The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Monday on the Chase

The weather was once again obliging with clear skies as we set out from our usual car park onto Cannock Chase to walk the same 15 mile circuit as last weekend.
Nice Day For It
What a lovely day to be out!

In the interests of carrying a reasonable amount of weight in my pack without having to carry my actual backpacking gear, in amongst the bath towels, bars of chocolate and snacks I had secreted a flask of water.

It was about 5 miles in, at the high point of that area of the Chase that we stopped at a convenient bench for chocolate and coffee. With the views extending out before us, it was a fine way to be spending a Monday morning. I gave a fleeting thought to my past life of sitting in an office at such times of day!

More quiet trails (we encountered a few dog walkers but otherwise it was uncommonly quiet) led us another few miles later to the Visitor Centre where we had stopped last weekend.

It was lunchtime and I was hungry enough to eat a scabby dog. I had oatcakes and mushroom pate in my bag. The Visitor Centre sells baked potatoes, cake and very large mugs of tea, all at reasonable prices.

It was no contest. We had a hot lunch in the warm cafĂ©, before setting out just after the only group of ramblers that we encountered all day. I’m sure that the food had sunk straight to my legs, because it took them a while after the stop to accept that I really was going to carry on walking for quite a while yet!

A five minute violent shower of hail gave an unexpected interlude in a day that was otherwise a clear skied day, and it was the weather that accompanied us over to what I find to be the ugliest part of the Chase.

It shouldn’t be ugly. However, there is one particular track in this area that seems to be the fly-tipping capital of the Chase. Rubbish, and particularly tyres, abound completely ruining what should be part of a pleasant walk. It’s probably why we only venture over to that area when we’re really on a training mission.

Bad and Ugly
More Bad and Ugly
It's bad and it's ugly

With everywhere being so incredibly quiet we felt safe venturing again into the mountain biking area; we made it through unscathed, with the only biker we saw being dismounted.

Not A Place To Be Walking!

Arriving back at the car it was nice to note that I felt much fresher and fitter than I had at the same point last weekend (thanks in part to the footwear, mayhaps?). A quick time/distance calculation told me that we had set an unnecessarily fast pace and I again forewarned Husband that I will not be keeping such a pace up for our LEJOG!

We set off for home having walked 26.5 miles in 26.5 hours. Tuesday was to be a relatively lazy day…

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