This is a personal blog mainly to do with hillwalking things but with other stuff as well.....maybe the odd rant..
Tuesday, 18 January 2011
The Dodd, Middle Rigg and a Bare Bum
When the weather girl announces an anti-cyclone and sunny intervals, it’s always best to take advantage straight away with a nice walk, followed by an enormous tea of fine aberdeen angus steak mixed with gravy and dog biscuits followed by a long a snooze on the settee till its time for supper, according to Bruno. And so, we turned up on the Cumbria/Northumberland border just above West Allendale and sploshed off over the soggy moor in the general direction of The Dodd. The Dodd is a boggy Pennine just over 2000 feet high and, as the cloud base was around 1800 feet, it was a tad murky on the top. I had to navigate to find the summit cairn. This failed. So I switched on the yellow GPS thingy and put in the grid reference. This failed as well There was no cairn where it said the top was. So, instead I wandered off to the East in search of the bridleway that runs down Middle Rigg – and, found the summit cairn. Bruno took the opportunity of each pause for navigation to eat the remaining patch of snow/ice. He and his kind may well be responsible for the retreat of arctic ice. Has anybody checked the pack for teeth marks, I wonder? Note the maximum speed on the screen, though. I can be quite quick when I want to be…. (maybe its been switched on in the car…dhuhh) And so we romped and sploshed just a bit down the lovely broad and grassy ridge till we popped out below the fog. It brightened up a bit and I found a rectangular enclosure with high walls, ideal for scoffing an egg and tomato butty in, out of the wind. I was a bit puzzled by the enclosure, which I thought was an old sheepfold, except that sheepfolds are usually round, or have compartments which can be used to put the animals through some kind of process…. like shearing or washing. Its next to some old mineworkings, so I wondered if it was a temporary shelter for ponies, perhaps…. Anyway, we followed the ridge downhill with good views of West Allendale and, where the path meets the road, we turned back up another path which runs along the intake wall for a couple of miles. Eventually it arrives at Carrshield (where the cheeky gnome/elf can be found guarding a gateway. I believe he’s having his prostate checked…). Carrshield has some extensive derelict mineworkings and the destruction around River West Allen is remarkable. And interesting. There’s some old mine buildings, about to be restored/converted into houses, which contain peculiar arches and what appears to be a large stone oven?? I’ve no idea to be honest. A plod up the main road brought us back, through the hamlet of Coalcleugh (coal cluff), an interestingly cold and draughty place, to the border and the car. We repaired to Brian’s at Nenthead for coffee and catfood. I had the coffee. I’m not sure Brian’s cat will be too happy about this… We did 9 miles and, as we started at nearly 2000 feet , just over 1000 feet of ascent.
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.