Thursday, 2 August 2012

Walk in the rain

The other day we managed a short walk. Only seven miles, but the second walk I’ve completed since a spell in hospital a couple of months back.

Part of the route took in Cromford canal in Derbyshire, an late eighteenth century canal now disused, but popular with walkers and designated as site of special scientific interest (SSSI). We find it more attractive than your usual canal.

Lined with trees, it’s a relaxing stroll with bits and pieces of industrial heritage to remind us why it was built. Leawood Pumping Station for example. It pumped water from the River Derwent to keep the canal topped up.

About a mile or so from the end of the walk it began to rain. Although we had waterproofs we didn’t bother putting them on. Apart from a real deluge you don’t usually need wet gear in summer. Clothes made from lightweight synthetics dry out as you walk and it’s pleasing to walk in the rain without feeling the need to find shelter.

Why is that? Maybe it’s that unique aroma you get from falling rain plus... Plus what? Maybe a sense of being outdoors - proper outdoors. We stood under nearby trees for a moment when it came down hard, watched it drip great fat drips into the canal from overhanging trees. Then we moved on.

I’m not usually keen on rain while out walking. It obscures the view and out on the hills I think there is an aspect of rain you don’t quite capture. It's just a nuisance really - not atmospheric as it can be elsewhere.

Maybe the aroma goes missing in the hills. It's softer and more peaceful down by the canal. Not a nuisance at all. With no view to lose, the rain adds a touch of something strangely pleasant, something more than a mild wetting.


Sam Vega said...

Rain can also be beautiful in towns and cities, especially after drought. The smell of the wet roads is wonderful. And it does away with that "London Park" stench which is stale dog mess, human urine, and dust. Rain is a great cleanser.

When I lived in Israel I was surprised to see the children get as excited about rain as they do here about snow. Rushing outside, trying to catch it, etc.

For this summer, though, you are advised to go easy on expressing your appreciation of rain.

Woodsy42 said...

It'll be much prettier when the water is safely fenced off though.
It's a very sad occurence but fencing the canals?

A K Haart said...

Sam - yes, the smell of wet roads is wonderful. I love a good storm after a long, hot spell.

Woodsy - maybe we'll fence off roads one day!

Anonymous said...

Curiously I find Victorian industrial buildings quite comforting, add some cottages and rabbit hutches and all is perfect.

A K Haart said...

Roger - one of my wife's ancestors was a lock-keeper on this canal. Sounds idyllic, although I suppose there were drawbacks.

James Higham said...

The other day we managed a short walk. Only seven miles

don't know how you manage to do it, AKH - I'm off for a coffee. :)

A K Haart said...

James - it's done on strong coffee (: