Our old dog, Incontinentia aka Tammy got me up early with her need to visit the back yard, so , it’s an ill wind, as they say in places where they always think Everything is For The Best and so, me and the dawg were in the Demesne Mill car park at Wolsingham in less than promising drizzle and with a faulty car alarm on the knipemobile which started sounding every time I got more than thirty metres away. If I stood next to the car, it was silent. If I moved, it beeped. I thought, maybe it didn’t want me to leave it and I told it that very soon, other cars would be along and it wouldn’t be on it’s own. This had no effect. So I left it unlocked. The problem seems to have resolved itself in the meantime.
So me and superdawg hoofed it up to Baal Hill where the drizzle became light snowfall, and on to the North Moor, which, incidentally, seems to have suddenly come to the attention of those
twats skilled drivers who ride around in 4x4s churning up bridleways. We pushed on to Saltersgate, South West Durham’s highest and bravest dogging spot, although it was perhaps too early and maybe a bit too bleak for any of that kind of thing today.
Onwards we plodded, not stopping to swap the paramo windproof for a paramo waterproof (a bit of a mistake – put right an hour or so later just as the cold was starting to get uncomfortable) – on past the WW2 ammunition depot and over the snowy and soggy moor to Waskerley where we joined the old railway track which is now the CtoC cycle route. Here, it was specially bleak with snow not falling at all but driving sideways.
We didn’t stop at Park Head cafe because there was no way I was going to abandon the dog outside in this wet snow blizzard just so I could have some hot soup, hot tea, hot bacon butty and a sit down in the warm. Was I bothered?
Lets not answer that one, but march on up the track to Collier Law where hunger finally overcame the desire to push on. We sought a sheltered spot for coffee and cheese butties but failed to find one, so lunch was hurried.
From the top of Collier Law we crossed the soggy moor down to the green fields of Frosterley and along the riverbanks back to Wolsingham. A walk which is usually pleasant enough but not today. Bruno enjoyed finding sticks, running about with sticks, placing sticks to be thrown, chasing sticks and chewing up sticks. He’s going in for his Basic Stick Skills for Dogs NVQ shortly, so the practise is important.
Advanced Stick Skills for Dogs involves working with sticks longer than the dog and your canine is assessed on Stick Balance, Narrow doorways and stiles, Navigating your stick through groups of ramblers legs, Shaking your stick, Long stick entry into the back seat of a car containing a baby in a child seat and Effective stick destruction. None of this is available via the Open University by the way..
We did nineteen miles and two thousand feet of Up. I got wet socks. Dawn’s supply of orange chocolate drops received quite a bit of hammer. Nineteen miles is quite good for anybody thinking of taking part in next May’s TGO Challenge, but a while back I said I wasn’t going to mention this.
It was nice to be home this time…!