Juneathon day 19: Canal adventure #12 – Maghull to Halsall

Back on the west side of the canal running today – this wasn’t on the official plan, but events conspired to make it a logistically viable plan. On Friday I ran and ate alone because Ginge went out for food and beers with work. Being the law-abiding souls that we are, he left his car at work and I did a 50 mile round trip through the wilds of Merseyside to retrieve him at the end of the night. A contributing factor to my poor sleep and reluctance to run on Saturday may have been the cement mixer-like snoring that I endured on Friday night, but I couldn’t possibly prove that. With Sunday came the prospect of another 50 mile round trip to collect Ginge’s car. After a bit of head scratching and map consultation, we decided that if I was going to drive that close to the Liverpool end of the canal, we might as well run a bit. Unfortunately, he actually had to do some work, so I sat around and did some work stuff and some knitting (it took me right back to being small and sitting around in hospital staff rooms waiting for my mum to finish being on-call. There was often watery vending machine hot chocolate and colouring-in in those days).

When he’d done what he had to do, we hopped into separate cars and did a convoluted there and back to the beginning and end of the canal route, dropping cars off as we went. Eventually we were assembled at Maghull train station and ready to set off from Bridge 11b.

Bridge 11B

First stop for a photo was Maghull cricket club, where some of the towpath benches face the ground so you can sit and do a sneaky bit of spectating.

Insert weak cricketing pun here

It was a bit warm today, but luckily there was a lot of shady greenery. This didn’t stop me complaining mind you.

Another lovely bridge

We spotted some Day of the Triffids style giant hogweed, which we steered well clear of. Giant hogweed was one of my more leftfield childhood fears.

Evil Giant Hogweed

There was a bit of a reminder that we’re in spitting distance of finishing the west side of the project…

So near!

…swing bridges both closed…

Closed swing bridge

and open…

Open swing bridge

…a field of sheep treading their own path of desire…

Sheep: clearly up to something

…and, two miles earlier than we expected (it makes up for my under-estimating last week), Bridge 21A.

Bridge 21A - welcome back to Lancashire

(but I actually had a double caramel Magnum)

Miles run = 5.1
Canal miles completed = 5.1
Total canal miles = 72.1/127*
Bridges = 11B – 21A