Today was an interesting day, some might say illuminating.
Taking advantage of a rare day off the faithful hound and I went for a day out. After much deliberation about visiting fairly distant areas with unknown attitudes to dogs and places with known attitudes that dogs are not exactly welcome…I opted for another visit to The Wrekin.
Truthfully I was hesitant about taking my camera, I thought to travel light. And given that I have been to that hill twice before I suspected that I would be unlikely to see anything new worth the weight of the camera.
But I have learned my lesson in this, I have made that decision before and left the camera at home…and then witnessed events that made me regret having done so.
So this time camera in bag and dog on lead off I went.
Now to backtrack, and explain a little something about me. Maybe it’s just my awkward nature, or maybe it is just my man-brain. But while I am a quick learner, and I tend not to make the same mistake twice (in general terms)…I am rubbish at learning anything from instruction. Show me that thing and I am fine, I can contextualize that knowledge and it is in there, locked away. But just advice? Raw information? Nope. I may well understand the facts on an intellectual level, but there will not be the context and experience needed to really understand that thing.
Why all this waffle?
Well, for years (I am not totally inexperienced with walking off the beaten track and have climbed literal mountains many times) I have known that weather can be changeable and unpredictable. I have known that people have been caught out and some unfortunates have lost their lives doing relatively simple ascents all because of random weather and unpreparedness. I have known this, but have never had the personal experience to hammer that into my brain.
But this afternoon I had a little taste of the danger of being caught unawares. It takes me about 30-40 minutes to climb up the Wrekin, it is steep and I am woefully unfit. And the first two-thirds of that walk is under fairly thick tree cover.
The walk began in fairly bright clear skies and good cheer, the dog had her tennis ball and I had working legs. All was well.
Fast forward 30 minutes and just about as I left the trees behind the clouds were now thick and gloomy. Then the rain started, The those clouds rolled onto the hill and very quickly made me wet, very cold (a healthy sweat and a T-Shirt do not help keep you warm in cold fog) and unable to easily navigate. At that point the aforementioned needed context snapped into place.
Fortunately my learning experience was helped along by the strong wind. True, this wasn’t helping with the shivering, but it did move that cloud bank up and over and away from me pretty quickly indeed. Faced with two decisions, take advantage of the break in the weather and leave or ignore my common sense and brave the cold and get to the top and finish what I had started.
All of which is a bloody long way of saying I got some interesting (maybe) snaps of semi-cloudy Wrekin. While it was probably not the smart thing to do, watching the clouds pour (no other word for it) up and over the peak of the steep sides of the hill was amazing. A bit stupid perhaps, but amazing.
I have really waffled, so apologies to the one reader who got this far.
Thanks for looking!