View from Oban Bothy
Thursday, 24 July 2014
Thursday 10th July 2014, LDWA Red Rose 100 recce, Day 5
Crossing the grassy fields to the south of Town End was a bit tedious – it wasn’t terribly easy to navigate. Navigating through farm fields isn’t always easy, there are often missing or worse, moved signposts. Blocked stiles, often hidden by overgrown undergrowth just adds to the problem.
I would imagine (and hope!) that at the end of May 2015, when the event takes place, the overgrown triffidness won’t have grown too much and that signs and stiles will be easier to locate.
My feet were wet through within minutes, the dew-laden grass combined with seriously un-waterproof (and almost new) Goretex-lined North Face Hedgehog XCR shoes. A fairly major kit-failure methinks.
It was an ‘interesting’ footpath that headed away from Thornley Hall at SD632412 – it was actually a running stream at the time. Having sploshed through in my wet footwear I thought my troubles were over…oh no!
Another ‘footpath’ running from SD633410 to SD626404 was a complete jungle of boggy bits and overgrown nastiness. I imagine the overgrownedness may not be a problem in May, but I would expect the boggy bits to be boggier.
Giles wasn’t too easy to get through, although reading the Route Description just might have helped me. Koff. The gated exit from Giles is very easy to walk right past – I suspect that there may be a few folk wandering off through the private grounds on the event itself. Just like wot I did.
It’s a horrible climb out of Giles up to the road near Myers’s Farm – at least that’s what my notes say. There is bog, ill-defined footpaths and considerable overgrownedness. Oh, and it’s an uphill up. I was glowing by the time I got to the road….all hot, sweaty and a bit mithered.
By this time stomachly noises reminded my that I’d not had my breakfast and I needed to stop to rest, eat and drink. And perhaps locate an ice-cream van.
There wasn’t an ice-cream van but there was a nice grassy bit on the road by Longridge Fell. It was very hot indeed by now and I decided to sit out the next hour and a half or so. My backpacking towel protect my delicate skin from the worst of the sun’s ravages, and that same sun dried my feet, shoes and socks.
Longridge Fell was very popular with Hang Gliders that day – the were loads whizzing around he skies. I don’t know why, but I didn’t take any photos. I should have done, some of the aerobatics were lovely to watch.
My next navigational faff was to very effectively miss the section through the grounds of Stoneyhurst College. I put this down to enjoying my walk and not paying attention to where I should be going. This was really a major error on my part, it’s a spectacular establishment and really shouldn’t be missed.
Hurst Green Checkpoint 11 at the Memorial Hall (76 miles) was next.
I should point out here that the mileages I quote alongside the Checkpoint number refer to the distance into the actual 100 route, and NOT my mileage covered. My mileage was different ‘cos of the unique and quite interesting (to me) method of finding my way around. Or not.
The checkpoint was quickly followed by another extended stop at a very wonderful tea shop, Millie’s in Hurst Green. It was friendly and welcoming and provided all I needed for the next leg of my walk. I must confess to spending an hour and a half just chilling – quite literally.
What a difference to the unpleasant atmosphere of Puddleducks in Dunsop Bridge.
Leaving Hurst Green in the very hot heat I walked south to pick up the Ribble Way. There was no wind and the sun was burningly hot, this all made for difficult walking. don’t worry though, by next May it will be cold and wet!
Locating the Ribble Way wasn’t too difficult but walking along it wasn’t so easy, main problems were overgrownedness and hidden stiles and signposts. Nowt new there then!
I needed to leave the route to pick up food and stuff so I diverted to Ribchester’s Spar for ice cream, electrolyte drink, more ice cream and some food.
The final stretch of the day into Mellor Brook presented a few access problems. I was getting the idea that this part of Lancashire didn’t welcome walkers on it’s paths:
Eventually I arrived in Mellor Brook and found Mellor Brook Community Centre, location of Checkpoint 12 at 89 miles into the 100 route:
Checkpoint 12, 89 miles
After locating the pub and shifting a few pints of rather good ale I nipped into the bogs for a wash down before heading out of the village to sort a quiet spot for my tent. This was far easier than I expected, within 5 minutes I found a field that was completely shielded by a tall hedge. Half an hour later I drifted off to sleep to the sound of Radio 4 in my right ear ‘ole….not before taking a piccy of the sunset from my tent:
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