As you might imagine, the warm weather has brought people out 'in their droves' today, so my outing to Macc Forest was somewhat different from my usual lonely foray. I managed to secure the last parking space by the heronry and set off to ascend to the standing stone car-park. That of course was full when I got there.
On the way up I passed several fallen trees, one of which displayed a rather attractive filagree-like root system. However, I didn't take a photo of it as I imagined one of the locals might have done that already. I had planned to take a snap of the standing stone itself, but a lady cyclist was sitting by it with her bicycle, leaning against it, and I thought it churlish to ask her to move.
Undeterred, I set off 'upwards and onwards', taking the steep path off to the left of the main track. Within a hundred yards/metres I found a suitable subject to photograph - a tangled tree - which made a useful frame for the forest view behind it. Eventually, I found myself heading for the fabled hill, known locally as 'Shut'.
However, the summit looked a little crowded, so I took the track heading away to the left and began to descend. This, of course, meant that I was heading away from my required direction, which forced me to ascend the back slope of the hill. I managed to make the steep path to meet the well-used stone-flagged track.
Once back on 'familiar turf', I headed back towards the forest. I could see a female runner in a white top heading that way, but perhaps 300 yards ahead. I gave chase and was slowly gaining - she was a fit young thing and maintaining a good pace - when I took a tumble for my pains.
Fortunately, I suffered no serious injury and picked myself up to give chase again. I was inching towards her hoping to run with someone else for a change, albeit at the recommended social distancing! Once through the gate and 'into the trees', I was gaining ground again (mainly because it was safer to run a bit faster on the main track). I caught her as she stopped to avoid a group of walkers and finally got to chat briefly.
I thought she would take the path down to the visitor centre, but she opted to climb again, which was the way I wanted too. Eventually, after trailing behind for a little, we came to the viewpoint over the reservoir (with the benches). I offered to take her photo (which I did) taking one for the website.
I have missed running with good company and look forward to when we can restart our outings.