This year’s summer outing was marked by not only an excellent turnout of members but also unusually glorious weather!
After much deliberation we had decided to begin at the Steel Rigg car park as this presented the easiest route on to Hadrian’s Wall for our hike to Sycamore Gap. All of us have driven along the Military Road and admired the magnificent tree which featured in the 1991 Robin Hood film starring Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman but we’ll certainly be viewing it differently next time we watch!
There are two routes to the gap, along the ridge following the actual route of the wall or the more leisurely path to the south. We chose the high road on the way there when everyone was fresh and stepping out and returned along the lower route just to ensure that no photographic opportunities went begging – or was it the heat and weight of equipment…….?
The crags to the north of the ridge made a very interesting contrast to the softness of the surrounding green and pleasant land and with several climbers roped together attempting an ascent we were presented with scenes we had not expected to find.
We arrived at the gap directly above the tree, an angle which is rarely seen in most pictures. It will be interesting to see what members manage to produce from this particular viewpoint at the evening Veronica has organised on the 24th September.
At this stage we had walked for a little over half a mile but several of our group continued on to Crag Lough which should offer rather different views across the water.
Rumours of Alastair spending the night on the wall to ensure an early start were denied but he did admit to sharing a banana breakfast with Mr Slug and Mr Frog as the early morning mist was cleared by the rising sun! Mentions of food reminded everyone that the Twice Brewed Inn was only a few minutes away from our car park so we retired there for a very pleasant Sunday lunch.
In all a tremendous day out with great photo opportunities which was enjoyed by club members and should form the basis of a good night back at Merton Hall on the 24th September. Suzanne
Mike & Jean have added their own note from the day:
It was always going to be a challenge getting 14 people to Steel Rigg by 9 o’clock on a Sunday morning. Jean and I arrived a few minutes late to find the advance party already waving from the summit of the first crags, no doubt elated at having cracked what was probably the steepest part of the walk.
Alistair beat us all by being there for 6am (yes 6) before the morning mists had risen – thereby rendering useless all our efforts to match his no doubt fabulous shots of THE tree shrouded in mist.
The nice thing was that we could all go at our own pace and look for that special angle or subject that no-one else might have spotted; time will tell of course but I suspect that our destination, Sycamore Gap, will feature heavily in our collection……
My thanks to Rod and Suzanne for planning the outing which for some was their first visit to that part of the Wall. There were plenty of other Wall walkers that day, most of whom were destined to walk probably ten times the distance we were travelling, but they didn’t interfere with our enjoyment. The sun shone throughout, Suz ensured that everyone got back to their cars safely at the end and, apart from a few sore limbs, I’m sure everyone enjoyed the day.
Before heading off, some of us retired to the Twice Brewed Inn to recharge the batteries over lunch and put the world to rights. Alistair meanwhile retired to find some tweezers to extract a broken cable release….caused when he’d earlier tested his camera’s resilience by dropping it over the edge!
It was a good day out for both photography and friendship. To all those who came along, thanks for your support and I look forward to seeing all your photographs later in the year. Mike
PS. Which one of the three images above was captured with an iPhone?