It comes round so quick, it only seems like a few months ago that Ted Magnum BC and me packed up and headed off to the annual HUBB meeting at Ripley. That was a year ago and this time we were going with BC’s two sons astride a Honda Hornet along with a fellow Hubber called Danny. Three bikes and five people set off all fully loaded and all following me and my brand new all singing all dancing satnav. BC’s youngest piloted the Hornet while his elder brother sat on the back with the biggest fully loaded Bergen I have ever seen in my life. How he did not fall off on the way there is a complete mystery to me but we made it without getting lost and I have rarely seen some one express so much relief at taking a rucksack from their shoulders.
With the tents all set up it was time to make tea and run up the Jolly Roger. I have decided that each time I go camping I am taking this piece of kit with me. I could see my tent from miles away and it ensured that no matter how much I had imbibed I would not get lost or fail to find my tent. The turn out was fantastic in keeping with it being the tenth anniversary of this annual meeting. It was the biggest so far with many more speakers’ demonstrations and much more space than ever before. Danny got to meet Ted Simon and has his photo taken with him and I got the opportunity to try out some of my new toys.
The Trangia which had not been used in anger at Cropton was set up and the boys lit it. Well I say lit it, there is a set of photos that show what can go wrong judging from the face of BC’s eldest. There were loads of presentations, lots of familiar faces and many new ones and the sun was glorious. Danny was fascinated by the tyre changing competition and I loved the talk given by Austin Vince. I took the opportunity to chill out and relax with BC and generally amble around talking to all and sundry. The most fantastic thing for me apart from the company and the sunshine was that I never once felt the urge to buy a new piece of kit. I felt absolutely vindicated that I had finally got it all right and everything was coming together.
One thing I had not taken was a barbecue and so we decided to knock up a make shift one. Danny and me rode out to a branch of a well known chain of supermarkets and “borrowed” one of their shopping baskets. This was our grill. Turned upside down and with a stock of self lighting charcoal underneath it we soon had sausages and all manner of other tasty treats cooking fabulously. Not that I would ever encourage the use of “borrowing” shopping baskets but in an emergency they are absolutely fine.
The only mishap over the event was me falling over one of the “Luminous” guide lines on my basha after having one too many and setting it up in the first place. It is not really large enough for the purpose I had intended to use it for but it provided a little sun shade when the sun got too warm. Putting it up in a suitable fashion was a little trying and I spat my dummy out on one or two occasions much to the amusement of BC’s charges. It will be replaced by a larger one soon. I also bought some lightweight fibreglass poles from the largest army surplus I have ever seen in my life not far from the campsite. There are not too many places that have spare helicopter engines on display for sale!
All too soon it was time to decamp saddle up and move out. It had been a fantastic long weekend and the brilliant satnav got us home without a wrong turn. This is surely the best piece of kit I have ever bought! For a better description of the itinerary see last years report and photos of the same event.