As we were going to be crossing the Chase yesterday, and as we had a bit of time at our disposal it seemed like a reasonable plan to stretch our legs. Without enough time to walk our usual circuit my mind turned to a 4.5 mile route that involves leaving the car park in the opposite direction to usual, and passes a couple of big ponds, which I was hoping would be snowed over and looking rather pretty.
According to the Met Office, were to enjoy wall-to-wall sunshine all day*. The reality was that it was snowing quite convincingly as we left the house, and even more convincingly as we left the car park. It didn’t last the whole walk, although in the final stages we got a number of flurries that seemed to be falling out of a blue sky.
Perhaps it was the falling snow that put everyone off, as it was as quiet as I have ever seen it (plenty of bikers, mind; just barely anyone out on foot). Even in the vicinity of the ponds, which is one of the honey-pots, we only saw two people.
A family did pass us later on, with two of the children pulling sledges. Only a few minutes earlier, as the track we were on started descending steeply, I had contemplated the fun that could be had there with a toboggan. A few moments after passing this family the children caught sight of the steepness of the track, let out whoops of delight, and started running up it, dragging the sledges behind.
We were out of sight by the time they reached the top, but we still heard the excited screams and whoops and they slid back down.
There were people around the Visitor Centre, although not many. In fact, the number of people was probably on a par with the number of huskies. Nine huskies can’t half make a racket when they get going, you know!
Of course, I took lots of photos, and here’s a selection of them:
Snowing as we set out
The smaller of the two ponds
Mick demonstrates that the snow isn’t very deep
The larger of the ponds (the bits that aren’t iced are where the smaller ponds flow into this one)
The cloud-factory at Rugeley, working its hardest to create more snow-clouds
(*I’m a bit distrustful of the Met Office this week after they were reporting latest observations at Heathrow on Wednesday afternoon as being ‘rain’. At the time the view out of the window told me that it was snowing quite heavily. If they can’t get reality right, what hope have they with forecasts?)