Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Cod Beck Reservoir

© Crown Copyright 2010

Image produced from Ordnance Survey's Get-a-map service.
Image reproduced with permission of Ordnance Survey and
Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.
Yesterday, Amy, Daniel and I went for a walk around Cod Beck Reservoir, just North of Osmotherley in the North Yorkshire Moors. I've provided a map of the area (see left), although we didn't have one at the time. No map, no compass, no watch... We were very poorly equipped which shouldn't matter, of course, if your just wandering round the lake and back. However, we went off a bit further, through the woods, leaving the paths behind, to the edge of Pamperdale Moor.

There was very little chance of us getting lost, of course. We just had to keep turning left to get back to where we started from. But it was great to wander around off the path, with no names for the places we found ourselves in, and no idea of the time. I realised I was conditioned to know exactly where I was and when it was most of the time and to be without this information felt good, liberating.

We began with a conventional, anticlockwise circuit of the reservoir from the car park, setting off East-ish into the woods once we'd crossed the dam. A faint track leading off the hard-core path was irresistible. There were some interesting ruins, still standing among the pine trees, and the trees were far enough apart for it to be possible to walk between them. It was a magical place: and a great place to lie down, as we did, on the soft pine needles of the forest floor and look up at the light filtering through the high branches. Break over, we continued up through the woods to the fence at the edge (although we didn't know it at the time) of Pamperdale Moor. From there we turned back into the forest and kept exploring until we came to a gate further up the same fence. Here was a sign: there was to be no camping and no walking off the way-marked track. It's amusing to come upon these signs from behind - only to then examine the front to see what it is you shouldn't have done.

We followed a path back to the dam and continued the conventional circuit, singing a Syd Barrett song:

I've got a bike
You can ride it if you like
It's got a basket, a bell that rings
And things to make it look good.
I'd give it to you if I could,
But I borrowed it.
We came to a very climbable tree at the water's edge, so we climbed it. We sat in it's branches for a while singing snatches of the song, like hippie birds.


Von said...

You old and neo-hippies you! nice time!

Niamh B said...

the dog officially wants to go and live with you

Poet in Residence said...

Re map: a viewing point symbol and also some National Trust land. Looks an interesting area.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I shall scan the local paper carefully on Friday in case anyone saw or heard these strange birds up in a tree.

George said...

You are truly protean, Dominic. Last week, you were climbing out the mud from one of your enviable swims, and now we find you as a hippie bird perched in a tree singing. We need photos, my friend, proof that you continue to go through these transformations weekly.

It sounds like a lovely, discovery-filled walk with your friends. It's always a joy to get a little lost, to walk in the mystery of life without too many roadsigns.

Ann O'Dyne said...

Dom, Dan, Amy,
Sitting in a tree.
Not lost-in-woods,