This one took a bit of doing…. I think I did two reccies before finally deciding on the route. The I did another reccy a few days ago, in the company of superdawg in deep but thawing snow and finally, we did the County walk on Sunday. Nine of us set off, including me and the stewards Janet and Steve…. but, after all those earlier patrols, I abandoned the route half way round and announced a march up the road to finish it off.
It was, in fact, howling when we arrived. Warm, but howling. Once again, I was a bit surprised that anybody turned up, but six
maniacs walkers did, so we set off directly into the teeth of an Atlantic gale which sprayed us gently but generously until lunchtime, when it stopped for lunch.
Basically, we battered up the Pennine Way to Race Yate, where the huge snowdrift , so much enjoyed by Bruno a few days before, had all but disappeared. After this, we turned left and had a brisk walk down Race Yate Rigg, pushed along by an enthusiastic tail wind, and then a plodge through the juncus to West Loups’s where, since the red flag was not flying on the firing range, we took shelter in the ruins (after first examining a very nice cup and ring marked rock, helpfully covered over with stone flags by Ranger Neville, apparently)
At West Loups’s both the troops and the storm had a ceasefire and we had just a little period of warm sunshine to dry things out just a little bit..
The wind blustered on and soon the driving drizzle returned too and as we turned the corner to West Briscoe we were hit by a fierce headwind that had sneakily turned from a Southerly to a Westerly. This was starting to be hard work, and the stinging rain just a bit painful and so, I decided not to fight with the mud and the exposed shores of the reservoirs, but to keep to the hard surface and return by the road. I think this shortened the route a little bit…. but not much… I think it was probably quite a bit easier. I think I detected some relief amongst the customers who’s four quid for being pushed around for five hours whilst being sluiced with cold water was starting to run out.
It seems, from chatter, that several of today’s walkers intend to come on Wednesday’s walk at Stanhope. The weather forecast looks, at first sight, horribly familiar. But there’s a cafe half way and, I daresay, that if we throw money at them, they’ll produce hot tea and cakes. or whatever…
Most of the pics are from the reccies – I need to get a new camera before the TGO. This one is declaring independence and insists on turning itself on and off and not storing absolutely everything that I snap. Which is a bugger. (technical photography term, try not to worry about it…)
Bruno enjoyed the reccies, though – specially the snowy ones.
In the meantime, I’m off to the Lakes.
This is the map of the one of the reccies the final version goes a bit East of West Briscoe