Friday, 28 November 2014

Howling in the Dark and Misty Night (Kirkcarrion with Chrissiedixie and The Hounds….. Oooer…


Ok, actually it wasn’t nearly as scary as it was supposed to be. Me and Chrissie and her dog-not-called-Dixie-but Tilly drifted into a plan to spend the night in the notoriously haunted Kircarrion – a gloomy and occasionally spooky clump of trees often looming in a menacing kind of way over the junction between Teesdale and Lunedale.

what kirkcarrion really looks like

So, we met at Bowlees in order to have a walk – Me, Lucky (perhaps an ironic name on this occasion…?) and a huge brown labrador called Tilly. And after coffee in Chrissie and Geoff’s van, we set off into the gloom and drizzle of a grey November lunchtime. Tilly’s hobby, by the way, is getting wet and goes enthusiastically into any water that’s available We all need an interest , innit…? Lucky only gets wet by accident and walks around puddles and mud if possible.

wobbly bridge and wobbly lucky

It was very gloomy, grey and drizzly. I may have already mentioned this above and I’ll probably mention it again below.

chrissie crossing crossthwaite common

We slithered off over the wobbly bridge (aka Wynch Bridge) and up the paths to Holwick and thence up The Steep Bit onto Crossthwaite Common – into deep and driving hillfog – the kind of stuff which may well appear in a horror story or a tale of a mysterious double disappearance. However, due to my superb navigational skills [koff], we managed not to get lost all that much and eventually, having wandered through deep and raging streams, across quaking bogs and having teetered on the Very Edge of Oblivion a couple of times (it was a bit slippery), the haunted trees of Kircarrion finally loomed into view out of the gloomy grey drizzle (see above).

kircarrion (oooer...)

Just, in fact, as the last vestiges of gloomy grey and drizzly daylight seeped out of the day, I managed to  locate the basha and ten litres of finest Weardale tapwater wot I’d hidden under some bracken a couple of days previously and we threw up the tents (take this phrase to mean we set up the tents, not that we’d previously eaten the tents and they were now making us ill) (although if one did try to scoff an akto there could certainly be unpleasant consequences – just sayin…)


As we waited in the darkness (and drizzle etc) for a decent interval before starting dinner, we discovered that both Tilly and Lucky could be made to howl quite easily by the deft use of a bit of human howling. I suspect that this short episode of unearthly hounds-of-the basketcase stuff was probably one of the reasons we weren’t disturbed by any local farmers or shepherds that night.

And That Night was a long one and almost unremittingly gloomy, grey and drizzly (see above and below , but not at the same time or you’ll crick your neck)

There was a brief period when the lights of Middleton-In –Teesdale appeared, but generally it was you-know-what.

At one point an owl sat in a tree quite close by and hooted. Another owl somewhere else hooted in reply and the two met and left sharpish, showering the tents in water from the tree branches they disturbed. Later, another owl Too-witted but didn’t Two-woo…

So, to celebrate, I had a brew and shared some cheese and oatcakes with the Pooch.

tilly with a stick lucky scares a rabbit

In the morning, guess what it was like….. to help with this question , I’ve inserted the initial letters of the weather conditions here as a clue.  G_______, G_______ and D________

heading back on the pennine way

We packed up and left at tennish after a slow start and returned to Bowlees along the Pennine Way where that path could best be described as “clarty”

Chrissie and Geoff are away for more adventures with James Backpackingbongos and , no doubt, Reuben. Hopefully, the weather will brighten up a bit.  I’ll post links to their blogs as soon as they are available.

Eleven miles and No Ghosts (unfortunately) (or maybe not) (Oooer)

kirkcarrion camp



Dawn said...

Wonderful Mike, all very atmospheric, sounds like a cracker of a night out.

Caz.P. said...

What! and you could have been at home in a nice warm bed. Lucky looks like he/she is thinking that too.ha ha. Its a lovely daytime photo of the trees. I really like reading your blog. It always makes me smile.

Chrissie said...

Currently sat in the van at Simonside on a Gloomy, Grey and Drizzly day... 'Twas fun, though. I think we need some more spooky places to explore...

Mike Knipe said...

Dawn - It were 'orrible (comment by Lucky) I thowt it were gradely.
Caz - Aw ta.. You're right about Lucky's attitude to cold and wet, though - but he was nice and cosy wrapped in my down gilet thingy
Chrissie - I'm open to spooky ideas! There's a need to research these things. What was that...!?