I bought a couple of pairs of 'action trousers' [that's what it actually says on the labels] from a charity shop at Otley last week, for £2 a pair. I wore one pair today; they are very useful because of the number of pockets fastened by zips or velcro where I can stow the things I need ready at hand; pen and paper, loose change, compass, mobile phone...and chocolate.
Well...the trousers saw a bit of action today, a ten mile walk across the moors and down towards the city centre, getting wet and muddy as I was soaked during a heavy rain shower and then later sank up to my knees in a peat bog. I was happy with them though, they were quite comfortable, very practical and should keep me warm during the winter.
I ended up missing my stop at the start of the walk. A woman got up out of her seat and pressed the buzzer; I assumed she was getting off at the same stop as me, Moscar Lodge, but she didn't; she wanted the next stop but had got up early, not knowing exactly where she was. So the bus went straight by my stop and I had to walk back along the road to the footpath. I wasn't really concentrating though, I was busy putting on my cagoule and distracted by her shapely legs and very short skirt; I blame the vitamin D tablets and my increasing testosterone levels for this.
It was drizzling as I approached the northern end of Stanage Edge only a few minutes after getting off the bus; visibility at times wasn't too bad though and I could see pretty well all the way to the horizon.
Along the top of Stanage Edge there's a series of numbers and channels cut into some of the rocks; these were made in the nineteenth century and are drinking troughs for grouse. Maybe as an hommage to one of my favourite films, Drowning By Numbers , I don't really know, but I decided to photograph every drinking trough I noticed, and did manage to shoot most of them along the section of the Edge that I walked along.
These two images were the best...to be honest, most of the photographs looked very similar, and not very interesting to look at.
By this time a heavy rain shower was overhead and so I took shelter in an old abandoned shepherd's shelter not too far away. Further on there's a renovated roofed shelter for the climbers on the Edge to use, I think the funding and the labour was provided by the British Mountaineering Council...I might well be wrong though.
About fifteen minutes I saw a large group of hikers approaching across the moor and noticed that they didn't seem to be struggling too much. I assumed they were using a path and so set off in that direction. All the moors around here are Access Land and so we're free to wander as we please.
As I hoped the path led to Stanedge Pole. I'm using the official Ordnance Survey spelling, but as you'll see on the next two photographs, the recently added plaque at the base of the Pole spells it as 'Stanage Pole.'
I walked down the track towards Redmires Reservoirs but took a path that I've not used before across the moors to Fulwood Lane, where it was only a short walk to the head of the Porter Valley and an easy walk down to the end of the walk at Endcliffe Park. I stopped at Forge Dam Cafe for tea and a fruited scone and had a quick look inside The Shepherd Wheel, a restored working watermill, which hasn't been open on previous occasions when I've been here. There isn't much to look at.
There wasn't much opportunity today for me to soak up some sunshine and have my body produce some vitamin D, it was raining or cloudy most of the time. It probably wouldn't have made that much difference if had been sunny though because the nurse at the surgery reckons that my hair is too thick, so thick that no sunlight can reach my scalp, the area where most people produce their supply of vitamin D. She says that I'd need to strip down to just my shorts and have as much of my body exposed as possible. She might have been joking, I don't know. I will not be walking the streets of Doncaster in a semi-naked state though.