Completion – Juneathon 2018, Day 30

It’s here. Finally. The end of blogging about my exercising each and every day for the entire month. I will happily continue to exercise, but this daily blogging always wears me out.

I have not been slacking this Juneathon. There were 2 days when I didn’t manage to blog, but I’m perfectly happy with my reasons for that.

I don’t do anywhere near as much excercise as other Juneathoners. And that’s fine too. I have done as much as I possibly can. Considering that it wasn’t that long ago that I couldn’t cross a room without aid, I’m very happy with the fact that yesterday I collapsed into the car after a 2 mile walk.

Today was more sedate. Today was not only the last day of Juneathon, it was also the 30th of June. And that made it a slightly significant day in terms of Geocaching. Earlier this week I reached a massive milestone of having found 2,000 of the little hidden treasures. But the statistics don’t stop there.

Today I was working on my 365 grid. I don’t think I’ll ever fill it all in because I can’t guarantee that I’ll be well enough to head out for caches on specific days. But that doesn’t stop me from trying.

Basically, today was one of the dates in the year that I have never found a cache. I wanted that little white rectangle to turn into a green one.

And so, The Old Trout and I clambered into our geocache-mobile and went in search of our closest unfound cache.

Guess what it was 😉

What with that, and traipsing around Go Outdoors for a new airbed for herself, I reached my daily step goal and am refusing to do anything else. But I have warned her that if I catch her jumping up and down on the new air bed I will not be amused.

Day 30 – reached daily step goal

Steps Taken – 5,275

Good bye. Talk to you again in January 😘

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A tiring walk – Juneathon 2018, Day 29

I was determined to head out for a walk today. It was still blisteringly hot. But I felt much better than yesterday. Unfortunately the Old Trout was not. She has been having a bad day. This was made worse when I said “The car is leaking. Look, we’ve left a puddle.” as she was busy reversing out of a tight spot.

A few minutes later we were parked underneath some shady trees. I had carried out several expert tests: I had dibbled my fingers in the puddle and discovered that it strangely tasted like water. I’d laid down on the tarmac to look at the source of the drip, only to bounce back up quickly when I found that the floor really was lava and that my thighs were burning. And I was getting out the little red warning triangles with ease, whilst thinking about the air conditioned pub just over the road, that we’d just happened to break down beside. The next couple of hours waiting inside there for a repairman were going to be horrible… Free WiFi too…

And then the Old Trout informed the RAC operator what our problem was. The operator kindly informed her that it was more than likely the air-conditioner overflow. Had we been using the air conditioner? Yes, yes we had. It’s been one of few things keeping me sane in this heat.

And so it was with more than a tinge of regret that I folded the little red triangles back up again. I could have really done with an ice-cold shandy.

Instead I started walking along a little, shady lane close to our campsite. I left the Old Trout behind. She had strict orders to pick me up at the other end of the walk. She’s good like that. I don’t know what she does whilst I’m wandering around. Perhaps she whittles little pixies out of lumps of wood she finds near the car parking spaces. She certainly doesn’t have a well earned rest if the worn out, frazzled woman with the wide-eyed stare that greeted me at the end of my walk today is anything to go by.

But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Today I was hoping to find 8 geocaches. I only DNFed (Did Not Find) one of them. The whole walk was incredibly pleasant, and luckily for me, in the shade the whole time.

A couple of the caches were devils to find. My favourite was this little pretend bolt, hidden underneath a stile:

Look at me: braving the high boardwalk to the stile.

And of course, there was a fake rock (that looks identical to every other fake rock in the world)

I was walking along shady bridleways and many of the online logs mention being passed by horses. And indeed, there were quite a few horses grazing in nearby paddocks. But as you know that I am incapable of photographing anything that moves, here is a picture of horse dung as proof:

It was a good walk and enjoyable. But by the end I was both overheating and shattered. I could not have gone much slower without standing still. So half of this sign at the end of the day did not apply to me.

But the bottom half… That was probably never so true.

I fell into the car.

The Old Trout grunted.

We returned to the campsite.

And that is what I did on the penultimate day of this year’s Juneathon.

Day 29 – an 8 cache walk

Steps Taken – 10,471

Still here – Juneathon 2018, Day 27

Well, I’m still here doing my Juneathon exercising. It may not be much, but it’s enough for me.

As I emerged from the tent this morning, my legs felt leaden. So that proves that I must have worked them hard enough yesterday. Right? It was one of those mornings when even the campsite daisies were too tall to lift my legs up and over.

It was hot again today.

The Old Trout and I went in search of shade and some more geocaches. I’m afraid that I need more sleep than I’ve been getting in the campsite. The sun has been waking us too early in the mornings. I was flouncing around today like a bear with a hangover. We finally found some shade and I had a bit of a kip before getting on with sticking my hands into hedges full of stinging nettles.

There is a cache there. Thank goodness for our sticks. Saves my hands from being stung too much.

See! It’s that green pot.

So, my exercise for today was racking up as many steps as possible, without screaming too loudly at anyone. I succeeded at this reasonably well, considering.

It does help that the countryside around here, be it Dorset, Hampshire or wherever, is very pretty and pleasant to bimble through in the Old Trout’s air conditioned car 😎

Day 27 – daily step goal reached

Steps Taken – 4,944

2,000th cache – Juneathon 2018, Day 26

I did it!

Today I found my 2,000th geocache. We chose this one purposefully as swimming was involved. It also had a terrain rating of 5. That’s the most difficult terrain rating a cache can have. If you were to walk to a cache on the summit of Mount Everest it would have the same terrain rating.

But, to be fair, not only was swimming possibly on the cards, we also had to walk from Dorset to Hampshire to get there. It was a tough old walk…

On this baking hot day (possibly the hottest of the year again) the Old Trout and I found ourselves walking in dappled shade along an old railway line. We walked the full distance of 200ish metres from where the car was parked and soon arrived where we could slip comfortably into the river.

I did a quick reconoiter first. The Old Trout remained where I’d placed her – directly above the container. It was allegedly underneath the bridge. Hence the possible need for swimming.

Very soon we were both splashing about in the river and searching underneath the bridge. It was the Old Trout who spotted the film canister perched on a relatively low ledge.

I doubt that the cache survives the river in spate. The Cache Owner (C. O.) must keep replacing it. That’s the thing with rivers: they can be deadly in winter. Hence the high terrain rating. But on a hot summer’s day like today, it was easy peasy. Far easier than I’d imagined.

After getting that over and done with, I continued my Juneathon excercise by walking upstream, against the current, until I got to a point where I could float merrily back down. There was one part where I would pick up speed and zoom along with the current.

“Weeeeeeeeeeee!” it was so much fun that I forgot how tired my legs were getting trying to make my way back upstream. I can now currently not walk properly. My legs are refusing to do anything else today.

Meanwhile, the Old Trout was sitting in the shallows, burbling at dozens of tiny fish that were encountering her bottom as they tried swimming upstream.

There were also more dragonflies today. But they’re far too flighty for me to be able to photograph. This caterpillar nearly made a clean getaway before I could take a snap too. That’s how useless I am at getting pictures of moving objects.

This picture is rather like a “spot the ball” competition. There were loads of large fish as well as the tiddlers. And whilst near the bridge we could see them easily. But could I get a reasonable photo? Of course not.

It was an amazing day.

Hopefully the sun will soon disappear behind the trees at our campsite so that I can get into the tent without melting. I’m tired.

Day 26 – a short walk, a short swim and lots of leg resistance work.

Steps taken – 5,121

10 caches – Juneathon 2018, Day 25

The Old Trout and I left the campsite this morning with one aim: to find 10 geocaches. No more, and no less.

Geocaching is a hobby that indulges those of us who enjoy statistics. Yes, we find little plastic boxes hidden all over the country. But once you delve further in to the game you can find yourself excited about how many you’ve found, how many “large” geocaches you’ve found, whether you’ve discovered a cache starting with every letter of the alphabet… The list is endless and allows everyone to aim for their own goals.

I started Geocaching in May 2011 and in October 2013 I celebrated finding my 1,000th cache in North Wales. Unfortunately I had a few “lean years” where ill health stopped me from finding many caches. But the magic milestone of 2,000 finds is finally in sight.

Our purpose today was to find 10 easy caches so that I ended the day on 1,999. Tomorrow we’re going for the biggie.

And find them we did. Most appeared to revolve around telephone boxes.

The Old Trout went in search of the first. She soon spotted it, but it was perched above the top hinge. For someone who can’t physically lift their arms above their shoulders, this was a physical impossibility. I soon had her beckoning me with her Trout pout through the glass.

The day wore on and we wore ourselves out. But one highlight of the day was spotting something I’d never seen before: mistletoe. There was a long avenue of lime trees leading away from a stately home. We were there to collect one of our 10 caches. In the description it mentioned that the trees were awash with mistletoe.

I didn’t get a good picture, but there it is in the centre of the one showing lots of leaves. The mistletoe leaves are slightly darker and have twisting branches.

That is part of the hobby I love: tripping over unexpected and new things.

Before we knew it, we’d found our 10 caches. I decided that it was high time I went for a swim. We’ve been camping for a week and I hadn’t had a sniff of a swim. It’s also bloomin’ hot. I nearly burst into flames a couple of times today.

The Old Trout agreed, and after a couple of false starts we finally found somewhere I could plunge into the river.

Oh that felt so good!

I swam up and down, and then I floated down, did some bobbing about and some dragonfly observation. It was just what I needed.

And that was my exercise for this swelteringly hot Juneathon day.

Day 25 – walked a lot, swam a bit

Steps Taken – 9,952

Bush whacking – Juneathon 2018, Day 22

Today we were pooped.

The last couple of days have worn us out. I think both the Old Trout and I would have much rather stayed at the campsite today. But it was very sunny and the tent was like a furnace.

Instead we went out to find more geocaches. Again in this random area of Dorset that we are staying in. Both of us were too tired to plan anything. And that turned out to be a slight downfall. We turned up at a church where there was meant to be a cache hidden, only to find a wedding in full swing. Another attempt found us staring at an 800 year old tree. The tree was amazing. Not quite so great was the elderly gentleman who greated us from the cottage opposite. We were given a history lesson dating from William the Conquerer. This was not what either of us needed today. But we do now know how many times the tree has been hit by a lorry (twice) and how many times the tree’s plaque has been stolen (also twice) amongst other pieces of trivia. Although I can’t remember why he went into a 5 minute ramble about bread ovens.

I decided it was time to make our excuses to leave when my mother started wobbling slightly. This may have been a cunning ruse on her part to make me move us out of the way. But it’s more likely that her legs were about to give way. She really is an old crock.

We scarpered without even looking for the cache.

And so the day went on: badly.

The hedges around here have lots of nettles, and brambles.

And when we found a cache it was generally after bush whacking through 6ft high, stinging vegetation. I warned her not to wear shorts! She never listens to me.

(that’s a picture of me wearing shorts. I generally don’t bother listening to myself either.).

Here’s a photo of the Old Trout in some more green stuff, this time in desperate need of tweezers to extract a log that was jammed into a container.

And that was half of today’s exercise for Juneathon.

The rest was spent walking/crawling/and peering in circles around this bench. I did press ups, I did a few squats; quite a few different stretches. My body was warmed up by the time I got stuck between two of the planks. I don’t know why, but ‘gaps’ don’t seem to be as large as they used to be. I never had a problem getting through gaps when I was smaller. Luckily, after a small panic I wriggled free. We gave up looking for the cache after that.

And then we returned back to the tent. No longer pooped, but absolutely shattered.

Oh, and mum acquired her first tick. I’m sure she must have had one before. I’ve had loads over the years. But that’s what happens when you insist on wearing shorts.

Day 22 – reached daily step goal

Steps taken – 6,364

A figure of 8 – Juneathon 2018, Day 21

Today the Old Trout and I walked around a field.

It was a large field, full of hidden geocaches.

The first cache I found was a haven for slugs. I only found this out by sticking my hand into the crook of a tree and grabbing the slimy things.

Don’t ask me where this field was. I have no idea. Somewhere in Dorset I’d imagine, as we hadn’t driven far from our campsite.

It satisfied our criteria for the day. It was a level walk with gravel paths. Ideal for my partner in crime. And of course it had caches.

We were intending to try a circular route. But that turned into a figure of eight as we figured out how to avoid the tractor driver, who was busy making hay whilst the sun shone.

We had a jolly good day. We found all of the little hidden containers, talked to several dog walkers about the lovely weather and moaned happily by the end of the day about our respective aching parts.

I, as usual, took lots of photos. This is of a former kissing gate that I took whilst lying upside down. The old Trout was busy rootling around a nearby tree.

This is taken moments later, when I decided that she should stop looking at interesting trees and head into the brambles to where the cache was. That’s because she’s the one wearing the trousers, and has the big stick.

Here she is, sitting in front of another telegraph post, which had another cache at the bottom. But she went on sit down strike at this point. Doesn’t she look small compared to that hay bale?

I did wonder if we were going to be stuck wandering around that field forever. The darkness would fall and we’d still be trying to make our way back to the car…

Thankfully my map reading skills are good and it was just a large field, not a mountain range.

I decided that we’d find one more cache for the day.

It was at a post box somewhere. Probably, again in Dorset. I learnt something at this post box/phone box duo: some of the Dorset folk get pretty irate if you lie down on the grass near their red things.

I was trying to get this picture of the buttercup in front of the phone box. But apparently I looked as if I was floundering and in desperate need of assistance. Perhaps the poor chap thought that I’d been run down by the Old Trout, who was waiting patiently in the car nearby. Whatever his thoughts… I could tell that he was unamused by me being perfectly fine. His unuttered curses hung heavily in the air until he motored off and left me to my own devices again.

Oh, and we saw dragonflies. A whole shoal (yep, that’s bound to be the right collective noun) of electric blue ones.

’twas a good day

Day 21 – went for a lovely walk

Steps Taken – 10,309