The forecast was for wet and windy weather as is the norm for Wednesday night so we came prepared. However, we were almost disappointed. There was a bit of rain but, thankfully, there was enough wind to maintain the Warts' weather record. The ground was thoroughly conditioned from the day's soaking as we grass skied the descent from the Blackden layby to the bridge over the impressively in-flood river Ashop.
A short outing was promised for us by the Cap'n, just up, along and down. Bob's Rock was the first call and, whether it was the head-down-and-think-of-England approach or good navigating, it was reached surprisingly quickly via a high contour. Maybe this was also a bit of recceing for Bob's night race in a few weeks. Confession time; I have to admit to the Warts that, after quite a bit of heather and bog, I did enjoy the relief of doing a bit of road running on the paving stones around the next destination of Blackden trig.
The next visits did seem to affect the collective Warts' sanity although, to a non-Warts, it's questionable anyway. The neck of Kinder we were trotting over seems to have a sinister and mysterious presence as recognised by bygone local residents who have named the rocks here as Druid's Stone and Madwoman's Stones. Should the area be approached from the south east, there is a hint of a warning not to enter from the moor named Nether which is understood to be some sort of ancient monument. However, we did reach Druid's Stone without incident and after a whisky and liquorice stop, galloped along the now significant path (last seen in the summer Crookestone) which goes part way towards Madwoman's Stones whose malevolent influence was now starting to take hold. Apart from one lonely torch which was seen heading off to the right, the remaining group went for the Stones where we discussed whether they were the correct ones. Yes, was the unanimous answer. Meanwhile, the solitary light was now some distance away to the east. It turned towards our now much illuminated stones and arrived to a barrage of "Where have you been?". There was some banter on navigation or suggested lack of it, directed at the solo light. However, afterwards and thanks to John D's tracks (see below), the Warts, despite their joint (over) confidence, never actually reached Madwoman's Stones and the lone light, now identified as the Cap'n, was right. Without knowing this at the time, there followed the usual joyous sprint for the finish over Dean Hill, this time without its Olympic flag to guide us.
The Ladybower provided the after-run refreshment together with the opportunity to interrogate the DPFR FRA relay committee fresh from a meeting with local residents and other interested organisations. I'm still not sure what the outcome was but we will surely find out. Tonight's one hour forty minutes outing was, as always, in the tradition of the Warts which had two recent comers wanting to repeat the experience in future weeks. #
Another good outing.
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