By: Blonde Two
Before our night’s excursion as “casualties” for Dartmoor Rescue on Wednesday night, some of the chaps had been teasing us about the weather forecast. No surprises that it was going to rain on us all, it very often seems to. But when we arrived at our rendezvous at Combestone Tor we observed (in a calm “why exactly am I doing this?” kind of way) that the rain was not sideways as it so very often is on Dartmoor. No dear Blondees and Blondettes, on this most horrid of weather nights, the rain was attempting the world record for acrobatics and raining uphill!
Anyone who has mistakenly taken a horse-box full of rucksacks up to Combestone Tor on a windy day and had to park it between two minibuses to stop it from blowing over (You haven’t? I am surprised) will tell you that it is almost always windy there. It is exposed to winds from the North, East and West (well to be honest, most winds). When you couple that with air that was clearly at least 134% saturated, you have the perfect recipe for uphill rain.
It was interesting to note though that a more than reasonable amount of this uphill rain was managing to eventually make it to earth and fill every crevice of rock, grass and boot known to man. The O Brook (Ocbroke/Oak Brook) was flowing at a rate that suggested it might have been very, very late for its supper. The rain had even managed to fill the cattle grids.
Not content with looking at the uphill rain, wrestling car doors against the uphill rain and having a wet Bamble (a cross between a Battle and a Bimble) in the uphill rain, the Two Blondes and their six fabulous young adventurers then volunteered (it was all in the plan) to sit on/in the grass/puddle for an hour or so waiting to be “rescued”. We will tell you more about the acting skills of our youngsters at another time but this I can tell you now; if there is one thing that you really, really want to see after an hour of sitting in puddles being blinded by uphill rain, it is a group of head-torched, shiny jacketed rescuers walking down the hill towards you. It really was just like in the films. Despite the whole thing (apart from the uphill rain) being pretend; it was a horrid moment to see these shiny jackets turn away from us because the Weather Gods were making our whistle blasts go uphill alongside the rain.
More whistle blasts soon sorted this situation out and our help was there. We were whisked underneath a storm shelter and quickly warmed up. The uphill rain was no longer our problem – Dartmoor Rescue were there to sort it out!
One day it might really be you wishing and watching for help in the driving rain. The Dartmoor Rescue bods are all volunteers, their work relies almost solely on public donation. They train hard, fund raise hard and work hard to make sure that all of us who enjoy Dartmoor can call for help should the need arise. Accidents can happen to anyone (even Blondes have real ones sometimes). To make sure we can all get help should we need it – make a donation here – http://www.dsrtashburton.org.uk/