Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Saturday 26 April 2008 - Lightweight Equipment at Ashford in the Water

Today we had a busy morning, entertained friends with a small baby for lunch, then headed out to Ashford to pick up some gear I had secretly ordered from Bob and Rose at
Bob and Rose had been very busy. When we arrived at 2.30 they were so busy they didn’t notice us looking in to their busy little empire.

By 2.45 pm they were just tucking into their breakfast!
The Aquagear Water Filter, Montane Lite-Speed jacket and CCA Waterproof bumbag were all there waiting for me, at a very good price. The latter two items are for cycling (I’ll test them tomorrow), and the water filter was an impulse buy after listening to Bob’s interview with the supplier. I may test it on the TGO Challenge and it will probably accompany us on our long Italian backpack starting in June.

Bob gave an excellent exposition on a couple of primitive stoves; no doubt Weird Darren has both of them and is carrying out exhaustive testing. It looked interesting, but too messy for me!

Sadly we missed Julia (we saw the back of her head when peering into the Backpackers Club’s AGM later), and it’s a shame that we also missed Darren, John and Dawn – three of the outdoors bloggers.
It was good to hear that Rose has a holiday booked! – this year Bob and Rose didn’t get into the TGO Challenge (where I first met them last year).

But Bob is setting off on the Cape Wrath trail next week. It’s featured in June’s Trail magazine as the Number Two Long Distance Path in the UK. It looks great, and I’m certain he will enjoy it despite the fact that it sounds as if he's taking some rather primitive equipment! I hope the lightweight gear doesn’t sacrifice too much by way of comfort… What is absolutely certain is that he'll be reporting back in graphic detail on the Outdoors Station. Perhaps he has to carry very light camping equipment to make room for all the electronic gadgets he uses to review that lightweight gear as he progresses along the route.
We couldn’t venture into the Peaks without going for a stroll. So we enjoyed a circular 6 km, hour and a half’s walk (map shown below) on what remained of the sunny afternoon, heading along dry paths strewn with Lesser Celandine and Duke of Edinburgh Award school kid hikers.

Some of the hedges were laden with blossom.

The grounds of the small church at Little Longstone looked very well tended.

Up at Monsall Head we enjoyed ice creams together with many folk out walking or touring, a car park full of bikers with ‘God's Squad’ emblazoned on the backs of their leather jackets, and a fine view of the old railway viaduct and Upperdale.

Looking back towards Ashford we noticed that not all the dry stone walls around here have survived.

The trees were coming into bud – I feel (and probably am) very ignorant not to be able to immediately identify this one:

Back at Ashford another scenic church filled my viewfinder, and at the Village Hall the Backpackers Club AGM was in full swing, the equipment suppliers were going home, and so did we…


Londonbackpacker said...

The D.O.E's give us no end of trouble over our weekend up there we had about 50/60 off them on the campsite on the Friday night and it wasn't a quite night.

Phreerunner said...

Youngsters enjoying themselves...= noise!
It was a pleasure to chat to them as we encountered them - all very jolly. In my experience they only use big campsites or private fields in the Peaks, and they generally occupy an area separate from the general public.
I think you were unlucky, but surely it must have pleased you to see them enjoying the outdoors...?

stillers said...

Stumbled across your blog.....surprised to see a pic of us amid the landscapes! Cheers and safe travels.
Sean, God's Squad.

Phreerunner said...

Safe travels to you as well, Stillers. Monsall Head seems to be one of those places that lots of different sorts of people congregate. So maybe we are actually all very similar. We just like the outdoors, and other things for that matter.
Take care and enjoy your travels.

Londonbackpacker said...

I`m always happy to see them out walking, watching them trying to work out which way is North, not knowing their A.. :-)

Seriously though it is good to see youngest in the outdoors and learning

Normally its only 10-20 on a site but this time it was just to many in one place.

I just think that the organisers got things a bit messed up to have that many.

Phreerunner said...

They should perhaps either have been segregated or taught some 'camp site etiquette'!
Pleased to see you managed to escape from the lego for a weekend though!

The Solitary Walker said...

Thoses are the male flowers of the ash tree about to unfurl. Strangely enough, took a similar pic for my own blog recently!

Phreerunner said...

Thanks, Solitary Walker, I'm embarrassed not to have known that, and my (rather rudimentary) tree guides didn't help.
BTW - hadn't looked at your blog for a while - wish I'd been at the June Tabor concert - and I've now enjoyed reading some of your excellent recent entries.