Name: Lee Gate, Into the Valley & Ballinger by CaptainJack.
No. Caches Found: 49
Distance: 14 Miles
First in Series: GC3G920
Walked on: 7th March 2015
Terrain: Muddy woodland foot paths a few hills too
My mission today was to bag enough caches and reach 10,000 finds. I planned a 12 mile circular route starting and ending from Lee Common in Buckinghamshire. There are plenty of trails in this area many of them by Captain Jack. I decided to join three of his series together starting with Lee Gate then Into the Valley and finally Ballinger.
I parked in Lee Common outside the former Pub called The Bugle which is now a sadly rotting although it is occupied still. A sign on the outside said “Opening 9th March” but there was no indication of which year. I left the village and headed out towards the woods on the first leg of the walk. Within moments I spotted at least two Red Kite soaring above the trees enjoying the warmth of the sunshine and the clear blue sky.
I head towards Lee Gate, along a muddy footpath towards Lee Gate. There was a brief walk along Chesham Lane before heading along Timberley Lane (track) into Great Wildmoor Wood and then Lordling Wood. Plenty of GPS bounce in the woods made some of the caches a little more tricky to spot.
After leaving the woods, I headed across higher ground to Arrewig Lane then down hill to Three Gates farm and then up the the first steepish hill into Bray’s Wood. There was a particularly tricky cache here which took an age to find buried amongst the leaves. With most of the Lee Gate series found, it was time to switch onto the “Into the Valley” series. The name of the series was aptly named. Several times I went up a hill and down into the valley as I collected the caches. The best views of the day were along this part of the walk for sure.
A couple more of dnf’s followed as I completed the Lee Gate caches on my way back to the village. I bench in the allotments provided a suitable resting place for lunch and a count up of remaining caches vs what I needed to reach 10,000. I decided that based on the number of dnf’s so far that I should add a few more caches to my plan to be on the safe side, it meant adding on a couple more miles but I was determined to reach my goal.
So before starting the Ballinger series I went after another 6 caches of which I only had 1 dnf. The Ballinger series took me from Lee Common to Ballinger Bottom then around to Hunt’s Green. I only needed 7 more finds out of 11 caches to achieve my goal. Despite the long distance I had walked so far, I appeared to have energy left in my legs to see me around the course clocking up the smileys one by one until I eventually reached Ballinger – Pipers – GC3RVM4 where I was able to claim by 10,000th cache. A fantastic end to a brilliant day.
Lee Gate – Vee GC3G920 Found it
Today I’m out on a mission to bag by 10,000th find. I need 47 caches to do it. I decided to visit the Chilterns area again as this has in the past provided some great geocaching experiences with some great countryside. It took just over an hour and a half to drive up from Swindon, Wiltshire this morning. It was a pleasant surprise to see blue sky and sunshine after the forecast the night before had suggested a dry but cloudy day. I parked opposite a old pub called the Bugle or as the sign said “The Ugle” on the side of the building with an “opening 9th March”, it didn’t look like they were going to be ready! In fact it was completely run down although someone was still clearly living there. Last night I worked a route out that incorporated three of Captain Jack’s series, Lee Gate, Into the Valley & Ballinger with a few extra caches along the way. All set for a 12 mile or so hike, I locked the car and headed out of the village towards Lee Clump for the first cache. As I made my way across the field and into the wood I spotted a few Red Kite circling above. 1st cache of the day found at 09:32:00 9954th overall find.
Lee Gate – End GC3G92F Found it
Today I’m out on a mission to bag by 10,000th find. I need 47 caches to do it. I decided to visit the Chilterns area again as this has in the past provided some great geocaching experiences with some great countryside. It took just over an hour and a half to drive up from Swindon, Wiltshire this morning. It was a pleasant surprise to see blue sky and sunshine after the forecast the night before had suggested a dry but cloudy day. I parked opposite a old pub called the Bugle or as the sign said “The Ugle” on the side of the building with an “opening 9th March”, it didn’t look like they were going to be ready! In fact it was completely run down although someone was still clearly living there. Last night I worked a route out that incorporated three of Captain Jack’s series, Lee Gate, Into the Valley & Ballinger with a few extra caches along the way. All set for a 12 mile or so hike, I locked the car and headed out of the village towards Lee Clump for the first cache. As I made my way across the field and into the wood I spotted a few Red Kite circling above. 2nd cache of the day found at 09:32:00 9954th overall find.
Lee Gate – Beneath GC3G931 Found it
It was a slippery walk through the woods to the next cache, I initially overshot the mark as the gps neglected to bleep because the cache was slightly off the path. 3rd cache of the day found at 09:36:00 9955th overall find.
Lee Gate – Rockin GC3G94R Found it
I continued through the wood on the muddy path passing a muggle coming back from their morning walk. I didn’t spot this one straight away for some reason and when I did it was totally obvious. 4th cache of the day found at 09:40:00 9956th overall find.
Lee Gate – Gate GC3BYQ1 Found it
I left the woodland trail behind passing a nice cottage on the edge of the woods before reaching the road at Swan Bottom. 5th cache of the day found at 09:48:00 9957th overall find.
Lee Gate – Timberley Again GC3BYX6 Found it
After a short walk along the road through Lee Gate and passing a converted chapel, I was soon onto a track leading me back into some more woods. 6th cache of the day found at 09:58:00 9958th overall find.
Lee Gate – Edge of Widmoor Wood GC3BYTJ Found it
Next I headed towards Lordilng Wood, passing another muggle with her dog coming back the other way. 7th cache of the day found at 10:11:00 9959th overall find.
Lee Gate – TP GC3BYVB Found it
Not such along walk this time between caches but there are now a few caches to be found that are off route. 8th cache of the day found at 10:16:00 9960th overall find.
Lee Gate – Brun Grange GC3BYT8 Found it
I’m still heading away from the main route along a very muddy track to the next off route cache to find the triagulation point. It is getting quite warm now as I walk through the forest. 9th cache of the day found at 10:22:00 9961st overall find.
Lee Gate – Just a Tree GC3BYXM Found it
On the way back from the Triagulation Point cache I spotted another path alongside the edge of the main one which wasn’t churned up so I took this as far as I could. Once back at the cross road it was time to take another detour along and equally muddy and churned up path to Brun Grange. I noticed a muggle on the otherside of the field with his dog so I worked quickly so that I didn’t give the location of the cache away. 10th cache of the day found at 10:30:00 9962nd overall find.
Lee Gate – Lordling Wood GC3BYRW Found it
Returning to the main circuit again after a few detours. This was another cache that was slightly off the track. The breadcrumb trail on my GPS didn’t seem to be following the footpath exactly but this is definitely the main route. 11th cache of the day found at 10:37:00 9963rd overall find.
Lee Gate – Another Gate GC3BYQK Found it
The condition of the tracks to the cache worsened on the approach to GZ. There was no direct path that I could find to take me to GZ and so I carefully bush whacked across through the very prickly brambles until I got to the right spot. 12th cache of the day found at 10:45:00 9964th overall find.
Lee Gate – Swan Lane GC3BYR5 Found it
I left Lordling Wood and out into a large field which was empty of any live stock but looked the sort of place for horses. 13th cache of the day found at 10:56:00 9965th overall find.
Lee Gate – A Little Drink GC3G8WJ Found it
After the last one the trail headed diagonally straight back to the earlier path but I had to walk back up it a little way to get to the cache. As I signed the log a muggle appeared from the house down the lane but didn’t see what I was doing. 14th cache of the day found at 11:00:00 9966th overall find.
Lee Gate – Captains Log GC3G8X0 Found it
A short walk down the lane and passing a nice looking pub before I was back on to the country path. There was a nice bale of hay beside the horse paddock that I was tempted to sit down on for a cup of coffee but decided to keep going a little bit longer. 15th cache of the day found at 11:05:00 9967th overall find.
Lee Gate – Triple Trunks GC3G8X7 Found it
A very smooth gravel path led me to cache. Unfortunately this log book was in a bad way and I didn’t have any spares.[:(] 16th cache of the day found at 11:08:00 9968th overall find.
Lee Gate – Spare? GC3G8XJ Found it
It was very warm at this point and the paths are already drying out. 17th cache of the day found at 11:16:00 9970th overall find.
Lee Gate – Big Un GC3G8XX Didn’t find it
Unfortunately this was my first dnf. There was only one tree it could be and I had a look in the vicinity but could not find the cache.
Lee Gate – Topov GC3G8YC Found it
After a long search at the last cache I decided that it was time for a coffee break. I rested a short while on a little bench before making my way here. 18th cache of the day found at 11:40:00 9971st overall find.
Lee Gate – Arrewig Tree GC3G8YP Found it
A short walk down Arrewig Lane to GZ. 19th cache of the day found at 11:46:00 9972nd overall find.
Lee Gate – Bray’s Wood GC3G8Z4 Found it
This was the first slightly streanous climb up a hill and then into Brays Wood. I almost declared a dnf but I eventually found it after searching most possible locations two to three times. 20th cache of the day found at 12:08:00 9973rd overall find.
Lee Gate – Cornered GC3G8ZH Found it
I walked through Brays Wood to the corner to find the last cache of this series for the time being before heading off to the Into the Valley series. It took a few moments to find this one but I got it in the end. I decided to walk along the road to the next one. 21st cache of the day found at 12:14:00 9974th overall find.
Into The Valley – Mind Your Eyes GC49PCC Found it
I switched series at this point after walking along the road from Lee Gate. It was a up hill walk into some clear blue sky to reach the cache. 22nd cache of the day found at 12:32:00 9975th overall find.
Into The Valley – Branch GC49PCJ Found it
I continued to the top of the hill along a dry bridle way that looks likes it would have been very muddy a few days ago but the sun has dried it out nicely. It was a little bit windy at the top but there were some great views from this point. 23rd cache of the day found at 12:36:00 9976th overall find.
Into The Valley – Old Wood GC49PCK Found it
After going up, it was time to go down! It was a little muddy right at the bottom here. 24th cache of the day found at 12:40:00 9977th overall find.
Into The Valley – Stumped GC49PCQ Found it
As is the way after the down hill section it was back up hill again to this one. The cache was not in the obvious spot or where the GPS suggested that it was. More good views at the top. 25th cache of the day found at 12:49:00 9978th overall find.
Newsets Wood GC33DTE Write note
With 3 dnfs before me, I didn’t attempt it today.
Into The Valley – Stoned GC49PD1 Found it
A nice flat walk this time, albeit the path which track the shady side of the hedge was very muddy and it was easier to walk a little bit further into the field. 26th cache of the day found at 12:57:00 9979th overall find.
Into The Valley -Triple Trunks GC49PB2 Found it
After leaving the field for a short road section, this was the turning back point in the series and when I checked my GPS I only had 20 caches to go to hit 10k. 27th cache of the day found at 13:02:00 9980th overall find.
Into The Valley – Multi GC49PB6 Found it
A walk along the farm track to reach the cache, I had to be careful here as I could see muggles from the farm. 28th cache of the day found at 13:07:00 9981st overall find.
Into The Valley – Boxed In GC49PB8 Found it
As I passed the farm sheds, the farmers let out a herd of bullocks into the field, by the way they ran out and around the field it was probably the first time that they had been let out since winter and they seemed to love it. The path detoured around the farm house to arrive at GZ. 29th cache of the day found at 13:11:00 9982nd overall find.
Into The Valley – Base GC49PBB Found it
After a flat walk along the top of the hill, this one was on the edge of the down hill section on the return leg of the series. 30th cache of the day found at 13:17:00 9983rd overall find.
Into The Valley – A Wee Pot In a Tree GC49PBG Found it
An enjoyable walk down hill was easy going on my legs, but then I looked at what was ahead of me! 31st cache of the day found at 13:21:00 9984th overall find.
Into The Valley – Metal GC49PBQ Didn’t find it
I found the metal but no cache.
Into The Valley – Metal GC49PBQ Found it
As I walked up the hill I found the log book lying on the ground, so I claimed the find and put the log book back under the metal. 32nd cache of the day found at 13:32:00 9985th overall find.
Into The Valley – Old Post GC49PC0 Found it
After an exhausting up hill climb I headed across a farmers field where the farm sheep dogs spotted me and ran across the field to greet me. He was a very friendly fellow and wanted lots of fuss until the farmer called him back. 33rd cache of the day found at 13:40:00 9986th overall find.
Lee Gate – Little Log GC3G8ZX Didn’t find it
Another short walk back along the road before heading back into the woods. I searched Lownde’s Wood but was unable to spot where it was hidden.
Lee Gate – Inside GC3G90D Didn’t find it
At this point it wasn’t going well, another dnf. I looked in all the nooks and crannies but no joy, not good news on my quest for 10k.
Lee Gate – Under GC3G90Y Found it
This was the last one on the Lee Gate series so it was nice to have a find to finish it on. 34th cache of the day found at 14:15:00 9987th overall find.
Base box GC35N79 Found it
I stopped for lunch on one of the seats in the play ground by the allotments in Lee Common and checked my strategy for the remainder of the afternoon which originally was to pick up the Ballinger series of caches but a quick count up and it looked like I could be short of the mark so I decided to put in an additional circuit of other caches first. 35th cache of the day found at 14:58:00 9988th overall find.
Barking up the right tree GC35N65 Didn’t find it
It’s proving that I’m no good at spotting caches like this and I didn’t want a dnf at this point and with time tight I decided to move on to the next.
Handle with care GC35N5Q Found it
It’s still a nice afternoon and nice for walking. As I walked down the slope I had a hunch where this one was going to be. 36th cache of the day found at 15:14:00 9989th overall find.
D-O-D GC35NA5 Found it
There was a good view across the fields as I came to the top of the hill. I walked down the hill not really knowing what DOD meant but it all became clear as I got to the cache. 37th cache of the day found at 15:21:00 9990th overall find.
Let sleeping logs lie GC35N9R Found it
It was a good walk back through the woods and after looking in a few places I found the cleverly camouflaged container. 38th cache of the day found at 15:31:00 9991st overall find.
Cache does grow on trees… GC35N99 Found it
There was still plenty of sunshine coming through the branches of the trees as I looked up for the cache. Quickly spotted and had a hand geopole to help me get it. 39th cache of the day found at 15:37:00 9992nd overall find.
Ballinger – Cornered GC3RVMC Found it
Only 7 left at this stage on mission 10k. I had to add in an extra little circuit as the increasing number of DNF’s was causing me concern that I may not find enough to complete the mission. So a little extra time and a few miles late I began the Ballinger series with only 7 caches to find. 40th cache of the day found at 15:46:00 9993rd overall find.
Ballinger – Old Wood GC3RVMJ Found it
Across the field and into another woodland series and as has been the case throughout the day there was plenty of gps bounce to make the hunt even tougher, but after a few minutes some old wood that looked out of place revealed the cache. 41st cache of the day found at 15:51:00 9994th overall find.
Ballinger – Bark GC3RVMR Found it
A slight down hill walk this time through the wood to the cache and another one ticked off – just 5 more to find now. 42nd cache of the day found at 15:55:00 9995th overall find.
Allotment view GC35NAP Didn’t find it
Out of the woods now and a push on up the hill brought be to ground that I had earlier trod but after a short search and not finding anything I had no choice but to record a dnf and continue on my quest, not what I needed right now.
Ballinger – A Wee Pot in a Tree GC3RVJ9 Found it
A dnf and the last cache still left me with 5 to find. I headed across the field to this one and there was only one possible place it could be and once again it wasn’t immediately obvious, but a further search revealed a dirty well hidden cache. 43rd cache of the day found at 16:16:00 9996th overall find.
Ballinger – Just a Tree GC3RVJW Found it
When I got a stile I wasn’t sure whether to follow the official path through the field containing a bull, or so the sign said or to cross over the trampled fence and through the adjacent field. I took the proper footpath and as it happened both paths ended up at the cache. 44th cache of the day found at 16:23:00 9997th overall find.
Ballinger – Reach GC3RVKH Found it
This one just added to my stress levels, I just could not find this one at first. At one point I was lying down through the barbed wire, then all of a sudden the cache caught my eye and I was able to claim another find. 45th cache of the day found at 16:36:00 9998th overall find.
Ballinger – Hunt’s Green GC3RVKX Found it
The odds of me compleing my quest just improved with this find, just one more to find and 3 caches in which to do it. 46th cache of the day found at 16:44:00 9999th overall find.
Ballinger – Pipers GC3RVM4 Found it
Well after an exciting day building up to this point and after a glorious day and as the sun starts to go down I reached 10000 finds. I did think at one point that I wasn’t going to make it today but really pleased that I did. 47th cache of the day found at 16:50:00 10000th overall find.
Gate Expectations GC35N7Q Found it
Having completed my mission at the last cache, I began the count again ten thousand and one! 48th cache of the day found at 17:04:00 10001st overall find.
Stool Pigeon GC35N8N Found it
I took a short cut through the woods, which wasn’t a great idea as there was a ton of holly. I had an idea of what I was looking for so it should have been pretty easy to find but not today. I searched high and low and almost gave up on it. Then as I was leaving the area I saw it lying on the floor, clearly having fallen from it’s perch. I signed the log and then put the sad looking bird back on it’s perch. 49th cache of the day found at 17:15:00 10002nd overall find.