Hi Ho Silver! The lone ranger and Tonto rode the Slough Arm yesterday, bravely laughing in the face of the mud and mire and clearing overhanging boughs and protruding bushes. Well alright, it was me and my Towpath Ranger pal Tonto (aka Alan ). Here he is.
Anyway we did the whole lot, from here where the arm leaves (or joins) the Grand Union at Cowley Peachey,
to here five miles away at the charming (?) Slough Basin where, strangely, I have never seen a boat moored.
For those who have never experienced this Mecca of the waterways, a couple of yards away there is somewhere to turn your boat
so if you can tear yourself away, you can go back the five miles to the GU.
You can imagine that after all the rain we have had, that we were expecting to get up to our necks in mud. However, in the end we were pleasantly surprised. The towpath from Cowley to Iver was muddy but not too bad at all considering the recent weather. I have seen far far worse at Braunston. Then after Iver the towpath steadily improved until we reached this wondrous section at Bloom Park, Middle Green where they hold the annual Slough canal festival.
Impressive eh? Yes that picture was actually taken yesterday. The adjacent playing field was waterlogged, but the towpath was, well, perfect I would say. And look, an actual bend in the canal!!! Not many of them down the Slough Arm. In fact only two I think.
There is a new housing development nearby towards Langley and that has good towpath too
(Keen observers with large enough screens may spot the red kite in the above picture.)
By the time we headed back I was feeling pretty pleased with Silver, my trusty old
steed bike which has narrow road tyres and is definitely not built for off road work. Then shortly after I took that last picture I got a front tyre puncture and had to push all the way back to the car parked at our boatyard. Never mind, we had a very good day and we can declare the arm open for business whether by towpath or water.
Should you be boating in the area, now would be a good time to explore the arm as the water is high and there is no weed and very little rubbish around. I think many would be pleasantly surprised.