As we fair weather cyclists are still wimping out of pedalling due to cold, ice, and dull dank drizzle, a couple of us set off yesterday in an attempt to retain some level of fitness and justify intake of cake, chocolate and wine and provide a small dog with a good run through the countryside. In an attempt to prevent said small canine from becoming a walking mud monster we decided to walk one of our cycle routes.
Having wrapped ourselves in a variety of mismatched clothing to fight off the biting cold we set off to be confronted immediately with guilt. We stood aside to allow a cyclist kitted out for a polar expedition to pass, having peered through the eye slit of his balaclava he identified us as being known to him. There are plans afoot for extensive treks around the Ribble Valley come the spring time and clearly some of our potential peloton are already in training! Watching him disappear in a cloud of ice chips we shrugged the guilt aside, trekked on and had an excellent 5 mile walk. Mud avoidance, sadly didn’t happen and as could have been predicted, what started out as a sandy coloured Cockerpoo swiftly became a deep shade of black but with a happy doggy smile.
For most of our walk we too had happy smiles especially on spotting the first signs of spring in the form of these snowdrops.The sight of these was one of the many good experiences on our walk, along with the smiles and chat from fellow walkers, cyclists and joggers – though Dave (who ever you are) those shorts are so not a good look at any time of the year!
However, we were saddened by the sight along the way of the detritus of anti social behaviour, piles of cans, cider bottles and bonfires. Defintly a swerve to the bad side of life.
More smiles though, as we returned along the canal path, past the ducks and swans walking across the frozen ice – a first for canine companion who had never met a duck let alone a swan, with predictable comic consequences as the feathered friends came out on top.
Here we found that whilst some parts of the canal path retain their beauty and are picturesque as always, there is an ugly side, with stretches marred by huge amounts of rubbish and filth and one section with half demolished buildings sliding into the water is not only offensive but dangerous.
So if any one from Hyndburn Council reads this can I suggest you get someone from Environment down to the canal, there are plans to extend the tow path to make it more accessible – which is brilliant news but perhaps we should be getting whats already there in order.
We want to walk or ride through the good, the beautiful and the interesting.
This area of Lancashire is steeped in history, heritage and beauty and it deserves to be protected.
We had a great walk, shame I couldn’t give this blog the title of Good, Better, Best…