Saturday, 16 February 2013

No 8 Reservoirs and monuments

Not an event but a little adventure of my own making to celebrate the start of half term. My son drove me to the start- that in itself still seems odd, but we made it his first excursion on the motorway. The first few miles were fairly speedy along the lanes from Abbey Village to Brinscall.

The sun was shining and I had all day. There were plenty of runners, cyclists and dog walkers to say Hi to. Before long I had passed White Coppice and was heading for the little reservoir below Healy Nab. I decided to check out the footpath on the west side of the goit- even muddier than the main path! Anglezarke looked very still and peaceful but the water was flying down the overflow from Yarrow reservoir.
On, on and into Rivington Park. Again I decided to explore a bit and went up through some of the japanese gardens . They have grubbed out lots of the Rhoddies but some of the stoney paths were very slimey on the way up to the top road. I gave the Pike a miss today and just stayed on the big track to Pike cottage where the views across the Lancashire Plain were great.
Here I turned up and onto the moor to head for the masts on Winter Hill. Almost all the snow had gone and the ground was certainly not frozen anymore - what a difference a week makes. Yet another pond.. I seemed to spend the day next to water. I had been getting warm but the breeze was just right now so I pushed on. I thought running on the boggy bits was hard work but some cyclists emerging from Smithills Moor looked exhausted. Perhaps they were just trying harder than me. 
As this was not a race and not even an event I had time to stop and explore today- hence the monuments in the title.

 I have no idea what he did or why he was in Lancashire but the memorial to the 'barbarously murdered' Scotsman has been there ages. Only a few hundred metres later is the memorial to those who died on the moor in a plane crash much more recently. The descent to the main road was easy running and I even managed to overtake a mountain biker!
I decided against the bog and mud fest of the next section of the A Amble route and shot down the road into Belmont and the dye works before heading on to the new dam road and yet another reservoir. From there it was a steady but easy climb up to the Witton Weavers Way. At least there were no marauding cattle today. Some mountain bikers shot along the track just before I emerged but I had no chance of keeping up - or so I thought until they too turned uphill towards Darwen Moor and were forced to get off and push. I was now checking out a 'new to me' path ready for the Two Crosses event next month. The path is wetter and boggier than the main track but it made a change and brought me down to just the right place to cross the main road into Cadshaw woods. The reservoir was full to the brim and had even spilt across the path but it was flat easy running from there to the dam.  The Strawberry Duck car park was crowded and here I met the mountain bikers again but going in the opposite direction. The path to Edge Fold was almost a river but I was soon back at the main road. Here the wheels sort of came off. Last week I ran a fair bit of this chasing Steve and John and trying to keep ahead of Pete. Today my body did not want to play so I trotted, hobbled and walked up onto the moor.
 The paths up here were a mud fest but I ploughed on to the Tower and hoped I would get second wind.  From the Tower I knew it was the home stretch so I phoned for a lift and set off a bit faster down to Ryal Fold and into Tockholes Woods. Yet three more reservoirs and even more mud and I was back at Abbey Village.
                                                                              I was so engrossed getting as much mud off as possible that I didn't even hear Bob shouting. I thought I'd have a short wait but he was already there - reliable as always. Thanks. Not sure why I felt so knackered and just hope I have a bit more energy for tomorrows run.


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