Let the dice decide – a walk around Marsden

I had a couple of hours to spare this afternoon to get out for a bit of a walk with the hound.  Actually, I never have time to spare, too many projects in the go, maybe ‘allocated’ is a better phrase. And yes I did *some* chores, although not as many as I *should* have of course.

Anyway – with a couple of hours to hit the hills, I was wondering where to go. I considered one of the Walkers Are Welcome  walks I haven’t done yet or maybe heading straight up the hill to the Heritage Trail to get some views?

The subject of how / why I choose one walk over another has been front of mind for a couple of days, as I’m taking part in a long-range survey (over August). I can’t say anything much as have been asked not to by the organisers but suffice to say that the act of being observed must have impacted my behaviour!

And impacted it to the extent that the idea of using a dice to decide where to go came to mind. Not something I’ve ever done before. I’m not sure why it popped into my head other than I was musing “head out through back of the house and up the hills, or head out the front door and towards the canal and the hills? hmm” and to let a dice decide seemed an interesting idea. I read the Dice Man years ago (now that’s a teenage thought provoker of a book ..) and I know there’s also a school of travel (and an old TV programme?) that uses dice to decide where to go next. My ambitions were less, well, ambitious. Mooch about with the dog on a 2 hour journey, with any major intersection maneuvers decided by the roll of a dice. Or the tap of my phone as it happened – there’s an App for everything!

So that’s what we did.. ‘surrendered to the dice’ which is slightly unsettling to start with but worked out fine. I had a notional ‘get out of jail card’ rule that if the dice has me turning into a field full of cows or through a farm-yard etc I’d over-rule it/them. But it did result in a meandering trip up the hills, along a nettle-cramped path (thanks dice), back down into the valley (I wanted to stay high up but seemed a bit too soon to be bending the rules..) , through some industrial heritage (Bank Bottom Mill) , back up the hill, along one of the reservoirs (and more industrial heritage) and then home .. all decided by the dice. Throwing an Even meant turn right or straight on, throwing an Odd meant left or straight on (depending on angle of the paths). I didn’t come across any 3 or 4-way paths otherwise I’d have had to devise a new ‘instruction’ from the dice.
I added to the ‘serendipitousness factor’ by taking photos with the Vignette camera app. You can set it to have ‘random’ light leaks. Yes it is digital not analogue but letting an algorithm change how a photo will look seemed to tie in with the dice-vibe of the journey.

The dice took me on a couple of paths I hadn’t actually walked before, even in the short time we had. And it also took me up to Butterley reservoir, an area I know well and would probably have chosen not to walk up as it’s too familiar, as it were. But I got to see the drained Res, so for those two reasons in themselves it was a worthwhile, enjoyable ‘theme’ for a walk.

Here are the photos :

Field marsden
Looking down to the village – and my house (hidden behind first house you see, mid photo)
Bank Bottom Mill Marsden
Bank Bottom Mill Marsden
The Shut Gate path marsden
The Shut Gate path – not one I normally use but Dice decreed it so.
Looking down to Bank Bottom Mill
Looking down to Bank Bottom Mill – Binn House area
Old Cottage above Binn Road Marsden - Binn House area
Old Cottage above Binn Road Marsden – Binn House area. Houses down on Binn road peeking through the window..
nettle path marsden
A nettle crowded path – thanks Dice – with Brodie looking down to Bank Bottom Mill
Sheep near Binn Road Marsden
Sheep near Binn Road Marsden
A look into Bank Bottom Mil Marsden
A look into Bank Bottom Mil Marsden .. about the only tantalising glimpse you get of the vast complex here.
Bank Bottom Mill Marsden
Bank Bottom Mill Marsden
Butterley Reservoir Spillway side steps
Butterley Reservoir Spillway side steps – there’s been a bit of a groundswell of local action via the local facebook page to clean up these old steps. I did my bit on the way up and pulled up some weeds. Thanks to the Dice for taking me in this direction.
Butterley Reservoir Spillway side steps
Butterley Reservoir Spillway side steps – weeding hasn’t reached this far yet!
Butterley Reservoir Spillway
Butterley Reservoir Spillway – currently dry as it is being drained and very eery it felt too.
Butterley Reservoir Spillway
Butterley Reservoir Spillway
Butterley Reservoir - looking upthe Wessenden valley
Butterley Reservoir – looking up the Wessenden valley
Butterley Reservoir
Butterley Reservoir – the intriguing sight of drained Res.

8 thoughts on “Let the dice decide – a walk around Marsden

  1. Interesting way of deciding the route. I’m gonna have to try that (somewhere familiar). Reminds me of Dave Gorman a few years back making all his life decisions based on his daily horoscope readings.

    • That does sound a like Dave Gorman thing to do Chris!
      And yes I think somewhere familiar is a good place to start.. so no walking into fields with a Bull or off that old quarry edge .. although like SatNav, you can and should over-ride the dice if ‘it’ has clearly made a wrong ‘choice’ for you 😉

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