Saturday, 9 January 2010

Rules are made for breaking

The safari has been breaking the rules!
Rule 1 - Never go to lonely dark places to meet 'strangers' you only know from chatrooms on the internet.
Rule 2 - Don't ignore Police Road Closed signs.
Rule 3 - Never use an axe while wearing gloves - more of that later.
In the last 24 hours we have broken all three. The first was great fun meeting up with some of the guys from the Land Rover Owner International forum for the first time. Four vehicles, 3 Discos and a Defender, met up at country pub (closed for refurbishment) for a night-time drive up to one of the local beauty spots in the snow and then have a mozey around the hill with the dogs. There was always the chance of coming across a Tawny Owl too. The lane up was marked by a road closed sign - closed to normal vehicles maybe but not to ours. No trouble, not even on the steeper bits. The only Td5 Disco with us had its Traction Control come on once, that was all. Our Disco with its broken/seized difflock had no problems but then we are shod with mud & snow boots rather than road tyres.
At the top car park, which is normally seething in the Sumner, we were alone in the blackness looking down on the lights of west Lancashire. With no moon it was very dark despite the snow.
So the seven humans and six dogs disappeared into the woods. Keeping track on the dogs was interesting to say the least - their names being called out with every step as they followed their noses into pitch blackness beneath the trees.
A lovely walk under starry skies was enjoyed by everyone even wifey in her fetching hat and essential stick. The dogs, especially, had a great time. Frank and George, with his fine flashing collar, got on like a house on fire - too well...some might think - "a nod's a good as a wink to a blind horse - - say no more"
At the summit on the Ordnance Survey triangulation pillar has a plaque that points out the view. Years ago it used to be OK but in the meantime the trees in the forest have grown so it should say - west - trees, north - trees, south - trees, only to the east is there a view, of Fairsnape Fell and Parlick which this evening glowed eerily in the snowy reflected light. Beautiful...but a bit on the cold side for standing around to admire the view. No thermometer but at 250m up probably lower than minus 5.
From the summit it was a short slippery slither down to the Land Rovers with their cargo of flasks of hot coffee.
The dogs were all accounted for and got their treats.
And back on the road, a bit skatey going downhill but no real dramas...home we went cheeks burning with the cold, legs tired and a wet and slobbery dog flaked out in the back. A great evening out for the price of a few litres of diesel. No Tawney Owls - unidentified bird did fly above the beam of the headlights but no chance of an ID.
The following morning was wood chopping duty. With cold hands I had gloves on from stacking wood for this weeks fires. When it came to chopping the kindling I didn't take them off - LUCKY - duff, tired, cold hands and a slip...thank goodness I was wearing thick work gloves and not my normal keep your hands warm in town gloves or a would have been saving next weeks surgeon a job!!!
With all remaining fingers intact and a big bruise it was time to go to the hardware store for a length of pipe. Somehow our pond has developed a leak and lost a huge amount of water but trying to refill it was a nightmare, our hose was frozen solid. Nothing for it but to go and get a new one. Deffo worth the trip as a Woodcock (73) flew across the road in front of us - unexpected bonus.
Where to next? Extreme Photographer, Raf, is out today sussing out a safari for tomorrow but it could be just somewhere local, have to see what he has found for your delectation.
In the meantime let us know what signs you have ignored in your outback.
Many thanks to Chan for organising a great night out.

1 comment:

Chan said...

Had a Good Night out Dave,

Good to meet you both and Frank - Woof Woof!!

Take Care