Friday 2 July 2010

Bushcraft saunter

A flurry of messages hurrying north and south and Rachel arranged to pick me up in Chesterfield on the Monday. We headed over to the Peak district in the Hathersage area; the day was hot and we where a tad lethargic. Rachel had an area in mind for an overnight stop, a peaceful, wooded area. In fact it was at one time the scene of a massive industry, a quarry that covered many acres, now quietly returning to nature. Evidence of quarrying was everywhere, gigantic millstones lay half buried in the undergrowth, scattered wily nilly like giant quoits; man made terraces and old tramways, rock faces gouged and blasted. Finding an idyllic grassy spot among the prolific silver birches, we pitched the tarps. Casting about we found a large boulder that, when moved aside and checked to make sure no wildlife was being disturbed made for the basis of a fireplace. Before anyone screams irresponsibility, fire risk was foremost in our minds, the fire pit that was created was on a part of an old stone laid trackway, the surrounding grass was carefully peeled back and there was water on hand at all times when the fire was lit, the fire itself was kept small and when finished with was thoroughly doused, the boulder and grass replaced leaving no trace. Rachel is an excellent bushcraft cook and dinner, note, dinner not supper, was fresh fish baked in hot embers, roast vegetables and baked potatoes, a sumptuous meal. It rained during the night but we where snug under our tarps.The early morning was surprisingly a tad chilly but the day soon warmed. A cup of tea and a breakfast of Dundee cake, it was meant for the previous evening but we both had eaten enough; it made for a good breakfast. A stroll back to the car and then off for a short walk across the moors rewarded with the treat of an ice cream. A wander around a local gear shop, gear porn is addictive and many items where ogled and fondled and then it was back to Chesterfield. A short but good trip out with an enjoyable overnight stop.