Tixall to Hem Heath
29th October 2010
15 Miles - 10 Locks - 7 Hours
Maybe Tixall wasn't quite such a good idea. A storm blew up overnight and we rattled and bumped our way through the night, needing a nocturnal sortie to tighten the mooring ropes but nothing could stop the howling through the air vents.
Hoo Mill Lock
The wind maintained its vigour all way, sighing through the trees, pushing the bows this way and that and filling the air with leaves. All very attractive but a bit of a pain.
The stretch from Gr Haywood to Stone is never on of my favourites. The upper Trent valley, like the lower, is broad and featureless and can seem somewhat humdrum. But every canal seems to has a season and late autumn is the time to make this trip. The leaves were a riot of colour and were a joy to behold, intersperseded with Pendelino's zipping along the adjoining tracks.
Another good thing about this time of year is the absence of other boats. We pretty much had the place to ourselves as we crept along the lonely miles in glorious isolation.
A bonus was meeting Nebulae exiting the lock at the Star at Stone. Chris and Maralyn were returning from the Caldon Canal and the chance meeting gave us the opportunity to thank them for the loan of the book.
Wand'ring Bark at Trentham Lock
We had planned to reach Etruria today, but in the event the light started to fail and we decided to stop in the cutting at Hem Heath. Whats more, we were not too excited about Etruria on a Friday night where hassle is more than an outside possibility.
Shame about Wedgwood