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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Muggy Weather on the Bridgewater Canal

"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses
put in order.” ~John Burroughs

   We rose mid-morning after a lovely night of dozing with the windows open, waking mid-sleep to a light rain on the roof soothing our sense and cooling things down briefly. After a breakfast chat we decided to move on from our mooring spot at Bridge 206 overlooking the River Weaver. After nearly eight weeks of waiting around in the general vicinity of Nantwich for an initial dentist's appointment and the follow up appointments which took a month and half all together, we are antsy to be on the move while summer is in full swing--especially because we have to figure out soon where to moor the boat for our November trip to America and head in that general direction.
We went into the Preston Brook tunnel on the Trent & Mersey Canal under the auspices of British Waterways, and came out the other end on the Bridgewater Canal under the authority of the Manchester Ship Canal! The Bridgewater was England's first official canal and it is lovely!
An seventy-something woman followed into the tunnel aboard her boat NB Safari. She was single handing it. She told Les it does take longer to travel on one's own but it's doable. Everything just takes more time but that's fine--she was in no hurry!
The last two says have been very muggy! I had no idea it was this humid in Great Britain. 99% humidity with no rain yesterday was a killer. We both wore sheens of sweat as it sweltered around seventy degrees Fahrenheit. (Ya--I hear you my lovely favourite first-born daughter, laughing at me for wilting in seventy degrees. What can I say? I am an Alaskan through to the marrow of every bone and anything over sixty six degrees Fahrenheit is redundant and unnecessary in my humble opinion!)
For our American audience I will say it is not like the heavy blanket of moisture that drops form the atmosphere after crossing the Ohio River and heading full tilt into the Midwest of the U.S. where it just keeps getting wetter and heavier the further south one travels. It is less than that and a bit more than one experiences on a muggy day in Pullman, WA when dry lightning will flicker amongst the clouds at eventide.
As we travelled along from the tunnel towards the village of Preston Brook itself, we passed under green cathedrals formed by the overhanging boughs of Oak, Ash, and Willow trees, finally coming to rest outside the village of Moore on a bend in the canal which offers lovely views all around, and some great wild crafting ahead as the tow path here is awash in red clover which has strong anti-cancer properties. I will dry the flower heads and mix them with rose hips collected later in the fall, and some mint, for a healthy winter tea.
Just after we moored and set up the wind genny a thunderstorm passed and cooled it right down! Another hour and I can remove my BBQ Pork roast from the oven and commence making BBQ pulled Pork on ciabatta rolls, lemonade, and coleslaw for dinner. I am hoping to finally pull it together and make a Bacardi rum cake for dessert.
As we came to rest here I grew teary eyed. Today's cruise touched my soul: the green of passing woodlands, the serenity of the green cathedrals, lit by sun from above, filled with birdsong, small fairy groves marked by spires of foxglove glowing pink in shady nooks.
I am surrounded by beauty all the time now and it feeds and heals my soul. Being surrounded by the beauty of nature changes us as surely as eking out survival surrounded by nothing but manmade structures, poverty and filth. I am expanding inside; it's timely too as I am so filled by rushes of HUGE emotions--the deepest joy, the widest happiness, and inner peace which all feels so much bigger than my little body can possible contain. I wonder if this is what it feels like before the dragonfly bursts forth from the skin of its nymph self: from utilitarian existence to unparalleled beauty.

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NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs