Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
Autumn Storms Over Cakes Of Bread (Part 1)
We set off from the car park at around 11 am, it was a bit overcast and breezy but pleasant enough for a walk. On reaching the Derwent water and as there was no one around for him to bother I let Tommy free and he immediately decided it would be fun to chase some ducks so he was soon back on the lead for his troubles. The way along by the water was very colourful, the trees varying from brown to green.
We had the track to ourselves, Tommy’s lead was fastened to the belt of my rucksack, and as long as we were moving forward he seemed quite happy to be dragging me along. I wondered what would happen if he spotted another duck, I had visions of being dragged off in to the water by him. He was very patient though because I stopped many times to take a picture of one thing or another. All the wonderful colours made it hard to pass up a chance to snap a picture every few minutes.
On rounding a corner near the end of the Derwent water we spied the Howden Dam through the trees, it was quite a wonderful sight with it’s stone towers and water running over the wall between them, I half wished we were continuing along the track so we could get a closer look but shortly we are going to be leaving the track and climbing the small path in to the hills by Abbey Brook.
Looking to the Howden Dam.
Before this however we came upon one of our favourite places to have a break, it’s the seat in memory of James Stanley Byford, if vacant we always stop here for a rest and a look at the view.
A favourite place to sit.
To be continued.....
Autumn Storms Over Cakes Of Bread (Part 2)
Well time passed and old Tom was getting bored and had gone in search of a stick which as usual he found and as usual it was the biggest stick around.
We are climbing gently, Abbey Brook is now quite a way below us to the left and the hill climbing steeply to our right as we contoured the hillside through rough brown grass. The path, though narrow is a good one and fairly level and the going is easy except for a few climbs where the hillside can’t be contoured without making long detours. After each climb we stopped for a look back and during each climb I noticed my heel rubbing on the back of my boots.
For some reason that even I find hard to explain I had decided to go walking in my work boots, this despite that fact that I discovered over twenty years ago that they make terrible walking boots and the only thing for walking the hills in are proper walking boots. You can make do with any manner of other things but your boots and pack have to be the real deal. I have a pair of good walking boots but for some reason I decided that I needed reinforce my theory on walking boots versus working boots. I love my work boots they are so comfy – for working in, and I think it was this comfort that lured me in to taking them for a walk last weekend. It wasn’t a serious problem and there were several advantages to be had wearing them apposed to wearing my walking boots, if only that little guy would stop carving chunks out of my heel with his wood chisel every time we climb a hill.
We have now come about five miles and were about to leave the Abbey Brook path and take the path to find the Lost Lad so as the wind was getting up and we have come to a sheltered place in the fork of a valley I think we will stop and have a spot of lunch and I can also try and sort out these darn boots somehow.
Find a place by the stream in the shelter of that wall and hand around the cheese sandwiches, cake and biscuits – save some chocolate ones for me though. I’m afraid there is no tea today, just coffee from the thermos flask. The dog biscuits are for Tommy by the way! He won’t be right pleased if you go eating them! Anyway tuck in and then we will be fit and ready to carry on our walk.
To be continued...
Autumn Storms Over Cakes Of Bread (Part 3)
On reaching the broad ridge that lead to Lost Lad we met the wind in all its glory. Tommy looked at me as if to say, ‘where did that come from’! With a little encouragement from me he was soon chasing round after his tail, that was until he got caught by the wind and was blown sideways in to a bog. I told him that it served him right for playing silly beggars and if he didn’t get himself cleaned up he was walking all the way home.
The climb to Lost Lad was quite easy because we had the wind at our tails. On the top the wind was doing all it could to blow us back off again. All around the sky was grey, the weather was closing in fast and even as we stood there it came on to rain. I’d had my coat on since lunch break but thought it was now time to get my water proof trousers on as well. I got them out of the sack and made several attempts to get a leg inside them but all I achieved was someone sort of dance, a very fine one with many complicated steps I might add but as that wasn’t what we were supposed to be doing and our objectives was no closer than when we started I decided to give up on the trousers and head off for Back Tor were there might be some shelter from the rocks.
The climb to Lost Lad
Approaching Back Tor
We found out own little hole in the rocks and phoned Vicki back, then broke open the first aid kit and robbed it of two plasters, one for each heal and then managed to get my waterproof trousers on. Before leaving I got Tommy one of his biscuits, I didn’t want him calling in on his new found friends telling them I didn’t bring his coat along or some other tail of mistreatment.
Looking across the moors to Wheel Stones
Autumn Storms Over Cakes Of Bread (Part 4)
Wheel Stones from White Tor.
On White Tor Tommy found a lovely big pool of water to go of a paddle in.
From here we needed to turn right to descend from White Tor, this meant we were headed straight in to the wind. No sooner had we turned and I was blown a good ten feet back off the path. After trying again to descend by the path I gave it up as a bad job and skirted around to the left of White Tor which sheltered us from the worst of the wind.
We were now on the flat once again with the wind rushing in from the right and were headed for Wheel Stones which we reached without further problems. Here we took refuge in a small cave. The wind was roaring around the great rocks like some howling banshee, it was really quite awesome.
We didn’t stay there long as someone else was coming and as the cave is only big enough for two I thought I’d had my turn so now it was theirs also I wanted to get going as I didn’t want to be on the hill when the dark came on. Soon after leaving Wheel Stones we came to a fork in the path, here we had to turn right and head back down in to the valley.
As before when descending over the ridge in to the wind it was all we could do to keep from being blown away, I didn’t know walking down hill could be such hard work. Once over the brow of the hill the wind eased a little and it became much easier and the more we dropped down the side of the valley the less the wind blew.
On reaching an old barn that has been converted in to a shelter for walkers we were ready for a break and another coffee. We weren’t far from the lane that would take us back to the car so I was happy enough to take a minute here.
To be continued...
Autumn Storms Over Cakes Of Bread (Part 5)
It seemed like it had been a long day but we only just managed about 10 miles, we had a good day all the same and had it not been for the trials we had to endure it would have probably been not half as much fun.