Friday 21st September 2018 - Shillhope Law G/SB-006
Gig: Joe Longthorne
Venue: Lanark Memorial Hall
I chatted with the Pennine Way walkers at Bellingham YHA at breakfast time. One of them advised me that he had left some fresh milk in the fridge, and a piece of chocolate fudge cake, and to help myself. I certainly did - that was breakfast sorted! I had a mug of tea courtesy of the left-over milk and the complimentary hostel teabags, and warmed up the chocolate fudge cake in the microwave! I then followed my satnav what seemed an unexpectedly long way to the hamlet of Shillmoor, on the south side of Shillhope Law G/SB-006.
On our only previous visit, we’d taken the shorter steeper approach from the north-west, but I decided to try the longer but more graded walk this time. I’m glad I did. It was a beautiful sunny day in the Cheviot hills, and the views from this ridge walk were stunning. The wind was up though at the tailend of Storm Ali, and while parking in the farmyard, I was concerned about the extent to which it would be magnified on the upper slopes. The farmer who gave me permission to park, expressed similar reservations. The land must have created a “wind tunnel” effect down in the valley though, as up on the summit, it wasn’t as bad. It was certainly windy though, and I wouldn’t have fancied erecting the 20m GP antenna beside the trig point. I attempted to activate on the handheld only, but managed only one QSO on 2m FM.
I followed a path off the summit in the direction that just might afford some meagre shelter. I found a spot well within the AZ that was slightly calmer, though still breezy. There was at least no problem setting up the 20m GP here though. I put out a CQ call - and back came JG1EIQ from Japan! That was the first of 8 CW QSOs that also included K4DY, and S2S with OE/HA5AZC/P on OE/ST-449. I had been enjoying myself too much, and time was against me. I hurriedly packed everything away and marched quickly back down the hill.
All was OK - I made soundcheck in time. The fine people at the Lanark Memorial Hall had prepared the band dressing room in a very welcoming manner. The band and crew walked down the high street in Lanark and found a decent curry house for tea. It was another good gig, and as ever, the Scottish audience was fantastic. After packdown, I got back on the road for a drive down to Moffat. The soundcrew were staying somewhere near Carlisle. The other band members were going home to Blackpool or Leeds. I’d booked in at the Stag Hotel.
I sat in the bar of the Stag with a couple of pints of Stella and used the Wi-Fi for a little browsing. At midnight, I was politely turfed out and ordered up to my room! I was ready for bed anyway! It was off to Grimsby the next morning, via a walk up Burnhope Seat G/NP-003, another hill I hadn't been up in years!