29th January 1988 - Hedgehog MCC
The first Hibernation was not as wintry as we were expecting it to be, the snow having been kept at bay by mud. It was still a long and rather damp and chilly ride up there, and we were glad of the pub, half-a-mile or so down the road, to warm us up.
The camping area was in the overflow car park for Bolton Abbey, deep in Wharfedale. I'm not sure if we were anywhere near Ilkley Moor, but that didn't stop 'that song' breaking out every few hours.
The field was not as flat as the actual car park, nor did it have tree trunks denoting the parking spaces, which would have made getting to the tents a touch tricky after a night in the pub. Having said that, the number of tents that sprung up did exceed the space restrictions of the enclave, so some did get pushed out into the hard-standing area by mid-Saturday. For whatever reason, some of them parked way across the other side of the car park, well away from the small marquee, which provided hot burgers/coffee and slightly chilled beer when the pub was shut.
Once warmed up, we had an enjoyable Friday night in the pub with our club mascot, (for this weekend, anyway), Spiny Norman, enjoying several gallons of brown liquids.
On Saturday, the weather was pretty much the same, ie damp and cold, dealt with by a leisurely breakfast in the marquee. My club then decided that they would go for a tromp through the fields thereabouts, an idea that did not appeal to me, but did to my girlfriend, so off they went, leaving me to my own devices. An hour of so later, Becky arrived back at the tent, completely distraught. A few of them had slipped on stones or some such and got a bit grubby, but she ended up with her lower half completely enveloped in thick, wet mud. It took a while to calm her down, and we went to the evening festivities a while later with her wearing my waterproof trousers and her jeans in a bag, hoping to get the pub to wash, or at least dry, them. The pub would not. (Not really surprised, honestly.) We draped them near the fireplace, (more for show than function), but they did not dry out sufficiently to wear.
Despite this, the evening was enjoyable, with many beers consumed, and the jukebox had a suitable range of music for us to listen/sing along to. Spiny Norman embarrassed all of us by finding the condom machine in the toilet. The singing, drinking and eating continued for an hour or so back in the catering tent at the site.
Unsurprisingly, the weather hadn't noticeably improved by the morning, (well, it WAS January, after all), and Becky's jeans were still mostly liquid. We packed up and sorted out the clothing situation. For the trip home, Becky continued wearing my waterproof trousers. She only had a rather thin all-in-one, and it was too cold for that to be her only clothing on her nether regions, so I wore her leg section over my jeans, the top half tied around my waist. Since she was huddling in behind me, she would hopefully be shielded from the wintry winds on the way back. Almost as soon as we got home, there was one very muddy single-garment wash.
- Phil (the Spill) Drackley