Reservoir Round Trip

I knew it was going to be a bright, frosty morning so despite having over-Guinnessed (oh dear) from the night before, I headed off up onto the moors with the dog.
I’m joining some others in february to walk up Snowdon – so any and all exercise at this stage has got to be good 🙂

I had a vague plan to head to Black Hill, the apex of a big (well, 12 mile) circular I’ve planned out that, for various reasons, I haven’t done in its entirety yet.
So I headed up along the Wessenden reservoirs with the end target being Black Hill. That’s pretty much up hill and due south from me. But, doh – school boy error, I hadn’t brought my shades and after half an hour of squinting into the low hanging winter sun, I changed my mind.
A really low, really bright directly-in-front-of-me sun was a bit too much for this over-Guinnessed man and it would have been the same for another couple of hours.

So I joined the Pennine Way path that turns west just before the deer farm and walked over to and around Black Moss and Swellands reservoirs. Both constructed back in the late 1700’s I think, to feed the  canal that runs through the Colne valley below.

Icicles in winter shade
It was warmish in the sun but any shadows meant ice (and also under foot).

I had to watch my step .. there was black ice on some of the paving stones that are used to keep the path above the boggiest parts up there. Apart from focussing on the dog not pulling me onto black ice, I was pretty lost in thought for quite a bit of the hike. My lovely father in law, Ian, died last Sunday and that and thoughts going back to when my mum died a few years back,  made for a reflective kind of a morning. But I wasn’t feeling totally glum, the sun and the glinting frost on the coppers, taupe and rusts of the moorland grasses was lovely. And I passed a few others out on hikes. No long conversations but you could tell everyone was glad to be up high under wide blue skies on such a beautiful day.

dog heading off the photo on the marsden moors
Looking towards Swellands res and then Pule Hill. When she wasn't pulling me onto the black ice of the paved sections Brodie was lurching into peat ditches..

At one point I could hear some geese flying over, before spotting 2 wide Vs really high up in the blue. I think I’m right in saying that Canada Geese over winter down in the valley (I see a lot in fields alongside the canal most years) but they visit the high reservoirs also.. you have to watch where you tread sometimes .. geese crap everywhere.
I shot a quick bit of phone-camera video but looking at it now you can’t see them at all well and the blustery wind makes it hard to hear them. But if you don’t know the area you’ll get a feel for the moors at this time of year.

Guest appearance from non-plussed, always-wanting-to-move-on dog, Brodie:


The Snowdon trip will be a couple of weeks after Ian’s funeral and  although it was organised a while back and by others , I’m going to make my part of it a sponsored thing and raise some money for the British Heart Foundation. I’ll post about that soon I think.

Thanks for reading and I hope all is good with you wherever and whenever you read this.

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7 thoughts on “Reservoir Round Trip

  1. You’ll know then, Mark, that ‘Brodie’ is Gaelic for ‘ditch’ or ‘muddy place’? Very appropriate given the picture of your dog… One of my best friends has a daughter named Brodie – she took the news of her name’s origins remarkably well.

  2. You’ll know then, Mark, that ‘Brodie’ is Gaelic for ‘ditch’ or ‘muddy place’? Very appropriate given the picture of your dog… One of my best friends has a daughter named Brodie – she took the news of her name’s origins remarkably well.

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