A Trip To Goosnargh
As the Sportage was due to go back to Kia and be replaced with a Suzuki Vitara, I thought I'd take it on a few, less familiar, lanes as suggested by my local GLASS (Green Lane Association) representative, Dean. Our jaunt would take us up to Goosnargh, near Preston, not somewhere I was familiar with if I'm honest.
After packing a few recovery bits and pieces we set off for lunch - we can't go and play on an empty stomach now can we?
Recommended by Dean was the 'Ye Horn's Inn' which is a traditional coaching inn that serves beers brewed in its own micro brewery. It's located in Goosnargh village, and holds the 'Taste Lancashire Highest Quality' award, so our lunch really was a treat.
Double checking the OS Map, and my hand drawn version, we made our way towards our first planned lane, Snape Rake Lane. Finding it wasn't too difficult, and, once off tarmac, our first obstacle was a large puddle of water with an abandoned tyre half submerged on our left hand side, so out I jumped for a quick inspection.
Although the ground was quite muddy, it felt solid enough, and, as a bonus, if I kept to my right I could see the track below the water. We made it through the water with no hassle, and arrived at the real start of the lane as it vanished downwards into the forest.
"Yeah, I best take a look." I mumbled as I again jumped out and began clambering down the lane.
After a couple of twists and turns I decided not to bother. I have no doubt that the Sportage would have made it down, but in places it was quite narrow with a lot of overhanging foliage, and, as I didn’t want the borrowed Sportage going back battered and bruised, we turned around.
Obviously I wanted a few photos, so I persuaded Muddy Madam to drive back through the aforementioned puddle at a nice, steady speed.
“Remember, keep to your left and avoid the deep section near the abandoned tyre!” I shouted. (Note from the Muddy Madam - 'No he didn't shout, he must have mumbled, as I didn't hear any of this.') Forward she drove, keeping the Sportage to her left, but not even half way through she veered (MM note - 'I was pulled into a groove') to her right and, as you can see with the photos below, came to a grinding halt!
After a few feeble attempts at self recovery I was told in no uncertain terms, to get my backside back in the car and get it out! So, after taking a few pics just to frighten the press team, I somehow clambered back in, and after a bit of to’ing and fro’ing with the 4x4 Lock button pressed, we reversed out without a single scratch.
Back on terra firma we headed towards a village called Chipping, and our next lane (UID SD6245-01). Due to some buffoonery on my part I‘d missed the turning, so I decided to carry on towards the 3rd and final lane near Whitewell (UID SD6543-03 & 02). Thankfully this was quite uneventful, and as you can see in the pics below, it’s straight with mud filled ruts. The Sportage made easy work of the mud and proved itself very capable.
Now, before you all start giving me grief about using too much speed on our treasured green-lanes, the photos below where taken using a slow shutter speed to give the illusion of speed!
From there we made our way towards Whalley, Accrington then the M65 and over towards Edgworth for some photos of the Sportage on the road. All in all it was a lovely day out, though I was a bit miffed we didn't get to drive all of the lanes, but once I have a new set of tyres on Deux Smurf I’ll be retracing my footsteps!