beacon for breakfast

during my convalescence, i spent probably too much time reading blogs by adventurous, outdoors folk like al humphreys, andy ward, tim moss and many, many others.
i especially like al’s idea of microadventures. he describes them as “simple expeditions and challenges which are close to home, affordable and easy to organise. ideas designed to encourage ordinary people to get out there and do stuff for themselves, even in these tightened financial times
this means just doing something different”. maybe it means walking to work rather than taking the car, sleeping a night in the garden, running to meetings or wild swimming. it can be anything. it’s all about just having new experiences and to see a different perspective.
so with his do lecture ringing in my ears, i planned an (micro) adventure of my own…
my plan was to get up when i woke up and walk to beacon hill, the highest point in the area, and have my breakfast.
the first part of the plan went well (i got up) and i was delighted to see that the forecast snow had actually materialised.
our street
the street looked a picture, deep, crisp, even and best of all, deserted – it was 7.30 on a sunday morning!
i crunched through virgin snow as i crossed the fields and it wasn’t long before i entered swithland woods. it was incredibly beautiful and silent apart from the hundreds of blue, great, coal and long-tailed tits that were hunting out anything that wasn’t frozen solid, chirruping as they went.
i crunched along trails that i’m more used to mountain biking in the dark.
first footsteps in swithland
it’s is strange that no matter how old i get, the enjoyment of leaving the first set of footprints in fresh snow never fails – i did draw the line at snow angels though.
as i got to the climb up the beacon i crossed the cloud base and visibility dropped significantly and the view i’d hoped for at the top and the reason for carrying an extra couple of kilos of camera gear wasn’t going to happen.
breakfast on the beacon
breakfast was a huge mug of steaming percol, frankfurters and hobnobs (for pudding!).
as i headed back off the hill, the temperature was increasing quickly and the snow in the trees was falling like rain as it melted.
by now, the crowds were coming out to sledge on what was left of the snow.
cropston reservoir
so moved quickly through the park and on past the reservoir back to home.
18km covered and back home before noon.

part of my route was along the leicestershire round (a 100 mile footpath lap of the county) which got me thinking… as mr humphreys points out, adventure can be on your doorstep. there’s no need to travel the globe looking for the next challenge. so, starting with an ebay session buying maps this evening, i am now in the planning stage of a three day attempt at the leicestershire round path, bivvying the overnight stops…


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