Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Final Few Forays of 2015

Ash Gill Force

I haven't been blogging over Christmas, preferring to cuddle up to the several bottles of 40% proof wot various people gave me (and some I got for myself). Nobody was reading the blog anyway either because I hadn't posted anything or due to similar food-and-drink based reasons as mine. Here's what's missing (in brief)
Guidede walkees avoiding a Willington flood

Just before Christmas, 32 peeps turned up at Jubilee Bridge at Willington for an eight and a half mile guided trundle up by the River Wear towards Bishop Auckland and back again on the Bishop-Brandon ex-railway line. Me and Lucky did the reccy a week or so before.
Willingtton war memorial
Lucky running about daft

Rocking strike memorial plaque

Nothing happened. Nobody got lost or drowned It was muddy and the river had been in spate and had flooded the places where it's supposed to flood, but was merely a bit high.  I'll probably do this walk again next Christmas.
LTD on Alston Moor
And then, just after Christmas, me and LTD did another reccy for a guided walk from Nenthead to Garrigill and back via Ash Gill. The walk is 9 miles, but we did 10 due to duff directions in a guide-book, a complete inability on the part of the Pieman to walk in the correct direction or, indeed, understand even roughly where he was half the time and a severe time/space continuum lapse which nobody else seemed to notice. It's a good walk, though and I just hope that the weather is as nice as when me and the Pup did the reccy.

View from behind the waterfall

Readers considering attending should note that the highlight will (ought to be) be walking behind Ash Gill Force and looking through the roaring curtain of cream-coloured water at the gorge below. Wearing waterproofs for this bit is recommended. Lucky wasn't keen - too noisy and wet..  The walk is a Wednesday Walking Group Which Sometimes Walks on Saturdays organised by email by the redoubtable Lancastrian Eric.

View from the top of Warden Hill

Finally, yesterday, me and LTD went to bag Warden Hill, just over the hill in Northumberland. We'd attempted this lump (Tump, actually) last summer but found it well-defended by suckler cattle that had only just calved and were in no mood to let anybody, specially anybody with a dog, in the same field.  A lass from the cottage up the hill did offer me a lift, but that would have merely left me stranded up a hill surrounded by manic cattle with a dog that barks at cattle. (Not good!) It's a lovely hill, though and has an iron-age fort or settlement on the top and some big views of Tynedale.

LTD at the top of Moot Law

After this, we went on to bag Moot Law from the hamlet of Ryal, a few miles East. This one is a nice, green little hill with an ancient beacon site on the top. All cowfields were mercifully void of cows and, indeed, there was nobody about at all, apart from a couple of local children walking their dogs and some girly horseriders who chatted briefly about what a nice day it was. And it wa sa nice day too.

I abandoned the plan to also bag Shaftoe Crags in favour of going home to sit in front of the telly drinking hot tea and scoffing chocolate digestives. Shaftoe Crags is next to a main road, so I'll likely bag it some other time.
Lucky enjoys a brief rest from the snoozing

And that was that for 2015. I'm not going out again other than to take LTD for his constitutionals and, in the face of today's attack by Frank The Storm, he's not too bothered about that either and, at this very moment is sighing, snoozing, snoring and having the occasional running-about-barking dream on a beanbag on the landing. It's a hard life, but somebody has to do it.

Everybody here at Pietowers wishes everybody out there a Happy New Year, specially if they're pieblog readers. And even if they're not.


Louise said...

Happy New Year Pieman and LTD!

Andrew & Little Brenda said...

Happy New Year, Mike. Thanks for all entertainment your Blog has given us in 2015.

Meanqueen said...

Happy New Year, Mike and Lucky. Lots of lurv from me and Rocky.

Graeme Adlum said...

All the best for the New Year Mike. Love your blog.

Dawn said...

Happy New Year Mike, ditto Lucky and all at Pie Towers.

One Girl and her Dog said...

With best wishes to you too for 2016.

Looking forward to reading about more of your and LTD's adventures.

Happy New Year

Paula and HD (Heidi Dog)

Chrissie said...

Happy New Year, Mike!

Pebbles and Islay send licks to Lucky, too....

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year. It has been a real treat to discover this blog and see all these excellent walks so near to home that I will never have the energy to do but which I can delight myself with the thought that one day I might. Meanwhile your entertaining comments and excellent photographs keep me very cheery.

Quinn said...

Nice to see such splendidly clear days for your last walks of 2015 - can almost smell that winter air. Thanks for sharing so many great snaps - I don't know if I've seen a picture of Lucky running around before! I love the one of him contemplating the gap in the wall. Planning his approach? Waiting for a lift?

Happy New Year and all the best in 2016 to you and Lucky from me and Piper :)