Monday, 12 April 2010

So Soft Midge Repellent

Now that we're coming into spring my thoughts are firmly fixed on warmer climes, less rain (or snow), longer days and woohoo - midges! I recall summers in the Scottish Highlands and the Cairngorms when we used to get chewed by them there blasted midges leaving you peppered with purple dots looking like a sufferer of the plague. For some reason they are immune to any kind of deet or over the counter insect repellent treating it as more as a flavour enhancer.

That was until we got yakking on the the Monarch of the Glen crew who were filming up there at the time. Their secret was none other than Avon Skin So Soft. When you discover this you'll start to notice the independant shops stocking it like the fury! So what is the secret? God only knows but lather this on and you won't know those misdges are there, the only midgie repellant out there that really works alas! Oh joy!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

The Formation of the Yorkshire Wolds Valleys

Following on from my post on Tuesday of my walk along part of the Wolds Way from Fridaythorpe in the Yorkshire Wolds, I am here in pen and ink to try to explain the formation of these peculiar valleys took place.

During the last ice age there was a glacier that came down from Scotland through the Vale of York butting up against the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Wolds. The deep crater that was squeezed between this glacier (to the west) and the ice sheet(to the east) that covered the North Sea (originating in Scandinavia) was then filled with water and was known (although I don't know who exactly was around at that time to call it or know it by anything in fact - whoever they are they will for sure be very old by now and should they not have shaved will have a very large and thick beard - more impressive than those sported even by ZZ Top I would say) as Lake Pickering (with the Moors to the north and wolds to the south).

The aforementioned monstrous slab of Scandinavian ice then started to encroach on Lake Pickering causing its contents to displace through the Yorkshire Wolds. This motion of the running water caused all the soil to run off off with it as it made it's way away from Lake Pickering in the north to the south and into what was Lake Hull. It was this movement of water that eroded the soil and created the valleys as it went.

As the ground is so permeable once the ice age slowly but surely came to an end and the permafrost melted (which previously prevented the water soaking into the ground) the water permeated into the soil. With the water settled the silt that had been carried down from the hill tops as Lake Pickering had overflowed.

This is why the valley bottoms in Thixendale and the surrounding valleys of the Yorkshire Wolds look so perfect yet are dry bottomed and are as flat as they are. This is a unique feature due to the unique series of events that came together in order to make the Yorkshire Wolds appear the way that they do. Good eh!

Below is a map showing the glacier on the western side of Lake Pickering and the ice slab of the North Sea to the eat. The northern and southern shores of Lake Pickering are marked by the North Yorkshire Moors and the Yorkshire Wolds respectively. The arrows show the movement of water following the displacement of the Lake.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Walking along the Wolds Way in Yorkshire

Date: 27th February 2010
Those there: Me, Phil
Map: OS Landranger 100, OS Landranger 106 / OS Explorer 300, OS Explorer 294
Distance: 5 1/2 miles

We kicked off in Fridaythorpe in just up the road from the pub (873593) and walked west out of the village on the Wolds Way in the shadow of what I think is a grain plant which overlooks you like a rather dark and intimidating cloud.

Yorkshire Wolds Valley
Here you follow the hiking trail towards Ings Plantation (which you will struggle to see until you come across it at the top of the valley side) across the field until you arrive at the valley top. Here the path veers slightly right as it descends into the valley bottom (860595). Here we came across a bit of a weird sight of a carcass of a lamb which was no older than a few days. As we approached it, what must have been it's mother let out a blood curdling noise which would have been more at home in one of Quentin Tarantino's blockbusters. It's age was confirmed by the placenta which was laying not much further down the hiking trail along with a further two carcasses. Just goes to show how furious this winter has been and how badly it must have hit the farming communities across the country.

Here you start to see the nature of the landscape and the nature of the valleys all around. The valleys run into each other but the bizarre thing is that they don't really seem to run from anywhere or to anywhere for that matter - there is an answer however which I will come to at the end - for those that are interested.

When we arrived at the valley bottom at Ings Plantation we took a right to walk north for literally a few metres when we headed west up a tree lined valley tributary (if you like) heading towards Gill's Farm, this is all still on the Wolds Way.

No time to call in for a brew, once at Gill's Farm we walked straight over the road and down the path to the fence here you get an even better example of the bizarre dry, flat bottomed valleys you saw earlier. Once through the gate the hiking trail veers to the left along a slighter decline. Instead we sliced off the corner and took the shorter, knee battering, bum sliding route to the valley bottom (844594).

Thixendale Wolds Way
Here we saw these cows which look to be well clothed for these chillier conditions out in the field, if they were to head from pasture to disco however a trim might be advantageously appealing to the opposite sex then again who am I to comment on that!?!

Highland Cow on the Wolds Way
Again continuing to walk along the Wolds Way, now north, we walked along the wide sweeping valley bottom where we saw other tributaries join this main valley bottom. This hiking trail is particularly easy to follow unless you feel like a rather strenuous scramble up and over the side of the valley. Through a gate at the northern end of the valley and it widens. We walked further still and we came to a paved road (842601 although it may now not seem too remote this is still the Wolds Way). We took a right here which is marked by a disused pit (presumably this could have been used for watering livestock at some time in the past) and walked along the road for probably around 1/2 mile until we were on the outskirts of Thixendale. Here we came across a pretty odd junction and we took the most fiercest of inclines - the 2nd right turn.

In not too far but pretty steep we arrived at the top of the hill and took a few minutes to check out the surroundings (849610) as you have a great vantage point of the area from here. Although you cant see it from this spot Wharram Percy is a superb Medieval Remains of a village. It could look as though some folk just moved out last week although it has been pretty well restored as most of it is actually no longer sadly. Either way if you're in this neck of the woods it is definitely worth stopping in on.

Breath back and set to go we walked back to Fridaythorpe along the road past Gritts Farm and into Fridaythorpe past the Grain Cloud and back to the car. Not a huge walk but a great leg stretch and a superb opportunity to get out and take in this crazy unique landscape.

I will post in the next couple of days the geography of the Wolds and why these bizarre valleys came into being.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Aha - Satmap issues finally fully resolved

I have finally got to the bottom of the "North up" issue. I followed the concise instrucions on the Satmap website (which were very easy to follow and carry out) in order to update and upload the software to the current version available.
Once I did this I reset all the settings to the optimum settings I had already confirmed with Satmap. I then went back onto the map on the unit and tried to reset the map so that the "Direction of travel up" was set. A new screen that I had never seen before appeared stating "Trail up not available in advanced power settings (update position every 4 seconds instead of every second)".
So that answers it. It was never available seemingly in the advanced power settings and you can only have that feature active if the unit updates every second. So please all Satmap users consider that in future, it's not a glitch with the Active 10, it just doesn't allow it. No great shakes however as long as you're aware of it you can work round it, not a biggy.
Gotta be honest - I am now a delighted Satmap user. Following my review where there was a negative (and a very frustrating one at that) of total lack of customer services is now been eradicated, in fact turned on it's head. Redeemed I will duly alter this to a positive.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Issues with Satmap software

I received an email from Satmap regarding the "North up" issues I was having and they advised that I should go to their website and download and install the most up to date software version (1.42) and upload it onto my Satmap. I am not sure what difference this will make as I have seemingly only just started suffering this issue and I have been using the old software version for around 2 years. I will however try this and hope it eradicates the problems I've been having. Fingers and toes crossed. I just need to locate the cable to connect my Satmap to my pc now, no doubt entwined with the rest of my miscellaneous cabling in a drawer at home somewhere hmmmm.

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