Today’s guest picture comes from a walk my brother did last week with his group of those recovering from heart troubles. It is good to see that they are taking things easily.
We had a day that promised well, offering warmer temperatures and calmer winds and it lived up to its promise. Mrs Tootlepedal had coffee with friends from work and then went and collected manure from her new manure mine and distributed it among the deserving flowers. I went for a pedal.
I am, in general, still feeling rather more tired than I would like so it took me quite a lot of time to actually get going. I put in a few displacement activities, some useful like cleaning my chain and gears and some less so like watching birds….
…and doing the crossword and eating toast but in the end I ran out of excuses and pushed the pedals.
I armed myself with two filled rolls and two bananas and set off to the north to see where my legs would take me.
In the end they took me 68 miles and over three and half thousand feet of climbing so they did well.
I went to Eskdalemuir first, stopping to photograph one of my favourite bridges…
…and the river which I was following…
….and passing five of the Eskdale Prehistoric Trail sites on my way. Only this one was close enough to the road to be photographed.
If you want to know why it might be a bit more exciting than it looks, you will have to click here. I warn you though that the article ends with these words: “As Richard Bell asks, What was it? Will we ever know? ” so you may feel that you have better things to do.
From Eskdalemuir, I headed over towards Boreland and stopped for my first snack at 20 miles. I took a picture of a pretty wild flower while I munched and found, when I looked at the result on the computer, that I was not the only one who found it attractive .
There is a steep hill down onto the village at Boreland and to my dismay it had been recently gravelled. Luckily, a steady supply of timber wagons had flattened the gravel out pretty well and I got down without trouble.
When I had passed through the village I saw a tempting sign saying: Moffat 13 miles. This was a road end that I had passed many times but never taken and today I was overcome by a sense of adventure and tried it out. It turned out to be well worth going along, very narrow, steep and hilly at the start but flattening and broadening out when it reached the Annan valley.
I stopped to check my route at a crossroads and saw a selection of swallows on the phone line above my head.
I reached Moffat safely and then took the road to Beattock on the main railway line. Mrs Tootlepedal and I had passed through this village on our train journey to Edinburgh yesterday and by coincidence, the same train passed me today.
I had stopped to take a picture of the very pretty church at this point.
I was in need of a few flat miles as my trip had been very hilly thus far so I used the old A74, now bypassed by the new motorway, to take me down to Lockerbie.
I stopped for another snack on my way and once again, I looked for wild flowers.
To make a point about their roots as market towns, both Moffat and Lockerbie have sculptures of sheep on display.
From Lockerbie, I took the direct route back across the hills to Langholm and was happy to stop for a few pictures on the way to give myself a breather every now and again.
The church at Tundergarth, where there is a memorial chapel for the victims of the Lockerbie disaster. The churchyard has a stile….
…probably a relic of the days when the minster kept his sheep in the graveyard and the gate had to be kept shut.
As you can see, it was a beautiful day by now and it even made ploughing up and down over the hills between Lockerbie and Langholm a pleasure.
I stopped to look at the new windmills on Ewe Hill. I was hoping that they might be working by now and one of them was. As you can see, it is the one behind the hill on the right in the picture below.
What’s that? They both look still to you? Oh alright, here’s a video taken on very wobbly cam.
Why the third one to be built was working and the first one wasn’t is a mystery.
When I got home, I took a walk round the garden with Mrs Tootlepedal.
Mrs Tootlepedal tells that this bright shrub is an Euonymus.
In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and we all watched the Chelsea flower show on the telly for a bit before Alison and I went off and played four flute sonatas. This was the perfect end for a very good day.
Well not quite the end because after Mike and Alison had gone, Mrs Tootlepedal and I watched a very interesting programme about the amazing international organization required to bring cut flowers to Britain. It included shots of an actual Dutch auction.
I did get a flying bird of the day today…..but only just.