Saturday, 27 November 2010


Friday.  Theoretically an easy day after Thursday's track session.  I decided to search out the sun and opted to revisit a training route rarely covered having moved from the west part of town to the east.
  Parking up just past the college the first mile up to the Swastika Stone felt harder than it used to.  What is only really a slope now was felt as a hill!  But at least the going underfoot is good with the trail having been significantly improved. 
  Reaching the Swastika Stone the trail ends. The cloudless skies make for excellent visibility and  the whole of Wharfedale can be taken in for miles.  The holes in the wall make stopping compulsory. More so now metal gates have been added across the gaps and give opportunity for a few shots.   Some what jumbled above.
  I am not ,however, enjoying the rocky path.  Years ago I would have danced along this mile up to Windgate Nick.  Today my pace is much slower; progress cautious and painstaking.  But what the heck, it's an easy day!   Three walkers ahead, one of them asks me if I am training for THE marathon.......where do I begin in answering that one, I think......but just settle for ..."No, don't run them anymore".
  On reaching Windgate Nick,  with the temperature barely above freezing, I am not tempted to sit on the bench and soak in the view;  but take time for a couple of shots,  amazed that Pendle Hill is visible way in the distance.
  I also took time to examine a  new addition to the scene, the stone memorial to the crew members of an RAF MK II deHaviland  Mosquito aircraft which crashed into the Addingham High Moor hillside in 1943.
The plane was apparently returning from RAF Coltishall in Norfolk to base at RAF Church Fenton near York.  Mystery is why is crashed 28 miles west of its base.   The pilot and navigator were both killed.
At this time of remembrance the stone memorial is decorated with the tricolor roundel of the RAF.
 Often at this point I have stayed high and run back along the wallside to the masts at Keighley Gate but yesterday I turned and slithered precariously down the frozen hillside , returning back to Ilkley via Addingham Moorside for 6 miles in all.
 It was a good thing I chose to retrace old familiar ground on the ridge yesterday because today overnight snow will be masking those rocky path from Swastika Stone to Windgate Nick making going very slow indeed.
 As I sit here writing this the hillside opposite is once again bathed in November sunshine and looks inviting.
But underfoot conditons will doubtless be treacherous and the near freezing temperatures don't help the breathing so I might just settle for the treadmill.  I say might.....

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