Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A long weekend at Tixall, and new friends.

We stretched the weekend to three days, being a bit suspicious of the grey clouds building around mid-morning yesterday. Justifiably, as it turned out. We had a couple of sharp, heavy hailstorms later.

Tixall Wide
And resident swan
But if we had moved, we may have missed our visitor. Ann, off NB Moore 2 Life, had walked down the towpath with dog Molly. We spent an hour chatting, and she headed back about 13:30. We’d not met before, but have now made a new friend.

Ann, Molly and Meg.

After an overnight frost, today was bright and sunny, and we set off around 10:30. Tixall Lock was 20 minutes away, and we were surprised to have another boat come up behind us as I was emptying the chamber for us. He was a solo boater, and, as we were pulling over in Milford anyway, I locked him through first, and sent him on his way.
BW have advised that the Trent and Soar are in flood (again)! So is the River Sow, seen as we crossed it on Brindley’s aqueduct.
A bit further on the towpath switches to the opposite side of the cut, crossing over Milford Turnover Bridge.
A pity the railway runs so close alongside the canal. It’s a very picturesque section along here. Still, the railway surveyors logically followed much the same route as the earlier canal surveyors, as they had the same criteria – A to B in as straight a line as possible, but avoiding steep gradients wherever possible.

Just past the bridge is Milford Wharf, a busy spot for long term moorers, and opposite was Moore 2 Life. We pulled in to meet Chas and of course for a brew, and enjoyed comparing notes on canal life. Check out their website - http://moore2life.blogspot.com. It's stuffed full with useful information. They are very experienced live-aboards, having been on the water since 2000. They’re turning around and heading back to Great Haywood. But they will be heading onto the Shroppie later, so we’ll no doubt meet up again in the next couple of months.

Ann, Chas and Moore 2 Life.
On the way again, we swung around to the south following the River Penk and avoiding Stafford, and a couple of miles saw us at Deptmore Lock.

Deep in thought at Deptmore Lock
It was getting on for 14:30, so we pulled in a little further along, with fields both sides.

Moored above Deptmore Lock
The M6 is only a mile or so to the west, and you can hear the traffic noise carried on the breeze. We’ll be a lot closer tomorrow, the other side of Penkridge.

Locks 2, miles 5½

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