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Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Lillies, Lead and Shiny Things

squawky toy
Finally, the last reccy for the Durham County Council summer guided walks programme. This one starts at Baybridge Pickernick place, which sits squarely on the Northumberland side of the River Derwent and , yet, is just, but only just in County Durham. The river moved, see?
bolts burn bluebell walk
This is a short walk and, in view of the mild weather (Nine of yer Queen’s degrees Celsius), and the shortness of the occasion, I went lightweight. My pack weight was nil. Lets forget the 10kg of wobbly fat around the gut, the pack weight was nil. There was no pack.
And I was wearing the cruben fibre thong as a base layer. Not quite sure what to do with the guy ropes…..
derwent mine engine house
The walk follows great lumps of my Blanchland adopt-a-path route, but without the diversion up the hill to Townfield, and with the addition of a short excursion up Footpath 17 in Hunstanworth parish. This is a new, recently diverted/created path and, thus, has new stiles and waymarks. It goes through a spruce plantation, some of who’s trees are a bit friendly. I expect they’ll respond to a pair of secateurs just before the walk.
on the snow
So, I hear you ask…..  why the daft title….   wellllll… the lillies are bluebells which are abundant in may and June in the woods hereabouts. there’s loads of them, and the walk will be in June so that we can see them and go “ooooh - bluebells” They’re not very impressive just now, but they’re in all of the woodland pictures on this blogpost.
buckshott fell bridleway
The Lead is the Derwent Lead Mine complex, long defunct, but which still has culverts, spoil heaps, adits, shafts and the old steam-powered water pumping station.
The shiny things are the jewels to be found in the spoil heaps – mainly flourspar, but some other crystals, too.
squeaky toy squeaky toy
We did the walk in just under two and a half hours – but with no stops. We did have time for some fun in the snow, and some more fun with a squeaky toy which seems to have appeared out of a thawed snowdrift. Bruno, of course, is a connoisseur of squeaky toys. It got a bit annoying after a while.
All good stuff, though – a nice, short walk of just under five miles and 680 feet of uphill…
spot the bluebell
Today, I also got a nice letter from Penrith saying I owe the local judiciary sixty quid for driving at 51 mph at Brough on my way to Windermere the other day. Dhuhhh.. Still, on the bright side, they’ve given me three points, so I must have been driving fairly well or something….  I can spend the three points on a speed awareness course, apparently, instead. I’ll probably do that. I thought I was going faster than that…..
Incidentally, if anybody wants their squeaky toy back, send me an email and I’ll make the appropriate arrangements. Bruno is looking after it for the time being. Its in safe paws…
dvcrs walk 4


QDanT said...

Tell them you'd been kidnapt and the Dawg was driving ?
cheers Danny

Mike Knipe said...

I expect that the dawg's loyalty would be such that given persuasion (food), he'd fess up top anything. Unfortunately he doesnt actually have a licence, so I'm taking the rap this time. We don;t want any of that photo evidence nonsense, it might sober up the magistrate.
My licence is a bit dog-eared as it happens (arf arf)

Alan Sloman said...

Spooky - I was only reading about Blanchland the day you must have written this as I was catching up on Wainwright's original Pennine Journey of 1938.

He didn't get any points on his license though. He did meet any number of young ladies in the blackness of the night that he claims he never saw though.

Word = "Guingly" - a Northumberland expression meaning bimbling quickly

Mike Knipe said...

Somebody's devised a walk to follow Alf's Pennine Journey, Alan. I did a bit of it last "summer" - from Middleton in Teesdale to Blanchland. I got very wet and fairly drunk at Westgate. (Note links to the Hare and Hounds....)

Alan Sloman said...

Indeed they have! I have David Pitt's book as well and am reading them side-by-side. Old Alf liked a bit of the old tarmacadam though, so David's walk is quite a bit longer.

I have plans, you see...

Mike Knipe said...

The new route looks interesting, though I did have some doubts as to whether or not the Bolts law bit would be welcomed by the local grouse estate as it goes right through the chick rearing area. Durham County Council are supporting it, though and will be waymarking it.
Don't forget to visit the Hare and Hounds , and let me know when you're passing through.