High Offley to Calf Heath
4th and 5th November 2012
This trip is very bittersweet. On one hand a trip along the Shropshire Union in autumn is achingly beautiful, but on the other it represents the last significant outing of the boating season. Oh sure, there will be the odd day trip over the winter but past experience tells me that from mid November to mid February the boat will see little action beyond some concentrated maintenance work.
High Onn church
But the maintenance work started on Sunday morning when I attended to the end of season oil change, always an unpleasant job due to the contortions I have to endure as I squeeze my 6ft 3in frame into the small confines of the engine bay beneath the cruiser stern. I can do it, but each year it seems to get harder.
Wheaton Aston lock
With rain lashing down all around us we were blessed by glorious weather, maybe a little frosty to start with but the sun shone forcing us into sunglasses as we peered into the glare.
Fellow Bloggers - No Problem and Chertsey
The Sunday start was a slow affair, starting with a cooked breakfast and then a walk up the the church in High Offley, eventually getting started at 12.30 when half the daylight was gone. But no matter, our destination was only Wheaton Aston, passing No Problem moored and empty awaiting some major TLC at Norbury Wharf.
Today was the day of Herons, stalking fish and winging silently in front of us.
A handful of Herons
Along the way we focused on Rosehips for Rosehip Cordial, picking from the many bushes which line the canal. There is no end to this plant, its everywhere but the trick it to fine a bush with large hips - it makes the topping and tailing so much easier.
We stopped on the visitor moorings and were treated to our very own firework display which we watched by simply drawing the curtains back.
The final run on Monday was as lovely as the preceding three days, with bright sun over ice coated puddles. Along the way we passed Chertsey / Bakewell but with no sign of Sarah who was probably up in Sheffield.
And so the trip ended with a shopping list of winter jobs to be completed, including the replacement of the mattress and more significantly, the replacement of the pump out loo with a cassette - we really are passing the Rubicon with that one!