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Thursday, 5 January 2012

A Shivery Border Walk – Reccy Sans Specs

middlehope moor
I was joined on this little pre-guided walk reccy by Louise (whom we met in the breakfast hole the other day – she was the one covered in mud, or, rather, one of those covered in mud…) and her collie pup Rosie.
The idea was to walk from Cowshill in Upper Weardale, up to the Northumberland County Boundary, across a bit of moorland and back to Weardale, following the River upstream back to Cowshill. So this is what we did.
cowshill upper weardale
I’ve put pics in of the same walk taken last July because my newly installed camera batteries failed immediately and those taken from my GPS didn’t have enough power to take a picture, so there are no pictures. This is a pity because the day quickly developed into a sparkling winters day with fabulous views and some fairly daft doggy antics from Rosie the pup and Bruno the codger who, frankly, should know better. Rosie seems to particularly enjoy staring at puddles, then biting them. Rosie also likes running around in large circles very very quickly and Bruno follows her as fast as possible, barking like a pup and, occasionally, cutting a corner. Bruno is a little bit stiff tonight from all this running about….  If he was a person, I’d prescribe a good dose of tasty beer, but as he’s a mere dog, he’ll just have to confine himself to watching me drink it vicariously. I don’t mind, really. In fact, I’m  completely OK with this idea.

I should also add, for clarity, that the title of the post refers to the fact that whilst ramming my specs on through the resistance of my hat, I snapped them in half. They're now sporting a temporary, selotape reinforcement.
the shelter
The walk is a good one, I think, and goes up to the Northumberland Border at 600 metres, and then contours across the moor at just the right level to get cracking views into Weardale. Its a bit exposed, though and landmarks are out of sight of each other, so no handrailing can be done. But,  I’ve got the bearings and I’ve marked five places as waypoints on the GPS, so this should do the job if its foggy. There’s a wall shelter a little way across the moor which turns out to be a fine suntrap with a fine view, so we stopped for butties and coffee just here. (Another good place for a solstice “do”, I think)
After the moorland part, the walk follows Sedling Rake, on the line of the Slitt Vein then descends to Ireshopeburn on a quiet and very steep lane, followed by a riverside ramble back to Cowshill.
middlehope 022
This pic’s not from July, obviously…. Cowshill waterfalls…

At the end of the walk, I celebrated by mending my broken specs (they don’t make them like they used to…) and scoffing a healthy orange before driving home.  ….er………. actually I ate a mars bar. But I can eat the orange later. Look, I know that the doctor and the cardiac nurse and the fat nurse all say that I’m much too short for my weight, but this is my fourth walk this year so far and it’s only the 5th of January. I need sustenance. I need sustenance that’s a bit more entertaining than broccoli and carrots. This is why I’m off to Crook Boozerama in a minute….  I’m probably wasting away here, by the way; I’m almost down to clinically obese. I could be in danger or something.
I hope somebody turns up on this walk – Its on Friday 13th starting at 10:00 o’clock at Cowshill in bright sunshine. It’ll be fab.

Justaminnit, though…. Friday the 13th…….


Jules said...

Bad luck over the specs, Mike. That's usually costly!

Last night, I myself partook of a medicinal beer, then had to down a few more on behalf of someone or something - vicariously, as you say. Can't quite remember who or why now. Come to think of it, can't remember much at all ... (hic).

4 walks in 5 days, though? You'll be wasting away!

Mike Knipe said...

It doesn't do to agonise over the reasons for the beer drinking, Jules. It has to be done. It expands ther UK GDP as well, so it's like a social service, really.

Jules said...

Ahhhh .... GDP.

Got it. ;-)

Dawn said...

Looks like a nice spot for a bivi or even a wild camp Mike. Glad you are getting good weather up north; London had winds gusting up to 65mph.

Anonymous said...

Great day out and great company! hasta leuga!

Mike Knipe said...

Cracking spot for a bivi, Dawn. There's a couple of other spots I noticed, too...
Yes, Anon (aka Louise) I enjoyed the day and so did the dog. Although the dog was comatose with his legs in the air till half seven this morning...