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Saturday, 3 November 2012

Something out of nothing

Friday - enthusiasm overrode postponement due to almost non-stop rain, of further exploration north on the Lancaster Canal.

Although only a few miles from my home of twelve years, I am still  surprised with new discoveries. Driving in the middle of nowhere, I found Capernwray Diving Centre - a long established and highly organised enterprise utilising a  disused water filled quarry for divers - their website is well worth a little browse. http://www.capernwrayhouse.com/capernwray-diving-centre/


I anticipated a soulless walk in penetrating non-stop rain, but being in denial of the prevailing weather I was rewarded. Soon after starting rain held off for the duration. 
The first interesting feature appeared within a hundred yards: the aqueduct carrying the canal over the obscure but important River Keer - it forms part of the boundary between Cumbria and Lancashire.

At Tewitfield, my furthest north, there is a marina, and the canal terminates for navigation -  it coincides with the  complicated A6070 crossing of the M6. The canal does continue afterwards, but more of this next time.

I returned south by ancient packhorse lanes, and at one point took the wrong one for a hundred yards. Partly because of my annoyance and impatience at making the error I managed to trip and fall into the mini canal of water in the ruts, both feet becoming immersed. Amazingly my Gortex trail shoes had kept my feet dry till then in the appallingly wet and muddy underfoot conditions.

Within two hundred yards of a right-angle left turn, leading in another hundred yards to my car, I passed under a splendid viaduct carrying the railway over the River Keer. Next it was the turn of my packhorse lane to cross the Keer by the quaintest, narrow, so secret little packhorse bridge I have ever seen. What a grand finale within three hundred yards of the car for what I had anticipated as a dreary, head down, uneventful trek in the rain.
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There is a website: “Geograph”, which invites people to photograph and post results for every kilometre square on the GB OS map.  This link: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1659762 will take you to a record of my packhorse bridge where the author, to quote his own word, predicts “orgasm”!


My starting point - Capernwray - looking south


From viaduct down to R. Keer






The marina at Tewitfield


Although there was endless traffic om M6 (left of pic) I had to take about six shots before I got one with vehicles on. This is where navigation terminates on canal and starts again on other side of roads.




The wrong turning. Pic taken a few minutes before I fell in on the way back

Railway viaduct crossing R. Keer



5 comments:

welshpaddler said...

You sometimes overlook what is on your own patch.

Is the canal towpath suitable for your bike?

Sir Hugh said...

WP - Hi Bob. The path would be ok for bikes in dry weather, but at the moment it would be a nightmare of slippy slidey mud - an odds on chance of ending up in the canal I reckon.

bowlandclimber said...

Interesting you mention the website 'Geograph' I find this site fascinating for all parts of the UK. Not only for my local area but also areas I'm not familiar with and may wish to visit. However some of the photos by their nature are very basic! There are some good links and search options on the site depending on your interests.

The Crow said...

Well...the photographer over at Geograph took a good shot of the bridge you also photographed, and while I agree that it is a delight to behold, can't say as I felt orgasmic over it.

Maybe you had to be there?

(That is a troll bridge if ever I saw one, by the way!)

I am enjoying your out-and-about reports, Conrad. Thanks for posting them.

Sir Hugh said...

BB - When I have time I would like to select an obscure, but interesting grid square and make a submission to Geograph. Any ideas?

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The Crow - my learned brother (RR) has suggested that walkers are paranoid. Whilst I enthuse about the packhorse bridge, like you, I didn't arrive at any climactic state!

Thanks for your comments.