf of the series which later Poshrule confirmed had gone. At this point the trail turned again, East this time and heading back towards Keyston. There were a couple of large muddy fields to cross, each one was very hard going and clogged boots and paws, zapping every ounce of energy that Pip and I had left.
As we were entering the final stages of the walk, the sun that had put in a very brief appearance had now disappeared and the walk along the final stretches were very cold, another dnf at 41 also confirmed MIA. As I arrived at no.43 the church spire was visible above the horizon so I knew I was heading towards home, my hands at this stage were quite numb and opening caches and signing log sheets had become quite tricky.
Despite the cold weather I enjoyed the series and navigating the snow, mud and cold winds made it very rewarding when I finished the series with only 2 dnf’s and some great memories. After scrapping off the mud we drove off to find the B&B.
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