Sunday, 11 July 2010
The Caterpillar Track
Another cracking day for a bit of barefootery. This was the run I intended to do on Friday, but a grade 1 Dartmoor clag meant that the 10ft wide track disappeared and the moor mocked my efforts to find it, so it was back for an early bath.
No such vis problems today, though and the track sticks out like a sore thumb cutting in a dead straight line up to Langstone Moor Stone Circle. This track comes courtesy of the army who drove a convoy of tracked vehicles here and altered the surface of the moor about 18 years ago. That said, I'll not get on my high horse about it because part of the reason it remains visible today is down to the easier walking (and running) terrain compared to the tussocky moorgrass which dominates this part of the moor. In my defence, though I would guess that my barefooting has less impact than shoes and boots and probably about the same as Spook. There didn't seem to be many footprints on the track so I'm not sure about how much human footfall contributes to the persistence of the track. It could be that the shorter grass makes it easier for the sheep and ponies to graze on the young shoots, which they seemed to be doing this morning. This is more likely the case as the track seems to be of a similar texture right across the width: if human erosion was the main factor I would expect to see heavier wear on a narrower strip.
Perhaps if the DNPA hadn't spent quite as much on new livery for all of their vehicles, this could have been a nice bit of research.................