It seems that, if it is a Wednesday evening, then the weather will be wet and windy for any Warts' outing. So far, for two outings this season, this has proved to be accurate. Following last week's wet outing from Yorkshire Bridge, the latest Warts' adventure from the gas station fitted the pattern. Despite there only being a little rain at the start, there was no doubt in everyone's minds that worse was to come. Most of the ten of us had donned our wet gear in readiness for the coming wind and rain onslaught. Despite this, we were treated to a master class in navigation after we had left the end of the shooting track from the gas station. Although we didn't know it at this time, we were being taken on the route of the Hunter wreck race by the Cap'n. Reaching the first check point of New Cross (remains of), we had a thorough soaking on our left and front sides.
From there, the trek was made across the well heathered and damp, peaty moor on a 330⁰ bearing to the Dukes Road where a stop was made to decide where next. To help the decision making, Liquorice Allsorts were distributed. Perhaps the following sugar rush resulted in the Hunter wreck being suggested. This prompted a range of reactions from complete enthusiasm through degrees of indifference to one of no enthusiasm at all. The wreck, however, won the day and nine of us (one had returned from New Cross) were led directly to the small piece of aircraft spar marking the centre of the wreck site. During this crossing our backs had enjoyed the wind and the rain so, to balance out and to complete the wetting, our right sides were now lashed on our heading on 110⁰ along the corridor route to the Rocking Stone, a guide point rather than a formal check point. Taking whisky and more Allsorts, the continuing worthiness of the Stone's name was confirmed with a four or five-man rock, such fun.
It is surprising just how much heather seed and twiglets accumulate in running shoes though, I suppose, it ought not to be, when we traipse (on 110⁰ again) across the deep heather towards Emlin. On this section and on a vegetation theme, Tom tested the long-held view that bright green moss should be approached with caution. Suitably dressed in shorts, Tom did, in fact, confirm its rather unsupporting, glutinous nature as he required help to extricate himself from it. It is still true, therefore, that caution must be exercised near bright green moss.
Based on previous erroneous wanderings, leaving Emlin for the gas station can be tricky. Contra-intuitively, we retraced our steps and then took a left to pick up a thin path which led to the shooting butt track and the bridge to the finish. Having completed the outing in a time (about one hour fifty minutes) comparable with the night race times, spirits rose and the previous less than enthusiastic feelings were dispelled or maybe that was the effect of the beer at the Plough. A good outing!
© Dark Peak Fell Runners 2018
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