So how was your Friday?

Woolhope Cockshoot was not being used this weekend so it seemed like an ideal chance to truck on over to deepest darkest Herefordshire with the family. The plan was to do some cleaning and polishing of the centre, take some more photos for the web site and do a bit of a condition report … as well as enjoying some family time at (probably) the finest residential youth centre in the cosmos.
There had been no snow stories from the area, and the weather forecast was good, ie a tad warmer and some rain. Thus we loaded up Charlie the van and headed out.
Just under two hours of clear and snow free roads saw us turning off for the final approach onto the labyrinthine lanes in which Woolhope Cockshoot nestles. These roads contrary to everyything else around were a thin layer of compressed snow and ice. *Eek!* Having come this far though we were not for turning, and so edged gingerly along the lanes. At this point it started snowing BIG time, I mean BIG time. One mile in and with two remaining we started on the uphill section and began encountering traction difficulties, then with one mile to go and the hill getting steeper and the snow getting even heavier, the van could no longer get enough grip. With nowhere to leave the van (even if there was, we could not have managed to propel H and all the kit there), and the conditions getting worse, we were forced to admit defeat. This meant reversing Charlie bus a mile down a single track country lane in the dark and in a snow storm before we could find a turning point.
snow carjams.jpgWe turned and headed out onto the roads and homewards down towards Gloucester where we, given the lower altitude, were encountering torrential rain. Disappointed but laughing we headed towards home and bed.
However as we climbed out of Gloucester up to Birdlip, the world changed. The torrential rain became a blizzard and the road was hidden from view by fallen snow. We couldn’t believe it, the road that had been clear two hours previously was now buried with inches of the white stuff. The traffic coming down was at a standstill with a snow plough trying to clear the way. We meanwhile managed it up the hill to the Hot Air roundabout guessing at a road position to maintain. The road to Cheltenham was closed due to snow with a Police car blocking the way. We though were heading the other way and joined up with a small convoy driving in the middle of the two lanes of the dual carriageway at about 30mph, peering into the snow storm and whiteness of road, sky and scenery.
Thankfully we emerged back into rain at Cirencester and smiling at our surreal and other worldly experience on an adventure to nowhere and back, we cruised on home. We rolled in at Midnight, unloaded the van, drank hot chocolate and slept EXTREMELY well.

One Reply to “So how was your Friday?”

  1. Wish the blog had a ‘like’ button. Like that you kept good humour throughout, like that you got home safely and especially like that you all slept well…

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