Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!

A reprise in reverse

18th December 2018

In my previous post on here, I mentioned the idea of having a fallback when inspiration is scarce for one reason or another. Fatigue can cause this as much as being otherwise engaged. As I found for a few years, it also can be the cause of your repeating yourself and that theme pervades this trip report.

The walk itself followed a route that I had traced several times before. Some of these are recounted on here and one from November 2012 prefaced an episode of considerable turbulence in my life that blended with others to make up the course of several years. The difficulty with going over old ground is finding something new to say along the way. To resolve that, you need to say a little more about a hike’s place in a sequence of life events.

April 2017 was to see the start of a spring sabbatical from work and that itself was the start of a sequence that led to my taking a career break. A kind of tumult was coming my way, much like the more emotionally charged one that struck in December 2012. The situations differed, but the level of raw emotion was not so dissimilar.

Looking back on things now, the problem was in letting go of things. It is easy to set up a fairly pleasant life situation to be defended, but there always comes a time when relinquishing what you have and replacing it with something else is the better course. Hindsight reveals this to be a recurring theme even if it is not always so obvious at the time.

All of this was very far away on that last sunny Sunday in March 2017. After a fairly grey start to the year, this was a first sign of springtime and it came with a hint of summer. It was enough to get me out and about with many others getting the same idea. The preceding day saw me wander along the Goyt Valley and going from Disley to my home in Macclesfield was the leftover option of which I made good use.

Bollinhurst Reservoir, Disley, Cheshire, England

From my starting point at the village train station, I made for Lyme Park by way of the Gritstone Trail. Usually, I continue along the A6 before picking up another public footpath but it was too good to lose the chance of walking somewhere in midday sunshine that I only ever had seen under grey skies or in declining light. The track was largely quiet too, but that was not to last.

Lyme Hall and the Cage, Disley, Cheshire. England

Though Lyme Park was a busy place, there were deer to be seen and I dallied a while before I set about leaving humanity after me as I thought. The fine day made for a rather different outcome because it took until after Sponds Hill before I truly had my own wider stretch of surrounding space. Even so, I was reconciled to the fact and enjoyed what views lay about me.

Looking east from Sponds Hill, Pott Shrigley , Cheshire, England

This was one of those days when patient sharing was in order and that acceptance also applied to the pile of gravel left on the track itself. With pleasant surrounding views and the ability to continue moving, such a supposed irritation could be left after me. From an emotional standpoint, it proved ephemeral and that was just as well given what else was happening in my life and what was ahead of me.

The quieter stretch after Brink Farm allowed me to set my own pace and I stopped on a broken down stone wall for some lunch. By then, the sky was filling with clouds all the while but that verified the wisdom of my starting from Disley. Various added markers highlighted my growing proximity to Bollington as much as encountering more folk again.

At this stage, I was following paths and tracks that were so familiar to me, I could have got away without using a map. With well frequented stretches along both the Gritstone Trail and the Middlewood Way, the way home had a certain hint of autopilot mode about it as the walk came to its eventual end. The weekend had been good to me and more walking trips were to happen in 2017.

Travel Arrangements

Train from Macclesfield to Disley with a change at Stockport

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