Of course, in order to set activation 1000 up for Sunday, it was necessary to tick the box for activation 999, what with having done only 998 activations so far…
Jimmy was back at 6th form today to commence the final year of his A level studies. Marianne was out shopping ready for Liam to go back to school tomorrow, but left me with instructions to “get Liam out for some exercise”.
Her wish, my command.
Or should that be…
Her command, my compliance.
Hmmm, get Liam out for some exercise … activation 999 … surely there was some way to kill two birds with one stone? You don’t need a wild imagination to suggest that The Cloud G/SP-015 might do the trick. I haven’t got one either, so that’s exactly where we went. But not the normal way.
I parked on the A54 Congleton to Buxton road, quite near to Bosley crossroads. But, perhaps surprisingly, that is still a far way off Bosley Cloud. We walked a short distance back down the main road from the lay-by and joined the canal in the upper half of the Bosley lock flight. (There’s lots of things named after Bosley. An excellent beer, a telecommuications tower, a village, a tug-of-war team, a wood treatment works, a member of The Macc Lads and a former neighbour’s dog spring to mind).
Liam and I walked down the canal as we counted down the rest of the locks and made much faster progress than the many narrowboaters who were out on this glorious hot sunny afternoon. No rucksacks or anything, we just wore sunhats and I had a carrier bag with fruit juice and chocolate in it.
Shortly after the canal swang around to the west, we exited at bridge 57, thence following the bridleway down to Bosley Wood Treatment. From here, we walked up to the crossroads between Red Lane, Peover Lane and Tunstall Road. We used the shade provided by the trees to allow our heads some air by removing our sunhats.
At the crossroads, we climbed the stile into the National Trust land, and commenced the steep haul up the ‘nose’ of The Cloud. This is a much lower starting point then Cloudside parking area, and the steepness is soon felt in the calf muscles. Height is gained rapidly though, and we were soon on level ground, swinging round to the East of the summit before the final mini-scramble up onto the top.
Unsurprisngly, there were many people already on the hill, and others that passed over while we were there. It was such a lovely day. I had put faith into the weather by (a) not checking any forecast, and (b) walking in shirt sleeves without bringing any extra layers or waterproofs. This worked out well, as the weather and temperature did not budge at all.
The only radio gear I brought was the VX7 handheld, a notepad and a pencil, which were all in the lower outer pockets of my walking trousers. Liam and I sat at the trig point, the base of which makes rather comfortable seating, and first enjoyed a Capri Sun juice before I started calling CQ.
On 2m FM, using only handheld and rubber duck, I made 8 QSOs, several of which were pleasant extended ragchews. Views from the summit were nice in the sunny weather, but not brilliant with the haze limiting visibility to about 15 miles.
After a relaxing 45 minute stay on summit, Liam and I set off on our descent, taking the standard path down to Cloudside, and then down the road to the crossroads. For the first time, I found the point at which Red Lane becomes into Cloudside! At the crossroads, we went straight on and walked down the long road to the A54. Here, we got back onto the canal which also met the A54 at this point, and walked the towpath all the way back to Bosley Locks and the car.
I reckon it was about 10km and a decent afternoon’s walk. And always enjoyable to get a bit of quality time with Liam. Moreover, that is activation #999 out of the way, meaning that Sunday will indeed be Activation 1000. Hope to work many of you then.
73, Tom M1EYP