…not literally getting high, of course, although some of you may feel I’m in need of a little lift after last week’s litter rant.
Saturday was gloomy and the conditions were affecting my mood. I couldn’t face another day pottering around the house, doing odd jobs and punctuating my day with the grunts and groans of yet more physio exercise.
Bugger it: I needed to get out and stretch my creaking limbs.
The night had been wild so I expected the moors to be at their squelching, boot-sucking best. I didn’t account for snow, though, as I headed along the road to Dove Stones.
Hail rattled against the windscreen and I started to have second thoughts. A slip and I’d be straight back on the physio’s table. I threw caution to the wind but did opt for familiar ground rather than the grough scramble I’d originally favoured.
The car park was quiet, save for a couple of dog walkers and flinty-faced fell runners, and I’d be getting high in relative solitude.
The path around the reservoir was mercifully free of litter today and I soon reached the junction with the trail heading up the grassy hillside via Ashway Gap. My route soon became obscured by snow but conditions underfoot were fairly solid and visibility pretty good, despite storm clouds threatening to the east.
Reaching Ashway Stone I started along the ‘edge path’, an exhilarating route at any time but more so today with the snow providing contrast with the green valley below.
I happened upon the Toase/Morton memorial plaque, situated in a fine vantage point over the valley.
Predictably, things got rather boggy as I strode across Featherbed Moss and I opted for a zigzag route to avoid the worst of the mire. A fell runner did likewise coming toward me, and our paths didn’t cross as we selected different ‘dry’ routes. We greeted one another with waves.
I soon reached Chew Reservoir, it’s westerly wall and road back to the valley floor. As is the norm with this track, amply proportioned folk on mountain bikes puffed and panted their way up its sharp inclines. ‘How much further?’ one asked. ’20 minutes,’ I replied, overestimating with a view to easing his evident pain.