Location: Teignmouth, Devon, United Kingdom

I'm married with two grown up children and four grandchildren, My wife of 47 years is Sue and we are the same age. My two children are Pamela (blogging occasionly under and Roy,who was recently Paralysed from the waist down due to an Absys on his Spine. My 4 grandchildren are (oldest first) Gavin, Hayley, Thomas,and Zoe. Sue and I are both retired and we're disabled too, her with a badly Arthritic back and spine, me with lung (COPD) and Heart problems.I have always loved Fishing (all sorts) Sue started fishing with me about 8 years ago, now she really enjoys it too. We both love m'cycles and m'cycling, Sue owns and rides her own bike which is a Custom 1981 250 Honda.I own a 1979 Honda CX500. We are both members of this motorcycle club ( view or join our club on or see my blog post Dec 2007 blog "Getting old, never", of course we're badly resticted now due to our illness, only riding in really good weather.Just over three years ago we lost our best friend and Baby Mojo the border Collie, Gone but never forgotten. Please feel free to use any of our photo's but do let me know you have used them, thank you.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Snowy Dartmoor.

So todays blog is one that most of us in the UK have had more than enough of. This of course is this years snow, particularly the snow on Dartmoor. As i have a fair few readers (i hope still) from other countries like America, Canada and Australia, that its probably best to give them an idea of Devons Dartmoor. I often get my readers leaving comments like, its such a small country, yet you seem to have so much open space!!. Well Dartmoor is just one of these wide open spaces.The Moor itself is actually a raised Plateau of Granite. This covers an area of around 368 miles (1,400 Hectares) and in 1951 was designated Britains first "National Park". Around 1/2 (50%) is open Moorland, around 12% forest or Woodland. The Moor is probably known to a lot of People for either its very old Prison, which is situated in Princetown the highest town on the Moor at 1,300ft above sea level. Or the famous book "The Hound of the Baskervilles" written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle which is all about the high moor. Human activity has been recorded on Dartmoor for around 4,000 years. The Tors or mounds of Granite were probably formed around
280 million years ago by molten Granite, (i wont go deeply into this as it is easily Googled).
The highest mountain peak on Dartmoor is "High Willhayes"which is around 620 metres (2,050 ft) high and is the highest mountain (loose term) south of the "Peak District".
On Tuesday last week Sue and i decided to see just how bad (or good) the snow was up there. It is around 15 miles (as the Crow flies) from us. We got a weather forecast of little or no snow so although some roads were still impassable some it said where open.
Here we go then, as we start off the larger roads were quite good. (This is a very long blog)
Do click on any picture to enlage it.
One of the first glimpses of the higher moor.
Below, lovely views down through the Valley.
This picture (below) is of a car park where we often stop for a cuppa, not today though the entrance was sheer Ice!!!.
Starting to climb, with a couple of Tors ahead.(below)All of Dartmoor has a speed limit of 40 MPH.
As we get higher, drifts of around 12" to 15" are evertwhere.
Below, As you can see some of the smaller roads to more remote villages were virtually impassable.
This couple were supposed to be visiting relatives about 3 miles down this road but after examining the road they decided not to bother.
The roads from here on up had a fresh snow fall of about 1"an hour before we got here.
Below, on reaching this point we managed to get a little off the road to have a Sandwhich and a brew, We did seriously wonder whether to carry on from here as it snowed a little and the temperature was -1F.
Just to add insult to injury, after deciding to carry on the Fog started to come down.
Another Fog picture. The other thing that also worried us was lack of traffic, around a car every 5 to 10 mins (minus 3F now and usually a 4x4 type vehicle.
Two Tors in the distance, bathed in the Snow below.
I cant find the other picture i have of this bridge but it has Sue standing in the middle to show its narrowness, now impassable, with several residents cars abandoned on the verge behind us.
Below, Bellever Forest with Virgin snow.
This pond was a real head scratcher (below) as it was high on the Moor where night time Temperatures had dropped to minus 8F yet it was still not frozen???
It had just stopped snowing again here.
This is one of the most photographed places on the Moor. Probably because its on one of the few larger roads that cross the Moor. Its the "Clapper"Bridge at Postbridge. "Clapper" bridges are ones consisting of rows of large Granite rocks made into columns with large Granite slabs laid on top to make the bridge.
Not many will have seen it like this though.
Here again (below), from a different angle though.

We were going to try to get across to Widecombe from here but on seeing this road decided not too.
This picture (below) is my favourite, its of the "Powdermills" Pottery a few miles from postbridge.
Finally this picture (below) shows people by the hundreds flocking to "Haytor" where the access roads were good and clear. They brought, Sledges, Ski's, Boards, anything including Tin trays to enjoy the slopes.
Please enlarge this to see them.

At my age you ask these questions.

Will I Live to see 80?
Here's something to think about.
I recently picked a new primary care doctor..
After two visits and exhaustive Lab tests, he said I was doing 'fairly well' for my age.
(I just turned 64.)
A little concerned about that comment, I couldn't resist asking him,
'Do you think I'll live to be 80?'
He asked, 'Do you smoke tobacco, or drink beer or wine?'
'Oh no not a lot,' I replied.. 'I'm not doing drugs, either!'
Then he asked, 'Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs?
'I said, 'Not much...
My former doctor said that all red meat is very unhealthy!'
'Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, sailing, hiking, or bicycling?'
'No, I don't,' I said.
He asked, 'Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have a lot of sex?'
'No,' I said.

He looked at me and said,... 'Then, why do you even give a shit?'


Blogger Gina E. said...

You've certainly opened my eyes to the beauty of Dartmoor, Bob. Thanks for all the information about it, and of course your photos are spectacular as usual!

3:14 pm  
Blogger Gina E. said...

Me again! Thanks for your sympathy over our financial woes...Ken got the tyres on the Honda this morning, ready for a Classics Day tomorrow at Phillip Island. I'm not up to riding pillion for a long trip like that these days, so I'm going to follow him in my car with all the essentials such as lunch, drinks, folding chairs, camera, etc. Watch my blog soon for some pics!

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