Sunday came as did a gap in the “Narnia” like conditions, so an adventure in the 4×4 was on the books! We filled a flask of coffee and wrapped some Eccles Cakes, threw some winter clobber and a snow shovel in the back and head north up the A1. The journey up to Knaresborough was free of incident and no snow on the road at all, just the usual wet stuff. Not a lot of folk were about, sensibly keeping off the roads and making it more pleasurably for me as I explored our new ride. Its a red Land RoverDefender 90 TD5 diesel and was born in 2003 of one previous owner. I felt we needed something different to use, and this is going to suit our purpose.
The THUG is a great looking car but I’m using it more often these days like a little truck, chucking logs in the back, lots and lots if logs for the log burner, I’ll be doing this on a regular basis, often I collect cut wood for various projects from the DIY place and recently a dozen sacks of sand… pond liner.. and of course by supermarket beer! I was having to Hoover, wash and wipe the car’s inside every time, wood shavings were getting everywhere, I could see at some point it would end in tears and I was going to either damage the inside car of get it stuck or scratched to death..Not a good thing to inflict on a car not yet 2 yrs old!
I know having a name for your wheels is probably not the coolest thing for some people to do. I just think it’s better then “the car” But don’t worry guys whatever I’m in or on at the time it will still get called BASTARRD! when it does summat wrong.
Anyway I digress. We turned off the A1 and drove through wet and empty Knaresborough and onto our first stop at pretty Ripley for a coffee and a little look round. The church bells were sounding out loud and folk made their way inside the old building for worship. Ripley is famous for ice cream too but this was not the day for it!
We just had a few minutes here to be honest, we left at 10.30 on our looping tour of North Yorkshire. We fired up and trundled off the cobbles square and turned left at the roundabout onto the B6165 heading through the villages of Bedlam and Burnt Yates. we ran along a ridgeline, down to our left into the valley and the rise on the opposite side was a black and white picture of white fields scored through with black lined hedgerows and inky splurges of trees and clumps of dwellings.
We drove some time along this road at a steady 45mph, plenty fast enough when on a sightseeing drive, we stopped frequently to look at the scenery. I find driving the Landi a somewhat rough, no nonsense, noisy but extremely satisfying experience, especially when a car comes around the corner and they see me coming towards them, many drivers have a distinct look of mild consternation on their faces as a big red chunky farm implement comes in their direction. Now don’t get me wrong, I slow down when passing on the narrow roads and am careful, driving is new to me and the LANDI is even newer, but I’ve noticed some drivers don’t treat passing as a joint responsibility and expect the other guy to get out of THEIR way. This is something very new to me!
In my world of motorbikes the phrase plenty of room means not a lot to car people, even Julie squirms a bit and start “harrumping” and clearing her throat in muted panic! In the car she is NEXT to me and can see whats occurring whereas on the bike she is BEHIND me and just enjoys the ride.
Last week I overtook a slow truck on a long straight bit of road as another lorry was coming towards up, I pulled out and accelerated but not quick enough, so did a leisurely gear change in doing so slowed a tad before booting the bastarrd. F**K**G hell David! she shouted and her back went rigid, she shouted so loud it made me jump! Don’t worry love I said as I sped past the slow truck there’s plenty of room The other truck seemed to me to be a long way off. Another time as I approached a roundabout in sleepy Snaith two cars sat and looked at each other, one eventually began to pull out but I had the momentum and was halfway round before he noticed and again I swear there was “plenty of room”…the geezer was quite upset and remonstrated at me from way over the other side of the roundabout. I don’t feel I’m a selfish or dangerous driver, in fact dad says I am friendly and am always waving drivers out at junctions etc. I don’t think I’m bigger better or faster. I just think there is plenty of room.
I’m digressing again I know..sorry! We rode, I mean drove down into the beautiful village of Pateley Bridge, again it was empty, devoid of winter tourists, the weather folk really had warned people off, or we as a nation were finally getting to grips with the reoccurring winter conditions, today though all the A and B roads were clear of any snow.
Even the ancient sweeti shop was closed, we drove down to the bridge and back up the other side, driving up to the rise and entered the Yorkshire Dales National Park at Stump Cross Cavern. The snow was thicker up here and it was a lot colder with an eye watering wind and still the roads were clear, I pulled over to let some fast movers get by then found a lay bye to take some photo’s.
We went up Grengow Hill passing the farm with the fluttering Union Jack and Morris Minor parked up beneath it, then through Hebden Grassington then joined the road to Kilnsey Crag. These names will no doubt become world-famous when the lycra circus comes to town, the flabulous..the stupendous..The Tour De France! A pot of tea and scones with cream and Jam for two already costs £7. No doubt the price during the cycling event will go through the roof.
There is an excellent pub under the overhanging Crag, We have stopped of here many times and they do wonderful food. If your hungry make sure you don’t have the quail. I had it once and quite frankly I’ve seen more meat on a Sparrows legs!! I wanted quantity not quality on this occasion, my biking pal Barry took the rise out of my disappointment no end.
We rode on into Kettlewell along the finest B road stopping here and there to gawp at the familiar landscape but in an unfamiliar dressing of pure white.
It must have been feeding time for the sheep as they al huddled together stuffing their faces, the colours on their backs are painted on by the farmers as indicators / information, I’m not in the know as to what exactly but I do watch “Countryfile” a lot.
I guess gathering in a group is good for warmth and protection…unless you are a mole of course!
Here on the fence hang five of forty-one deceased moles. They were strung up like Christmas decorations on the fence by the side of the road. Once again Ive no idea why. Perhaps the mole catcher is showing
A) The is showing his hunting prowess to the general public
B) Warning Moles to keep orff moi laand, but surely this wont work as Moles are blind aren’t they?
C) The Farmer is a retard.
Below is an extract from Wikipedia
Excavations of Ancient Roman sites have revealed countless earthenware pots that are buried into the ground. It is believed that the pots were filled with water and acted as a trap for moles; it was a simple yet deadly trap, as any mole that would fall into the pot would drown in the water. As time wore on, traps used to catch and kill moles have become more advanced and complicated. The traps have gone from being earthenware pots to being wood, and eventually steel, traps that were designed to ensnare any mole that passed under them. A popular material for building traps is clay. Clay retains little scent of the human beings that set the trap.
Traditional molecatchers travelled from farm to farm in order to catch moles. The molecatcher’s clients would provide food and lodgings. Also, the molecatcher would be paid for every mole caught; he would earn extra money by selling the moleskin to fur dealers. Also, until quite recently, plumbers used moleskin to “wipe”, or finish, joints in lead piping.
In more modern times (late 19th-early 20th century), British molecatchers were paid over 50p by farmers and gardeners for every mole caught. Fur dealers and plumbers would pay several pence a piece for each of the moleskin. Since the removal of Strychnine from the UK market in 2006 there has been a revival of traditional molecatching in Britain.
We moved on from the scene of the crime taking the low road out of Kettlewell to Hubberholme, a few winters ago I came down here was on one our “play days” in my mates Land Rover Lightweight ex army vehicles and the road was under water by about two feet, today was better though very rutted and potted to death like an old Bulgarian road. we followed the quiet river until we switched to the other side and climbed up the side of the hill.
It was very very cold, the wind tore through the layers of clothes and made us scurry for the relative warmth inside ou red tin box! On saying that the view was wonderful and another coffee from the flask with Eccles cake was consumed.
We reversed our track back to Hawes, driving through and counting a dozen or more various mk of and Rover, Disovery..Freelander..Vogue..Series II’s and a couple of defenders. It makes a lot of sence to be in one in these conditions, then of course the motorbike takes over from April thru to November..bring it on!
We followed our nose down to Aysgarth Falls for a quick look and watched a little car struggle to get into the car park, it was a bit steep and he eventually gave up, to reverse / slither backwards to the main road.
From here we drove to Leyburn for a last cuppa and the last of the Eccles cakes. It was still cold and wet but we had clear roads all day, of course that’s if you drove on the right roads. Also on this day a friend and his and his wife got the adventure spirit took a drive in the Dales too but they went on the wild side.. on the white unmarked roads in a puny fiesta and ran into all sorts of drama’s…and snow..several feet of it! I spoke to them last night and are both safe and sound, the poor lad feels suitably self chastised, the main thing they are safe cheating mother Nature and had a great time with an adventure to tell at the pub, Mother Nature got her own back this morning and slightly pranged his pride and joy on the way into work. Oh the joys of motoring!
Thank you Mother Nature for showing Yorkshire in its fine winter cloth and thank you Wifey for showing the world your nerves of steel I love you loads!