For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!


Monday, 13 January 2014

Tree climbing and funny gates

I cannot remember the last time I wore boots.

Last summer I walked from Lowestoft to Clacton, most of the Cheshire Ring, the Sandstone Trail, the Kennet and Avon Canal, the Severn Way and the Monmouth Brecon Canal, and many outings in between, all wearing Gortex lined trainers. My feet have only been wet occasionally, and that was through walking in long wet grass soaking down through socks, which happens anyway with boots.

Scotland is different: rough, pathless steep terrain demands boots.

On Thursday we walked new ground east of Windermere -  a delight of small hills, minor roads, tracks and paths. I identified one geocache near the road, but now confess to inventing yet another way of mucking up navigation. I printed the OS map (enlarged) and put it in a plastic wallet. Being too lazy to unseal I marked the geocache position onto the plastic. Of course, when we came close to the spot I found we had already walked past because the map had moved inside the plastic. The geocache was left for another day.

Next day, alone, I followed a more cross country route finding five caches on a five mile trip, but failed finding the one we had missed. The last one had been set by Cragrat (geocache nick name) and involved climbing an oak tree to gain the cache in a mock bird box. An old fence post propped against the trunk provided a foothold.  A secret opening mechanism had me stumped for a while.

I emailed Cragrat congratulating him on his ingenious cache. He turned out to be Wilf of Wilf’s Café fame at Staveley who I knew from regular visits with Tony, my late climbing partner.


Housekeeping: observant readers may notice the panel of photos of my followers has disappeared. An undesirable appeared there linking to things radically political which I wanted no association with. I tried to delete but the whole lot went and as far as I can tell there is no way of getting them back.

Nb: the increasing number in my geocache finder following my renewed enthusiasm for that pursuit.


Pink = route Thursday with Pete.
Brown = solo route Friday

Two pics on the walk with Pete


Bird box geocache on my solo walk - Friday. Nb fence post used as foothold

NB - Sign to right of gate (enlargement below): another award from the eccentric Waist High Passimmeter Awards. Google  and see if you can make more sense of it than I  - it looks like a sort of sarcasm award to me
Click to enlarge

Leighton Hall and RSPB Leighton Moss - Arnside Knott, I live over the other side

How to make a proper job of supporting your guttering


mike M said...

Passimeter placard to side of awarded gate is well placed. I've heard those tubular gates with a low bar (up 6") can be a hazard to equine legs. The grid fence overlay (used here not so long ago to border rail lines) would seem to make the whole gate safer. No feet through, no heads through. Heaven only knows what the "committee" thought. The fastening mechanisms are too small to judge in this photo. I find the gate visually appealing, good colors and apparent serviceability. Very nice gutter brackets.

Blonde Two said...

"Inventing yet another way of mucking up navigation ..." I love that. There are so many and just when you think you have found the most ridiculous one ... long may it continue along with our ability to laugh at ourselves.

afootinthehills said...

There doesn't seem to be any way to re-follow you Conrad which is odd. There should be a 'Join this site' tab. I'm sure if you can retrieve this everyone will re-join.

gimmer said...

I always feel undressed without boots: there is much necessary ceremony and ritual here: due preparation for the enterprise; provide a proper framework for the expedition, prepare oneself physically and psychologically for the awe-inspiring [almost awesome or perhaps even amazing] efforts of agility, exertion and perseverance to come [in the same way I find that a walk without sandwiches or sustainance of similar substance, not a mere mars bar and/or sweetie bag, is not a proper hike but a mere stroll round the estate].
Perhaps this comes from now having to drive for half a day to 'mine ain land' for a worthwhile walk [as you know, the Chilterns are not quite the same thing as the highland zone] and may even, or perhaps, probably, be a fear-hagged hangover from XS (or even only VS) days past.
Whatever it is, a walk is more than a simple rural peregrination, thus needs suitable obeisances to the deities: thus, to me, boots and proper kit are but the ritual gowning of the acolyte before the apotethosis.
Perhaps I should get out more!

Blonde Two said...

Gimmer: I echo your sentiments about boots. I cannot be without mine and have even donned them for long shopping expeditions. There is something immensely satisfying about the act of donning ones walking kit.

The best pre-walk pleasure though, is the swing of your rucksack over your shoulder as you leave the house. Sends shivers (no really) of pleasure down my spine.

afootinthehills said...

"The spirit was aloft, I was pulling on my trail shoes" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Sir Hugh said...

Mike M - It's interesting to get a different view. You can see the practicalities from a farming viewpoint which I hadn't appreciated. I agree with you about the colouration. I have always been attracted by the variations of rust red.

BlondeTwo - I may do a post one day about all the different ways I (or maybe we) can mess up with navigation.

Afoot - Re followers: I will have another look when I have some spare time. As you say, it should at least be possible to reinstate the facility even if that is starting from scratch again.

Gimmer/Blonde Two/Afoot - Well, I seem to have started something here. I have always seen myself as leaning to the arts and romanticism rather than science and pragmatism, but getting excited about putting on a pair of boots with my arthritic fingers, and un-supple , non-bending body holds little attraction for me.

I do relish walking out of the house with rucksack and all to start a walk, especially if it is a long backpacking trip, even though it may only be down to the station. Also, the first steps I take on a new walk at the starting off point enthused with satisfaction of knowing I am where I want to be and the anticipation of what is to come.

mike M said...

Boots on every morning for work. Spine tingling heaven to take them off.

Sir Hugh said...

Mike M - Thanks for your contribution. Of course none of us are correct. This is purely a matter of personal preference, but an interesting debate. Nobody is going to convert others to their way, whereas, if it were something less metaphysical where tangible benefits could be seen such as a safer way to abseil that may be possible. But, I'm afraid most of us dislike "change", by which I mean having something new forced upon you by another.

gimmer said...

boots - definitely only applies to walking/mountain boots - putting on work or safety boots usually means I'm about to have to deal with a factory crisis or some unspeakably mind-numbing site problem or dispute:
the one sings 'liberty', the other mutters 'servitude', however essential they may be to save one's toes.
I'll go along with the rucksack thing too - which in my case means hefting it into the (car) boot - but possibly the best moment is swinging it off, weary from a long climb or walk, at the doorway of the pub and dropping it by the fire, as 'that' pint is thrust into one's hand!
Such symbolism and ritual - deep waters for us all: no wonder that's where the heart lies.

Blonde Two said...

All: I have a lovely vision now of all of us standing in a row and swinging our rucksacks onto our backs in unison. The sigh of happiness will be felt all across the country. I hope there is enough room by the fire for all of those rucksacks when we get back to the pub!

Roderick Robinson said...

"Make a proper job of..." There's an echo there but you may be unaware.

Mother laying out her philosophy when we moved into Leylands Lane: "... and we're going to have a proper going-on."

Sir Hugh said...

RR - I was fully aware.

Use of that word in such contexts is deeply rooted with me.

Such things are the finest epitaph for a person - much better than any fancy memorial.