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Monday, 1 December 2014

It's who you are with that matters



"I reckon it's getting dark."

My words after finding our sixth geocache of the day at the edge of a secret tarn in the middle of an oh, so remote primeval swamp-forest  unknown to the rest of humanity. I was jesting a little in consideration of it being well into the afternoon and it having taken us five hours to cover only four and a half miles.

My explorer companion was Bowland Climber, a regular commenter here. After we scratched, scraped and squelched our way back through the swamp-forest to more familiar territory, frequently consulting compass and GPS, we did find ourselves, yes in the dark, marching steeply down a Tarmac road overlooking Windermere, but with just enough light for a glorious flame-red sunset high up above the distant hills on the other side of the valley.

BC had not  geocached before, although he is a veteran of more long distance walks here and abroad than most trekking enthusiasts have even heard of. A lot of the terrain was challenging with tussocky swamps, dead bracken, gorse, dense fir forest and difficult route finding, enough to discourage most self proclaimed adherents of the outdoors, but not BC.

I am in my element with such challenges, but if I am with someone who is not game for it my day is ruined. Successive immersions of boots, and desperate fights through forest were greeted by BC with more and more laughter and amusement at our self inflicted discomfort, and a constant stream of interesting and largely amusing conversation was maintained throughout. BC also entered into the spirit of geocaching and I think he found four out of our tally of six.

Much of my walking has been solo, but being with someone of like mind and constant good cheer is a great pleasure.


PLEASE PLEASE CLICK TO ENLARGE

Please also see: BowlandClimber

Windermere below, and distant Old Man of Coniston and Dow Crag

Zoom to Dow Crag


Simpson Ground tarn

Location of one geocache. This was in the middle of a thick forest with no paths within several hundred yards in any direction. We reckon it was built before the trees were planted - it involved a hard fight to get there

Close to the above shelter and what geocachers refer to as "ground zero" for a cache

Science fiction mossy stuff on boulder shown in previous photo


Simpson Ground tarn looking back to location for taking earlier panorama photo

This is the final primeval tarn which, but for its geocache, may never have been previously visited by humans. Note, the reflected tree is growing in the middle of the tarn

9 comments:

The Crow said...

Wonderful photos, Conrad. Good companions do make and difficult trek easier; fun, even.
glad you tow had a great time.

(Especially like the last shot of the day - sunset and butt light.

Sir Hugh said...

The Crow - Thanks Martha. I think the "butt light" is some reflective tape on the back of BC's rucksack, but it does add somewhat to the photo. Of course, I can't claim to have been aware of it at the time of taking but I was quite pleased when I saw the result.

bowlandclimber said...

No comment.

High Horse said...

I love this post Dad! It made me chuckle to hear how much BC enjoyed 'playing out' with you!

As you know, when I am on my High Horse about education I bang on about just letting kids play. Play is such a crucial process for children, it requires curiosity, imagination, problem solving, experimentation- the list goes on - but the beauty of it is that there is no arm up the back forcing them to do it! All that learning because THEY WANT TO! I could continue with a tirade of how education bashes all of these natural inclinations out of young children in order to have them sat in nice quiet rows performing like parrots, but I'll refrain on this occasion. As we grow up and education has taken it's pound of flesh, we enter the adult world and play is firmly given a back seat, (if one at all), and it can all become a bit of a drudge. Adults need to play too but many of us have boxed up our inner child and haven't seen them in a long time. I think outdoor people are very good at releasing the inner child and re-creating that sense of adventure and exploration first experienced in back gardens years ago. It sounds like you both had a whale of a time!

Sir Hugh said...

HighHorse - You are right. I have never grown up. See also the link to BC's blog at the end of my post. I thought I had put the link there last night but it must have been inspired to go off on its own looking for geocaches.

gimmer said...

i'm puzzled to read about this 'growing up' business described in HH's comment - can someone tell me what it is all about ? It sounds as though it is something to be avoided at all costs. What are the danger signs to tell the doctor?

bowlandclimber said...

From one child to another.
I was impressed with High Horse's analysis of the day!
I see the panorama came out OK.

Sir Hugh said...

All - just been watching Ian Hislop on the One Show. Private Eye have produced an annual for the first time. They decided to do it because they got the idea from the Beano snd the Dandy who do it on a regular basis.

Mark said...

I sometimes wonder whether 'growing up' is entirely a myth. We may look different as we age, and we have different responsibilities thrust upon us, but do we feel or think very differently?
Great set of photos, I know that area reasonably well, but I can't claim to have ever explored it anything like as thoroughly as the two of you did!