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]

Monday 23 April 2018

Cairn Table and Middlefield Law

Cairn Table (NS724242; 593m)

Distance walked: 5.2 miles
Ascent: 350m ish
Start Point: Kames
Weather: Rain at first, windy for all of it.

There's a Walkers' Car Park and an information board of walking routes at Kames, suggesting that this is a popular hill. The broad trodden line through the mire then up its flanks also suggested that. Setting off before 9am on a wet Monday morning, we saw not a hint of another person.

The route starts by crossing an area of old mine workings, with dozens of small undulations in the ground, but all greened over. Then it descended a little before flattening out and ascending. That was the really wet bit. Wetness underfoot that couldn't even be avoided with the duckboards that were dotted around. Thus wet feet were the order of the day (in my case because I choose to wear mesh slippers, in Mick's because his waterproof membrane is no longer doing its job).

The climb, once we got to it was entirely straightforward, and it probably would have been a joy on a better day. Whilst the rain was petering out by now, we didn't have the benefit of good views:

Looking back whence we had come

Approaching the top. Yes, that is a massive cairn on Cairn Table.

I thought that the pile of stones behind me looked higher than the trig point, so we wandered over to it just to be sure.

The original intention had been to walk a circuit, but with the wetness and the wind, we lost the inclination and went the shortest return (i.e. a retrace of steps). The skies finally started to brighten as we got back down towards the bogfest...

...and before long our feet were drying out and our hands were warming up, wrapped around mugs of coffee.

Middlefield Law (NS681307; 466m)

Distance walked: 1.7 miles
Ascent: 150m ish
Start Point: Pull-in on minor road to S ( NS 68532 29700)
Weather: Still breezy, but dry.

This was about as straight-forward an up-and-down as one gets on obscure Marilyns. A large pull-in by an unlocked gate gives access to an ATV track, which leads (boggily, of course) to the very top.

It's the sort of hill that Mick usually looks at, then opts to sit out, but in the interests of increasing his fitness pre-TGO Challenge (his training to date having been hampered by a rib injury that's only just healing now) he joined me.

We were up and back in forty minutes, including the time spent snapping photos and spotting hills at the top:

This morning's hill is the barely perceptible lump to the right of Mick. It was more lumpy to the naked eye

And over there was Nutberry Fell, that I visited yesterday

An enjoyable, if short, little outing.

(As an aside, we arrived in Kames yesterday afternoon to find that there was a Rally going on at the race track there. Such a shame that it wasn't a warm sunny afternoon, as the rain discouraged us from spectating for very long. We were, however, parked in a position such that we could see two parts of the track from Bertie's windows. And, of course, we had the full sound effects. The oldest vehicle there was a Mk1 Escort. The most rally-esque was a Scooby Doo. It made for a far more interesting afternoon than we usually get when parked up at the end of a dead-end road, positioned for the next day's hill.)

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