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  • Alick Burt

SOTP Big Meet Day 3 A lovely jaunt on the Ripon Canal.

Sunday morning saw the River Ure in full flow

so I decided I would go for a gentle bimble along the Ripon Canal.

I didn't fancy driving to the put in and my car was well tied to my tarp and tent set up so I opted to walk to the start point in town using my trolley.Greg lent me the map the night before and with directions from some of the more local members of our gathering I set off along quiet roads along footpaths that were just wide enough in places and soon reached the put in.

The canal was a complete contrast to the bubbling cauldron of the Ure being like a sheet of glass reflecting the street lights perfectly even though they were switched off.

This part of the route is through town but it seems as with many canals as if you are seeing the town in a completely different way. The adjacent traffic seems totally unaware of your presence as

you glide silently along.

I passed this sanitary station which looked clean in the brightening sunlight.

Shortly after came the first lock.

These are not particularly portage friendly having lots of concrete, no soft get outs and our least favourite concrete steps but at least there are no swing gates at the top of them.

Once on the far side it wasn't long before the route left the noise of the city behind and I passed under this bridge into the countryside.

On my right was this crane reminding me of the ones I used to make from meccano.

The weather was definitely an improvement on Saturday's dull skies and I was able to have a coffee break in the sun.

At the lock where the Canal meets the River Ure there is this sign

and a number of big boats were waiting for the water levels to drop before entering the river.

As the gauge was just into the orange zone I decided to proceed up river with caution knowing that at one of the narrower points I would be beaten by the flow and would then return the way I had come. It was getting close to lunch time and I soon reached the bridge near the sailing club

Around the next bend all was calm

I paddled a bit further passing a few fishermen and eventually as predicted the river flow became stronger as I approached an island.I was paddling hard to get around the island and back onto the main river when my phone began to ring.

I pulled in to the side and was about to answer when it stopped.I decided to paddle back down river and find a convenient lunch spot.

This was a nice spot and a great sun trap but the thistles were a bit prickly!

I checked my phone and found it was Greg who called (I saved his number from the previous day) so I texted him back to let him know all was well.

My return journey was quicker and I soon found myself back on the canal passing clusters of lilies in full bloom.

There is also a nice wooded section on one part of the route

and it wasn't long before I found myself back at the start.

a jolly little jaunt perfect for a relaxing Sunday.



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