Christmas run in the Ceiriog Valley 27/12/17

Wednesday (?!) the 27th of December 2017, and a few of us from “our little group” had arranged to meet up for the traditional Christmas Run in and around the Ceiriog Valley just south of Llangollen –
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That’s Llangollen in the top middle of the above map, and the blob in the bottom right corner is Oswestry, to give you an idea where we were…
So how come we’re all out on a Wednesday? ๐Ÿ˜‰ We normally ‘lane on a Sunday, but the lads had said we’d go out on the Wednesday after Boxing Day this year, I said it wasn’t a public holiday and my shop would be open, but they pointed out that Wednesday is my day off! My missus agreed, and so I set the shop up (Newspapers, bread, milk, etc) and then escaped at 8am to go and meet the others –
DSCN6961.jpgLined up, as is the norm, left to right – Colin and Gary in the Red Rooster, Riccy and Joel in the J999MNY Jimny, Brett (on his own, no TLB Becky or Dave the Handyman this time) in the Jalapeno Jimny – leading as usual, and Alan and I in the blue S200KYS Jimny. So where are we?
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Halton McDonalds for breakfast! ๐Ÿ˜‰
A good meet and greet, as we haven’t seen Colin and Gary since the July trip(s) to the Lake District, and Riccy and Joel have joined us once again… from Bowness-on-Solway! They stayed over the night before in a B&B.
And that leads us nicely onto…

Brett’s Introductory Video ๐Ÿ˜‰
And the onto the first ‘lane of the day…

Interesting to see that when they are building the new houses at the beginning of the ‘lane that they have already fitted dropped kerbs where the new road crosses the byway ๐Ÿ™‚
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This was the little loop we took to take in this first ‘lane.
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Second ‘lane is Bronygarth just up the road –

But as Brett said at the end of his video…
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… that fallen tree is a bit big for my 36V Cordless Chainsaw! LOL ๐Ÿ˜‰

Next ‘lane then! “Starlings Castle”, and then down through the woods towards Graig.
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As on the above map…
Next?
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Pantfadog Loop… (so anti-clockwise on the above map)

Brett’s video of the first bit…

And the second bit, upto where the byway (to the right) is blocked by the Vauxhall.
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Our view from the back…
I went and knocked on the door of the house and explained that they were blocking the right of way, and would it be okay – rather than disturb them (at just gone ten in the morning) – for us to proceed through the yard to the left to access the rest of the ‘lane? The lady said this would be okay on this occasion, rather than them having to move the Vauxhall…
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So on we went…

As shown in Brett’s next video ๐Ÿ™‚
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Up to the VW Beetle at the top… “Aย nice patina” says Alan – he’s been watching to much “Fast & Loud” I think! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Note the sign at the beginning? A bit ambiguous? It should say “DON’T FOLLOW SAT-NAV!”, it’s a great drop down though! ๐Ÿ˜‰
Brett mentions on the video “It would be nice to come up here, rather than down!” – something I’ve been meaning to do for a while! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Maybe in the summer though?!

Next, up the “storm drain”
At the top Brett says “I can’t remember which way we’re going”… right through that gate mate ๐Ÿ˜‰

Climbing up from Tregeiriog…
Across the C-road at the top…

And then up into the sun, and then right onto “Splashy Lane” (CefnHir-Fynwydd on the maps)
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Snow on the hills ahead and to the right of us…
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Splashy Lane living up to it’s name! ๐Ÿ˜‰
And we rejoin…

Brett’s video… where after coming through the water trough he gets out to record the rest of us coming through –

And then up to a tippy bit on the next incline…
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It feels worse in the vehicle…
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35 degrees at worst!

You can see us waving a wheel in Brett’s next video!

From Riccy and Joel’s perspective ๐Ÿ˜‰
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Quite a trough that! I remember it being a lot deeper before it was filled in a bit!

On we go…

Through the deep trough after the gate, and then onto the end of the ‘lane…
PMSL, I don’t think Brett meant to film the tinkle at the end?! LOL
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On towards the snowy hills…
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And we’re coming down the left side of the route on this map, over a mountain pass –
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Here on Brett’s videos –

and

And then onto…

“Hafod”
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With the little ford in the middle (Eh? That’s a Suzuki, not a Ford… Ummm, sorry!) ๐Ÿ˜‰
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And another one behind ๐Ÿ˜‰

Again, from Riccy and Joel’s perspective…
Next ‘lane then?

Hmmm… we’re not going anywhere on this one…
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There’s a farm trailer parked in the ‘lane…
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So we go north, east and then south to get round it, and take in another ‘lane on the way instead…

Nice little detour ๐Ÿ˜‰
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At the bottom of “Pheasant Steps”
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We gathered up for a break…
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And traditional Brett’s Sausage Rolls and my wife’s Diabetic Mince Swirls!
Before…

Up we go… Nothing like what it used to be in the old days ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
(Anyone else worried about Brett taking to himself? LOL )

The rest of the ‘lane… back to the crossroads above Treigeriog, so Splashy Lane is to our left…
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And lovely views to our right.
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Next!

and through the water trough –
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As seen in Brett’s next video –

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Around the muddy corner and on we go…

To the end by the farm…
Next…
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Up the BOAT…
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We’re doing the route in reverse to what we normally do, if we were doing it the ‘normal’ way round, we’d usually stop here for the festive munches!
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A bit of snow starts to fall, and settle!
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Next! Heading west from the crosshair that marks our position on the map…

Now you can see the snow! ๐Ÿ˜‰
And then…

The second half…
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Up from Pandy next then…

This is what Brett was referring to at the start of the video, another UNSUITABLE FOR MOTORS sign, my favourite road sign ๐Ÿ˜‰
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Lining up for the next bit…
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Brett’s initial comments! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Makes you realise how just a small tug can help!
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Next was Riccy –
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Front and Rear Air-Lockers on, and after a couple of attempts, he…
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was up!…
Next, Colin –

And with a bit of a run, he was up in one!
Next then?
ME…

And eventuallyย  up, after getting the front LSD wound up good and proper!
And…

On we go… ๐Ÿ™‚
Onto the next ‘lane –
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“Cefn-Canol”, or as we know it… the V-Gulley!

Brett’s video of him going up, note how he bridges the ‘V’ with a tyre on each side, I did the same when I went up, and then dropped in at the end…

Riccy’s video of the same bit ๐Ÿ™‚

Up through the ruts to the end of the ‘lane, and we turn round…

… and go back down again…

….down the V-gulley ๐Ÿ™‚

Riccy getting a good line with a tyre on each side ๐Ÿ™‚

From his point of view ๐Ÿ˜‰

My video of the others coming down the V-gulley
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Coming down passed the start of the Red Bull downhill mountain-bike course
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With a nice view of Llangollen to our left…

From Brett’s perspective…

To the bottom where we turn back up-hill…

To a gate…

To the end of the ‘lane where we line up, for…
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The final group photo ๐Ÿ™‚

Hmmm, hang-on? Brett’s accidentally taken a wrong turn and done the final ‘lane of the route on his own…?
Only one thing to go then? –

Brett’s closing comments video! ๐Ÿ™‚
And a BIG THANKS from me.. to Brett for plotting and leading, videoing, and opening all the gates, without a gate girl/boy!, and the traditional sausage rolls as well of course! For Alan for sharing the plotting with Brett, closing most of the gates, and coming along this time! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Not often my trusty passenger misses a day out with us! ๐Ÿ˜‰ To Colin and Gary for coming along! ๐Ÿ™‚ Missed you guys, last time was July, I hope they’ll join us sooner next time around? Particularly if we’re in Shropshire next time, close to home? And to Riccy and Joel who where nowhere close to home! What a journey to come and join us, you must be as mas as the rest of us! ๐Ÿ˜‰
’til next time folks…!


 

 

Lake District Day Trip 10/12/17

Sunday the 10th of December 2017, and we’d arranged to meet up in the Lake District just south of Carlisle to drive the best ‘lanes all in one day…
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As usual, Brett had plotted the route and sent it out to us all so we could follow it on our iPads.
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We’d arranged to meet up at 9:30am, so that meant a 6:15am start for me and Al….. errr, hang on? Where’s my faithful companion / gate boy / winch bitch / navigator / long term ‘laning buddy… Ah, bother! Last minute he couldn’t make it, so I had to go it alone…
The silence was deafening! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Brett’s introductory video, he’s also riding with Billy (no-mates) today!
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We met the others in the small hamlet of Welton, close to our first ‘lane of the day…
Left to Right, as is customary, Me & Billy in the blue S200KYS Jimny, Riccy & Billy in the J999MNY Jimny, Brett & Billy in the green Jalapeno Jimny, Gary & Billy in the silver Jimny with a black bonnet and Phil and Rob in the big FUN Jimny… At least one of the group has a friend to come with them… the rest of us are with Billy… LOL
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First ‘lane of the day then?… just to the right on the map above, Borran’s Hill Ford…

And Brett’s second introductory video as we head for the ford, Brett reiterating the lack of friends today, and the fact that Phil and Rob are at the back as there’s two of them, so Rob us on gate-shutting duty today ๐Ÿ˜‰

Brett’s video down to the ford…
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Here’s the ford, the exit is up a railway sleeper at the top of the opposite bank with a sharp right turn onto the lane in the distance…
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Brett leading the way…

Brett’s video of the crossing, and onto the lane and leaving enough room for the rest of us to line up behind him…

Me next…

Riccy
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My photo of him coming through…
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And up the bank…

Gary next
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And then…

Phil and Rob…
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There’s the FUN reference…
On to ‘lane to then… “Petterilgreen Cotts” just up the road…

Brett’s video of the first bit… up to calling for the chainsaw to trim a fallen tree back a bit…
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Trimmed!
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And back to the Jimnys…

And on we go…
To the top where we meet some pheasant breeders coming the other way, so we reverse back to allow them access to their pens…
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On our route we were intending to come back down this ‘lane, but we thought it wise to give it a miss today.
Lane Three then… Barrow Mill Ford –
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ROAD UNSUITABLE FOR VEHICLES BEYOND FARM DEEP FORD
First though…

… we have to wait for the flossies to cross the narrow bridge! They take some convincing (sheep aren’t known for being bright!), as when they see the shimmering water they apparently think they’re heading for the yucky sheepdip, so they all back up! LOL
Nice deep ford though, worth the little wait, and it’s amusing watching the sheep file across the bridge!
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Phil and Rob last, they weren’t on Brett’s video as they were surrounded by sheeps and couldn’t move!

Lane four – Pallet Hill
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Here on the map…

And then onto ‘lane five ‘Newbiggin’… the shaky ‘lane!
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And in this spectacular photo (if I do say so myself!) you can see why, the field seems to have been deliberately ploughed / tilled to shake any vehicles around…

Phil & Rob getting a shaking! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The rest of the ‘lane after the bumpy bit…
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A little bit of scenic tarmac along the way to our next ‘lane, along the side of Ullswater ๐Ÿ™‚
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And then rising up to the start of… the Old Coach Road
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This beast was in the car park, a modified Toyota RAV4… nice!
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Just enough time to make a brew before we’re soon off again…
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Passed a working party from GLASS (The Green Lane Association) of which most of us are members…

And we rejoin Brett’s videos ๐Ÿ˜‰

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As Brett says, stunning scenery!
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And somewhere along here Rob captured this stunning photo too ๐Ÿ™‚
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And the Jimnys!
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A better angle from Gary’s camera ๐Ÿ˜‰

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To the gateway where some other volunteers are repairing the gate

Passed some wild ponies, and you can see that from passed the gate we’re the first ones up here today, as Brett’s Jimny becomes an ice-breaker… This video goes up to the start of the washed out are, so he gets out for a look…

You can see at the start of the video above that Rob was videoing, this isn’t on YouTube (yet?) for me to link into the blog, but I did take a couple of screen grabs from it –
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This one surprised me, as I was worried my new springs were a bit stiff?! No worries there! Chuffed with that articulation!
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Oooh, that looks almost tippy there though! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Carrying on, and it’s getting more and more washed out…DSCN6914.jpg
Up round this bit…
Downhill to the gate it looks worse still, so we get out for a look…
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Nice place to park though! ๐Ÿ™‚
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rob7.jpgThe others behind me…
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It was a job getting out of the door! ๐Ÿ˜‰
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Ahhh!…
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The power of nature is amazing, what a flow of water can do?!
Walking back up to the Jimnys…
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Brett demonstrates how deep those troughs really are!

Only one way down then… ably guided by our-Rob we have to edge around the worst bit…

My turn…

Riccy…

Then Phil…

Then down the snow filled ruts of others before us, through the gate, and then…
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… finally, towards the end of the Old Coach Road…
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Until…
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Riccy behind me shouted on the CB that my shock had come astray… again! This happened last trip but the top mount sheared off the chassis, this trip the temporary bolt I fitted through the shock repositioner sheared, so a ‘quick’ fix on the trail –
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Some time wasted, but once again I managed to make a temporary repair and keep it going for the rest of the day…
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Back onto tarmac, and varying the route slightly from the planned one, we’re off along Coniston Water… to drive up Higher Nibthwaite –

Brett’s video of the first bit…
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Awesome view along the way…

The first climbs up…
That’s me honking behind and shouting “Don’t forget to lock your hubs!” ๐Ÿ˜‰
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The second nasty bit where both Brett and I took a couple of attempts!

Phil powering up it though!

To the top, and arranging for the inevitable –
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Group Photo! ๐Ÿ˜‰
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As you can see, we’re losing the light, time is ticking away… it took two hours to drive the Old Coach Road, and my repair didn’t help things either! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
So we decide to cut short the route and squeeze in another four ‘lanes before heading home though… Gary decides to call it a day though, he’s had a new addition to the family and is keen to get home to –
gary2.jpgTheir new puppy “Caz“. Gorgeous, can’t blame you for heading home Gary ๐Ÿ˜‰

Down we go then…

To the gate at the bottom where we bid farewell to Gary…
And we head off to the next ‘lane –

Gawthwaite, the other way to the usual way we drive it.
Up to the…
DSCN6953.jpgCollapsed little bridge… one thick slate piece has completely fallen into the stream, and another is left at an angle…
We lay a waffle board across, but as Brett edges onto it, the earth at the end slides down the slate, and as he backs off it quickly…
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His other front wheel slips off the side of the thick slate bridge!
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We quickly get my winch rope onto the back corner of his Jimny through a snatch block off a tree, and try and winch him out…
The axle is on the bridge though, and his front nearside wheel dangling over the edge makes it impossible to winch back… even with Riccy and I roped together, the winch pulls us both forward instead of Brett’s Jimny out…
So more thought is needed…
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We eventually use Brett’s winch to pull his front round off the bridge, with his Hi-Lift jack first inserted under the bumper to get the axle off the bridge, and the wheel level with the thick slate bridge so that as he winches the jack brings the wheel onto the bridge, then the others shout for me to winch in and pull his Jimny’s back round as well so all four wheels are back on solid ground! Phew! We thought we’d be there for a while, but with our combined ideas he was out fairly quickly…
That’s enough! We’ve lost the light and it’s time to head home!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Out we go back the way we came!…

Brett’s closing remarks ๐Ÿ˜‰
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A bit late, but should be home for 8pm…
Another excellent days greenlaning! Thanks to everyone that came along… without their mates! LOL
Thanks to Brett for plotting and leading as usual, and videoing of course, and thanks to Rob for the photos I’ve lifted via Facebook ๐Ÿ˜‰

Cheers! See you for the next one! Christmas ‘laning the day after Boxing Day, see you then!