Today’s guest picture is another from Tony’s friend Michael and his recent visit to the Solway coast. Michael was very pleased to come across the SNP flagship while he was there.
The forecast had said that it wouldn’t be freezing here when we got up and they were right. It was still pretty cold though, and it took until eleven o’clock for the sun to arrive in the garden…
…and cheer up the birds…
…and to tempt Mrs Tootlepedal out for a coffee with Margaret, and to get me going on my bicycle, a bit later than planned.
Even then, the mist was only just moving off our surrounding hills….
I was well wrapped up and the sun was out, so I enjoyed a leisurely pedal over Callister and down the other side. I stopped near Grange Quarry to take a picture that showed that when grants became available for tree planting, some people just stuck a few trees anywhere.
I got as far as Paddockhole Bridge….
…when a man in a van stopped to ask me for directions. I hadn’t heard of the house that he was looking for but fortunately, in stopping to ask me, he had held up a post van and the post man was able to point him in the right direction (back where he had come from). Serendipity.
Instead of crossing the bridge, which was what I did last time I came out in this direction, I kept going today, looking for fresh roads to follow after many trips round familiar routes.
I followed the course of the Water of Milk to Lockerbie. The road doesn’t cling to the river bank but rushes up nearby hills as often as it can, making for a strenuous ride but offering some lovely views as compensation.
I looked back at the new windfarm at Crossdykes at one time…
…and ahead down the valley at another.
The Water of Milk doesn’t go all the way to Lockerbie and when I had crossed it, I faced a stiff climb after the bridge. I was happy to pause for a moment half way up the hill and smell the marked coconut scent of the gorse beside the road.
I headed north out of Lockerbie for a few miles before taking a side road to Millhousebridge. I had gone twenty miles by the time that I came to Applegarth Church. I thought that it would be a good place to stop for a slice of fruity malt loaf which I happened to have about me.
It is a beautiful little church…
…whichever way you look at it…
…and it just needs a convenient bench for an elderly cyclist to sit on while he has his snack to make it perfect. (Hint)
I crossed the River Annan at Millhousebridge, where the Clock Lodge greets the visitor at a road junction.
I append some information about the Lodge:
“Earlier 19th century. Single storey cottage (former school) with clock tower over porch. Bull-faced coursed red ashlar with polished margins and dressings. W elevation: 3 bays, central square porch with bipartite. domed and finialed chamfered square clock-tower stage above; single windows in outer bays, sashes, with 4-pane glazing pattern. 3-bay S flank; continuous eaves course; end stacks; roofed with graded slates. Set behind low ashlar retaining wall with iron railings and square gate piers.”
I thought that you would like to know that.
I now headed south down Annandale and my next stop was Lochmaben, which as it name suggests, is a town with lochs.
This is the Mill Loch.
On the other side of the town, I took advantage of an anglers’ jetty..
…to get a good view of Castle Loch.
I kept going southwards until I came to Dalton where there is a very nice millennium panel…
…recognising all the children who lived in the area in the year 2000. Unfortunately, time has taken a toll on some of the tiles, but they are still to be seen, arranged along the ledge at the bottom.
From Dalton, I pedalled across to Hoddom, passing the Repentance Tower…
…which has an interesting story.
For once, I didn’t stop to take a picture of the bridge over the River Annan at Hoddom but pressed on to Annan where I didn’t take a picture of the bridge over the River Annan there either.
Because of my late start, I was a bit pushed for time, and as I was back on familiar roads by now which have been illustrated many times in previous posts, I kept my camera in my pocket, only taking it out when I stopped for a breather and another slice of fruity malt loaf and a banana at the Devil’s Porridge museum in Eastriggs.
It has a good wall for resting on, with both fine lichen…
…and a nearby fireless locomotive “Sir James”. It used to operate in the vast cordite factory which is commemorated in the Devil’s Porridge museum.
With a helpful but very light wind and generally flat roads, I made it home just in time for the evening sibling Zoom meeting.
I had set out to ride 100 km without planning a route ahead so I was pleased to manage 102 km with only a very small tweak at the end.
I had just enough energy to look at the birds and refill the feeder.
They repaid my generosity by hiding.
The Zoom went well and Mrs Tootlepedal had prepared a fine evening meal of mince and tatties so I can safely write down the day on the credit side of the great ledger of life.
The flying bird of the day was trying to hide but I caught it just in time.
Footnote: Those interested can click on the map below for more details of the ride.