Saturday, 20 September 2014

Walk on by

 We live under a rock, a pretty big rock, massive by some standards, but not as big as this rock here called Stanner. It, like ours, is different to other rocks in the area by around another 300,000,000 years. In top trump terms we win. Our rock poked its nose through a 400,000,000 year old sea bed and refused to be worn down by anything trifling like an ice age or two. So when I was given the chance to clamber over this rock last night I jumped at the chance for a number of reasons which may become apparent later in the year. Our town is having a walking festival so I duly signed up for the secrets of the stone soiree only I didnt. Somehow I had inadvertently signed up for a walk that would prove to be very familiar and hardly taxing.
 Which is why I found myself in almost full alpine climbing gear amongst a bunch a cagoule clad geriatrics with assorted mental health and hip problems stood outside this building. Early indicators that this was not going to be A) Arduous B) Intellectually stimulating and C) Over quickly came when one red anorak pointed at said building and asked what it had been used for. As its name is Stanner Station yours truly felt that that one fell well within the bleeding obvious category and so seething with disappointment that we were not going to be in any way clambering over the cliff looming in the rear of above pic of curious building I trudged after the chattering band determined to make the most of a strange evening. Now my pack contained everything you  might need to spend a few days out in the wilderness, not because I planned to, but because I may plan to soon and this would be a useful opportunity to get some leg work in. A couple of pensioners also came out with essential items in carrier bags, such as knitting, tins of boiled sweets and copies of peoples friend.
 Whilst my companions swapped polo mints and tripped over tree roots I got a closer look at some young whipper snapper rocks, these are from the silvanian families period, a silky sandstone with small fossils and a dramatic example and a cline, sin or anti I cant remember but its the edge of a bigger edge and that edge went up a long way.
And when the boiled sweets began to run out further along I found this example of a break caused by compression, two edges of massive bits pushing against each other and buckling up and then snapping. So our merry band wandered on, up over the saddle of the ridge through ever gathering mists until we were in total darkness on the ridge. The route I take when I walk to work. I did think about passing on some local knowledge to those stumbling in the dark but they seemed more intent on discussing the various merits of stair lifts and walk in baths rather than rock formations, legends of big black dogs, robber barons and walking stones. As we looked for three missing from the group who decide that turning right was obviously the way forward instead of following the group one of the bright sparks commented that it could have been worse, it could be raining.
Which is when it rained, not the sort of rain that you could ignore but the type that really made your knitting heavy. Luckily it was downhill all the way to the zimmer frames and mobility scooters parked outside a pub and after a couple of pints of medicine yours truly left them to their Bovril and Vicks and walked back home. Almost. An SOS sent earlier was picked up and after a few hundred yards Ruby emerged through the torrential fog and took me back to HQ.

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