Lifecruiser » Cowboy Trails Ranked Top 100 Travel Blog Lifecruiser. Travel information & photos. Europe, North & South America. Thu, 20 Jun 2013 22:03:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sea Fever Fri, 26 Apr 2013 07:39:41 +0000 Sundowner Cowboy Cowboy On The Peninsula Trail.

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide,
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

~ John Masefield

A Road to Nowhere.

Spurn Point and the 3 mile peninsula has intrigued me for years. One of the places that I’ve been determined to visit some time but have never managed to actually get around to go there. A place of a never ending cycle of creation and destruction as the North Sea hits the Yorkshire coastline; eroding the coast northward between Spurn and Flamborough Head. As the beach marches southwards by longshore drift the mouth of the Humber Estuary results in the creation of this most unusual place. A ribbon of land, only 40-50 yards wide in places that separates the North Sea from the Humber Estuary marshlands. A Nature Reserve, Designated Special Protection and historically of strategic significance all the way back to the fourteenth century and the time of Richard II.

A road to nowhere.©Charimage 2013

Around a Peninsula in Ten Hours!

It was about time to resolve the never got around to so a trip was planned and a date picked for the last day of October 2012.  Most people who visit go by car, pay a small toll to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust at the entrance gateway then drive to Spurn Point; get out, quick walk and done. That will certainly impress and stay in the memory but if you want to really get a feel for it best go by foot. Tides were checked and the date was set; full moon giving a high tide early morning and evening so the day was clear to walk right round the peninsula.

Low Tide©Charimage 2013

A Place of Contrasts.

Planned was the coastal side outward bound and the estuary for the return. Because of the narrowness you can’t resist climbing the low dune divide and checking the opposite side on the other side of the roadway. Road is used loosely… it makes little pretence that it is hanging on to dear life by a thread. The length and narrowness of the place makes you realise how vulnerable you are and how big the sea. You get the impression that you are there by invitation only and that invite could be withdrawn at any moment by mere whim.  By contrast the length of beach gives the impression of endless. It changes around every corner with the marks of history everywhere. There are relics from the war years and a time when the peninsula was maintained by the military (including a railway line;)  forlorn as they are reclaimed by the ever shifting sea and sand. The total area is about 300 acres; when you consider this is only half a square mile you realise how narrow it really is. There are no trees. Telegraph poles mark the line. On a really high tide only they will remain above sea level. It’s quiet and uncrowded but you are surrounded by wildlife. There are birds everywhere; waders on the estuary mudflats and sea birds on the coastal side. Many uncommon breeds that are rarely seen elsewhere in the British Isles stop off at Spurn on the journey between their breeding and wintering grounds.

Quiet and deserted Yorkshire coast©Charimage 2013

Spurn Point.

In time the peninsula will probably be breached and Spurn Point will, for a short time, become an island. It is a never ending fight to keep it connected by its umbilical of sand and Marram grass. The island will then be swept and a new spit will be formed to the south. Until then the greater mass that forms the point is home to the only permanently manned RNLI lifeboat station in the UK. There’s a pier, disused lighthouses and a cluster of houses for the crew. Until recently the crew’s families lived there too but have now moved back inland. 1.5 miles further out in the estuary stands Bull Sand Fort; built as a defense in WWI which is now being renovated by the Streetwise Charitable Trust. Standing watching the busy shipping lanes served as stark reminder of the modern world outside. Spurn had its own detached quality even being so close to the modern world.


The selected day had been kind to us. Even on such a calm and pleasant autumnal day there was sharp warning to the sea wind. I felt pleased in the knowledge that, at last, I’d been and walked the perimeter. But another must do fixed in the mind on the journey home and it refuses to leave. To witness it in all its wrath and fury; in storm and tempest. It is something that is now a get around to for the future.


I must go down to the sea again,
To the lonely sea and the sky;
I left my shoes and socks there: -
I wonder if they’re dry?

~ Spike Milligan


©Lifecruiser Cowboy Trails


Other Cowboy Trails Posts at Lifecruiser:
God’s own Country
Rivers of Life
I Want to be Alone
Why Do We Travel?

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God’s Own County Thu, 18 Apr 2013 08:07:27 +0000 Sundowner Cowboy Cowboy On The Yorkshire Trail.

It is often said there are more acres in Yorkshire than letters in the Bible.
(I am better qualified in Yorkshire’s acres than the Bible’s letters.)
The largest English county with a rich diversity of terrain, people and culture.
That Yorkshire attitude… Down to earth, often stubborn… Or argumentative.
Welcoming of strangers.
Tolerant and with fortitude.
Above all… Fiercely independent!

That Yorkshire Attitude!

No matter where in the world you meet; Ask “Where are you from?” and the first answer will be Yorkshire! This is true. People from other counties may say England or even British but not Yorkshire people. It is instinctive; county ranks higher than nation to us. Being British is similar to saying we are European; both are somewhat contrary or additional to who we really are. They represent an alliance or allegiance with people who are somewhat foreign to our way of thinking. To some this may seem bigoted and arrogant, particularly when coupled with our northern habit or being economical in speech:-  But it is not.

Yorkshire Dales©Charimage 2013

The Heartland of The North.

In Celtic times Yorkshire was the established territory of the Brigantes Tribe that controlled Northern England. Aldborough in North Yorkshire being the site of their capital. Nearby Boroughbridge came to prominence in Norman times. Under Roman rule York (Eboracum) was named as joint capital of Roman Britain. The Romans left and the Celtic tribes divided and ruled. The Danish Vikings established a kingdom here.  They called it the Kingdom of Jórvík. The Norman Conquest and the Battle of Hastings heralded Yorkshire darkest times. With the Harrowing of the North by an enraged William the north of England was laid to waste in one of the first recorded acts of pure genocide. Yorkshire suffered the brunt of this fury when thousands were slain. The entire region was burned and the soil poisoned for years to come with salt resulting in the surviving population facing starvation. During the civil war the Yorkists stood their ground as royalists; York was besieged… the Round-headed Parliamentarians finally famously quelled the county at the Battle of Marston Moor.

Industrial West Yorkshire©Charimage 2013

The Wars of The Roses.

Here we have a great confusion that needs explanation. Put aside modern (particularly sporting usage,) the Wars of the Roses had nothing to do with the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire. The Royal Plantagenet House (or family) had two factions The House of York (White Rose) and The House of Lancaster (Red Rose.) The House of Lancaster was actually based in… (wait for it!)… York! The House of Lancaster controlled and was based in London. The Wars of the Roses is perhaps best considered as a feud between the Northern aristocracy and the South. The defeat  of the Yorkist Richard III at Bosworth Field ended both the feud and the Plantagenet Line; Henry Tudor married Elizabeth of York and the white and red roses combined to form the Tudor Rose.

Yorkshire Coast©Charimage 2013

A County of Contrasts.

Travel across Yorkshire and you’ll find a patchwork of heritage and history. People and communities that are a product of that diversity. There are areas specific to all types of farming and horticulture. National Parks and World Heritage locations. You’ll find areas marked by heavy industry of all types; steel, mining or textiles. Many are now in decline but they created what we see today. From Fishing on the coast to Farming in the uplands. Forestry in the Fells and Finance in Leeds. There is literature and leisure; theater and cricket. Roast beef or Yorkshire Tea with jam on scones. It is a county that doesn’t take itself too seriously but takes life very serious indeed. It works hard and plays with a similar passion. There is plenty for all and all are welcome. God’s Own? I do not know…
But it has acres a plenty.

“Independence For Yorkshire!”

We hear it called for… every now and then. It is a cry that gains little support. Yorkshire doesn’t need independence to be granted. It has always been independent and always will.



©Lifecruiser Cowboy Trails


Other Cowboy Trails Posts at Lifecruiser:
Rivers of Life
I Want to be Alone
Why Do We Travel?

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Rivers of Life Wed, 27 Mar 2013 22:28:51 +0000 Sundowner Cowboy Cowboy On The River Trail.

Whatever its size, a river is something that draws us,
There is something about a river’s  journey that connects to time.
A passageway that marks the cycle of life.
In a revolving world as it circles our unassuming star.
They symbolize that magic that sustains life
If our rivers stood still…  so would we.

Always runs but never walks, often murmurs, never talks, has a bed but never sleeps, has a mouth but never eats!

There is something about spending time by a river. Whether it be in the rural landscape, an estuary or the middle of a city. Be it a quiet stroll with a loved one, relaxation with the family and friends or “time to yourself;” people need rivers. They bring the natural to our toes and the sound and sight of nature to pleasure. Adults become children again,; finding the urge to cast pebble to water as irresistible as a coin to wishing well. It is a partnership as old as time itself and so it will remain; even in our age of technology and consumerism. Occasionally they threaten or take our human lives but, in general, serve us well and loyally.

River Wharfe©Charimage 2013

The Rivers Grand.

Here we have the notables, iconic and venerable. Names such as Nile, Amazon and Mississippi to fire the soul and blow the mind. Rivers so vast that we are, as ants, made diminutive and exiguous. We visit, as pilgrims, to pay our respects to their tours de force. They challenge man’s claim to rule his world and serve to remind us of the power of nature. Among the venerated is the Iguazu River and it’s famous Iguazu Falls that straddle the border between Argentina and Brazil. One of its falls, The Devil’s Throat, spans over 150 m and drops over 80 m. During the rainy season the capacity going over the falls can be in excess of 12,500 cubic m/second. Power beyond our imagination and where does it come from? The sun. Research on the periodic fluctuation of the water level on the Iguazu River found a correlation to the sun’s fluctuation in brightness. The river level rises after our sun has been brighter and falls back after solar activity quietens. Perhaps our affection and affinity for rivers reflects this and we are, at heart, still sun worshipers?

Iguazu Falls©Lifecruiser 2013


Solar Echos.

Put some water in the kettle and prepare to make a cup of tea. While it’s coming to the boil, run and take a look at how fast your electricity meter is going round. Whilst you enjoy your well-earned cup of tea; consider the amount of energy it has taken to heat it up and remember the volume of water crashing over The Devil’s Throat Falls. Our sun (roughly 93 million miles away) decides to make a cup of tea and radiates energy in all directions into space. A tiny percentage of which strikes the earth and is enough to vaporize the water of the oceans thousands of miles away from the Iguazu River. This gets carried by our weather systems and produces rain on another continent. Rain which feeds rivers which hurry on their way to rejoin the oceans. This will give you some idea of how fast our sun’s energy meter is running. The driving force of our ecosystem. They reckon it has been running for about 4.5 billion years and most of its output completely misses our tiny planet. I (for one) give thanks each time I cast a pebble into a river:-
I’m sure glad I don’t have to foot the bill!

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
~ Heraclitus.

Cowboy Trails




Other Cowboy Trails posts at Lifecruiser:

I Want to be Alone
Why Do We Travel?

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I Want to be Alone Sun, 10 Mar 2013 19:22:50 +0000 Sundowner Cowboy Cowboy On The Lone Trail.

“I want to be alone!” ~ Greta Garbo
Yes, she did actually say those immortal words. Many times in fact, including in the films; The Single Standard, Love, Susan Lenox (Her Rise and Fall) and Inspiration. I suspect that this repetition, coupled with her lonesome (although undoubted beauty) caused her to be forever saddled with the epitaph. Alone does not always mean “Doing a Greta Garbo.” It can mean freedom, time for self-indulgence and whim. That spirit of the outback walkabout; a concept with very limited concerns or planning requirements. Where and when will it start and finish? It’s general direction? The essentials to survival of food, shelter and body warmth. Done:- You are ready To Be Alone!

A Polar Bear as he walks the ice flows: He strolls with direction, knows when he started, his direction and when to finish. Providing his belly is satisfied he is warm. The bear’s expression often has concentration, thought, meditation and even contentment. You sense that he knows what’s what and is at ease with his world. There is a tangible sense of wisdom. Is he Doing a Greta? I think he is probably just walkabout!

Traveller's Rest©Charimage 2013

Shelter, food and warmth are satisfied. There is time to…  What?
Nothing… Take in the detail and wait.

The Last Post©Charimage 2013

There is reward in nothing. The bugler sun calls Last Post from the western horizon and the day time troops return to camp. You are left with your own thoughts and questions for night time companionship. It is not cold and the night has promise of a Gibbous Moon as Greta Garbo Sentry at the heaven’s gate.

Reveille©Charimage 2013

Our bugler is returning and Reveille calls from the orient to break the reverie. Questions may still lack the tidiness of having answers but they are no longer stranded strangers. Greta and I have them sorted just fine!

The Listeners,

“Is there anybody there?” said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grass
Of the forest’s ferny floor;
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller’s head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
“Is there anybody there?” he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller’s call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
‘Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:–
“Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,” he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.

~ Walter de la Mare (1912)

Cowboy Trails

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Why Do We Travel? Wed, 27 Feb 2013 10:00:06 +0000 Sundowner Cowboy Cowboy On The Travel Trail.

Had I not been of a roving disposition
And made this climb at sunset hour,
To bid adieu to our global flower.
What better place to stand and muse?
Alas. Homeward calls, I’m half tempted to refuse.
Best not; there’s still much to do.
Compulsive need to find adventures new,
I’m already planning tomorrow’s expedition.

Cowboy Trails©Charimage 2013

The Footloose Home Builder Dichotomy.

We are (by nature) settlers. Surrendering much of our lives to building and maintaining our homes. Home is a large part of our very identity. It becomes the essence of who we are. Stay at home and never travel or travel the world and never return home? Given blunt choice, many of us would have a problem. We want the best of both worlds. The fantasy of travel enthrals  It is a compulsion, passion or even an obsession. Often that need comes at a price. We willingly accept discomfort, lack of sleep, exhaustion and financial burden that (as home builders) we wouldn’t tolerate; but we need our travel fix! It is an addiction. Once satisfied we return to our daily identity. “It is good to be home!” we say as we close the door and retreat to our nest to plan the next expedition.

New Horizons ~ New Knowledge.

We travel to gain knowledge. Increasing our understanding of the world and who we are in relation to it. We explore our planet and ourselves at the same time.  Gaining diversity of experience and inner insight.  We are intrinsically curious. What’s around the corner or over the next horizon? We fear and yet love to step into the unknown. We wrestle between the conflicts of security, challenge and risk. Perhaps we just need time to ourselves. To be ourselves. Away from our daily routines that we ransom to uphold our status in this human society.

Gulliver’s Travels.

As a species we are adventurous. We dream of escape from the constraint of society. The thrill of the unknown and discovery. Hearsay isn’t good enough; we need to experience at first hand for it to be ours. When we have got there and captured our goal; we frequently have the thought of home pulling at our hearts.
It is the  human conundrum.

“O, To be in England, Now that April’s there.” ~ Robert Browning

Serge de Nîmes and Genes.

In denim blue we regress to nomads. The wanderers; like our ancestors. Perhaps it is imprinted in our DNA. To walk the plains, make camp and keep moving on.  The instant we settle we surrender that freedom of daily choice. It becomes a time out. The holidays. Holy indeed; it is very sacred to us.

“Give a man a job he loves, and he will never work a day in his life.” ~ Confucius

Cowboy Trails

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