Location: Deepmore Bridge, Staffordshire & Worcester Canal, Calf Heath, Staffordshire
Still on my fitness kick, so It was out before dawn for a 17 mile walk along the Staffordshire & Worcester and Shropshire Union Canals. It was the first major outing for the new boots. I have to admit that they did cause some hotspots on the heals of both feet so I've ordered a pair of Superfeet insoles to provide some additional support for that area of the feet.
The walking was mainly flat, with a short over land transfer from one canal to the other between Crateford and Shutt Green. This provided a severe test for the shoes, walking through ankle high wet (and frosty) grass. I'm pleased to say that the boots passed with flying colours; no wet socks!
The walk was uneventful. I did see two stoats (no pictures, too quick) and only had to pass one lock in over 13 miles of towpath.
Even this is a bit of an anomaly. Autherley Lock is situated at the start of the Shropshire Union Canal, where it meets the Staffs & Worcester. The drop is a matter of a couple of inches and was put in at the insistence of the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal Company in 1835, to prevent the newly built Shropshire Union Canal stealing their water. When the Shropshire Union Canal was built it took a lot of traffic (and income from tolls) away from the Staffs & Worcester, because it provided a quicker route to the north. The 'Shroppie" utilised cut and fill techniques to minimise having to use the contours of the land for the route and installing locks, that slowed the passage of barges.
Extra - Another Pep Ventosa inspired creation.