Consulting the weather forecast the previous evening I decided to complete the Logan Trail and East Leake 10 miles walk as I did the same time last year without the need of carrying a rucksack. This lightweight approach worked but I needed lunch beforehand to avoid carrying food and drink. So consuming two fish finger cobs and a glass of pure orange juice I was suitably nourished and hydrated to embark on this trek. As I stepped over the threshold and entered the great outdoors the sky was a blank canvas awaiting the artist’s brush. Today the palette would consist of various shades of grey with hints of blue-grey awaiting application. With a sky like this and the weather forecast predicting rain after midday it provided the incentive that the walk could be done at pace. On yesterday’s walk I arrived at the gate on Ash Lane in 39 minutes but on this hike I was at this location six minutes earlier so an excellent indication that this could be a rapid circuit. Crossing Gotham Lane and heading towards the Willow tree by Fairham Brook the sky clouded over and the precipitation arrived on time as a mizzle. Fortunately, this only lasted for a few minutes and the sky had finally received the application of shades of grey. Just in time as now I was approaching The Ash tree and wanted to add more photographs to my collection of this lone tree in the middle of a field. The grey sky added atmosphere to these images and contrasted to the ones I took four weeks ago with vivid blue skies.
Moving on with still a rapid pace I passed under the railway bridge and through what the locals call the sheep field and crossed the foot bridge which goes over a drainage ditch. Earlier this year after the snow lots of plastic bottles and waste congregated at this point. I noticed that water was flowing freely and it looked liked the ditch had seen the use of an excavator recently. However, the debris from the ditch had been deposited onto the field along with plastic bottles and other waste material. Not sure if these will ever be removed and possibly turned into the soil with various agricultural processes.
Luckily the next part of the journey was going along the picturesque Logan Trail. I paused briefly at the first seat along this trial as I don’t think I have sat there this year and for me it has a wonderful aspect looking across a stream and the landscape beyond. At the end of the trail it meets Gotham Road and the completion of this particular section.
Crossing the road The Logan Trail continues through a tunnel of trees that borders a field before it moves onto the verge by the road. Normally the path here is narrow as the vegetation takes up space but today there was a clear wide path as this had been cut away. To counter this loss of habitat a positive on this section was the range of bird contact calls. At its end I crossed the road to start the ascent to the Cuckoo Bush. Here I removed the Marmot Hoody to avoid overheating and continued the steep climb. The end of this leg is the top by a path junction and I was surprised that I had made it to this point in under two hours as it usually takes this long to get to the start of The Logan Trail. As the wind was picking up at this point I put the Marmot Hoody back on. Making progress through West Leake Woods I am sure I heard calls from ravens and rustling sounds from deer although I never saw either. As I peered into the woods I was hoping that a deer would suddenly appear in a clearing but it never happened. Pushing onward I did stop briefly to view the power station and then carried on to West Leake Church. Here I sent a Whatsapp to Jane to give her an indication of what time I should arrive back home. This leg follows the Midshires Way through the village to ascend Fox Hill.
On arriving at the footpath junction at the top of the hill I descend to the corner tree. I always stop at The Corner Tree as there is usually a large Bracket fungus attached to its trunk which is worth taking a photograph of but on this occasion the fungus had been kicked off. However, I did take an image of a section laying on the ground and used the tip of my trainer to show scale. Carrying on I noted the time at the Stone Bridge and knew I could finish in my fastest time for this walk. Now it was head down under the railway bridge into Meadow Park and on arriving home confirmed this was my quickest circuit of this much loved route.