Wow.. a whole year has gone by, summer is a distant memory and its time to get out and spend a night on a hill.
We thought it would be fun to head back to last Januarys location, a hill side which isn’t too far from a pub. Mark wasn’t able to make this one, but Nick was up for his first possibly cold night out (remember how warm December was?)
We started with the traditional few pints, stopping at a pub works well, there is of course beer, but also safer car parking overnight. These are important things to bare in mind when planning your adventures. We supped up our drinks and headed out to the car, it was still very mild for January, certainly much warmer than last year. As a precaution I changed into a thermal top, and pulled my t-shirt on. I hesitated for a moment, wondering if I would need my thick fleece too, it was still earlyish, so I wore it anyhow.
We headed off down the road. I was more loaded than I would normally be, I decided to take my camera and whats probably the heaviest tripod.. The walk wasn’t far, and within a few minutes we were off the beaten track, quietly making our way along a soggy path, some of the puddles were deeper then we expected, and without torches we were reliant on the moon above us guiding the way.. I was starting to regret the thick fleece at this stage..
The woodland cleared and we were stood on the hill, overlooking the industrial end of our home town. Last years location was just a few feet away, we started making our way to the familiar location, then something caught my eye.. A large oak tree stood on the horizon, its leafless limbs really standing out.. We made our way over, and soon decided on a spot by the large twin trunk.
We cleared away the worst of the sticks and twigs and laid out our beds for the night. I grabbed the camera and wandered out into the field a little way to take a few shots of our tree. The clear skies above, with the moon and orion would be looking over us as we slept.
Back under the tree it was time for a few snacks and some ciders, It was pretty warm still, and once inside the sleeping bag I was cosy and comfortable. My OTT fleece was now my pillow for the night. We crashed out after midnight, which was quite late for a microadventure night. I had set the alarm to go off around 5:30am, as we were looking south we could see 5 planets (Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter). The early hour arrived and the horizon was partly obscured by cloud, but we could still see them through the light hazy cloud.
It was time to get some hot water on, my jetboil just about had enough gas in to boil the water (I must remember to get a new canister) Theres something special drinking coffee in the morning, whilst looking out from under your own tree 🙂 The sky was starting to lighten, we watched as Venus slowly disappeared with the arrival of a new day. Its going to be a summer return location for us, close to home, but feeling like we had really traveled.
A speedy packup, which I’ve now perfected to be done whilst sat in my bivi bag too just a few minutes. We set off back to the car, hoping that a) it was still there b) that the gate to the carpark hadn’t been locked.. (It was, and wasn’t)
2016 microadventures have started. We’ve become more adventurous for this years microadventures. Looking forward to the next 11 months!