One of the drawbacks of controlling a large number of local zones is you need to travel further away to take more zones. However, there were still a few of the less frequently visited zones in the area, the ones that are more difficult to reach, are located off-road or perhaps zones turfers just cannot be bothered with the extra hassle. My plan this morning was to seek them out and add them to the collection. One poor neglected zone, Prestonholm, was still neutral, so I just had to take that one.
A couple of revisits first, Brixwold and KirkCockpen, then along the road towards Carrington and off left down a farm track a short way for zone WatchTheMud. No need to concern myself about mud here today as the mud is located further down the track and I’m heading in the opposite direction. In fact, I going back the way I came, heading for zone DeanWoodPath, located in the bluebell and wild garlic woods around Dalhousie Castle.
Zone DalhousiePath was on the way, so just a revisit here, and also wet feet from the long vegetation along the field boundary where the trail runs. You could follow the tractor tracks through the crops but recent rain means very sticky glutinous mud. I’ve tried that before and ended up with the wheels so clogged that they stopped turning. Nice to see the crops starting to grow again.
Mud was the theme of the day and the path to DeanWoodTurn zone was fun to say the least. And by fun, I mean mud the consistency of melted chocolate which had me slithering all over the place and thinking perhaps I should have brought the Surly Pugsley fat bike rather than poor old Ogre and his skinny touring tyres. But it all adds to the adventure. Next zone on the list was WitchesHouse, reached across a wet grassy field which helped clean some mud from the tyres. There are other zones in the area but I’ve held them for two weeks now, which shows how popular this area is with other turfers.
After zone Dalhousie, in the parking area for the castle, I followed the B704 towards Newtongrange, turning right at the corner for zone BlowLoun. The place here is a bit of a mess at the moment with forestry operations in the adjacent woodlands. The old church is still fenced off just now but hopefully will be open again soon once repairs are carried out. I now followed the track downhill for zone Prestonholm, once a flax mill, then a landfill, now being reclaimed by nature and a hot spot at this time of year for butterflies. Peacock, red admiral, common blue and painted lady, to name but a few. Lots of orange-tip white around today. Did I mention the mud? No, well, there’s more mud here as well.
A track (muddy) heading towards Gorebridge brings you onto the PovertRoad for the zone of the same name, then back north to the B704 again which brings us out at the cat rescue, then across the road into Butlerfield industrial estate. Note the road surface here is terrible though the smell of bacon cooking from the roadside cafe are very enticing. The next hour or so was spent taking the 18 zones in Newtongrange. I think this is the local patch for turfer DeadLegRed, so sorry old chat, but you can always take them again and get more points.
My final two zones of the day were ByEskWeir and GroveFarm. If you take the Carrington road at the railway viaduct, opposite the Sun Inn, go past the cottage and then left. I rough track with yes, more mud, follows the River South Esk back to Dalhousie Castle. If the river is running high, zone ByEskWeir is worth stopping for a look. There’s a new barrier to stop you falling in.
With only 31 zones taken this morning, a fairly easy turfing session. Sometimes it’s nice not to bother too much about getting more points and simply enjoy yourself, taking the most from the journey rather than the destinations, i.e. the zones. And my final task of the day, getting the power wash out and cleaning all the mud from Ogre. Until next time.
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