View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Saturday 22nd March 2014, A Hayfield Hobble

Tally-Ho!

Around 20 runners gathered at the Lantern Pike Inn in Little Hayfield on the western side of the Peak District on Saturday afternoon for a couple of hours of running. Their plan was to follow a trail of clumps of sawdust that had been carefully placed around an imaginative 8 mile running route that encompassed hills, cow fields and other cow things.

There was weather on Saturday, lots of weather. Especially around Little Hayfield. Some of this weather was wet, some of it was windy – some was even white and fluffy. All of it was cold.
Packs of runners set out from the pub at times suited to their running speed. Although the club calendar features a couple of races throughout the season it is not a competitive club and one-upmanship is discouraged.

The sawdust trail plunged down to a stream which ensured we all got wet feet within a minute of setting out. Oh well. We boys like playing in water.

5 minutes after setting out from the pub the wind strengthened and it started to rain. On a positive point, rain is good for washing mud off your otherwise pristine legs. But it was also cold. It didn’t rain ALL afternoon. Not quite.

When it wasn’t raining there were some good views:
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The trail followed lots of up and downery, south across Birch Vale, up t’other side (just for the hell of it) then, this time heading north, back down to Thornsett. Through mud. Good job we boys like playing with mud.

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Then there were tractors, loads of the buggers. Alan should have been there really:
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I was hoping to catch the pack of runners that had set out before me but they were on form and their 50 minute advantage was too much for me to make up. On the other hand, the faster boys who had set out after me took well over an hour to catch me up. And then overtake me. Nowt new there then.

P1010035 Billy

Here they come:
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Eastwood, Blackshaw and Wells, all looking remarkably unmuddy. It wasn’t to last.

There they go:
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P1010043 Hon Prez Park looking worryingly cheerful. And mud free.

Lantern Pike was the last substantial climb of the day, at around 1000ft ASL it offered pleasant views over Hayfield:
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It pays to be one of the earlier finishers of a Tally-Ho! trail run, later finishers end up bathing in less than clean water:
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It had been a cracking afternoon out in excellent company. The good food at the pub was the icing on the cake. Although there was no cake. Or icing.

This was the last proper trail of a good season. Oh well. Anyway, this is where we went:
Lantern Pike Route March 2014 

8 miles which took me 2hrs 5mins of gentle trottery. And I didn’t lose trail once.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

18th March 2014, TGO Challenge food

Wanna play chicken??

The Challenge isn’t too far off and it came as something of a rude awakening when I realised that my dehydrated meals stock was down to zero – time for some action.

I dehydrate my own meals, it’s only a bit of a faff but you know what goes into the meals unlike some of the branded stuff.

Chicken is a meat that I’m fond of and although it dehydrates quite well, re-hydration is a problem – the stuff tends to come back as chewy, hard and, well, inedible.

A bit of research on t’interweb resulted in the discovery of Backpackingchef.com and in particular the article on dealing with chicken. They found that canned chicken worked and rehydrated well. A trip into Altrincham this morning and I soon had some tins of the stuff, two tins made two different curries and the contents of the other tin are all chopped up and drying nicely on the dehydrator.

Fortunately I’m in on my own.

The smell in the house is heavenly.

Well I think it’s heavenly!

Chicken The contents of a tin of Tesco Chicken Breast, smells of not a lot really
Chicken Vegetable Curry
Chicken & Veg Curry, smells wonderful!
Chicken Madras Curry
Chicken Madras, smells even wonderfuller!
Other meals that are on the cards: beef hash, beef bolognese, vegetarian bolognese, boring old meat and three veg, loads of puddings…..I like puddings.
I’ll report back with results of the chicken dehydrating / rehydrating.
In the meantime I think I’ll go out for a run, this kitchen smells.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

The Ides of March

A run into Manchester

I needed to get into Manchester to pick up a tube of specialist glue for a repair job I’m carrying out (replacing the ‘non-replaceable’ battery in a Garmin Forerunner GPS).

This little GPS is a cracking bit of kit but is spoiled by a designed-in limited life of around 4 years because of the sealed-in Lithium Ion battery. Fortunately I’m able to carry out such repairs – thus saving the not insignificant cost of a new GPS.

I also needed to get out to do some exercise so….two birds, one stone an’ all that, so I ran into Manchester. Rather than use the standard Curry Walk route along the Bridgewater Canal towpath all the way into Manchester I decided to add a significant amount of tarmac.

Manchester has some interesting sights:

P1000957 On Chester Road, Old Trafford
P1000959 Inside the remains of a demolished pub, Old Trafford
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Dot Motorcycles, still running after all these years
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St George’s, no longer a functioning church
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Adjacent to Whitworth Street West
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T’ Cut
The new, the newer and the renovated:
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A Metrolink tram, Manchester Central (formerly G-Mex – but prior to that, er, Manchester Central Railway Station) and the Beetham Tower in the background.

Amazing what you see when you look up:
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or when you look down:
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River Medlock running under Oxford Road
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The Lass o’ Gowrie, closed once again
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Dunno
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The Old Trafford Cycle Link, designed to frustrate cyclists. The gate is locked shut.
I probably covered around 12 miles altogether – 9 miles running into Manchester, the extra 3 miles were tagged on as I once again successfully got lost in Manchester.
Ho hum.
Tomorrow’s job: replace the battery in the Garmin.
All the photographs (apart from the Garmin GPS) were taken using my little Lumix DMC-SZ3.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Sunday 9th March 2014, Brooks Drive Bimble

….and a bit about the TGO Challenge Spring gathering thing.

Last night was the TGO Challenge Spring Gathering, held at the Snake Pass Inn which is situated on the A57 Snake Pass. Well it would be, wouldn’t it? It was a cracking evening and we were lucky enough to share a table with the very excellent Mick & Gayle. Much fun was had – not difficult in their company! It’s good to know that we’re using the same TGO Challenge start point of Torridon.

Lots of Challengers attended, including Judith, Alan (who organised  the affair), John M – our glorious Controller, Graham Brooks (famous for wrecking aircraft), Alistair & Lynsey, Martin & Sue, Bert & Suus…..the list just goes on. It was lovely to be able to catch up, there just wasn’t enough time to speak to everyone. The Snake Pass Inn is under new management and the new people take their food and beer quality very seriously. I’ll be back next year. and before I forget – thanks once again to Alan Hardy for being the organisator of the gathering.

Anyroadup, it had been a rather later night so I’d promised myself a late start on the Sunday morning. This wasn’t to be because (fanfare of trumpets)…. spring had arrived! Woo-hoo!

The morning air was fresh and warm, the sun was shining loudly and the birds were singing brightly. The Long Suffering Rick had an idea – we should go for a walk. A wander down Brooks Drive was the plan. I needed to be back home for around 12.30 – No1 grandson was hosting his first birthday party and it wouldn’t do for me to be late.

Rick suggested a 9.30am departure and so he arrived at JJ Towers promptly….at around 9.55am.

P1000931  Rick, Brooks Drive….and sunshine
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The sun may be shining but there’s still mud around

It never ceases to amaze me that pleasant countryside is just a short walk from my front door. All these photographs were taken close to Timperley and a matter of a couple of hundred yards from busy main roads, roads that my neighbours will use on an almost daily basis – yet they will be blissfully unaware that such peace and tranquillity exists so close to their doorsteps.
P1000935 A tree. In pleasant countryside, not far from my front door

Bowdon and Hale have long attracted the affluent. In order to get round restrictive planning rules and regulations they buy up older properties, often with very large gardens….and then demolish the houses.They then build a new house on the site of the old one – usually completely out of character with the neighbouring houses. Like this one:
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On the return leg we had to use some tarmac through Hale where we spotted a fine example of a Vauxhall Victor – over 50 years old and still being used on the road:
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Rick doesn’t hang about when he’s out for a walk – he’s a man on a mission. We were out for around 2hrs 35mins and covered 9.5 miles….so we got back in time for the birthday party. It was a dead easy (if quick!) walk and just goes to prove that you don’t have to travel miles just to go for a walk.

This is where we went:

Route

Saturday, 1 March 2014

January & February 2014 mileages

A glance at Mick & Gayle’s blog prompted me to tot up my mileages for the first two months of this year…..but I’m afraid I can’t hold a candle to their impressive distances covered.
P1000713Some (most?) of my walks were muddy 
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Some walks were VERY muddy indeed
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Whilst some presented some challenging obstacles
P1000729 They walks were all good though: Frank in festive decor, early January. He didn’t come on the walks.

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I included mileage covered on club runs in my totals
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On the Edale Skyline route in January
P1000766Morecambe Bay dawn
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A frosty Cumbrian morning

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Swollen River Mersey, on a walk into Stockport to collect train tickets.
P1000822 On Beryl the Peril’s 17 mile LDWA walk…which in the finest tradition of LDWA walks ended up being 21 miles. But it was dry underfoot!
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Beryl’s walk: flooded field
P1000841 Beryl’s walk: one (or two) for Alan
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Still on Beryl’s walk: t’Tower
P1000844 The delightful Beryl (6th from left) and her loyal band of followers
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Birdies
image On a different walk, White Nancy
image The audience
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L – R: Shutlingsloe > Fast Pike > Tegg’s Nose > Croker hill (the tower thingy)
image Winter sunset over Cheshire
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Dawn: Bewdley, apres-floods
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Swollen River Severn close to Highley
P1000869 On the Mercian Way. In the dry.
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Another one for Alan
P1000877 On the Staffordshire Way in the sunshine. And mud.
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Awbridge, er, bridge
So I HAVE actually been out there. I need to really, I’ve got a big walk coming up.
January: 100 miles
February: 76 miles.
Must try harder.
I’ll do more in March. Honest.