In the interests of ultra training and because Spook the wonder dog hadn't been for a run for two days, it was high time for Ewan and I to get out for a longish one. Parking up at Combestone Tor the idea was to run a rugby ball-shaped route in the south-eastern corner of the moor and get involved with some clarts from the top drawer.
The pull up towards Rounder's Hole got the furnace lit as we skirted Aune Head Mires and made for Naker's Hill. We then had the option of going round Fishlake Mire or through it. No prizes for guessing.
Emerging Swamp-Thing like and scaring the sheep we made for the pyramidal spoil heap of Red Lake clayworks. From there it was a simple matter of picking up the bleeding obvious cart track. Unfortunately my God of the Moors deserted me and we ploughed though the deepest, reedy, boggiest clarts in all Dartmoordom, eventually emerging with orange legs but with big smiles. I've traversed most of the moor's boggy bits, but that took the biscuit by some distance. Got to go and play in that again soon.
Finding the track, we made for Western White Barrow and on to Eastern White Barrow. By now the furnace was well and truly aglow and we were both sweating buckets. En-route a hugely well-equipped walker asked us if we were mad. Pot and kettle, I thought as he toiled under a vast rucksac looking like a cover for Ellis Brigham.
Down to Shipley Bridge through an ankle snappy boulder field and up the access road to Avon Dam led us to Huntingdon Warren and the return leg. From here we contoured the eastern flank of Huntingdon Hill and on to Ryder's Hill. Long swoopy downhill clarty tracks led us back down to the car.
In search of post-run beer we arrived just in time at the Forest Inn for a bit of refreshment. Many thanks to Monkey Boy for a top day out, to the landlord for staying open and to Morrison's for their cracking fruit and nut mix. More crystalised ginger and sugared chilli is the order of the day for next time.