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Sunday, 4 January 2015

Starting As We Mean to Continue – Upper Weardale Camp-Out

sunset over burnhope

We were supposed to have camped out on solstice night, but the weather was wild and woolly and well windy, do we didn’t. Then Christmas happened and the weather stayed pretty breezy – up to Force 8 or 9  on the tops and last night was probably the best night for it for weeks and weeks and weeks…

setting off...

Rachel dropped me and Matt at the County boundary and we walked just about a mile. The intended camping spot was liberally decorated with quite a lot of sheep-poo so we prospected a bit further and found some flat bits quite close to the head of Sedling Burn where, just before the sun set, we pitched our shelters.

sunset again

The night that followed was perishingly cold but after some initial breeziness, quite calm and after dinner, when it got too cold to be sitting about, we retired to our respective tents and I shut up mine and dozed off. It must have been at least half seven.

Later, having recovered from the brief alcoholic coma, I opened up the tent to a bright, moonlit and starry night and left the door open till dawn so that I could doze, brew, watch the sky and doze and sip scotch and watch the sky and doze….

poles at dawn

I awoke to a beautiful orange and blue pre-dawn and breakfasted. The countryside and my tent were heavy with frost but eventually the sun popped over the horizon and whereas I’d like to say that this warmed things up a bit, actually, it didn’t and the pic I took (below) is quite fuzzy for some reason…

middlehop camp 013

upper weardale

We packed up and left and descended to Cowshill where we were collected by Rachel and whisked off to the Chatterbox cafe for sausage butties to meet Mrs Pieman and Lucky The Dog. I didn’t take Lucky, judging that it would be far too cold for him – and it probably was. He’s currently having some woolly winter jim-jams made and, hopefully, these will make an appearance very shortly for we have more winter camping planned in the not too distant future.

6 comments:

Dawn Linney said...

Looks fantastic Mike. Will be interesting to see Lucky in a pair of wool jim jams!!

Mike Knipe said...

Apparently, Dawn, it has a hood and holes for the ears! (arf) . Just ;looked up temperature records and it appears that it was probably no colder than -3 or -4. Tropical!

Oldmortality said...

You're an old softie. You know damn well that keepers and shepherds toughen up their mutts not with knitted pjs, but by kennelling them outside.(apparently you don't notice the whimpering after the first few weeks)
Anyway, Happy New Year - it's your round.

A Northern Witch said...

Wonderful, reminds me of my time in Weardale

christine hindle said...

And there was us camping out on the very same night, not a million miles away from you, but in our van with the central heating on..........

Mike Knipe said...

Oldmortality - I am too soft, you're right. PJ's still not finished, though. I may have to let the wife in from the coalshed so she can finish it.
Northern Witch - Nostalgia eh? Its not what it used to be, eh?
Chrissie - Cos we're rufty tufty Northern types, we poo-poo the idea of central heating, obviously... (I want a van!)