Thursday, 8 November 2007

At LAST, I get to walk again!

We decided to go for a walk yesterday, as it was such a lovely day. I can't tell you how good it was to get out again, it really was. I realised how long it had been since my last walk because of how the trees are now, so autumnal! It was like a spring day though, with a VERY warm sun. We sat in Tideswell dale in the direct light of it, and ate our first picnic since we started at the cafe.

Here we are at the start of the walk. We dropped into the dale, and went along the ridge top left of this shot.

Sue, walking along the ridge.

Looking forward - to HEAVEN!

Millers dale YHA, a ship in a sea of Autumn colours.

The lovely copper path.

Stupendous colours this year.

The avenue of trees walking up Tideswell dale after our picnic.

Litton village green. We stopped at the Red Lion for a pint.

Yours truly, happy with a few miles under his belt and mud on his boots.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Sue's balloon trip

For Sue's birthday, I decided to take her up in a hot air balloon (well, I didn't 'drive'), as she had once planned to go up, but it was on the day Diana died, so it was cancelled and she didn't go. She had never re-organised it, so I thought it was time she went.
This is Sue and her daughter Amy, as the balloon was being inflated.
One minute we were taking photo's, the next - WHOOOOSH! we were UP!

A happy bunny

Whatstandwell, and the old wire works

The Virgin balloon, which took off from the same place, but just before us.
Flying over Crich tramway museum

Crich stand, a memorial to the Sherwood foresters.
What keeps us afloat, the burner, and it was very hot on our heads!

Ogston reservoir.

Virgin balloon lands, after only 40 minutes - we had over an hour!

Looking down from the basket.

Still smiling, Sue and Ogston reservoir.
LANDED! A spot-on drop into Walton hospital grounds, near Chesterfield.
We were trying to hold the balloon from being blown into a tree behind it.

Here she is, the birthday girl after her flight.
Ride in a ballooon - DONE!

Monday, 23 July 2007


Today I re-visited Cronksley moor. It's only three weeks since I was up there last, but Colin (my brother) came walking today, and we decided to carry a BBQ, with all the accoutrements, over 14 miles, and up 2400 plus feet of climb. We decided we had started a new craze - extreme BBQing!!! I'll tell you what - I had all the food, and I really knew I was carrying it, as my shoulders ached with the extra weight. Colin took charge of the wine.
Talk about lunatics, and asylums HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

Anyway, here we go. The day dawned just as the weather man had predicted, a nice day. We set off from Fairholmes visitors centre on Ladybower reservoir.

We walked up the left hand side (looking up the reservoir), and stopped for a look in at the Dambusters museum, which is housed in one of the dam turrets. This is a privately run museum, and is open Sundays, and bank holidays. It's free to look round, and is a great place to learn all about the dambusters, the bouncing bombs, and also the building of the dams. There's a wealth of photo's, artefacts and nostalgic pieces in the museum, and the guy that runs it is always helpful and chatty. Some of the photo's are from private collections, never seen before and unpublished. If in the area, please take time to look in.

This is what the bombers would look though when they dropped the bouncing bombs to destroy the Rhur dams.

A replica of the actual bouncing bomb.

Some of the contents of the museum.

This memorial is to Tip, the faithful dog, who's master died up on the moors.
Tip stayed by the side of his body for FIFTEEN WEEKS in the depths of winter.

With all the damp weather we've had lately, the fungi is starting to sprout, now it's warming up a bit.
This is a fly agaric. Pretty, poisonous, and very hallucinogenic!

I don't know what these are called, but they look lovely.
THIS was our goal, the shooting cabin. I know it doesn't look much, and it's not, it's VERY basic, but on a wet day, there's no more welcome sight. Today though, the weather was perfect, so we soon set about rustling up lunch!

WAITER......WAITER - where's my lunch????
(Notice - wine already poured)

COMING right up, sir!

First course, garlic, ginger and blue cheese stuffed Portobello mushrooms, with French bread.

Main course - lemon chicken kebabs, sirloin steak, roasted baby peppers.
(Yes - the peppers are SUPPOSED to be black - you just peel off the blackened skin to reveal the sweet, juicy flesh, and boy, they taste GREAT!)
THIS is the life!

After the meal, we set about walking back. You can see a short video here;

There are a few berries showing on the moors.
We saw some bilberries, and these, which I thought were lovely.

The river Derwent below us. Not nearly as much of a torrent as three weeks ago.

Colin deftly negotiates a crossing. Again, three weeks ago, you couldn't see those stones he's treading on.

A gaggle of Canada geese.

After this, it began to rain lightly, then turned heavier. Luckily, Colin had a new brolly, so that kept us dry until we got back to the car. A really good day, leaving me pleasantly tired. This kind of tired is great, satisfying, and makes you feel like you've actually DONE something with your day. Hope you enjoyed the pics.

Monday, 9 July 2007

A feast of Famine

Another Sunday - another 3,200 feet of ascent. It's like climbing Snowdon every weekend! Well, with these long Summer (???) days, I like to take advantage of the light. Today was given out as more showers than sun, but it ended up the other way around. The air quality was superb, and I got lots of really good pictures. The temperature was perfect for a hard walk, with a nice breeze again. Usually, at this time of year, it's hellish hot, and only fit for lying in meadows chewing grass. I also caught the sun quite a lot on my face (even though I had applied sun crème that morning).
Oh well, I MUST wear my hat next time.

So - where did I go, and what's that title about? A few weeks ago I walked along the Oaken clough path, and from there, you can see an impressive duet of hills, one of which is called 'Mount Famine' (the other is South head). As I had never been to either, I decided to go there. When the walk was written, it showed to be 13 miles but with a lot of up and down. This is why I really needed a lower temperature and a bit of breeze. The route started at Barber Booth. The first hill was straight up and over that ridge, almost at once from the car. You can see the faint path.
Just before this climb though, I went into the National trust information barn, which was on the end of this lovely old farm cottage. You can make a donation here if you want;

The views around me, and particularly back to the Edale valley, were to die for!
You can see the 3 peak sweep of the Lose hill to Mam tor ridge on the right there.
The straight ridge on the right is Rushup edge.

The other views around me weren't bad either!

On these high, but accessible, moors, damage from 4X4 wheels is usually evident - and severe!
We all need to live and let live, I accept that, but my take on this is simple. Powered wheels should NEVER be allowed on unsurfaced tracks, they were constructed when there were only feet and hooves.

The track down to Roych clough. This is the new 'Pennine bridleway'.
You can learn more about this long distance trail here;

Who could guess what weather we'd get today, with this sky???
Pretty as it is, those huge cumulus nimbus can drench you in minutes, if they decided to unload.

At the top of the track, another very steep path went up to the top of South head. The reward was well worth the grunt. This is Mount Famine, from South head. I had a long lunch on the crest of that ridge. Long, because I really didn't want to leave the views and the tranquillity. I sat ages listening to the lark, curlew, lambs and grouse calling. I could also see right across to the afternoons labours, which lay ahead of me.

There you go - welcome to my lunchtime view!

Again, the big picture was great, but right next to my feet were these little beauties!

After lunch, I walked down the track, losing all the height I had gained earlier! That's why there was over 3,000 feet of ascent today - it was like a roller coaster, up, down, up, down........

This must be a VERY old trough. Note the stone 'funnel' for the water to fill it.
Also, the front of the trough was subtly curved, a VERY rare thing.
Whoever made it either had lots of time, or lots of pride in his work.

Now I was on the opposite side of the valley, and could look across to South head and Mount famine.

....and when I turned, I could see the next hill and my goal - Crowden tower, on Kinder Scouts Southern edge.

The stupendous view from Kinder, through one of the weather-worn rocks up there.

Sorry, I just HAD to climb up onto Noe stool for a pic!

The rocks up here are blasted with wind, rain and grit. This produces some VERY interesting shapes, which wouldn't look out of place in an art gallery, or on the lawn of some stately home.

The daylight now waned, and it was time to set off down. I really HATE to leave on such a lovely day, but I still had about an hour of descent before I got back to the car. Also, there was a pint with my name on it in the Nags Head at Edale!
This is Crowden brook. The first 200 feet or so are VERY 'iffy', and you must take great care.
This is the stuff broken ankles are made of. Luckily, I seem to be part mountain goat!

Here, part way down, I look back, and you can see how rocky it is. This is the EASY bit!

The day done, I look across the valley to the striations in the flanks of Rushup edge, picked out by the evening shadows.
Unlike last week, the day ended in settled weather. I really knew I had done a walk today, and my legs were tired. I knew I'd sleep well tonight, after a nice, warm shower and some dinner, but first - that pint!

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