Our Geocaching Name Challenge…
Well, I’ve been meaning to write up my adventures for this challenge for a while but it’s only been from a recent log on one of my own caches that has brought it to the forefront of my mind again…
So, the challenge…which I chose to accept (out of the two on offer!) was to spell out ‘Geocaching Name Challenge’ in geocaches. For example for the first ‘G’ in the word ‘Geocaching’ I found Gone to the dogs GC1F8JC and so on throughout the rest of the letters in the words, giving a total of 23 caches…to be found in one week.
The other option for this challenge is to find either your caching name, as long as it’s over 11 caches in length. Mine isn’t and so I would’ve had to precede it with ‘I am’ (MzBizkitz) or if it had been any shorter than 6 letters in length then I would have had to have preceded my handle with ‘My name is’. This option might have sounded easy, with less caches and less chance of failing the challenge in the given time. However, when you have a name as silly as ‘MzBizkitz’ you realise that there are quite a few ‘z”s in it…and when you start looking around for caches that begin with the letter ‘z’ you won’t find that many. In fact when I looked most of the available ones were abroad and as much as I wanted to complete the challenge I wasn’t about to start hiring private jets to get to places! Note to self I need to place some ‘z’ caches in Surrey!
The second option was clearly the way to go for me and so on a clear April morning I set out in search of Gone to the dogs which I thankfully found with no problems. My second was Eh…psom? which was a puzzle cache – another one of the challenge requirements meant that you had to find caches of three different types. I opted for the easiest, traditional’s, multi’s and a puzzle. This one took a while to find as it was in a muggle heavy area, but thankfully I managed to add my name to the log book before moving on to Old Iron which was in a spot with lovely views. Claygate Common 1 was up next which unfortunately had been attacked by squirrels, but luckily the log book was still there to sign and after a little cache maintenance I moved on to…A Very Vine Tree? which I seem to remember being a nice straight forward find.
Coal Post #105 had thankfully recently been replaced and so I knew I was in with a chance of making the find, and thankfully I wasn’t disappointed. Heading back towards home at the end of ‘day 1’ my last find was HAMPTON COURT GARDEN GATEWAY which was actually more tricky than I thought it was going to be and I had nearly given up on it when I managed to make the find. Phew! With day 1 over I had spelt ‘Geocach’ and I was quite pleased with my progress but I knew that there was still a long road ahead of me and a good nights sleep was in order!
Golf Troll was up next and with a 3.5 difficulty and 4 terrain rating I had no idea what to expect as I approached but I was thankful after the long walk to GZ that it was actually achievable with what I had with me (I’d had visions of needing special climbing equipment and the like.
Luckily it hadn’t rained the night before otherwise I imagine it might have been worthy of its 4 terrain rating! Nature Geek #1 was my last for day 2 and boy was it a stubborn one. The last cacher had DNF’d it and on arrival I wasn’t hopeful of a find but when I did I was very impressed. Great cache, so good that I even added a favourite point. With day 2 at a close I’d reached ‘Geocaching N’ almost halfway in two days…amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it!
Day 3 started earlier than expected when a new cache notification popped up on my phone. Coincidentally it began with an A which was just what I needed and so I set off down the river towards Hampton Court to meet Anne Boleyn who kindly greeted me with a clean log sheet.
Moleside turned out to be harder than I thought but I was pretty chuffed when I eventually laid my hands on the little blighter, a high number of DNF’s on this one doesn’t surprise me. Esher Common 1 helped me to tidy up the second word in the challenge leaving me with ‘Challenge’. Ironically the word ‘challenge’ actually gave me the most problems. The first letter ‘C’ ended up with a DNF at Church Micro 319 Epsom Common which was a bit of a blow as that had been my multi but thankfully being a ‘C’ meant that there were quite a few other church micro’s in the vicinity and I soon found Church Micro 730…Ashtead – St George’s which was a straightforward multi. After than palaver I decided to call it a day and headed home.
Day 4, which I knew was going to be a difficult day with the distances I needed to travel, proved to be the biggest headache of them all. It opened with a DNF at Have You Seen The King? before a huge reroute led me to Hedgehog Cache (Epsom Common) which was found in pretty bad shape but in a fairly nice place. Luckily it led me quite nicely on to Ashtead Commons, a good sized cache in a good spot. Little heath Diggers was up next and I’d read the previous logs before leaving for this one and knew it needed a new logbook so I took one with me to help the CO out.
Leviathan was by far my favourite out of the whole challenge, hidden in a great location and being the oldest cache we’ve found it was pretty special. Epsom Downs 05 – Going Behind nearly caused me to lose the whole challenge as I didn’t have many ‘E’ caches in the area that I hadn’t found and so when I had to DNF this one I was a little concerned! A quick change of plans and I set off nervously to Eden of the East which actually turned out to be my second favourite of the bunch!
The cache was found fairly quickly and we were on our way to the last three caches. North Downs Way micro trail: part 1 was up next and it was a great hide. Our penultimate was GRUMPY which was incidentally how we would’ve felt if we hadn’t found it as it was the only ‘G’ cache for miles around. Our last find and the one that gave me the biggest grin on my face was Epsom Emergency Services who we thankfully didn’t have to call out on this challenge!
We’d like to thank colincactus for setting up the Geocaching Name Challenge which we added a favourite to of course!
It’s definitely worthy of its 4 star difficulty rating and we ended up a bit hot under the collar on a couple of the days but overall we were pretty happy that we successfully completed our first ever challenge. There’s plenty more challenges dotted around the Surrey area so here’s to many more!
What’s the most difficult challenge you’ve completed?
Happy caching! 🙂