Plain or Salted

We had more locks to do this morning.  Before lunch they were spread out.  I remembered this stretch from previous trips.  When we were pressing on to get maximum speed, I walked the towpath for several miles to get ahead of the boat and get the lock ready.  The canal runs along side Booth Lane also known as the A533, so my memories were not pleasant. Today’s experience was better – driving along with occasional distractions.

Narrowboat Festooned with Bollards
Which Side of the Bollards Would YOU Drive?

Further on we reached the enormous pile of salt that has amazed me every time I pass.  The Cheshire Plain has large salt deposits which are still used to produce salt. It is alleged that there are sections of the canal in this area which are too deep to stand up in because the canal water has dissolved the salt from underneath.

Salt Pile Behind Factory Buildings
The Pile of Salt Dwarfs the Factory and Offices

After lunch, we dropped through the remaining locks.  We got lucky with the first three.  When we stopped for lunch, I’d seen four CRT lock-keepers walk past us.  Just before we set off, they’d walked back.  So it turns out they’d stopped for lunch at the same time as us – and were now ready to help again!

Much of the rest of the afternoon’s driving was very rural and pretty except for the salt works.  I spotted a kingfisher which Clare missed. Later Clare spotted another sitting on a branch – I only saw it as it flew off.  We also passed a number of flashes – lakes formed by subsidence due to solution of salt deposits. One had widened the canal in to a large lake – it isn’t advised to leave the main channel.

Croxton Flash
Croxton Flash

We found another quiet rural mooring in the middle of a country park which we walked through after dinner.