View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy

Friday, 8 November 2019

Fireworks Avoidance, Bonfire Night 2019

…or Five go Adventuring Again

Lucky The Dog really doesn’t like fireworks, not one little bit. It didn’t take a huge amount of badgering to get his Dad to take him off on a wild camping trip dahn sarf for a couple of nights, and so it came to be.

Lucky & Dad arrived on Monday 3rd November in order to pre-empt any possible pre-emptive firework-whizz-flash-bang displays around the green and pleasant land of Crookshire.

It didn’t take long for the peaceful trip that Lucky’s Dad (henceforth known as Mike) had planned to be gatecrashed by Judith, Beryl the Peril (aka Margaret) and meself.



Judith, Margaret and I had agreed to rendezvous on the Tuesday. On arrival, Judith was found trying to locate a benchmark on the side of a building. It’s what she does.

We headed off after an hour or so, having demolished our packed lunches, and then walked for miles and miles over hill & dale and through raging rivers to seek out the appointed very very nice and flat camp-spot.



Although it certainly wasn’t anywhere near dark, the light was just beginning to fail and I couldn’t make out Mike’s dark green Akto, it blended very well into the background of cow-poo laden grass. 


Fortunately Mike had spotted us and he flashed his torch (well I think it was his torch) which really stood out well in the low light of the winter afternoon. Tents were soon erected and after sharing our tales of daring-do it was almost time for tea….but not before copious amounts of, er, tea.


Then it got rather cool, really very quite chilly-cool. A bit too cold to socialise outside our tents. 

Inter-tent communication is always a bit difficult – made even more difficult by the hiss of a gas stove. I spent the evening eating, reading, listening to the BBC R4-type-wireless, dozing, eating some more…oh and drinking tea. Camomile tea seeing as you ask – doesn’t need milk y’see.

I didn’t sleep too well, I was plenty warm enough but just couldn’t get comfortable, in spite of being pitched on flat ground.

The night was clear and the moon shone brightly, even so, loads of stars were visible. I should have taken a photograph or two but it was too damned cold for me to want to escape the warmth of my tent.


Next morning, the grass was white with frost – even as late as 10am.
The morning wasn’t wasted, we spent a good 10 minutes studiously studying maps in a successful attempt at planning a route for TGOC2020. After all this inventive route planning a blur of frenzied activity followed - and an early 11am departure – Denis would be proud.



We retraced our steps, and after hours of battling the sleet, snow, sun, rain, and cold wind we arrived back at our cars.

Judith found her Benchmark, I found an Eccles cake in the boot of my car, Mike & Lucky went off to find a hill, and then we all went home.

A nice little trip, thanks to Mike for arranging and making it happen. We should do it again.

More photographs here.

Oh, and here’s a map of a bit of Wales:

Thursday, 7 November 2019

A Day Out in Lancashire, 2nd Nov 2019

It was a typical Lancashire autumn day as we gathered at the Royal Arms for our annual visit. Dull, grey and raining but not particularly cold. 



The hostelry had recently changed hands but there was little change evident with both fires blazing and the rooms dotted with dogs. We dragged ourselves reluctantly out to see what Ridings and JJ had produced for us.

They herded us across the road and down through the woods to the Upper Roddlesworth Reservoir and then headed along to the Lower Roddlesworth Reservoir. 





A brief trot through Roddlesworth Woods and then it was Rake Brook reservoir. This was the last of the water we saw in organised areas, from here on it was liberally spread over the paths we were trying to run on.



The drizzle was continuous as we approached the Hare and Hounds at Abbey Village. We were too wet and muddy to pop in for a quick one so carried on over the road and out onto the open moor. We circled an old quarry then headed southish through ankle deep paths. 



The going was pretty good and while the trail was a little sparse it kept us on our toes and all found their way round. We skirted the high moors here and eventually found our way to the road near Watson’s Farm.
There was a tricky right then left which a few briefly missed. The turn off the road was vague and then headed down what appeared to be a small stream to meet the River Roddlesworth and the main track.



While the trail had not been exactly flat so far, this was the start of the major climb. The path rose steadily through Tockholes No 3 Plantation and past Hollinshead Hall to reach the road at Thorny Bank Plantation.
We crossed the road then ran parallel to it until turning left to climb up onto the moors.  










Through the col between Cartridge Hill and White Hill then picking up the main track across Darwen Moor before veering left and heading for the Tower. A brief look at the view then continue along the ridge to drop down through the fields and back to Ryal Folds where the drizzle finally abated so that we could get changed in the car park.

A large group of runners had set out, Wells, Biker Eastwood, Skint Wilson, Lesser Ruddock, Leech and Potter. They had become separated during the run and finished one by one. Fast Taylor set of early due to lack of training and Greater Ruddock a little after him. 

First off were DingDong Bell and Old Markham who wisely chose to forgo the entire route and met us at the car park. Brown strode manfully taking photos of the participants and a shortcut to get back in good time. Murray and Riley set off a little later, and then Shotgun and McHarry. The latter
managed to overtake everyone on their way round.


Lastly Time Norman and his brother Chris set out. They were a little late and took their time, only arriving back late but safe.

We assembled in the room of the pub and sampled their excellent beer, revelling in the warmth and lack of rain. 

The meal was served promptly when we asked, and while the portions initially disappointed they proved to be adequate and very tasty. Lamb hotpot but much better than our usual fare. This was followed by an excellent apple crumble and all
DingDong Bell asked for was a tenner.




An excellent trail, meal and venue!

You can’t not like this video by Evie Hargreaves (you may have to download Vimeo to view)

Words (mostly) by Wells, other words and all pics by me. Apart from the video by Evie Hargreaves….thanks to my mate Cheryl for this.

Note that some of these photos were taken on a recce – when the sun was shining.

Fireworks Avoidance, Bonfire Night 2019

…or Five go Adventuring Again Lucky The Dog really doesn’t like fireworks, not one little bit. It didn’t take a huge amount of badgering t...

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