Explorer 297

Explorer Map 297 – Lower Wharfedale & Washburn Valley

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500 Up ! – Caches No’s 491 – 507

Submitted by on Sunday, 23 May 2010No Comment
500 Up ! – Caches No’s 491 – 507

15th May 2010 – EVERGREEN GC1DTPC – cache #491
A sunny Saturday afternoon, FA Cup Final or caching ? I chose caching.
There is a country park on the south edge of Bingley about 8 miles from where I live called the St Ives estate, which has at least 40 caches in or around it. So I decided to go and find a few of them to see what the place was like. The problem is that the road to it from Bingley is closed while they repair / replace a bridge over the river, so I had to approach it from Keighley.
Never having been there before I was a bit surprised to see that the estate is surrounded by a 10 foot stone wall, obviously the park had been the country estate of landed gentry who wanted to be separate from the great unwashed, so a wall was built.
I parked the car and found a convenient gap in the wall – where a hole had been cut into it to allow access, and wandered in to find a ache or two. The first cache was pretty specific in it’s location, told you exactly where to stand and look to spot it, I was fortunate in a) being there in May before the bracken had grown and b) having seen fake bracken leaves with cache containers on them on ebay.
So when I saw a bracken leaf where a bracken leaf shouldn’t be this early in the year I knew I had found the cache.

15th May 2010 – Phil Osopher’s Stone GC13F87 – cache #492
So this part of the country park is a wood, thus there’s not a good GPS reception. and this cache is obviously hidden under a stone, trouble is there are lots of stones within the 35ft accuracy range of the GPS. I spotted it after about 10 minutes because the little stone camouflaging it was obvoiusly (to my eye) on top of the pine needles and leaf litter where as all the other stones were half covered by the pine needles and leaf litter.
Needless to say when I put the cache back I did hide it a bit better, and spread the pine needles and leaf litter about in a much more natural way !

15th May 2010 – Lady B (West Yorkshire) GCJMHP – cache #493
Lady Blantyre was responsible for planting 400 acres of woodland here, and is remembered with a stone tablet like a gravestone at this large rock promontory which is supposedly a spot she liked to visit.
The cache is hidden behind this gravestone, which is under the overhanging rock, so to get to it you have to crawl (literally) behind the gravestone. And of course when you are in this most compromising position a couple of walkers come past and it all gets a bit awkward.
Lady B is also remembered by this tree carving, which is shown here holding the 35mm film container cache.

After this I decided not to venture any further into the St Ives estate, but instead headed across the road onto Harden Moor. and made my way down to where GC1PB3Y – Just Another Tree should be, there’s a spoiler picture and a good description of where the cache is (needed cos I had the co-ordinates showing to be at least 40 feet away from the cache site) but there was no cache there.
Then I moved off towards the next cache GC1PFCH – A Broken one, but found that I was at the bottom of a steep unclimbable rocky bank, and the cache was at the top, as I was running short of time I decided to leave this one for another day and I headed for the next one on my list GF1DPC – Hard As Rock 2. Same problem here, I was at the bottom of a rocky outcrop and the cache was at the top. Another one to leave until later. Next, GCTM28 – OAKEY COAKEY, which is a well hidden cache by an oak tree, unfortunately also by the oak tree was anothe bloke out looking at the view, eventually he walked off, so I had a quick look round the tree, but found nothing. Time was short, the FA Cup final I could miss but Doctor Who was coming on in less than an hour and I had to get home ! so I abandoned the search and headed back to the car.

15th May 2010 – ERICA’S SECRET GCYM27 – cache #494
On my way back to the car after 4 DNF’s or abandoned attempts to find I had to find this one, as much because my friend Angel78’s real name is Erica as because I wanted to find at least one cache on Harden moor.
Fortunately again I was there in May before the vegetation had grown so the stone cvering this cache at the base of the tree was not covered by the Erica (Heather) and made finfin this one easy.
And I did get home in time for Doctor Who !

16th May 2010 – SideTracked – The Wharfedale Line – Ben Rhydding GC1KX4R – cache #495
Sunday afternoon and another trip up to Ilkley Moor to do some caching. First stop Ben Rhydding railway station, and with no-one about it was easy to find the cache, though I was a bit surprised to find that the cache which was supposedly a 35mm film container secured by magnets actually turned out to be held in place by velcro… maybe the description needs updating !

16th May 2010 – No Point To Holly GC1JPC6 – cache #496
Next stop was a large holly tree on a green in front of some houses, although the cache is fairly well hidden you are a bit exposed to being watched from either the people in the houses overlooking the green or the pub across the road.

16th May 2010 – PANORAMA STONES GC1DB5M – cache #497
On the moors around Ilkley there are many stones marked with neolithic ‘Cup & Ring’ markings, three of these were moved when some building work was being done and they have been displayed at their present site for over a hundred years… unfortunately the weather and vandalism has all but wiped out all traces of the cup and ring markings!
The cache is nearby under a tree stump, easy enough to find, but the stones are in an open space next to the road with woodland on either side, so while you are rooting around in the undergrwoth looking for the cache people walking along the road appear at the edge of the open space and it’s like you are on stage !

16th May 2010 – Darwin Falls View GC26H0K – cache #498
Apparently Charles Darwin stayed in Ilkley between writing and publishing the Origin of Species, so Ilkley has been caching in on this by renaming things that Darwin must have seen Darwin this and Darwin that.
Darwin Falls is in Darwin Gardens (until a few years ago this was West View Park)
The cache is hidden next to a bridge under some stones and can only be reached by kneeling on the ground and putting your hand through the railings, even then you need long arms. I managed to lose one of the covering stones further down the banking to a place where it was out of my reach, fortunately there were still enough stones to cover the cache when I put it back

16th May 2010 – The Find of the Millennium GC1KJQP – cache #499
I really should have done another cache first, to make this my 500th cache – The find of the (Half) Millenuim – but I didn’t think of that until later !
The millenium refers to the Darwin Millenium Gardens which this cache is on the edge of. Apparently Charles Darwin must have walked across this open space when he was walking from the house he stayed in to the Spa where he took his hydrotherapy cures.
The cache is easy to find though I had to wait for some people to walk past before putting it back. Then I realised that it contained the co-ordinates for a second cache that I hadn’t noted down, so I had to go and get it out again, and then wait for some more people to walk past before putting it back again.

16th May 2010 – Just in passing……. GCWXA3 – cache #500
There is a road over the hill from Keighley to Ilkley. The highest part of this road is not made up and is impassable to all but the sturdiest 4 wheel drive vehicles, but is a busy spot for walkers and mountain bikes. I drove up the road as far as I could from Ilkley and then parked up and walked the 3/4 of a mile up to the top of the hill – to this cache in a little hollow a few yards away from the road. No hint given, so it was a case of examining all possibilities until the cache was unearthed. As usual an experienced eye spots the stones used as camouflage quite quickly and the ache was retrieved and the log signed. My 500th Cache ! (headline picture is of the cache, this is just the obvious camouflage)

(A few weeks ago I was debating whether I would quite get to 500 caches before my first year of caching was out, I did it with 13 days to spare !)

16th May 2010 – Ba Tat Box GCK2JR – cache #501
A cache hidden in a wall across the moor, fortunately there is an easy track to follow to get to it, so there was no repeat of the open moor scrambling that I did on Friday night.

16th May 2010 – Crag in a Crater, Ilkley GC1HYYH – cache #502
I presume this is more of a quarry than a crater. The description says there are two ways to get to the cache, the easy way down a shallow slope or just scrabble down the bank straight to it.
I decided to take the easy way and ended up at the bottom of the crater diametrically opposite the cache… however the entire bottom of the crater is a bog, so I had to scramble around the edge of the bog trying to keep my feet dry. When I had got the cache I decided not to bother trying to cross the bog again but just climb straight up the steep slope. It wasn’t too hard !

16th May 2010 – Phoebe’s wanderland GC1CVT7 – cache #503
A reasonably hidden spot by the side of a stream, the cache is hidden in some tree roots which by the quirk of a rocky banking are at head height !. Again glad I was here in May, by the time the bracken has grown the cache will be totally hidden.
There is too much stuff in the container, or at least the stuff in it is too big, meaning that the laminated card with the Geocache blurb on it doesn’t sit nicely in the box and was protruding through the watertight seal… thus the contents were damp. Why people want to jam large things into small boxes I don’t know.

16th May 2010 – up in the air GC1XJXB – cache #504
Seemed pretty likely that this cache was going to be in a tree. I did get a bit concerned when I saw the pile of newly cut branches next to the tree, but the cache was still safe in the fork of the trunk… under a brick !

16th May 2010 – Secret Garden GC15J25 – cache #505
I’d briefly looked for this cache before when shopping in Ilkley, using just the memory of the location map on the website to find it and looking in the garden where the war memorial… however going back there with a GPS soon told me that I was in the wrong secret garden !
Where I should have been was over the road in a garden where there were far too many people passing and stopping for a chat… I ran out of people to text while I was sitting on the bench waiting for them to leave !

16th May 2010 – Not Jekyll ‘n’ Hide GC13HCM – cache #506
An architecturally significant building in Ilkley. I’d never seen it from the front before. The cache is hidden in a short section of tree branch at the side of the gate… a gate that has a sign on it threatening you with CCTV cameras (though I couldn’t see any) and a gate that is overlooked by the people in the houses at the other side of the road… you disguise what you are doing by fiddling with your bag on the floor and then taking a picture of the house through the gate and writing some notes in a notebook then fiddling on the floor putting your camera back in it’s bag… or at least putting the cache back in it’s spot

16th May 2010 – Oli’s Birthday Cache GC13HDG – cache #507
4th or 5th time I have looked for this cache. It’s well known that the co-ordinates given are for the middle of the river, and so you have to search the river bank and footpath to find the cache. I know I have searched this spot several times in the past without finding the cache, but this time I found it easily… maybe it wasn’t put back in quite the right place by the previous finder, but I am glad to get it off my list of outstanding caches.

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