Today we wanted an adventure so we set off to test the roads and our new off-road tyres.
So far so good!
Up the cwm and into town — the Co-op shelves were almost empty — their lorry was missing, presumed lost — come to think of it we saw a lorry stuck on the hill. We got our pills and enough ginger wine to last until spring and sped homeward.
We thought we’d avoid our dangerously steep cwm with its sheer drop one side and all the inconveniently placed oak trees, unyielding in a slippery situation.
We went the other way — we were trying to be responsible.
It was odd that there were no tyre marks into our turning — just beautiful virgin snow (powder, if you are a skier) about a foot deep. We chose this route as it has steep banks (quite a lot of roads here are narrow tarmac strips suspended between precipice and ditch) — we could see which way the road went. As we drove higher we could see the drifting — ridges of white dunes crossed our path from bank to bank — deeper and deeper as we got higher and higher. Now we remembered seeing the drifting starting two days ago, before the 20cm of last night’s dump. There are no houses up here and no lights — just white drifting snow and wind.
‘Shall we go back?’
The technique was — drive as hard as you can until the drift stops you, then reverse and do it again. Each time we got a little further using our makeshift bulldozer — back and forth — higher and higher — deeper and deeper!
Amazingly we reached the crest and it became slightly easier as we descended into the dip — into the unknown. We turned at the bottom and could see the tracks where a quad bike, coming the other way, had given up, and turned for home. That cheered me up. I was being very quiet and brave! We followed in it’s tracks.
Now we had about half a mile of a straight, steep rise which Alan took at speed (relatively) drifting and sliding, sometimes almost travelling sideways but keeping going, then suddenly we had crested the hill and could feel the road, solid again , under our wheels.
Downhill for a couple of miles, and we could see where our young neighbour had come out of his track and headed down our way –‘hope to God we don’t meet him coming back!’ We did not.
It’s going to be minus 15’C tonight and maybe snow some more — where shall we go tomorrow?