The day was beautiful without a single cloud in the sky. It was January 2nd, 2017 and I figured it would be a good idea to take Muddy Madam out into the great outdoors for some fresh air. We also had the formidable AT35 D-Max pick-up that Isuzu had kindly lent me for a few more days, so it would’ve been rude not to take it on a last minute green-laning trip just south of Hawes, North Yorkshire..
I can’t remember what time we left Muddy Towers, but I know it was later than I wanted to. You see, Muddy Madam hadn’t slept a wink the previous night, so I figured I’d be a good husband and let her sleep in for most of the morning. I think it was around 1.30pm when we eventually joined the M6, and as I could see that the sun had already began setting, I began in turn to doubt my plan.
Not one to let a little darkness spoil an adventure, we hurried on and left the M6 at Lancaster and turned right onto the A683 & A687 and headed towards the A65. Keeping within the speed limits, of course, I pushed the AT35 trying to make up for lost time and I have to say it handled the fast A roads incredibly well.
By the time we’d reached the A65 in had just turned 3.15pm and I was feeling a little optimistic that we could get there before the sun disappeared. However, it was then that Muddy Madam declared she was hungry and pointed to a Deli that we’d just passed. 15 minute later we were back on the road and heading towards Hawes on the B6255, then back on ourselves on Beggarmans Road until we reached Cam High Road.
By this time it was 3.45pm, the sun was disappearing, but we were here, and I was going to drive this green-lane!
Putting the AT35 into 4WD low, we toddled off in 2nd low with the snow crunching beneath the 315/70R17 tyres. Stopping for photos, local sheep almost surrounded us as they recognised the clatter of a diesel, obviously thinking it was tea time - sadly it wasn’t, and off we trundled again.
Weather-wise we were fortunate, the sky was clear and the views breathtaking. There wasn’t that much snow underfoot, but what there was was frozen and solid.
As Muddy Madam jumped out to open and shut the first gate, we came across a fellow explorer in his pick-up, and after the usual acknowledgment in the guise of nod and “Afternoon, it’s a bit cold innit?”, we continued on our separate ways.
As Cam High Rd began it’s steady decline, the AT35 took it all in its stride, there wasn’t even a hint of sliding, even on the steepest sections, the truck always felt safe and in control. To our right, the views of Marsett, Semerwater and Stalling Bust were magnificent.
A little further down we came across 2 more vehicles, and although none of us knew it at the time, we were all members of the same Facebook page, ‘Green Laners Reloaded’. After another quick chat about heaters and heated seats, which the AT35 has, we went our separate ways.
By this time the sun had completely disappeared behind us and we had to rely on headlamps to see where we were going. We had a quick chat to a gentleman who was walking in the same direction as us, he was too busy watching birds to be withered with us, so we carried on trundling down towards a break in the road.
As we reached the crossroads it was pitch black and we had 3 options; carry on along Cam High Road towards Bainbridge, turn right onto Crag Side Road which will take us to Countersett and some more green-lanes, or left onto High Lane and head towards Burtersett, Hawes and then home. As it was dark and we didn’t know what state the lanes were in, we opted for the latter and decided to leave them for another time.
Overall we had a great afternoon, albeit rushed, and as you can read here, the Arctic Trucks / Isuzu AT35 did a splendid job.