Happy Christmas and the End of the Streak

Today I ended my streak.  On purpose.

The wife muggle is getting increasingly annoyed when I announce on a journey somewhere that we just need to stop here for me to get today's cache. Or I'm late home from work as I had to grab a cache for the day!

It's getting more of a chore than fun that geocaching first was.

So it's time to break the streak and this obsession with grabbing a cache a day.

It started off after a few days and I thought I could do a whole month in a row here. As I got more and more embroiled in this hobby I'd read about people needing a cache on a particular day for 'their grid'.

After a little digging around I discovered that for many there is a sub game of finding a cache on every day of the year, especially good if you get February 29th!

I'd also seen TSIA on many logs and a little more digging around revealed that this meant "The Streak Is Alive" - It took me longer to work out IWBRNT!

My bright idea then was to accomplish both in the shortest period of time possible. Luckily I started caching on February 27th 2012 and luckily managed to find one on 29th Feburary, so would not have to wait for 4 years!

It's a shame I didn't find one on the 28th as I would have been able to achieve this streak from the day I started. Oh well.

With a few close calls I made the 366 day streak on my first attempt and carried on.

But where to stop?  First off I tinkered with the idea of a nice round 400 as my finishing point, but then quickly thought 500 is a much rounder number. When I hit 500 I was on a roll and just didn't want to stop, how far could I take this?

After some inner struggles I finally decided that 1000 was just too much, that's nearly three years. Two years was considered and thought maybe doable, but still daunting.

Then it got to early December and I was into the 600s. On an inkling I worked out when 666 would occur. Strangely enough, and without any prior idea this would happen, it turned out that The Number of The Beast would occur on Christmas Day!! How very bizarre. Even more bizarre was that the streak started on Leap Day 2014!

I soon jumped on the idea that 666 would be the end point of my streak. But there was more. I then realised that with some careful planning I would be able to make the final cache find of the streak my 2000th find.

A quick check of the geocaching map to find out the nearest cache to the in-laws house for a quick dash out on Christmas Day revealed 2 new Church Micro caches. On of which was at the end of their road right outside the church we would be attending for Midnight Mass - Church Micro 4628!!

How much better could it get? Not any better as that was it. But I still had some work ahead of me. It was 16th December and I had 65 caches, no more and no less, in the next 8 days. For me that is quite a lot, an average of 8 caches a day, when my average is closer to 3, and many work days in their too.

Thank goodness for Ross and his trails around my work area. On the 16th I grabbed 12, bringing the average down to 7.5/day needed. On the 17th I had to go to London for a course so only managed to grab one for the streak using up an emergency close to home drive by, knocking my average required back up to 8.6 - Arghh! Then on the 18th I had a mad lunch time dash picking up 18 with 2 DNFs taking it down to 6.8/day and then another 10 on 19th bring it down to a manageable 4.8!

On the 21st I popped to Peterborough to do my Christmas shopping and clear up some more green boxes in the area, and this was not a very productive day, with many DNFs.

The following day though I managed to go and pick 14 Poshrule caches leaving me with a cache a day for the next 3 days. So near and yet so far!

The 23rd was fine with a detour after work to grab a drive by and I was nearly home and dry!

On Christmas Eve we were taken to the pub at lunch time and then told we could go home.

I had earmarked Booths Legacy for this which was a few minutes walk south of the A428. I parked up in the lay-by with little time to spare (Crib Service at 3pm) and scrambled down the slope to the track.

I arrived at GZ to find the stream swollen and the GPSr not being quite sure where to go. I couldn't search for too long so had to abort and consider a plan B.

We were heading up to Nottingham after the Crib Service so I had to find a drive by on the way. I picked out 4 or 5 to be safe and the one I actually managed to grab was a roger-rabbit cache on the A52. That Cliff gets about!

Once safely settled at the in-laws it was time to settled down, drink beer and eat ... lots.

Eleven soon rolled round and everyone else had already gone to bed as the father in-law and I headed down to Midnight Mass. The service didn't drag on too long and we were soon outside, unfortunately I hadn't counted on lots of other people leaving the church at the same time - oops!

With many people still hanging around chatting I could start searching street furniture so had to abandon my attempt and return later on in the day (much later on as it was only 00:15)!

Having stuffed up with Christmas dinner and plenty of lager it was time to get out and walk the dog at around 4pm so off I trotted back to GZ (without a pen). After twenty minutes hunting high and low and dodging muggles I went back to the very first place I looked at and dismissed. This time I looked properly and there it was. Without a pen I scratched some MMs into the log sheet and vowed to come back with a pen.

Come back I did about 5 hours later with a pen this time and with cold fingers I made my mark more permanent.

So there we go, my 2000th find at a Church Micro on Christmas Day and the end of the 666 streak which incidentally seems to have been the idea of rickardclan and philmyboots who both finished their streaks on 666!