But first I took Meg for a circular walk, taking in towpath and fields.
She loves rolling in wet grass…
The canal passes the hamlet of Cow Roast. I can’t find the origin of the name, although it may have something to do with the drover’s road that passed this way, using the lower point in the Chiltern Hills. Of course, this same dip was used by the canal builders, and then the railway engineers.
There is evidence that the area has been settled for a considerable time. Roman and bronze age artifacts have been unearthed.
Approaching Cowroast Lock
Fancy a lockside cottage? This gongoozler’s heaven (on the left) is on the market, but no price yet on the website.
Moving out of the lock we topped up the water tank. We’re now at the highest point on the Grand Union Canal, at around 400 feet. We only stay up here for 2½ miles though, before dropping back down the other side of the ridge. The locks start at Bulbourne, and drop the navigation rapidly at first, then, as the gradient flattens, they get further apart, the final downhill one being at Fenny Stratford on the edge of the Milton Keynes conurbation.
The long descent takes about 18 miles, then there’s an 11 mile bottom pound around Milton Keynes before starting to climb again to the 360 foot contour at Norton Junction, where we’ll head off up the Leicester Line. But that’s 50 miles away yet. Lots of interesting stuff between then and now. Like the 3057 yard long Blisworth Tunnel...
On the Tring Summit
I spent most of the afternoon cutting and polishing the front half of the right side of the cabin. I’d done the back half last weekend. Hard work, but it looks a treat again.
The towpath swaps sides again after Bulbourne, so I can concentrate on the left side then.
Oh, and my mouse has recovered from it's coma. It's one of those infra red ones, no ball but a red light underneath. (Like those pimped up cars with the neons under the sills). The light went out and it stopped working. Booted up today, and it's lit up again. Good oh.
Locks 1, miles ¾