Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Sunny in Stoke

Usually we console ourselves, locking down through Stoke in the rain, that we're not missing very much, but it was actually quite pleasant today in the sunshine. We managed an early start, as I'd woken early and made the tea at half five. This meant that we were on our way just after seven.

It was my turn to lock and I had a fairly easy trip of it, the first three locks being full or nearly so. I had to turn the last couple in Stoke itself, but a boat turned up as the last one was filling so I didn't have to close up after we'd got down.

There followed the pleasant run out of town, past the Dolphin boatyard/fishing tackle/air gun/archery/C&W Line Dance store that I've written about before. There follows the Incinerator with the A50 crossing, the Britannia Stadium, the massive warehouse and the open country (for the moment) to Trentham. A boat was emerging from Trentham Lock as we arrived, so that I didn't even have to get off before we were in the lock.

Once down, I walked round the corner to the Wedgwood moorings. Elusive, who had been on the Etruria mooring when we arrived yesterday, was already there, but no-one else. We're on the very beginning, out in the open in the sun, though some strangely Spring-like rain has been coming and going this afternoon.

It didn't start until we were back from a quick geocaching trip. It's ages since we did any, so we picked a nice simple looking one for starters and found it without too much trouble. The second one was in a field behind the village. We were put off by Private Land signs on the gates and a lack of a stile into the field, so we chickened out.

No matter, it made a nice change to just be walking for the sake of it again, a measure of how much Sheila's feet have improved since her ops. We've been resting quietly in the boat since, sometimes out on the bow in the sun, sometimes hiding inside from the rain.

It'll be a lazy start tomorrow as we're only popping down the Meaford Locks to tie at the top of Stone and do a bit more shopping in one of our favourite towns.

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