Objectives for today were – get a doggy climbing harness for Lucky for the lifting over fences and steep rocks and climb some fences and steep rocks.
The first bit was easy – go to Keswick and chuck some money at the problem. £130 (A HUNDRED AND THIRTY QUID!!!??? HOW MUCH!!!) would have resolved the issue easily and provided some panniers for the carrying of dentastix and assorted biccies. In the end, with a bit of backpackers Club discount, £55 was more the mark in Cotswolds.
And so, we went off in search of rocks.
This was also resolved easily and relatively cheaply by first frightening an old chap on a venerable motorbike who wasn’t paying enough attention to my brake lights and wobbled off towards the hedge as opposed to smacking into my bumper (must get the dog navigating these difficult narrow roads) and parking prettily on some grass, we (me, Pup and Matt) climbed steeply up to Swinside, an unbagged Birkett just above Lorton. This included crossing a gate and a fence. The harness worked well and there was only just a little bit of wriggling.
We progressed to the sound of the tannoy at some kind of agricultural/country show going on below. Several lean and stupidly fit hounds hurtled down the hill past us, ignoring us completely. Lucky wanted to join in but was prevented by his new harness (did I mention he has a new harness which only cost me fifty five quid (FIFTY FIVE QUID>>>!?) (Gasp)
Soon, we were at the top of Ladyside Pike – not very rocky so far, but ahead, the crags of Hopegill Head loomed menacingly and fairly rockily. In the end, they were climbed easily, but the rock scenery of Hobcarton Crag was impressive. The harness wasn’t used, really.
We lunched on Hopegill Head as two Lancaster bombers passed below us in the gap between Grisedale Pike and Skiddaw and then down the long trench of Thirlmere. Apparently, it’s unusual to see two Lancasters flying together. Impressive stuff.
After lunch we traversed the narrow(ish) ridge to Whiteside and down the heathery ridge to Dodd – an easy descent, but probably horrible to climb.
It was here, on some steep grass that Lucky discovered a new method of descent. This involves lying flat out, all legs akimbo and sliding slowly down the grass. If it’s not quite steep enough, a little wriggle produces some downward momentum. I’ve never seen this done before. But every dog has his own little gimmicks, innit?
We couldn’t help noticing the camping spots in Hope Gill…… with a nice, clean beck for the paddling and soaking of tootsies… and brewing up…. and snoozing.
A short walk of just about five miles, 2300 feet of upness and about a quarter pound of blackberries…. There’s a map. This is an ideal walk if you’ve not got much time or, you’re not in much of a rush. If its foggy on the tops, I wouldn’t bother, frankly.
I like the harness by the way, and so does Lucky, who sees it’s fitting as a prelude to fun. Which it is.
And now, I’m off to Eskdale for several days – mainly campsite camping but, hopefully with just the one wild night (that’s camping by the way, I’m much too old for anything else….)