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22 October, 2006

Walk: Middle Wood, Roeburndale again

I'm not entirely sure why she chose this weekend, but P. booked the camping barn at Middle Wood from Friday to Sunday, inviting the usual group of friends to accompany her.  It's fine in late spring and summer, when one can sit outside on relatively warm nights, but the weather in late October is changeable, and likely to be cold and wet.  I wasn't the only one to have doubts.

My initial plan was that, if the weather was good enough for a bike ride anyway, I'd head out in that direction and visit the barn for a few hours on Saturday, returning to Lancaster that night. However, I was in town in the morning, looking at bikes with A., so I took the opportunity to replace my massive (and somewhat smelly) sleeping bag with one I could slip into my rucksack. This gave me the freedom to stay overnight in the barn if I changed my mind.

A. joined me for the 12-mile (~20 km) ride to Roeburndale, so we followed the pedestrian-crowded Lune Cycleway (aka Millennium Park) to Caton then, somewhat quicker, the main road to Butt Yeats, near Hornby. The lane from there to Middle Wood obviously ascended as far as my more usual route via Wray, but avoided two very steep sections. Worth remembering.
It'd also be worth remembering that a large Thai red curry eaten just before leaving home (to save having to carry food for an evening meal) objected to 152 m of still quite steep, sustained ascent before it had really settled. Bad idea.

Meeting 'other A.' there, we walked the ~1 km to the barn through surprisingly little mud. The weather had held, but within an hour of our arrival, a heavy shower almost extinguished H's campfire and caused us to remain in the barn all evening.

I was a little startled and concerned that others were obtaining remarkably better indoor photos with compact digital cameras than I could achieve using my big almost-DSLR. I suspect it's a consequence of technological advance in the 26-27 months since I bought mine, not least in image-stabilisation. Mine was fine with flash (which ruins the atmosphere) and unbeatable in really low light, so I did get a few slightly staged images and a few more unguarded ones, but other cameras seemed better-suited to 'average' ambient conditions.
I'm afraid I'm not prepared to publish those images of private individuals, but I did go for a wander on Sunday morning, and took a few fairly 'pretty' photos.

On the whole, Sunday morning was leisurely; though H. lost cans of beer to the river again, there was no point chasing them. The accompanying photos explain why!

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