One of our regular routines, especially on a damp weekend, involves searching out the blackest, clartiest tracks & trails.
The Black Trod, The Bogs, The not so Sandy Lonnen and the wellington swollowing Chilton Mire all fit the bill - but none can beat Sludgeletch.
Its a shit tip at the best of times, but the thaw coupled with a couple of crossers has resulted in paradise for a little boy with new goretex boots.
They are well & truly wraxed in now.
We dont play "Pooh sticks" here, its "Cider bottles" & i was in the lead heading towards the scrapyard, when my green torpedo became captured by the long arm of a Salix fragilis . . . his Purple was first to the tunnel, an obvious result.
Over the railings a vast assortment of freshly disguarded items wallowed in the Burn including a rugby ball, an exhausts back box & a large blue wheelie bin . . .
The old line at Sedgeletch. Bored - waiting to jump down.
Over the old rail lines & looking down thuther side & there was the bin again - had it set sail & beat us under the embankment while we were going over ?
No, we were mistaken this was a matching pair - well almost a match.
The difference was clear to hear.
The Dipper belting out his song from this huge new blue plastic rock ! - a thoughless piece of habitat creation ! Watched the pair prospecting nest sites - theyre never succesful this far up.
Found a new Ket shop & headed past Morton House.
Thick mist meant we couldnt see the other side of the field, nevermind the far bottom corner we wanted, so off we headed on what we thought was the bee-line.
After 50 yard we cut back in to the field edge due to raucous shouts from a couple of figures heading our way which were gradually appearing out of the murk.
Imediate impression were false as the shooting has come to an end.
All came clear with a piercing whistle & a black flash low across the ground.
We stood & watched a good while, 2 Black Labs being trained up - amazing watching them go back 50 yards the oppisite way to retrieve a couple of bags that had been dropped "blind".
Cutting back home after 5km mostly in the clarts, we guessed whether it would be a bike or a shopping trolley dumped over the footbridge . . . ?
- just like the bottles, the little won again . . . 3 trolleys it was.