Anybody who’s been watching the TV News or even read a paper recently couldn’t have failed to notice that there’s been a touch of flooding in Cumbria in the last few days.
But, despite police warnings not to travel and, based on Cumbrian contacts saying that it was OK, really, I travelled hopefully over a windy A66 down to a big lake just outside Penrith that I don;t remember being there previously and which isn’t on my map.
The A6 was barricaded off. The sign said that the A66 was closed “after Keswick” I wanted to go to Keswick and then down Borrowdale for a bit. I could walk from Keswick, there’s a high level route above the lake….
I passed through a “road closed “ sign at the entrance to Keswick and parked in the deserted main car park. Roads out of the town were barricaded off too, including the Borrowdale road. But nevertheless, cars were going around the barrier and heading up… and not coming back. I walked up the road for a mile or so and saw nothing more than a few dubs of water. Derwentwater, however, was substantially bigger than it normally is, and the path by the shore was well under water.
I went back to the car and drove it to Derwentwater YHA without much splashing at all.
A convivial night was had by those who’d made it.
More people arrived the next morning and went for walks. I’d been informed by the loved one that the dog was asleep on my Paramo and my map was on the floor – so I had no map not waterproof jacket and had to opt for a paddle up to Lodore – just for a look – and a plodge down to Keswick and back for coffee and a look around before the predicted rain started again – which it did, unusually, around about the time it was supposed to.
I spent the rest of the day drinking tea and snoozing.
The Over the Hill Club Dinner and general party-thingy was a fine and fairly civilised affair, but much beer drinking was done. The YHA staff did a fine job. there was a slide show about a trip to Stubai and one about Waggy’s trip to somewhere else I couldn’t make out for the noise…
In the morning (this morning) the AGM was held and there were contributions for Hamish Brown – and, well, general AGM type stuff, including my ratification as a member.
And , after a group photocall, mainly for the benefit of 101 year old OTHC President Jack Griffiths, who couldn’t be there (!) – we all slipped away home.
Its wasn’t possible to go West of Keswick and an attempt to circumnavigate the Lake by some members entailed a very long retracing of steps. The Borrowdale road is covered in debris – mainly stones and bits of trees and the lake is lapping at the edges of the road. Its a mess, to be fair. It will take quite a while to recover.
It was still raining as I left for the East.