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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Pieman’s Penultimate Perambulation of the Guided Kind

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I told the County Council aka Volunteer Durham that after July I wouldn’t be doing any more guided walks. And this walk – Slitt Wood and Black Hill, a ten mile trek – would be my next-to-the-last one. Volunteer Durham ( I will avoid using just the initials) have now stopped asking me for photo-id and an application form to be a volunteer.
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The omens, in the form of the Met Office weather forecast were, er, ominous. Basically, it was chucking it down in the morning in exactly the kind of way that it does when nobody turns up for a walk, and it would rain most of the day. Not only would this be a contra-indication to much in the way of company, but also, Footpath No1 in Westgate, the one through Slitt Wood, is officially closed but unnoficially quite easy and safe to walk providing that the beck isn't running high, and, after four days of rain… and more to come… I expect you catch my drift. Me and LTD visited the day before, though, and it was still good to pass.
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On the day, me and Jo, the second steward turned up half an hour early by mistake, leading us to belie that nobody was coming and, at the same time, a walk leader from Gateshead Ramblers was also starting to think that her walk numbers would be very low. We discussed forming a coalition in order to have a majority and the only thing to decide was which of our routes to take. I wanted to do her route, and she wanted to do mine. In the end, five walkers turrned up for mine, plus Neville the steward, and half a dozen for hers. It was still chucking it down. What’s the matter with these people anyway?
The walk went well enough. Eventually the rain slackened off and then stopped.
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The route goes from St John’s Chapel, down to Westgate on the riverside paths, through some rather fine Northern Haymeadows, up through Slitt Wood to Slitt Mine and Middlehope Mine to the Rookhope road, then over Black Hill to Queensbury farm and back through Wearhead to the start – ten miles and 1900 feet of up.
I did reccies in March and a week before and, just Slitt Wood the day before.
The pics in this post are mainly from last week’s reccy.
Just one more to go. I’m making space for more backpacking and, maybe, for another, fresh outlet for social walking and, perhaps, in time, more walk leading.
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In the meantime, my daughter Becky has given birth to her second Scottish sprogling and my fifth grandchild  – Austin Thomas, born at Melrose just the other day. Knipes are in a  general state of chuffdness or, even, gruntledittity.
Some things change, some stay the same, innit
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John J said...

What lovely news, my warmest congratulations to Becky.....and all t'other Knipes!


Dawn Linney said...

It is a pity Durham council have gone down that road. A shame, but their loss. Cracking photos, looks a nice walk.

Quinn said...

Congratulations to all the Knipes in Knipeville! And everywhere else :)