In the face of a fierce but very short snowstorm and the suspicion that the weather was going to get a bit wet, Monday’s Sniffathon was a short 5.2 kilometres (3.23 miles) over Dowfold Hill, a hillock which looms for about 300 feet above the teaming metropolis that is Crook.
But first, we visited St Catherine’s Community Centre to collect a couple of doggychews. I visit St Cath’s roughly twice a week and the customers there give me a great welcome and Doreen (its usually Doreen) gives me some doggytreats. So, it’s worth going.
After this we wandered up through the golf course , which was very quiet, apart from a lady with three not-quite-pedigree greyhounds who investigated my parts indiscreetly. The lady asked Pieman why he’d got the beard and didn’t he look like Santa and she called me by a name I’m not familiar with. It didn’t really dawn on her at all that she was mistaking Pieman from her brother (probably doesn’t see him that much) and me for her brother’s pet dog, a member of an opposite gender to me, as it happens. She went off still convionced that her brother had grown a white beard and that for some reason he was pretending to be somebody else, probably to avoid all that Christmas family nonsense.
Dowfold hill itself is a fine wander and you can look down on Crook and over to the Pennines where the local ghillies were once again setting fire to the heather.
Dowfold Hill is crops and a couple of pastures for horses and ends with a steep sledging hill which had no stock on it today, so I was allowed off the lead for the running about, sniffing and leg-cocking. The sniffing was specially interesting today.
The return is by the Deerness Valley Railway path where more doggies were met and much more wagging, indelicate sniffing and so on occurred.
The railway path goes to Langley Moor, just outside Durham and is quite beautiful in places, although it may be better on a bike, I expect.
The railway itself was originally built to link various collieries and industrial sites together and opened in 1855, the collieries around producing huge quantities of high quality coal for a hundred years or so. Its now possible to walk the line from Crook and link up to similar railway paths to Bishop Auckland, Lanchester, Consett and up into the Durham Dales at Stanhope, Rookhope and Westgate, or down the Derwent Valley to Gateshead. In fact, should you so wish, you can walk your little legs off.
Today’s question was “how do golfers know which ball is theirs when they get to that little hole with the flag?” It’s a mystery.
Here’s a map.
Kendal tomorrow. I’ll be getting sweet biscuits but I have to do snarly snarlies to get them.