Getting there

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony in East Wemyss. He had two spectators for his walk with his dogs this morning.

We had another day of calm, fine weather here today, so it was a natural thought that some cycling might be in order. I even got organised enough to get going before coffee time, though I did waste a little time by walking round the garden before I set off.

My idea was to go down to the Solway shore at Powfoot by way of Ecclefechan and Hoddom, and return by Annan and Kirkpatrick Fleming. It turned out to be quite a good idea and I enjoyed the outing a lot. I took far too many pictures so I have put them in galleries. I apologise for this, as it should be me who makes the selection for the post, and I shouldn’t leave to you to wade through a great mass of images in the hope of finding one that interest you. To tell the truth, I am a little tired at the moment and the effort of picking the right pictures is beyond me.

I didn’t take any pictures until I got to Ecclefechan where I crossed the motorway by this relatively new cycle and pedestrian bridge.

You might think that I should be grateful for this structure, but I am not really, It is too narrow for two cyclists to pass by comfortably, and as it is crossing a motorway with six lanes and two emergency lanes as well, it seems to me typical of the way that transport spending in the UK is skewed towards motorists, and the comfort and safety of cyclists and pedestrians is almost always an afterthought. Would it have broken the bank to have made it wide enough for a parent pushing a pushchair and a touring cyclist with panniers to be able to pass each other with ease? No.

This was only a momentary annoyance though, and there was much to enjoy on my way to Powfoot.

When I got to Powfoot, I took a picture of the golf course where Dropscone often plays just to remind him of past pleasures (and pains). The tide was in, which is a rare occurrence when I visit the Solway shore, and the display of hawthorns along the railway to Dumfries was stunning.

Because it is usually busy with traffic, I didn’t go through the town when I got to Annan, but turned off beside the river and went up the hill towards Chapelcross.

Chapelcross power station is in the process of being decommissioned and dismantled. It was closed in 2004 so the process is taking some time. I found a very frank discussion of our nuclear decommissioning on the internet.

On my way home through Kirkpatrick Fleming, Glenzier, and the Esk valley, I looked at wild flowers.

When I chose my route, I didn’t know quite how long it would be, but I thought that it would be near 60 miles. In the end, it fell a little short of that and I got home after 56 very enjoyable miles. I am not back to full fitness after my recent illness so it took me a little longer than I would have ideally liked, but I had plenty of battery life left when I got home, so I must have pedalled unassisted quite a lot.

Mrs Tootlepedal had spent the day gardening while I was out. A quick walk showed that the garden is looking better every day now that the warmer weather has arrived. (Our local weather station registered 72°°F/22°°C for a brief period this afternoon.)

The birds on the feeder were mostly sparrows but a goldfinch did get a look in.

I remembered the Zoom meeting with my siblings today, and there was time after it finished for Mrs Tootlepedal and me to go back out into the garden to cut down most of a big buddleia which has failed. It has got one stem with some leaves on though, so we have left that standing in the hope of a new start for the plant.

The flying bird of the day is a sparrow.

I append a map of today’s outing.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “Getting there

  1. I loved the color of the bird’s eye speedwell.
    I can imagine all the train passengers with their faces pressed against the windows when they go by those beautiful hawthorns.
    With my fear of heights I doubt I could even ride a bike across that narrow bridge.

    1. It felt remarkably safe as I went across it but i didn’t look down. 🙂 The hawthorns were a real treat so I do hope the passengers appreciate them.

  2. Good luck with the buddleia. I have three here to cut back, too, that did not like the winter so well.

    I enjoy your photo selections. Please do not worry about finding the “right” ones. The ruined church at Hoddom Cross has its own beauty. How old is the structure? Nature always finds a way to erase or overwrite man’s creations with her own.

  3. I had to look up the pronunciation of Ecclefechan, and when I did I found the recipe for the Ecclefechan Tart. It looks quite tasty and I think I’ll have to give it a try as it looks a bit like pecan pie and butter tarts, so it can’t too much of a risk!

    As for the bridge there that you dislike so much, I quite agree with everything you said. Infrastructure in my part of the country is totally skewed in favour of cars, so I was shocked that a replacement for one of two bridges that cross the river in our city will include a wide and separate bike/pedestrian bridge. The only downside is that current nomenclature refers to it as an “active transportation lane”. Sigh.

    1. An Ecclefechan Tart is an excellent thing so I would encourage you to make one. I like your bridge nomenclature. The production of jargon is always a thriving trade. Our traffic planners have a habit of providing active transportation facilities whichonly go so far and just decant you out into the tarffic again, often without much warning.

  4. As Lyn has said in the previous comment, the greenery in your post is absolutely lovely.
    I agree with your comment on the width of footpaths. Cyclists and pedestrians are never considered on the plan it seems.

    1. I think that they are considered these days, but when it comes to spending money, the authorities don’t won’t to spoil them. It might encourage more people to cycle which would just annoy motorists. 🙂

  5. So many wonderful pictures today. That bridge is really narrow – one way traffic only it seems. I think these planning people never visit the place or understand how people use the space.

    I was tidying up outside today and a female blackbird came down and sat beside me watching….she made me think of your wonderful blog and bird pictures.

  6. Beautiful ride, despite the narrow bridge. I especially liked the photo of the wild garlic in bloom alongside the road. I understand your complaint about the bridge and the emphasis on roads, highways, and motorized vehicles. It is the same way here. Perhaps even more so. Cars and trucks rule supreme.

  7. Thank you for the map! Goodness you certainly have got your mojo back with another long and very interesting cycle ride. Love the ruined church , the doggy paddle and the wonky silage cutter photos but best were the flowers and bee in your garden- a good range of shapes and colours!±

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