By: Blonde Two

Next week, this Blonde has a new Dartmoor experience to face.  I won’t be doing anything quite as exciting as climbing African mountains but because Blonde One is going to be off climbing African mountains, I am organising and leading my first solo Dartmoor walk.  I have walked on my own with groups of youngsters before but, until now, it has never been my name at the top of the piece of paper.  You know the document, the one that has “It was all my fault.” written in hidden ink right across it.

I have done everything right so far.  I went out for a walk to scope out the area.  I chose a route up and over tors to make sure that I wear the kids out.  I have written and sent off the route card and I have written a little treasure hunt to keep the young ones occupied – this is in the hope that being occupied will stop them from falling off high things (this is not our usual bunch of youngsters).  You know the sort of treasure, a boundary stone with a ‘B’ on it, a cross that is leaning over and a picture of a bomb (strange but true).

And then … the weather got hotter.  So I planned another route to include a river (shallow enough for only the most determined to drown in), lots of shade and hopefully (fingers crossed) no horse flies.  I made sure that I know exactly where the insect repellent is in my rucksack this time and I wrote and sent off another route card.  I briefed the kids and told them that they can leave the woolly hats and gloves on the kit list out of their bags and showed them exactly what two litres of water looks like.  I also told one of them that it was alright to come dressed as Batman – couldn’t find anything about that one in any of the manuals!

And then … I checked the weather forecast for Tuesday.  I am confident that I can cope with any weather that Dartmoor can throw at me – deluges of rain, blizzards, ice and searing heat.  Any weather, that is except lightening, I have never done a Dartmoor thunderstorm.  So imagine my deep joy when Not-At-All-Blonde pointed out that thunder was predicted.  Oddly (things happen like this a lot) Blonde One and I have been talking a lot recently about what to do on the hills in a thunderstorm.  The things that stood out in my mind were “Don’t sit in caves”, Put all metal things away from you” and “Sit on your rucksack”.  I am not sure how we are going to manage the last one, the kids will have silly little rucksacks – the biggest one we have will be mine and in a rather Blonde moment of worry, I checked bottom v rucksack size – the rucksack sadly didn’t win.

I expect I will sort this dilemma out but if you want some good hillside weather managing advice, check this fab website out.  If you explore the site further, you will find a Two Blondes story there http://www.mountainsafety.co.uk/Weather.aspx/