Thursday 31 December 2020

Up there with Amundsen and Peary....?

The latitude might only have been 57ºN but surely Tuesday's expedition from the car park at Dyce will rank alongside the exploits of Amundsen, Scott, Shackleton, Nansen and Peary in the annals of polar exploration. 

In treacherously icy conditions, two cars, one containing myself and Gail, the other her intrepid friends M and J, reached the parking area beside the River Don at the appointed time - and only once en route did M and J's vehicle require the intervention of human muscle power in order to propel it forwards across a particularly slippery patch of tarmac...

Suitably equipped - parkas, woolly hats, boots, double layers of gloves, poles, provisions, dog treats etc. - the party then carefully inched away from the cars and successfully negotiated several feet of black ice to reach the safety of some railings beside the river path.

After a detailed evaluation of the conditions, it was decided to attempt to venture east, sticking where possible to the grass at the edge of the path as this offered superior footholds.

But after about fifty yards the valiant explorers were running out of options. J went to recce a possible route away from the river, saying as he left "I may be gone some time".  He returned with tales of a perilous half frozen bog, and the exhausted party chose to return to the picnic table beside the cars.

There, fortified by hot coffee from their flasks, and a packet of Lebkuchen, the party congratulated themselves on their safe return from such a daring feat of exploration, and decided to call it a day. Home fires beckoned.

Whereupon the sun came out and a robin appeared in the hope of finding that the fearless adventurers had left behind some Lebkuchen crumbs...



  1. we hope there are a lot of crumbs for the little robin... happy news year to you all... a really happy one with only goooood moments

  2. you are indeed intrepid explorers, Bertie, my mom is scared of ice and loves sundshine and freezes to death when you would think it is a summer day.. she said to tell you she doesn't own a coat, or boots of gloves, and only 1 hat like the pink one. she sometimes about 5 times a year wears it because the cold win hurts er ears.. I will exchange you 2 days of hot sun for 2 days of your cold.. oops mama read this and said no way...

  3. Oh Bertie, what a dangerous expedition you all attempted! No one can blame you for turning back in the face of such horrendous conditions - you were all so brave to even make a start.
    In contrast, this morning my human and I went on a lovely walk by the sea, in brilliant sunshine and a under a beautiful blue sky. We stopped for coffee and I had a chat to a little poodle - a sweet little girl, and obviously so good that she was allowed off her lead in the café. When we arrived, she immediately came across to say hello, but conversation was a little difficult as she was German and I only know words like "NO!".. "all gone", and my human's favourite - "Finito Benito", which means the same as all gone - i.e. no more food. What a terrible thing to tell a Labrador!
    We send you good wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year. Take care and keep safe.

    Inca xx

  4. Bertie, Gail and M and J
    Congrats on your very hearty constitution and determination. I must confess Bryan and I were too chicken to walk in the breezy damp 40 degree weather yesterday. I know we are such wimps. However, each of us did ride the recumbent bike yesterday.
    Happy Happy New Year's Eve and NYE's day to you and Gail.
    Hugs Cecilia

  5. Hari OM
    Bertie lad, there are some who thought of those explorers in terms of 'foolhardy' as much as couragous and plucky... jus' sayin'!!! &*>

    Retreat is definitely, on occasion, the better part of valour and I commend your peeps for regrouping and rethinking and getting back safely so that you could repawt. Hope you and Gail have a lovely snuggly and warm Hogmanay. Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  6. That does look like treacherously icy conditions. We're glad to hear you all survived to tell the tale of your exciting adventure.

  7. Wishing you and Gail a very happy 2021!

  8. You gets tons of credit for being out there from us. Mom is deathly afraid of ice. Happy New Year's Eve!

  9. And to you both, as well.

  10. Whew...we are glad the sun decided to make an appearance, even if it was a bit late!!

    A very Happy New Year to you and Gail!!

  11. It sounds like many of our morning walks. Lady has these things called icers she puts on her boots to help in ice. Wishing you a wonderful new year!

  12. Definitely a polar expedition! Any excursion requiring doubles of anything, just sound cold. May 2021 be improvement on its predecessor.

  13. The first sign of ice sends the Mom here inside lickety split!!! She wants no more broken bones. We all got a long walk one at a time today since we are about to be iced and snowed in. She won't be walking us again until the pavement is dry and bare of ice and snow.

    Happy New Year!!!

    Woos - Lightning, Misty, and Timber

    1. Happy new year, Bertie and Gail! What brave hearty souls you are - but Bertie, where's your jumper?

  14. That darn sun - it came to the rescue much too late, after all those risks had already been taken.

    Happy New Year! This was hilarious, Bertie.

  15. It looks very cold! I don't think I could have braved the weather, you'd find me under the covers of the peep bed!

  16. Happy new year a little late! We were very concerned reading your post because it sounded so very dangerous! Ice is the worst! Be careful out there!

    Your friend Rosie