Saturday 6th October 2018 - White Hill G/SP-006
Gig: Motown Gold
Venue: The Outbarn, Waddington, near Clitheroe
After a hearty breakfast at Cambridge youth hostel, I hit the road. The route covered a good distance up the A1, before a stretch along the M62 followed by a tedious route across Bradford and Keighley. White Hill isn’t one I make a habit of doing annually - it is the opposite end of the SP region from my home QTH, and it is a bobbins hill with a dreary soggy route. However, I’d reached the point of being just two hills from an annual G/SP completion, and it was very close to my gig. Easington Fell G/SP-012 was even closer - almost on the doorstep - but I’d already activated that one in 2018.
I parked the car at the Cross of Greet layby on the Bentham to Slaidburn road, and entered the access land through the gate opposite. The “ascent” was much flatter than I’d recalled - but also much boggier. I knew it was boggy of course - I’d just forgotten how relentlessy boggy it was! False summits tricked me, drew me in, then laughed in my face on several occasions in the second half of the ascent. One in particular had me eagerly anticipating the trig point as the horizon loomed close, narrowing dramatically - only to reveal a further 2km of uphill sloggery once I’d peered over it.
The ascent took me about an hour, so I factored in what time I needed to start descending in time to check into the hostel and get to my gig. It wasn’t very long at all. Hence I decided to try and get away with a handheld-only qualification once again, even though this time I’d carried up all the kit. Six contacts were recorded, all 2m FM except one - Geoff G6MZX - who called me in C4FM (Fusion) mode.
I got back down and drove to Slaidburn YHA. Reception would close at 10pm, so I needed to check in and collect the late access code. While there, I decided I might as well have a shower and get changed into my gig suit, as the venue was only a further 6 miles down the road. I was chuffed to hear the volunteer warden utter those magic words “There’s just you in that dormitory tonight”! After a couple of hours pumping out the Motown classics for a very enthusiastic and appreciative crowd, I said goodnight to my bandmates, and made my way back up to Slaidburn for a very comfortable and restful night’s sleep. Ward's Stone G/SP-003 would be the morning's objective.