I love this time of year, cold crisp days making mud much easier to deal with, whilst that hazy winter sun adds an almost ethereal glow to the landscape.
In short a muddy, non descript farm track becomes something quite beautiful.
With a weekend blessed with fine weather and Mr Muddy having a rare day off I convinced him that a geocaching trail would be a great idea. Happy to be outdoors he obliged and we were off to complete the first caching trail I’ve undertaken in quite a while.
The trail called ‘A not so fishy trail.’ is a four mile circular walk taking in the rural villages of Tuddenham and Herringswell, navigating through the Suffolk countryside. With 23 caches to find hopefully providing the incentive for little legs to keep going.
With Jack Frost having worked his magic we were in for a picturesque walk and some frosty fun.
Like many families I suspect, one of our biggest hurdles to getting outdoors regularly is the children’s mindset. People often comment that my children always seem so easy to get outdoors. Not so. Given the choice they would choose 90% of the time to fester in their Jammies, playing minecraft. They are normal children.
In fact one of my children has such adverse reactions to going outdoors. They insist that they may even be allergic to outdoor fun, such is the strong reaction it provokes. In fact even declarations of ‘I’m going to die if I have to walk.’ Serious stuff indeed. 😉
However they have other traits also inherited from their mother, sticking an electronic device in their hands proves an effective antidote. Admittedly with twitchy palms my GPS is handed over, but sometimes anything for a quiet life right?
So with a keen navigator leading the way we were off, our first caches quickly found, nothing really out of the ordinary but I maintain that for me caching really is all about the experience, not so much what we find.
The frozen track which would normally be pretty tough going with lashings of mud and deep puddles to navigate, becoming so much more fun.
Despite finding the caches quickly, taking an age to travel between them because obviously frozen puddles rock (and someone didn’t quite have the hang of the Garmin. 😉).
The usual Mud and Nettles trespassing exploring, those gaps in the hedgerows so often the gateway to fabulous places,
Secret spots to explore, trees to climb…
Or make like a sloth. The world is your oyster baby.
Then further down the track some big, badass puddles.
Kind of like a poor mans Fen Skating, but just as fun.
Even the biggest child getting in on the act, with all that finesse. Or possibly doing Kung Fu. Who can really be sure.
Approximately four years later we were ready to move on, with only one mud covered coat, two pairs of wet trousers and just the five boots filled with water. The usual state of affairs really.
Finally having run out of ice rinks puddles it was now up to finding caches to provide the entertainment, and invariably the accompanying arguments over exactly whose turn it is to find the cache. (And that’s not just me and my husband…😉
Once through the village of Herringswell the majority of the route being on a unpaved roadside, the road however is pretty quiet so didn’t cause us any issues.
A variety of cache containers kept things fun for the children as they started to realise that
1) four miles is quite a long way, and
2) Mum has left the rice cakes in the car. Bad mummy.
Don’t think I’ve ever found a cache like this before.
With caches evenly spaced along our return route the miles were quickly covered and with minimal moaning too. Result!
Even better, we found all of the caches, one tricky cache giving us a few problems but perseverance paid off.
A great morning back out on the caching trail.
A not so fishy trail