2011-05-27 53 -1

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Fri 27 May 2011 in 53,-1:
53.5190957, -1.8469146

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Moorland, off of A6024, just north of the Woodhead trans-Pennine road.




Drive over there. There were two pretty obvious parking spots which were planned to be used to triangulate the position, when stomping over the open moorland towards the rough spot.


Aha! Drive over there. During rush-hour. Well, at least the traffic was flowing. As one of the main non-Motorway routes across the Pennines, the many scenic views could only be appreciated, not easily photographed. No matter how many times I've been over this particular route (in all kinds of weather), I still think it provides a continuum of wonderful sights to the traveller. As well as some ear-popping by the altitude change over the backbone of England. (Not a great height compared even to those available in the neighbouring British sub-nations, but significant nontheless.) If any regular commuter no longer feels something about this journey, beyond their inevitable grizzling at being stuck behind an HGV-induced queue of traffic, then I feel sorry for them.

The descent towards Yorkshire's historic antithesis, the red-rosed Lancashire (or in reality, these days and at this particular latitude, towards Manchester and its environs having departed the locality of Sheffield), bore reminders of the historic dangers of this route, with heavy metal and concrete barriers placed strategically upon the valley-side of the road. Earlier in the descent, the historic road bridge across Salter's Brook (amazing that it still survives unreplaced by a modern structure, albeit that the truly-historic pack-horse bridge below still exists as well) winds the road around an S-bend that neither modern road builders nor those of the Roman Legions would have much truck with, while still subtle (possibly due to weathering effects) concrete 'protectives' lie against the stone-block bridge walls.

As the road nears the Woodhead Reservoir, the sight of electricity pylons dominates the valley. A spur of power transmission that, having lead up just beyond the reservoir, throws its high-tension cables down onto the ground, to lead (I have often presumed) through the old and now disused Woodhead rail tunnel. The reservoir itself, I can see, is certainly not full. Though, for such a dry season as we have recently had, not so empty as times past have made it.

As the A628 crosses a limb of the reservoir, I have to consider my next manoeuvre most carefully. The road that I now need branches off from the Woodhead road up on the sides of the Reservoir of that name, and has is angled back and to the right from my current direction of travel. On top of that, there is a typically blind sweeping bend just before this point that means I shall not know the safety of the turn until I am almost at the point. With oncoming traffic sweeping around the bend as I reach it, I make the decision that I shall not turn turn immediately up into the northern expanses, but drive a little further, exit onto the road that crosses the reservoir's wall itself, turn myself around and retrace the route so that a far easier left-hand turn can be made.

(Apart from anything else, with traffic behind me, I would not want to inconvenience those behind me by awaiting a gap. Although, truth be told, whatever the hurry of those I was currently preceding, they would only have been waiting a scant minute or two, at most, then have doubtless rushed pell-mell into the empty road I had left in front of me before rejoining the slower moving queue of traffic... All in all, nobody would gain or lose any more than one car's length of advantage but drivers, myself included, rarely think through such philosophies when having to deal with the actions of others.)

So, onward. A few corners later and the almost diametrically-opposed turning hoves into view, into which my signalling vehicle turns at my behest. The worst case scenario would be that I am followed into this turning, making my efforts to not block the road utterly in vain, but this does not happen. I have my choice of turning points, but for the sake of a small pause in my journey (and I am tuned to Radio 4, the sounds of Friday's PM programme reassuring me that I have time to spare) I transport myself across to the other side of the valley and park up at the southern end of the the reservoir wall. A couple of photos are taken, to no real purpose, but it helps to set the scene.

Onwards and upwards! Or, rather, back where I just came from and upwards. Rejoining the A628 is (of course, as attentive readers will already realise) a right-hand turn. And a most awkward angle too for surveying the up-hill stream of traffic, but I had to wait for a long down-hill stream to finish anyway (by which time I had picked up a vehicle behind me, once more, having come up the road I had temporarily diverted onto) and once this side was clear I found no impedance from the other.

Whoops, that's why this copy of the item wasn't posted. It isn't even complete! I have a complete report on a different computer. Efforts will be made to find the off-line completed version, and the photos that go along with it.


None available