Saturday 15 February 2020

13th February 2020 - Beat the clock pizza

Back in the day, Mike told us, the Royal used to have a beat the clock pizza special. Arrive by 6pm, you pay £6. 6:30, £6.50 and so on.
The very generous donation by the family Rushton of a voucher entitling us to pizza for two and a bottle of prosecco gave us the opportunity to put our own spin on the theme.
The first thing we required, when we met at Devil's Bridge at 5pm, was a short trip to allow us to clean up a bit before arriving at the Royal in Kirby for our latest possible, before they stop serving at 8:45,  8:30pm reservation.

With our newly found regard for water and the amount of water that has fallen recently a few ideas for trips were quickly discarded, before a nice dry trip to Fire Hydrant chamber in Easegill was decided upon.

It's fantastic to be able to walk across the fell in the light, though oddly it actually seems harder to follow the path without the line of shining dots that are only revealed by night fall.

We don't tend to meet many folk on a Thursday night so we were also quite surprised to find a rope down the Lancaster Hole pitch, our rope looking much muckier in comparison to the shiny in situ nylon.

Once at the bottom of the pitch we were off, Bridge Hall, Kath's way, Fall pot (down and up) and Stake Pot itself passing faster than I could reel them off in my head. The week's wet weather making the Easegill mud almost frictionless. 

At Stake Pot inlets Mike set off like a London cabby fully versed in "The Knowledge". At Cannock climb we swapped beautifully shaped, clean washed passageway for sandier but beautifully decorated chambers. Passing the 88' pitch I was ever more impressed with Mike's route finding,  the actual way on never looking like the obvious choice.

One final squirm and we popped up into the stunning Cape Kennedy chamber, it's stalagmitic rockets silently waiting on a countdown that will never reach zero. A few yards on we entered Fire Hydrant chamber, again it's eponymous formation waiting for a shout that will never come.

The return journey to the bottom of the pitch seemed to pass even more quickly and soon the three of us were following the reflective dots back across the moor. These have been superbly sited and again our thanks must go to those who have put them in.

Arriving at Bull Pot Farm, the car's clock read 8:37pm. We were going to have to be quick. A speedy change and brief chat with the Thursday night diggers and we were off, phone poised for the moment we crested the hill and regained signal. As Tony tried valiantly to guide the car safely around the myriad potholes, I asked the hotel to put in 3 pizzas., we'd be there in a few minutes. The phone call was made trickier by a sharp bang, followed by an ominous rumbling sound. Yorkshire country lanes are definitely not the natural home of low profile alloys.

Reaching a flat section of road we jumped into action and despite only needing to change one wheel rather than four, still had it done in a time that wouldn't be thought too sloppy by an F1 team.

Typically the market square car park was full so Tony dropped me off and went to find a space elsewhere.  8:57pm and I was stood at the bar, unfortunately the mirror behind it reflecting a rather mucky person, somewhat out of keeping with the rest of the well dressed clientele.

Huge thanks have to go to the Rushtons, a pizza definitely beats a packet of crisps any day. Also to the staff at The Royal for serving us in the moments before the kitchen was going to close, for swapping a bottle of prosecco for three pints and being extremely welcoming to three of the scruffier customers they're going to see this weekend.

No comments: