Last week we decided to go explore some green lanes in North Yorkshire. The weather wasn’t promising but we were in the Land Rovers so a day of rain should be of no consequence. I filled a flask with coffee and packed some sandwiches. I have to say it was a nice change not to be pulling on several layers before squeezing into biker winter gortex clothes then shrink wrapping the whole form in waterproof kit (which never are) THEN pulling on helmet and gloves THEN feeling the need to pee! It was like a god damned medieval ritual. I’m not knocking motor biking just the long winded preparations prior to a wet day on the roads!
Julie waved me off at 07.30 I turned onto the main road turning up the old cassette player to listen to some Style Council, the drizzle warranted the little wipers on speed No2 and the window to be opened just a tad to combat the misting effect, the noisy hot/cold blowers competed initially with Paul Weller until I gave him ownership of the volume, the knob was now turned fully to the right and the concert was in session.
Grey cloud was above me and a damp drizzle made the early start dull, I flicked the switch once then twice to bring on all the lights, I drove down the slip road onto the M180 beginning my journey to Ferry bridge power station on the M62 and the RV point with the other adventurers, I was there in about twenty minutes, I pulled into the vast car park to see a white Land Rover 110 just pulling in this was Dave and Helen, I drove straight across to them and shouted “Hiya” We had a few minutes chatting then the map came out and was spread over my bonnet as Rob arrived in his black Land Rover 90. “Nah then Rob” we greeted in unison and another map came out! Dave thought we would go visit some old roads and see if they were still suitable and more important check to see if they are still open to vehicles. He had extensive plots in different colours and points of interest with red dots. After some pointing and a few hummmms……a loose plan formulated and we tapped at Kilburn, a small village near Thirsk in North Yorkshire, It was at the bottom of a particular hill with a chalk white horse. Mistress Garmin would guide is on the last few miles, as it happens the visibility went down to a couple of yards so was a handy tool to be using.
Thats me through the back window. with thanks to Helen Hoole for the first of many photos from today!
We checked the CB radios making sure we were on the same channel; I left my map on the seat, electing to just concentrate on the driving and sticking close to whoever would be in front. Julie was busy with other things so I didn’t have a navigator today. We drove the short run on the M62 before turning north on the A1, traffic was very light and I settled in the middle of our group of three. It was still dark grey and the drizzle was still coming down but that didn’t matter, our spirits were high as the days adventure began.
The car park under the White Horse chalk carving was soon reached but it was so misty we didn’t see it. Maps came out as tea was brewed.
A “Wherethehellarewe” moment perhaps?
Dave had his map marked up with old routes after a mug of tea we decided on a route and set off back down the hill in the pea souper, pausing at the bottom to turn left into some bushes and……well that was that really for the next couple of hours! The mist the fog and the foliage put paid to any descriptions except to say it was very up and down, muddy and bumpy.
I learnt lesson No 1 within seconds and that was to wind the bloody window up because I was getting thrashed with twigs and wet leaves, the CB crackled into life now and again with destructions and advice. I paused to shove my seat more forward, I needed to reach the CB with ease and to get to the second shorter gearstick this controlled the diff and let me select high and low box. It was great fun I just wish I knew where the hell we were.
Dave Moulds and the 110 captured by Helen again
Dave captures me this time as I speed through a deep puddle for effect
Rob finds a way down the craggy road
Helen waits to capture Dave in a more dramatic lean
Map time again for Rob and Dave
So with honest vagueness I can say we started somewhere near Thirsk, came out on top of Sutton Bank went north and came out on the Helmsley to Stokesley road via Ingleby Greenhow and we drove part lane and part tarmac. We now passed through Helmsley heading towards Pickering before turning left somewhere onto a small lane onto the North Yorkshire Moors again.
Dave “Overlander” Moulds
A muddy and deeply rutted hill made worse by a burst pipe.
Rob had several goes at the hill but it beat us today we turned around and tried a different route.
All day we went along lanes and byways and a couple of river crossings…well they were just fords really but to me as a novice they could have easlily been the Zambezi River!
We crossed the ford one vehicle at a time, exciting stuff!
some sections were only a mile or less some longer. This is the second time in the truck up around these parts and again it was poor visibility, hopefully the next time I will be lucky with clear views. Every now and again I recognised the road or the village so I knew roughly where I was.
A pub in darkest Pickering.
We stopped for two pints of lager and a packet of crisps in a pub in Pickering, we decided we would carry on to Scarborough about 20 miles away and have tea. This time we stuck to the roads and came into Scarborough at the park end to take in he sea front drive on the way to the harbour car park. Unfortunatly it was blocked off right at the other endby essential winter maintenance so we had to turn around and come back togo up and through the town before eventually to park by the lifeboat station and have dinner in the nearby fish restaurant.
Rob and Dave lead the way inside
Two very dirty trucks and one very grubby driver! Captured on film by either Dave of Helen.
I was so muddy and looked a right sight but I didn’t care I was hungry so marched in confidently hoping we hadn’t dragged half the countryside in with us. It was pitch black by the time we were ready to leave and another detour stood in our way.
Helen takes a nice photo of the late evening sun trying to shine through the grotty window of Dave’s 110.
The A64 was shut at Sherburn so a detour back to Pickering then to Malton before picking up the A64 homebound. We suddenly ran into a gigantic thunderstorm with sheet lightening. Land Rover wipers are not the best of things and we had them on No3 setting and slowed down to 50mph, it was a hell of a downpour I was straining to see Rob in front and follow his turns because the A64 had no streetlights at this point. We called each other occasionally on the CB it was a few miles of concentration. Around York it eased off to just showers as we pulled off and head towards Selby on the A19. We left Dave in Scarborough and now I left Rob to carry on the last thirty odd miles on my own. The blowers were on full blast keeping the condensation at bay, Tina Turner was singing at the top of her voice and I had a smile as long as a week on my face. I’d had great fun today and was looking forward to the next time already. I walked into the house about 21.00hrs filthy tired and happy, I dropped my clothes at the door to be shovelled up later and padded to the bathroom for a shower. Oh what a fun day that was! “So did you enjoy it and where did you go then?”……… Julie aske