I'd been planning a ramble over Ilkley Moor since the start of the month. I don't know the area that well, only having been there for the Jack Bloor fell race, but it's always seemed to be a good place to head on a decent day, and the lure of the trigs was an added incentive. The original plan was to do it by train, head to Ilkley and loop up and over, picking up two trigs on the moor before dropping down to Baildon, grabbing the two pillars there, then down to get the train back from Saltaire. Sundays, unfortunately aren't the best time for regularly spaced trains, so I decided to drive to Ilkely, pick up the first two and then drop back down.
|The Swastika on the Swastika stone|
I'd had my Minidisc on all day, and as I've said previously, music can lift me at a moments notice. At this point, any observers would have heard the "oh hell yes" and seen me start dancing along as "Call Me Al" came on. It's one of those songs that gets me going quite easily, and it came at a fantastic time, when I needed something to up the heart rate and warm me once more. Bouyed by a bit of Paul Simon I had a quick look at the map and realised I could bag 3 pillars, not just 2: The Rivock Edge trig wasn't far off, I had plenty of light, and it was an easy-ish track. I'd seen the Rivock trig when I was first planning the route, but it lay just a little too far off route for 'the big one'. Since I was on Plan B, why not add it in?
Through a short bit of pleasant wooded singletrack, then out into the middle of a whole chunk of felling operations. Joyous. Tilhill had kept the path clear of brash, which was nice of them, but the ground was still heavily cut up, so it wasn't the easiest of trails as I'd hoped, but I was soon out the other end and heading round the wall again before popping across the clear to trig 2 - the unplanned second album! This was a nice bonus to the day, and added a few k's to the general mileage. It's a shame it was boggy dogleg to get to, but the light and the view from the point were well worth it. And I'd remembered the mini-tripod today so getting a shot of myself at the trig was a possibility. I did, but I look so bad I'm not publishing it...
From there I dropped pretty directly back to White Wells, down the footpath, singing my little socks off and slipping and sliding on the muddy trail. I have to say, today has been one of the best days I'd had out on the fell in ages, and bar a couple of the steeper, soggier bits, I'd pretty much been smiling the entire way. The few people I passed on the descent must have looked at me with a mix of admiration and fear, for I was descending like... well... like a fell runner. And that can sometimes be scary.
I got back to the car and stopped the tracker at 18.1km in a shade over 3 hours, including stops. That leaves me just over 12km to do tomorrow to make it 150 miles in the month. I can be happy with that.