This is a personal blog mainly to do with hillwalking things but with other stuff as well.....maybe the odd rant..
Thursday, 30 October 2014
Kirkcarrion (Never Camp In…)
A short while ago me and Lucky decided that a short overnight in Kirkcarrion in Teesdale would be an ideal way to celebrate the autumn equinox. For those not familiar with this familiar landmark, where’ve you been hiding? Its reputed to be the burial site of a Brigantian prince named Caryn. Hence Carreg Caryn - Caryn's stones which when anglicised by Angles eventually becomes Kirkcarrion. It’s also supposed to be badly haunted. We don’t believe rubbish about places being haunted , now do we? Eh? We don’t, though, do we. I mean, we don’t, though….? Autumn equinoxes, of course, are notorious for autumn equinox gales affecting Britain and tonight was to be no exception. In fact it wasn’t just the dog that was windy when we arrived late on a dark and gloomy October afternoon. I clambered over the wall and found a nice sheltered spot for the akto and me and the pooch settled in. It became immediately apparent that the pup wasn’t happy and he shivered nervously all night, refusing to sleep and occasionally trying to escape into the increasingly wild black night outside. The akto shook and the sides blew in and the trees creaked and moaned in the roaring gale. An unpleasant enough night. Neither of us slept much and on several occasions, I had to leave the warm sleeping bag to reset pegs and tighten up guylines a couple of times – all in the dark with a panicking pup on a tight lead to prevent any successful, and, probably disastrous attempt to leave for home. And then, of course, in the darkness of the night with the inside of the akto dancing around and being only half awake, it was easy to imagine noises outside and someone, something, maybe, prowling around just outside, breaking twigs, rustling grass and leaves and whispering and generally lurking and that the bigger, more violent gusts could be that something pushing or falling against the tent. Lucky’s 3:0 am ten minute barking frenzy and serious attempt to leave through the zipped-up tent door didn’t help to sooth the imagination. In the grey morning, I took the dog for a short constitutional around the wood – a kind of post-breakfast (which he refused to eat by the way) dog-emptying exercise prior to another brew and, maybe a snooze in the now calmer conditions before packing up and going home. The wind was still battering the tent and we wandered around the wood in a fairly random and aimless fashion. And then, Lucky stopped and seemed to be staring at something on the edge of the wood. All I saw was tree stumps, but Lucky saw something else and tried once more to make an escape – only prevented by my firm grip on his lead. I thought I saw a looming figure, there one second and gone the next. I thought that above the roaring of the storm there was something whispering. Then, over the wall and against the direction of the howling wind floated several strange little lights which danced around the trees and the cairn and then left as they’d come. With the skin crawling and the hackles on both me and the dog stood on end and with a looming shadowy presence stalking the walls and trees not far enough away for comfort I packed up and left, smartish and a bit feverishly, truth be told. This is the second time I’ve been chased out of this place with all me hair stood on end. Oooer.
I am a retired NHS Personnel person. All I do nowadays is walk about.
I used to have my pet dog Bruno with me (in the front page pic). he was Superdawg but he died. Now I have Lucky the pup. He's a bit like Bruno, only smaller and more suspicious.