Or Chimblies as we would have said when I was alive…
Anyway, due to the fact that Dog 2 in the Knipe household is geriatric and has to be watched like an Ork to prevent, or , at least, manage random incontinence, I was up really early this morning and by Steve Wright Sunday Love Songs, had had my porridge and had driven the icy roads to Blanchland AND had my still damp boots on.
This walk is yet another DCC reccy for a Summer programme. This one is ten miles and will be listed as the Hunstanworth Hobble. I’m using this title just to make it sound like a proper route and not one I’ve just made up.
It goes through the woodlands which are part of one of my adopt-a-path routes from Blanchland to Baybridge to Townfield. In summer there could well be bluebells.
From Townfield, we head South and hit the snow at the defunct flourspar mines (who’s spoil heaps sometimes have lots of shiny things) and up through the snow over a trackless moor to Packlett Gate, just after which, we turn left and follow a bridleway to the top of Bolt’s Law. The track had been made much clearer by the kind attentions of four off-road motorcyclists who had been last seen whining off towards Cowshill and another bridleway which needed a bit of a shredding.
The view from Bolt’s Law is usually , or at least, often very extensive ranging from somewhere South of Teeside to the Scottish Border and all of the durham Coast and big chunks of Pennines including Cross fell and Mickle fell. It was a bit hazy today, so me and the dawg just played in the snow for a bit which was a bit deeper just here.
The next part was where I always lose the path around two chimneys. These two chimblies used to be the final outpourings of lead fumes from two flues; the exhaust from smelt mills. They’re now only used to train really fat Santa’s. You can get a bunch of reindeer and a sleigh down one of these without using a vast amount of special magic like wot Santa does There are dams and ponds and leats and watercourses to confuse things a little more. We lunched. I lunched, Bruno dribbled.
The return to Blanchland was back on the adopt-a-path route.
The walk works reasonably well. There’s a mile or so of trackless heath and I’ll probably record some significant spots (such as the gate at the end) on a GPS. And I can never work out the paths around the chimneys. I need practise at these…!
We did ten and a half miles but only 1300 feet of squiggly contours. I was home by three.