Ever since I first came across the concept of #microadventures introduced by Alastair Humphreys and while I loved the idea and have planned loads of microadventure but when it comes to following the plan I’ve been slacking but now the time have come to put it to the test!
Day started in high spirits as it was bank holiday weekend and weather was glorious and I had most of the day to get ready before picking up my partner in crime for the trip so I made coffee and gathered our kit in a pile in the living room and after more coffee it was finally time to compile the kit in the car and pick up Robynne from work, I must have been very eager because I was more than an hour early but it gave me a chance to look at shiny new kit in the Cotswold Outdoor and Lou the shop manager was so jealous of our plans that she gave us a couple of Adventure Food to test out and even lent me a brand new mountain equipment firefox jacket in bright green to test and after using it a week it’s by far the lightest Gore-Tex shell I have ever used but more about that later.
Robynne being the archaeology geek wanted to check out (and show of) Breary Banks, a former Navvy camp turned WW1 training camp turned WW1 prison camp, she had just spent three weeks on the site doing an excavation with York University and she wanted to make a timelapse video with the sun rising over the site but to lure me into spending some time on her project she found Slipstones a nice little gritstone crack nearby and the promise of some sunshine climbing had me convinced :0)
We arrived late afternoon and after a short walk we were at the slipstones and even in the best day of the year it was pretty quiet and we spent a couple of hours scrambling and climbing on the rocks, we didn’t actually climb any known routes but simply enjoyed the weather and our first Yorkshire climbing trip, when hunger hit us we walked back to the car and drove to Breary Banks so I could see the site for the first time and scout out the location for the sunrise timelapse. After coming up with a plan for the shoot we settled in the grass for a little picnic in the grass while we watched the setting sun and discussed the plan for the evening and since we wanted a 0400 o’clock start we need to try and catch some sleep pretty early but it was still far to light to consider sleeping so after parking the car we went for a long walk in the dusk, I quickly stopped counting the numerous rabbits fleeing in every direction and just enjoyed the quiet evening and the stunning views in every direction.
When it was finally time to turn in, it turned out I might had been a bit too excited and in a hurry when packing our kit for the trip as I had forgotten Robynne’s jacket so she had to borrow mine! Thank god for the borrowed Firefox test jacket that I was wearing but even worse it turned out I had forgotten my multimat and if not for the old blankets from the car I had to sleep on the ground and since the original plan was tenting I didn’t even pack my bivi but it was such a nice evening and I tried to convince Robynne that sleeping under the stars would be the best option no matter what kit we might have forgotten and just like that we rolled out our sleeping bags not far from the car under a tree and while I was laying there trying hard to fall asleep I watched the stars starting to peek down on us and with a happy smile I dosed of but it turns out there is still some of the old warrior gen left as I spent the night with one eye scanning for every unfamiliar sound and just as the midnight hour came upon us a nearly full moon breached the horizon and started its journey across the sky, it was such a magical moment that I had to wake Robynne and make sure she didn’t miss it but she was deep asleep and I’m not sure she really appreciated my effort to share the moment :0)
The alarm buzzed at 0400 o’clock and we threw the now damp sleeping bags into the backseat and drove back to Breary Banks but if there was a lot of rabbits in the fields the night before, it would seem they all hang out on the road at night as we uncounted 100’s on our 7 minute drive, luckily I’m a skilled chauffeur and managed to miss all of them! Once back on sight I quickly set up the camera and started filming while Robynne set up the jetboil for some much needed coffee, while sharing the first cup we discovered we had also forgotten breakfast items and Robynne decided that a goulash from Adventure Food would make an excellent breakfast and while she struggled with the on packed instructions it was a welcoming hot meal to start of the very early day. while we waited for the footage we chatted away, wrote diaries and had more coffee, finally after two hours we thought we had enough footage even though I suspected we had to cut away the last 20 minutes after an itching sheep somehow managed to knock over the tripod even though it was inside the enclosure where the memorial stand and the sheep was in the field!
After such a beautiful morning it was now time to explore and on the way to Masham we took a detour to see what else we could find and ended up on the town square but since it was not even 0700 yet and only the farmers market stall owners and dog walkers was on the streets we decided for a nap in the car while we waited for the Theakston Brewery, “home of the Legendary Ale” to open but we quickly became impatient and hit the road once more to check out nearby Ripon Cathedral and find a toilet and for once I was the one who spotted the Cathedral after “Robynne said not that can’t be it!” from Ripon we drove to Lofthouse in the Yorkshire Dales National Park to look for clues after another old navvy camp but once in Lofthouse there was no where the go as we reached the end of the road in Middlesmoor and had to go same way back and across the moors back to the brewery, after a visit in the gift shop we decided we better get a fish n chips at the square while we watched the farmers market that was now buzzing we people and loads of cars came in and out of the parking lot but I didn’t see many use the “honest box” to pay for parking. By now it was after lunch and we pointed the car towards home and set off on an uneventful drive home and after unpacking the kit and hang the sleeping bags out to dry I settled on the sofa to watch the recording of the Monaco F1 Grand Prix, it must have been a boring race since I managed to snooze but woke up in time to see Nico Rosberg cross the finish line.
After such a great fun packed 24 hour micro adventure I’m planning to do at least one every month for the rest of the year and you can get involved as well with the Summer Solstice Microadventure Challenge by clicking here