Tuesday, July 22

UKOB Dartmoor Trip - Sunday

An intentional early start with family duties requiring my presence back home in the afternoon. Not to mention my near pathological disgust of travelling the A35 on a Sunday during holiday season. A major trunk road? More like a caravan park at times, and lethal when the Sunday lunchers come out to for a gentle drive. No siree - this man had places to be and stuck behind day trippers was not in the plan.

So it was a quiet byee to those already moving, including Mick and Gayle, another early starter. Or so I thought until
their later report proved my so-called early stirring to me a lie-in compared to their unfortunate overnight experiences. But hopefully those stunning early morning views were some mitigation Gayle. The sort of panoramas we dream of seeing; But are usually still busily dreaming instead.

(Nodden Gate camp-up aka it might be a crappy camera but it does movies 'innit)

Typically the day was brilliant sunshine as I followed the east bank of the stream northwards. Rewarded a few hundred metres later with the sight of a fox crossing my path apparently unperturbed as he disappeared into the lush ground cover flushing up a pheasant in the process.

Picking one of the numerous narrow tracks upwards onto the ridge I found myself on a clear track moving westwards of Great Nodden with a clear view of the land to the east of Dartmoor, my company for the next hour or so. The wind still playfully present, but on the whole A Good Day.

Eventually the track started its steady descent towards Sourton Tors and the path crossing (GR 546 896) Swinging right the view before was similarly beckoning. The high ground of Dartmoor on the right, the aerial on top of Yes Tor, a previous wildcamp spot, clearly visible today. Ahead my destination peeking cheekily between the gap in the hills.

(Meldon Reservoir & Okehampton in the distance)

Down now, the gradient becoming steeper as I followed the foot of Corn Ridge making my way back to where it had all started on Friday, with a spirited stomp back to the car, and the pleasures of the WC beckoning.

(Friday night's campsite. Sans rain clouds)

The final leg of the route alongside the resy, now very familiar, giving me the chance to fiddle with my GPS's tricks, which showed my moving average speed over that section was 3.7 mph. Just goes to show what a few days walking can do for fitness once the eye is tuned to the terrain, the body warmed up, and the feet raring to go.

But all too soon it was back in the car and on the road back heading towards Durzet.

A good weekend. A further reminder, if one was needed, of the wild land Dartmoor has to offer; That chance of solitude so easily achievable; And the easy fellowship that exists amongst my fellow Bloggers.

Later that afternoon, during a break in family festivities, I spotted a post from Alan Sloman posted earlier, via the wonders of modern technical wizardry (for as we all know, Alan is quite a Boffin, hence his nickname 'Merlin -Wizard of the Valves. Ahem)

My body may have been basking in the hot sunshine, meat on the BBQ, and a beer in hand; But my mind was back there on the moor, my spirit camped out high amongst the Dartmoor hills.

An early return is required, methinks.

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"Merlin, Wizard of the Valves" - Surely more like Marvin, Wizard of the Valves?"
I like the reference to valves, much more my age-group.

Marvin: The first ten thousand years were the worst.. the next ten thousand years, they were the worst too.." (or something like that!)
Though you mught like that. Its now my life's work to get the name to stick
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