"When Piggies Fly" Part 3: An Autumn Coddiwomple

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Rhode trip, Jul 8, 2017.

  1. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

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    What great reports, I just found these. I have a blue Honda Transalp at Martin’s and he just happened to be parked right by your bikes when you dropped them off.
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  2. GNPskier

    GNPskier Adventurer

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    The SpotWalla is cruel. I'm sitting in my office on a rainy day in NW Montana and I see that the RhodeTrips just landed in Spain. So jealous. Can't wait to see it.
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  3. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Thanks, Shane. Takes more than a few wankers to spoil a good day riding!

    Thanks, liv2day! I think the population density in England makes it more of a challenge to accommodate all of the groups that want to use the limited amount of wild places. The TRF is really excellent in their efforts to foster support amongst other groups. I expect that it is more the casual users that don't really support any organized trail stewardship- be they walkers, horse-riders, mountain bikers or moto-riders- who don't appreciate that everyone deserves an opportunity. I know in our local New England area, when all the users united to protect Pachaug State Forest from being developed for a State Police gun range, the state backed down. The real problem are the people who don't care at all about free, open space.

    Well, going to be on hiatus for about 3 weeks. We just landed on new shores today! But there's lots more of this tale to tell.
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  4. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Thanks, Little Bike. I've enjoyed your rides and recognized your bike right away when we arrived at Motofeirme last fall. Picked our bikes up from Martin just a couple of days ago now, and we're off again.

    Thanks, GNPskier for the kind words! Glad to have you along. I guess I'll share the cruelty and post the Spotwalla link here:

    https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=1d9325cc3289497a79&hoursPast=0&showAll=yes

    But don't feel too bad... its kind of cool and damp here so far as well. I hope we find the Sunny Spain soon!
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  5. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Fantastic!
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  6. VTbeemer

    VTbeemer Traveler Supporter

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    I just took a look at your Spot, Was in Granada just last week. I’m just over the line from you in Portugal and will be in the Algarve this coming week before heading north. Weather has been great!

    Dan
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  7. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Hi Dan,
    We are now just outside of Malaga. We've really enjoyed Portugal and Spain, although the weather was mixed. Cool and damp up north.... then a heat wave. The last week or so has been perfect! Never made the Algarve... too hot...
    Have a great trip... I can't believe ours went so fast...
    If you can, visit Cain de Valderon up north...
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  8. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Damn @Rhode trip , assuming we'll see a trip report for this sometime soon? Last time I checked into this report, you were bopping about the UK :lol3 :lol3

    I'm seriously interested in this segment, especially after checking your spotwalla page. My wife is of Portuguese decent and she recently visited the country for the first time (weekend break from long work trip in Germany). Suffice to say, we'll be going there some day...would love to experience it on 2 wheels.
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  9. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Thanks, liv2day! It's been tough overcoming the inertia and getting the ride report going again, especially now that summer is here. I can't wait to tell you about riding in Spain and Portugal.... it was awesome. But first, there's lots more of England to tell you about!

    Monday, October 1st.

    So where were we? ...Oh, that's right...The Lake District. It's the first day of October, a cool morning with the first hints of autumn in the air. Our host, Robin, came out of the Ellergill House to see us off, and he took our picture on the steep street out in front. I'm pretty sure he was wishing he could come along with us... off in search of adventure....

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    … and it didn't take us long to find it. Walter Mitty has nothing on me. Just outside of Keswick, pronounced "Kes-Sick" if you don't want to sound like a clueless Yank :raindance,
    ...the road was closed. Washed away, or at least torn up enough so a construction crew could put in a new culvert. A narrow pedestrian bridge was the only way across.

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    I asked one of the guys standing around with an air of authority if we could cross the bridge, half in jest. He said, "if you walk the bikes, sure..."
    You can see I'm grinning, ear to ear. In my unbridled imagination.... I'm crossing a primitive bamboo and rope bridge, deep in the darkest jungle, high above a cascading torrent.....

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    A crowd of natives cheer me on... or perhaps it's just the construction crew having tea from thermoses and snickering about the grinning idiot with the mini bike..... I promptly pushed both bikes up and across....

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    ...and down the other side and then we were off... had the road to ourselves... as we climbed the shoulder of the mountain that pinches Keswick into the valley below...

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    The sun peeks out... smudging the end-of-summer colors of orange and brown amongst the green.

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    There's a main way down below along the lake.... we're following a minor road up to a pass tucked in between the hills....

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    Circled around the mountain through a forest of pines, then down the other side. Oh my..... it's the land of naughty place-names!
    We turned left,

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    and rode through fields on paved doubletrack. This is again part of the TET... we'll follow it for a while.

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    Winding roads and rolling hills. The greens all aglow through the prism of a morning rainfall.

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    The Lake District is England's largest national park. Not just lakes... it's known for it's mountains and forests, immortalized by writers from Wordsworth to Beatrix Potter.

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    Sweeping vistas.

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    The remnants of an old estate.

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    So far, we've been riding pretty much due west, circling around the outside edge of the National Park... most of it's the preserve of hillwalkers and hikers. We're high now, and in the distance is the open ocean of the Irish Sea.

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    We follow the ridge of the high ground south, exposed to the blast of cold winds sweeping in from the water.

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    It's aptly named.

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    The TET is all pavement through this section... and it took us down Cold Fell until we reached Calder Bridge, and then it squeezed us out onto A595. Sprawl and a rush... no photos along there. We passed through a couple of small villages... Gosforth, Holmrook, then we turned off somewhere along the way, towards the hills that crowd in from the north-east.
    The next section of the TET isn't in my road atlas. We're looking for another BOAT (byway open to all traffic, remember?).
    Hmmm, we're a couple of miles in, along a minor paved road. There's an open lot ahead, and a gated trail. The GPS is ambiguous... so we rode ahead, further down the road. Passed close to a house, another gate ahead. "This looks like a driveway" I said to Mrs Trip. We turned around in the cinder parking area.
    WHEN all of a sudden, a big truck came rumbling into the yard and pulled up next to us. A guy jumped out... all excited and hollering!
    But...wait.... he wasn't pissed off about us trespassing.... He Was Glad To See Us!!

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    This is Gary. He's been riding dirt bikes since they invented, well... dirt. He said, "I saw you back in the village, but by the time I'd turned the truck around...you were gone."
    "I just decided to stop at home for a minute on the way back... and here you are...in My Driveway!"
    We laughed and told him all about our disorientation. He eyed our bikes and then he eyed our gear. "Can't afford that KLIM stuff" he said.
    "Aww, you poor guy," I thought to myself. "I can see you're a hard worker, judging by the coal dust on your face." Reminded me of Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. Maybe he's a chimney-sweep. :D
    He introduced us to his little dog... the old boy is totally blind, and barked at us non-stop until we petted him. Then he was happy and assured that we weren't a couple of bad guys, and waddled off to have another nap.
    So poor old Gary.... can't afford the KLIM... then went on to show us his collection of 42 different motorbikes, from '70's two stroke trials bikes to the new Africa Twin he was just breaking in...he had so many bikes, he had extra shipping containers lined up in his yard to store them. I think wily old Gary is doing pretty well for himself. He said he started out riding around here as a kid.... and when the old man who owned the land decided to sell... he was able to take it on. Now he's got 300 acres devoted to a few sheep and lots of trail riding. Has a fuel delivery business, and it looks like he dabbles in construction as well.

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    We had a great time hanging out with Gary. He listened to our story, and then told a few of his own. He's done a lot of riding. His son is out in California, racing on the North American enduro circuit. He's planning a 2-up summer tour on the Africa Twin.

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    But by now its a steady drizzle, and we've got to go. Gary gave me a copy of Adventure Bike Rider, an interesting, glossy magazine....pretty thick... we don't get them like that here.
    Very good reading for an evening's relaxation.

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    As we got our gear back on, he told us we should turn, back where we were, through the gate. "When you get up on top of the mountain, be careful...watch out for the holes!"
    "Holes?" Mrs Trip asked. "Yeah, they'll swallow your whole bike. Gotta watch out for the holes!" Gary replied.
    Then he headed back to work. We rode back along the way we'd come. Through the gate, following an old road.

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    It's a full fledged rain now. You can see, or actually you can't see, but the mountains ahead are shrouded in thick fog.

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    The roads thins as we climb up higher. A grassy track....

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    Now, I may have been off course, but I followed the grassy single track straight up through the ferny field. It's much steeper than it looks...

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    and the rain-soaked grass and the greasy mud packed in and smeared the knobs and stopped me cold about 2/3 of the way up. I slid all the way back down on a mud-bald tire.

    I was lucky to keep my footing. Very slick.

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    Mrs Trip watched me slide backwards all the way down the hill, and I think she was already half-turned around by the time I skidded to a stop at the bottom. Between the greasy hill climb and the fogged in "holes" up on top, this was looking like a no-go. I did a quick re-route and off we went. Out of the higher hilltops, and the rain relented. We rode around the ridge to the south, back up the next valley on a narrow singletrack road.

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    A farmyard. Another gate.

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    Just beyond the gate. The road leads up into a stony landscape.

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    There's no one else up here on the fell... well, besides a few sheep....

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    Down through another farmyard with high stone walls.

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    and at the bottom of the valley, another crossroads. I didn't realize it at the time, but if we'd turned left, we could have gone to Hardknott Pass, which has the remains of an old Roman fort in very good condition, and also has the distinction of being tied for the title of steepest road in England (33% gradient). But ignorance is bliss, and we happily turned right, and headed for Wrynose Pass... an interesting name in itself.

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    Past Fell Foot Farm, dating from the 17th century, tucked into the narrow valley.

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    The old road squeezes past the country church.

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    And the hills draw in closer.

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    Next to the road, a tumbling stream slices it's way through the crease of the rocky valley.

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    The pass rises at the end of the valley, the road snaking it's way to the shoulder in the hills ahead.

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    "Wrynose Pass" ...I had to Google it. I figured it must have been named by someone with a 'wry' sense of humor. (Wry; adjective, 1. "using or expressing dry, especially mocking, humor.") Hmmm. But it also means: (2. (of a person's face or features) twisted into an expression of disgust, disappointment, or annoyance.) Interesting. Early travellers were probably disgusted, disappointed, and annoyed at having to walk up this twisted road to cross over the hills.
    But wait, there's more. "Wry nose" in horses is a congenital deformity in which the nose and upper jaw of the horse are twisted and deviate to one side. Kind of like the ...well, you get the idea.
    But so much for my armchair etymology. It turns out that the name comes from Old Norse and was called Wrenhalse back in the 12th century. By the 16th century the pass was known as Wrenosse Hill, and the name found it's way down to us as 'Wrynose'... which the locals pronounce as "Wreynuss" anyway, bringing it pretty much full circle.

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    The top of 'Wrynose' Pass, and then down the eastern side.

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    The road contoured the mountainside all the way down to the valley below.

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    Still single track, with passing places although we hadn't seen another vehicle since Fell Foot Farm.

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    The A591 ran south in the valley ahead, and we followed it through Windemere and down to the town of Kendal. We stayed in the Glenholme Guest House, a cozy B&B in a rowhouse on the edge of town. By this time, steady showers had settled in so we were happy to call it a day.

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  10. DunkingBird

    DunkingBird Been here awhile Supporter

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    I appreciate it very much !
    Thanks a lot.

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  11. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Amazing saturated colors and crisp writing. Thanks RT
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  12. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University Supporter

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    Nice update thanks! :clap
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  13. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    :lol3 :lol3 That's awesome and then some - push your bikes over the bridge and then have the road to yourselves as everyone else on 4 wheels would have to reroute.

    Bahahahaha...how cool to meet a nutter like that - what a great addition to the adventure of the day. Really neat to spend time with another bike nut, surprised he didn't offer to take you for a rip around the trails he's carved into his property.

    Killer update @Rhode trip! Fantastic scenery shots and thanks for always including some historical perspective. Would've been cool to see that old Roman fort, but probably not so much in a steady rain on the steepest road in England.

    Glad you kicked this report back into gear, I know it's tough to make time when the summer months roll around. I'm really looking forward to reading about your adventures in Spain and Portugal when the time comes. Until then, virtually cruising around England is pretty ok with me too...lol.

    :thumb:thumb
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  14. Saso

    Saso Happily sporting the DRD4 gene Supporter

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    Loved this latest update with so many awesome photos - though I have to say I kept trying to brighten my screen until I remembered where you were riding. :freaky
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  15. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Tuesday, October 2nd.

    After the drizzly finish to the day before, the new morning was bright and sunny, a brilliant-blue day brushed with puffy clouds. We rode north from Kendal, tucked into the valley behind us.

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    Followed a low ridge with the fields falling away to either side.

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    Then through the woods, a green tunnel in a sheltered valley.

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    Oops. A detour.

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    Now we're getting closer to the mountains... The Pennines... that mark the eastern horizon.

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    Through a little green valley, crossed by a narrow viaduct.

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    As we followed the road along its base, we entered the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

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    "Dales" refers to the small green valleys that ripple across the landscape, cut into the limestone hills over ages by the small rivers that run through them.

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    Over a Romanesque bridge.

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    We wander along Fairmile Road. That's the River Lune below, and on the other side, the M6 motorway squeezes into the valley as well. We can't even hear it, here, a world away.

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    We pass a bit of activity in a field. Cars, vans parked. People looking at their feet. We ride by.

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    Hmmm. I stop and go back. Just nosy. And there's a sign.

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    Turns out, its an archaeologic dig. A nice woman sees us reading the sign and walks over to say hi. It's the site of what they suspect is a British village that grew up adjacent to the Roman Camp, that she explains is just up the road. She apologized, but we couldn't come in... the site is closed to the public. Kinda looks like just a trench in the ground, anyway. But we acted disappointed just because she was so enthusiastic about it.
    The other thing you'll notice... how bundled up the people are.... it's cold out today!

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    The rolling countryside.

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    Her heated grips won't work. I pulled off the cowling and found a shorted fuse. I don't have a replacement that will handle it. So we're switching gloves, putting on a warmer pair.
    The tough thing.... I can't in good conscience use my heated grips if hers won't work. :vardy

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    Hartside summit is the only way over the mountains for a long ways either north or south.

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    A farm road off to the side and a view downhill.

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    A686. It's a popular motorcycle road, but today its quiet as we climb.

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    What was a summit café ... now burned to a shell.

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    Its only 19 hundred feet... but it was very windy, and cold.....

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    and we didn't waste much time, down the eastern side, and south, on a country road.

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    Back up along the high moors. A cairn below Burnhope Seat.

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    and the county line.

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    All along here, you see markers for the edge of the road... tall ones, which must mean there's a lot of snow here in the winter.

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    Overlooking the site of what once was a large mine... lead, perhaps?

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    Down from the moor. A stone-built village amongst the trees that line the river.

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    then climb again through gently rising fields.

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    An old industrial site.

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    They are burning the heather. The wind draws the smoke out into long curtains.

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    The smoke carries the fragrance of the heather, drifting across our path.

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    Down again, from the moorland. Steep stream-cut valleys corrugate the hills.

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    A quarried hillside.

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    We rode down to Barnard Castle, a leafy little town, and then into a bit of late afternoon cursing and congestion on the A66 to get ourselves to Bowes.. an old stony village just behind the motorway. Our destination... The Ancient Unicorn.

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    There's been an inn here forever. They say Charles Dickens would lodge here on his travels... a day's journey from his home. There's a pub on the street corner.

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    and what were once stables... have been remodeled into guestrooms.

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    It was a nice place.... laid-back, casual, with friendly folk. The pub drew a few locals for an after work beer. And its replete with it's own tale of star-crossed lovers....

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    ...which we learned about over a cider and a tasty Steak & Ale pie.....

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  16. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Wednesday, October 3rd.

    Gloomy gray skies greeted us as we packed our bikes at The Ancient Unicorn, a good English breakfast tucked under our belts.

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    Sleightholme Moor Road. South out of town.

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    This is Arkengarthdale. We're back in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

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    Through a cobbled ford. The Arkle Beck flows southwards, and gives the valley it's name.

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    Rustled up a red grouse. A good portion of the local economy is based on shooting sports.

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    The skies are burnished pewter, but so far, no rain.

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    We alternate, over the brown moors, through the green dales. Farm cottages scattered about, walls everywhere.

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    All built from native stone, the walls and buildings seem organic parts of the landscape, slowly grown by the same hands that tended the fields for thousands of years.

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    A soupy fog rolls in across the moor. I like the way the heather and grass look like a checkerboard beneath it's edge.

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    A little village preserved in amber.

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    The village of Askrigg was a major market town in the middle ages.... but by 1791 it had been eclipsed by the nearby town of Hawes.

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    Temperence Hall.

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    Back in the day, the main road to Askrigg followed the ancient Roman path between two forts. The Cam High Road.

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    It climbs up through Wether Fell.

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    Threatening clouds hang overhead as we rolled back onto tarmac.

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    On the corner of the A684 road we found the Aysgarth Garage... a unique petrol station, variety store, garage in an old dealership building, with a couple of beautifully restored roadsters on display. And they had the fuses I needed to fix the grips. Just over the river from Aysgarth, we turned south onto B6160 at West Burton.

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    Just past the village of Arncliffe... meaning "Eagle's Cliff" in old English.... we stumbled into a dramatic limestone landscape.

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    I haven't been able to find out it's name....of course it has one... but it's an impressive limestone canyon, with steep cliff-walls on both sides.

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    A couple of riders heading our way.

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    The Buck Inn, Malham

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    We ended up in Keighley, at the Dalesgate Hotel. Friendly, if a little tatty, and far enough from the center of town to require a bit of a hike for dinner.

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  17. Bobbrecken

    Bobbrecken Been here awhile

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    Once again I am in awe of the places and roads you find along with the great photography. On my Mexican trip in March I was wishing I had my TW so I could slow down and see things.
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  18. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Thanks, Bob. It's interesting that you mention the roads and places... since I was just about to bring that up. In planning our trips I normally sketch out a very loose direction we'll travel...then each evening, we'll look for lodging online in the direction we plan to go. Once we figure out a destination, I'll sit down with the maps and GPS and look for an interesting route to get there. I pick each road, I don't let the Garmin do the routing. One of the resources I relied on for this trip was a population density map... aiming for the lower density places. And now we've worked our way south through the light colored areas. We've reached the black belt that cinches the waist of England... the densely populated sprawl of the cities of Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and a dozen more. The old industrial heartland of the UK.
    I was apprehensive... what would we find? Will the roads be too fast for the little TW's?... too crowded?
    Only one way to find out.....

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  19. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Thursday, October 4th

    Downtown Keighley on a Thursday morning.

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    South, out of town.

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    And into more traffic at Queensbury. The trailer in front is full of bags of kindling, all cut and split. Headed to market?

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    Town and country rub shoulders. The Victoria Tower, built in 1899 for the Queen's 60th year on the throne, overlooks the market town of Huddersfield. 162,000 people live there.
    We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto!

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    A break in the traffic...you can see a gaggle up ahead.

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    She said, "I really don't think it's pronounced 'Penis'-Tone" I snickered like a schoolboy, and suggested she might like to visit.

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    We're riding south on a low ridge. Wind turbines ahead... always a good sign that we'll find open space.

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    We turned off the busier road (A616, I think) and then circled around a reservoir.

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    … and out the back way.

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    an old market track... just a farmer's road these days.

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    We followed the high ground for quite a ways, and then dropped steeply down through a rutted dog-leg into the dale beyond.

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    We've reached the eastern side of the Peak District National Park. The peaks are not immediately apparent.

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    But it's the southern end of the Pennines… the hills that we've been following the past few days. You can't follow the hills on a north-south line, there's just a few roads through them and we're relegated to riding along the edge of the park. The Pennine Way, England's oldest walking trail is the only way along the ridge.

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    Boot's Folly is a tower built in the 1920's overlooking Strines Reservoir. We're only 8 miles west of the city of Sheffield.

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    Past Low Bradfield and we start to rise up to the moors.

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    We're deeper into the park now, and there begins to be roads we can follow south.

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    The high, rocky ridge seems almost out of place. You could film a western here.

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    The other side of the road, the moor slopes away, then falls into the valley.

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    Downhill. We find another road that traces the line between moor and field.

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    Green pasture on one side.... russet heath on the other.

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    And then into the well groomed suburbs once again. It's early afternoon and quiet.

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    We ended up in Cromford, a narrow little valley with the Alison House Hotel built on the hill above.

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    The hotel was very nice, located in what was once the grand house built by the Arkwright family, who owned the mill in the valley, just a short walk down Intake lane.

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    The Cromford Mills has been preserved, and these days has some small shops located in the old buildings. We had a coffee on a table outside, and admired the solid old mill.

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    It's part of the Derwent Valley World Heritage site... the birthplace of the industrial revolution. It looks a lot like the mills that line Rhode Island's river valleys, or once did, anyway. I worked in more than one of them.
    Sir Richard Arkwright designed and built several key machines, the spinning frame, a rotary carding engine, all based on the new technology of water power. But it was his organizational skills, combing new technology with semi-skilled labor and the new raw material of cotton, that earned him the accolade "father of the industrial revolution."
    Sir Arkwright had an apprentice...a young Samuel Slater.

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    We live in the town of Coventry, Rhode Island. One of the old villages that make up our town is called Arkwright, named after the Arkwright Manufacturing Company, that built a large mill complex and factory houses along the Pawtuxet River over 200 years ago. Samuel Slater was an enterprising young man, and paid close attention to his mentor's work. So close, in fact, that he was able to leave England and move to Rhode Island, where he re-created the plans and the machines that had launched the industrial revolution. Strict English law prohibited the spread of this technology, and was he caught with the blueprints, it would have meant his life. This wasn't long after the War of Independence, and the rules were strict.
    Young Samuel convinced the Brown family, slave traders and the founders of Brown University, to back his venture. He built his first mill in Pawtucket, and Rhode Island was on its way to being the cradle of the industrial revolution in the US. James DeWolf, another wealthy Rhode Island slave trader, wanted in on the action, and he and some partners formed the Arkwright Manufacturing Company that built the mill and its village in our own hometown, and named the company after the English inventor.

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    Until we arrived and looked around, I had no idea of the connection to home. The Arkwright Mill was the last of the old textile mills in use in the town of Coventry. Much of it has been torn down. Some survives as apartments and senior housing.
    There was more amazing technology here in the Derwent River valley. The canal. This was before railroads, mind you, and meant Sir Arkwright's products could be easily transported to a wider world. What was once a bustling waterway is now a quiet backwater... the towpath is open to walkers and bicyclists, the smooth water enjoyed by kayakers... and ducks.

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    ...and if you time it right, you can take a ride in a canal boat. (but not on Thursday evening.)

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    We walked back up the hill, with traffic along the narrow road grown to an evening hustle and bustle. We had dinner at the hotel, set in what's now a leafy suburb of the city of Matlock. They let us leave our bikes just outside the door.

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  20. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,695
    Location:
    Sherwood, Oregon
    Terrific couple of updates @Rhode trip, so glad this popped up for me again. Honestly, the pictures you take are truly stunning. The contrast between the blue skies, puffy white clouds, and variety of landscapes is awe-inspiring. What a phenomenal way to experience the countryside, thank you for sharing it with all of us.

    And I never would have considered looking at a population density map to plan routes/rides - that's frickin' brilliant :thumb

    There were so many comments and pictures from the last two updates I wanted to quote that it'd take me a day to compile. Suffice to say, I'm so happy this thread continues, the escape it provides me personally is significant. Thank you for taking the time, it's appreciated more than you likely know :-) :-)
    Nicknewb, Rhode trip and Robthekiwi like this.