Ah! The joys of forward planning There I was on a cloudy and breezy morning with my route firmly charted in my mind. The clouds were not so low as to obscure the views of the mountain so all was well in my world. I knew I wasn't going far but I decided to give my water backpack a test run and was happy that I had mastered the art of it not making a sloshing sound with every step. All was going well and I ran over the footbridge to check out this new section of route only to discover a footpath sign! Just couldn't resist, so off I trotted up a very well defined lane to a kissing gate. On the other side a gaggle of curious steers staring and snorting as they do, edging cautiously away as I walked through their midst, waiting for the opportune moment to start running again. Off I set only to hear the skittish footsteps of one of the steers running up behind me and thankfully too shy to continue the chase he turned aside.
And then came the conundrum. Did the footpath really go through the yard of the house standing in front of me? I wandered around to the back wondering if there was a stile into the next field but nothing. Did I turn back or continue on? I cautiously opened the gate and walked right past the front door. Catching the eye of the lady in the kitchen she came out with her husband and I made my apologies and asked about the footpath. It seemed I was a little off course but it was a common mistake apparently and they said I was fine to continue through their yard and on through the fields warning that it would be a bit muddy but please come back if you get lost and I'll drive you to wherever you're going. Oh, and would you like a cup of tea before you continue on your way? What a lovely couple! Anyway, off I trotted with them calling after me 'Are you sure you don't want a cup of tea?' As they said the field was a little muddy but nothing much to speak of in reality until.... the gateway! Soft mud pitted with cattle hoof prints led into a muddy pool that spread a good few yards either side of the gate and being in the bottom corner of the field had obviously collected a substantial amount of water from the previous rainfall. I baulked at just going straight through the middle and glad I did too. I tried to edge around the side but even there the water was well over ankle deep and with every step I could feel the soft mud enclosing my feet and a slooosh as I pulled my foot free as if whispering that it would get my shoe next time! I emerged from the mud (and suspected other!) with great big balls of mud where my feet should be and I couldn't help but laugh out loud. By the time I had crossed the field the weight of it all had fallen away and there I was back out on the road. I'm not sure if it was the rucksack and the muddy legs, or if it was just that everybody's in a good mood today, but every time I came to cross a road I was waved across with a cheery smile. What a lovely run.
The photo shows the depth of the muddy water though it had dried off a lot by the time I got home. Halfway up my shins and that was the shallow bit. SOOO glad I didn't just try and plough straight through the middle