Explorer 297

Explorer Map 297 – Lower Wharfedale & Washburn Valley

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Where has tha’ bin since I saw thee ? – Caches No’s 481 – 490

Submitted by on Sunday, 23 May 2010No Comment
Where has tha’ bin since I saw thee ? – Caches No’s 481 – 490

14th May 2010 – Burley’s Crack GC1R8X8 – cache #481
A pleasantly warm Friday night, what better to do than go for a walk over the moors ? In this case obviously Ilkley moor, a place with a large number of caches that I seem to have been avoiding up until now. I had looked at the caches on the map and tentatively divided the moor up into 4 sections where the caches could be done in reasonably circular walks. This was the first of the sections, the moor above Burley.

When you walk up to this first cache you get to a rocky cliff, and if you look closely you can see the cache – well you can see the stones camouflaging the cache at least, in a crack in the rocks behind a tree, about 8 feet above your head… and about halfway up the cliff. The problem is how to get up there. It’s not the sort of place you can easily see a way to climb up to.

Fortunately there is a big hint graffiti’d on the rock at the base of the cliff “Go Round” it says with an arrow pointing to the west. I followed this advice and made my way around to the top of the cliff and down to it.
Pleasantly warm the evening may have been, but it also had rained and that meant the rocks and grass were wet and slippy… not ideal for scrambling up and down to this cache, but I managed in the end.

14th May 2010 – Not A Puzzle Cache in Sight (Or is there) GC19D8M – cache #482
The next cache was not too far away, hidden under a large rock, and there is a puzzle cache to see from here (well at least one) as you look down on the bridge where Et Tu Brute is hidden (see about 6 caches later)

14th May 2010 – Burley’s Wood Head GC1RAGW – cache #483
It was about now that I started regretting the fact that I hadn’t reprogrammed a PDA with the local memorymap, but instead had come up on the moor with just my Garmin, so I just had a direction arrow to go on – straight lines over the moors aren’t easy and with no map no method of knowing whether there was a path a few yards away that led in the right direction, or whether there was a hazard inbetween me and the cache. Anyway wandering about a bit finding paths that seemed to lead me in the right direction eventually led me to a place where I could see this large rock sticking up out of the moor… even from 50 yards away it was obvious that that was the spot where the cache was going to be… and it was

14th May 2010 – Island Life 3 GC1T1NO – cache #484
The moor has several small reservoirs on it, I guess they were natural pools that were dammed in Victorian times to provide a water source for the town below, anyway, because they are dammed the water level is fairly constant. In one of these (or maybe more than one, I don’t know where the other caches in this series are yet !) there is a small rocky island a few feet off shore, well it’s a pile of roacks that comes up above water level anyway. On this islane is the cache. Fortunately the water between the shore and the island is only a couple of centimeters deep so you can paddle out without getting your feet wet.
Now I come to read the description there is a number on the bottom of the cache box that is a part clue to a bonus cache… I didn’t see or make note of it !

14th May 2010 – 5p Cache GCX73C – cache #485
Walking on a direct line to this cache was a nightmare, as the bearing ran straight through an area of very boggy ground, but not having any better way of seeing how to get from one place to another I had to make my way as best I could.
This cache is in the cobbled lining of another old reservoir, one which isn’t now in use and has very little water left in it (it’s all in the bog between the last cache and this)
I found the cache relatively easily, which, as there were hundreds of stones it could have been under, was I thought, quite lucky.

14th May 2010 – Last stop Ilkley GC1GEWY – cache #486
After the trouble I had getting to the last cache I decided that I would follow a path that started out heading in roughly the right direction for the next cache – GCMMP1 Woofa – however the path soon turned a different direction, and with no obvious path leading off the way I wanted to go I had two options, follow the path I was on, or head across the open moor again… I chose the path, and it brought me to this cache (and added over half a mile to my walk)
This cache had been muggled and repaired by a previous visitor who had put in a new box to replace the one that had been taken. This new box had been smashed on the front and back – preumably by having a large stone dropped on it.

14th May 2010 – Woofa GCMMP1 – cache #487
Now I had followed the path and found an unplanned cache I still had to get back to where I should be… and of course there was no obvious path, and a steep slope to negotiate, and it was beginning to get dark, which didn’t make walking across open moor any easier as you can’t see your footing too clearly.
This is the sort of cache that I don’t really like… what seems to be a random stone in the middle of a moor, with a cache under it. There is some waffle in the description about the cache being near some neolithic enclosures, but near, not in, as far as I can see the cache is just under a random stone in the middle of the moor.
In the summer it will be hidden under vegetation, I’m glad I went in May when the bracken is not yet growing

14th May 2010 – Toy Car Cache GC1CMB9 – cache #488
Another straight line yomp across the moor brought me to this cache. Some people had reported it taking them a while to find, which as it was now quite dark was concerning me a bit as I had no torch with me, but I quickly noticed a gap under a rock that had a stone in it that looked to be out of place, and the cache was of course behind it.

14th May 2010 – ET TU BRUTE GC1PDAT – cache #489
By now in almost total darkness all I had to do was make my way down to the road and then walk along it back to my car, stopping at an ornate bridge with crenelated towers at the end to find this last cache. I quickly realised that it was too dark to search around for the cache if it wasn’t somewhere obvious.
The cache is a puzzle cache and the hint was on solving the puzzle not a clue as to where the cache was.
The obvious place to me was in the top of the crenelated tower, so I hopped up onto the wall and looked onto the top of the tower, and there was the cache. All I had to do then was drop back to the road, and retreat to a suitable place off the road to sign the log. So I walked a few yards to the nearest gateway and stood there… and two cars came along the road and turned into the gateway !
How suspicious does a man look at 9:45pm trying to hide in a gateway in the middle of nowhere ? I was half expecting to see a police car coming up the road after the prowler reported hanging around an isolated house.

14th May 2010 – SideTracked – The Wharfedale Line – Burley GC1G2QP – cache #490
On my way home I stopped in Burley station car park to grab this cache, my torch was in my car so I had no problem finding the 35mm film cannister in the dark corner of the fence.

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