This week I have been alternating short walks and flat cycle rides with nothing of note to report. Everything came to a standstill yesterday with the collision of cold winds from the north with a front from the south. Amber warning. My son cancelled a lunchtime visit from Manchester and I watched the snowflakes falling in the afternoon. During the night things must have turned nasty as today I woke to a couple of inches of snow. (The radio told of far worse conditions in the Pennines) It was interesting to try and identify the tracks across my back garden, one doesn’t know what transpires in the night. Something I should resolve either with sitting up into the wee hours or more likely installing a motion detecting camera.
By mid-morning the sun had appeared and traffic started using my road. Time to get out and about. The tossed coin said walk. So I did. A brand-new pair of lightweight boots had arrived in the post. Helly Hansen and looking perfect for summer walking – right let’s try them out in some snow. Living in Longridge I am lucky to be able to walk from my doorstep into the open countryside or as I did today up onto the fell. The route on roads was one of my regular runs way back then. I knew it would give me good Bowland views with the minimum of hassle.
Once out of the village ‘Forty Acre Lane’ gave me those promised views. I’m not sure which side the ‘forty acres’ are on but never mind the vista across Chipping Vale to the hills is uplifting. The snow on the south slopes was visibly melting as I walked but showed up the features of the Parlick, Fairsnape and Totridge Fells in great detail. Virtually no cars passed me, the road was just thawing enough for them. There were still drifts in the gateways. The golf course was closed, perhaps prematurely as the afternoon was perfect.
The usual crowd of cars was parked up at Jeffrey Hill. From up here the northern slopes of Pendle Hill were plastered with snow – they usually have it worse in East Lancashire. I was in two minds to take to the fells with the rest of them and visit Spire Hill, instead keeping to the road but no sooner had I decided this I was tempted off into Cowley Brook Plantation. My favourite getaway place. It was a joy to tread virgin snow through the trees. Silence was everywhere except for those little birds singing unseen.
Back out on the lower road I trudged back along the switchbacks to Longridge as the temperature started to fall again. The roadside gorse was a brilliant yellow.
How good that sunshine must have done for my endomorphins.