Saturday, 22 May 2010

They don't make them like they used to...

WITC was out on the moor last Winter whenever possible, even when icicles hung from our noses, and a layer of snow had to be swept from box sites. You can wrap up against the cold, after all, this is weather for which disposable handwarmers were designed for.

This weekend however, less than 3 weeks since hat and gloves were still required on Dartmoor, we experience the hottest days of the year so far. It reached 22.3C at Powder Mills near Postbridge on Friday according to the weather station at

It didn't feel like 22.3 at Avon Dam yesterday. It was sweltering out there. The heat haze wobbled the whole scene, every ascent left us bathed in sweat. We had to plunge our bare feet into Bala Brook to cool down (WITC does not subscribe to any Dartmoor skinny-dipping club)

Our route lead us past Black Tor and up to the West side of the reservoir then South West across Bala, Middle and Red Brooks up to Wacka Tor and back to Shipley Bridge via the most dangerous and inappropriate bridleway on the moor - otherwise known as Diamond Lane. Its a challenging scramble for humans, and I cannot imagine horses tackling this ancient byway.

We also refound a box we originally discovered in 2004. Dartmoor Rescue Group - Buckland (Registered box No.15789) Only found 3 times in 4 years! It was in perfect condition, the original book dry and legible, the stamp complete and undistorted. OK, so its in a (now outlawed) ammunition can. You only need to visit a few 'Curried Letterboxers' to see that stamps today don't last, and it doesn't matter if two pillpots are used and contents wrapped in plastic bags, the damp get in and turns book to mush and staples to rust within too long. It leaves WITC wondering what we can learn to make today's boxes more durable.

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