An early morning phone call – “I have to climb a steep hill!“, not exactly an emergency but it needed a response. My friend Mark seems to be having problems with his back and hips [aren’t we all] and was under the orders of his physio.
“OK, see you soon” was my response trying to think of a suitable steep hill. If you have ever cycled up Kemple End you will agree it is steep, and gets steeper. As a coincidence today is the start of the Tour de France and there seemed to be loads of cyclists on the roads. In a hour or so we are parked near Higher Hodder Bridge at the bottom of the said hill. Mark was pleased with his progress up the incline. Near the top we left the road on a public footpath into the fields to visit an ancient cross and recover our breath. A quick look into Kemple End where we have climbed together in the past and then we threaded our way down fields to reach the River Ribble. I am reminded of my Longridge Skyline Walk which comes up this way towards it’s end after 40 hard miles. Also every time I cross this creaky footbridge I think of my, sadly departed, climbing friend Pete, the bridge engineer extraordinary. A short walk by the river brought us back to Higher Hodder bridge.
We talked of mice and men and arranged to meet up soon for a climb providing his physio agrees.
As I post this the sun is breaking through the mist on Longridge Fell promising a lovely morning up at Kemple.