The weekend after our Brougham Castle and Hall trip, TBH once again left me insole charge of the kids (irresponsible, I know) whilst she went gadding off shopping in Manchester. We were joined by our friend M, whom we took to sample orienteering at nearby Dalton Crags. Our kids had an idea of what to expect since we took part in a fancy dress, night-time points event in Eaves Wood on the Halloween weekend. That may have given them rather false expectations however, since the rules were complicated and we ended up as ‘Vampires’ trying to shine a red-torch on other competitors to turn them into ‘Vampires’ so that we could steal their map and points. (We succeeded only to become the victims shortly afterwards of another group of ‘Vampires’.)
Anyway, the Dalton Crags event, organised by SROC (South Ribble Orienteering Club) was much more conventional. Dalton Crags is part of the Hutton Roof limestone ridge and the start was from the same car-park where S and TBH and I began our ascent of Hutton Roof back in August.
We opted for the yellow course and the girls had soon taken charge of the navigation.
The boys seemed happy to follow directions and race ahead to the next control.
Whilst I enjoyed the unseasonal sunshine and mild weather, and the autumn colours…
The route took us in and out of woodland. The limestone scenery is so complex in this area that the cartographer had invented his own unconventional symbols in an attempt to distinguish between the different areas of pavement, partially overgrown and otherwise.
We finished in a not particularly earth-shattering time of just under an hour. We didn’t mind. In fact, if we’d finished in 18 minutes like the winner did, I would have felt cheated.
M’s lack of enthusiasm here had a lot to do with the fact that 10 yards short of the finish she slipped and fell in a particularly muddy spot.
The eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted that in my last post I mentioned ‘days out’ plural, but that I haven’t posted about the second of those. I’m not sure that it belongs on a walking/natural history/castle obsessed blog, but for the curious….
….an eagle-owl and….?
We went to Preston for a free Deadly Day Out courtesy of the BBC. TBH had organised the tickets before realising that she would be away and unable to attend with the rest of us. That was her story anyway.
This is co-presenter Naomi Wilkinson with a barn owl during a falconry display which was part of the day’s events.
There were an awful lot of people there and inevitably a lot of queuing, but the kids loved it. Here they are in the results of their den-building…
I took a ridiculous number of photos of Mr Backshall and various creatures – if you’re interested, then they’re here. I have to say – his talk and question and answer session was most impressive – he really knows his stuff.