Summer Looming, Long Time Coming

So I have not posted in ages. Bygones. I have been cycling to work all winter, including the days that were so cold that I wore thermals and tights for the first time ever. Running, cycling and hiking has been my jam.

Here in Lancashire there is a hill called Hameldon that I always meant to climb but never did, until this week. Last Sunday I did it – discovering up there a park bench of all things – and strolled across to what I have nicknamed the Golf Ball:

It is actually a Met Office weather radar station. I always meant to climb up to see what it was, ever since I was a nipper decades ago, and I went up a while ago, and then a good few times more since. I feel as though I have completed a childhood ambition.

The climb up to the top of Hameldon followed by the walk across to this is great. It is essentially a chain of hills a bit like a massif. The feeling up there is eerily still and reminiscent of growing up in the tail end of the Cold War. Weird I know but all of the architecture and the construction looks like that time. Even stranger is the fact that it reminds me of photos of Buran, the Soviet space shuttle that was mothballed before it ever flew in space. Some enterprising soul tracked it down to an aerodrome in Kazakhstan where it sits, rusting away quietly. I would love to go and see it. I am not sure that it would be worth the risk of being detained by Russian Secret Service goons, however.

It is possible to get very close to the Golf Ball, within about five metres, but once there it is gated and covered in warnings about ionising radiation, which I am sure are more of an intimidating attempt at deterrent than factual given that it is just radar.

The whole walk from my house and back was about twelve miles, which is very rewarding when you have a spritely young border collie to tire out. Even though he went up to his shoulders in mud a couple of times he had a whale of time. Hiking is simply so much better with a doggie in tow. Even better is the Hapton Inn at the base of Hameldon where you can roll up for a well-earned drink afterwards.

Here come some cool photographs.

Barkley at the trig point
Summit of Hameldon, looking towards Preston
The Golf Ball