There's been a short hiatus or gap during which I've done three walks - but as I'm setting off on the TGO Challenge quite shortly, there's not time or the will to write anything about the first two - BUT, the series concerning Long Walks (Important Capitals here) - is..er..important, so, I will leave readers with this one. Note that I will not be blogging or tweeting or otherwise using social media in any way during the next 2 weeks whilst me and The Lad attempt to walk across Scotland though the Bumpy Bit. This is not because I have any deep philosophical objection, it's just that both my so-called smart phone and me are utterly incompetent in this respect.
This walk kills two birds with one stone in that it participates in the Long Walks thingy (22 miles, see...?) and it's also a reccy for a walk I'm leading on 1 June on the occasion of the Crook and Weardale bus trip to Skipton during which some shopping and some post-walk boozing are quite likely I shouldn't wonder.
So me, Li Yang, Diane and David left Cracoe at about half past eight on Sunday and wandered through green pastures to Rylstone and then down the Dales High Way to Flasby, over Sharp Haw and via the golf course and into Skipton, where large crowds had gathered to watch some cyclists cycle past. (It was the Tour de Yorkshire aka Le Tour de Yorkshire. N'est pas... Mon Oncle est sous la table avec la soeur de ma tante.
We waited for the imminent arrival of the bikes for a whole hour, being passed by multiple police motorbikes - it seems that each cyclist has three police motorbikes. Or, maybe the cops are just having a bit of a jolly hurtling around the Dales for a change. Many were friendly and squirted their nee-nahs at the local kids and/or waved. Anyway, anti-climax having passed, we progressed on to the delights of Barden Moor.
Barden Moor, by it's Western edge has several delights for the walker, but none for the walker with a dog because dogs are not allowed up here, which is why LTD stayed home with a box of bonios and meerkats on the tellybox. to keep him from boredom and tearing up tissues into tiny little pieces.
The first of these is Crookrise Crag - A long line of rocks and slabs providing lots of gritty fun for rock climbers and cracking views for climbers and walkers. This eventually passes and the walker traverses a bit of moorland liberally decorated with unfeasibly big boulders to emerge above a waterfall, which the Ordnance Survey called "Waterfall Gill" but which, traditionally is actually called "Waterfoot Gill"
Next is Rylstone Cross - a war memorial for the Parish re-erected in stone in 1995 after the original wooden cross rotted away. Various mindless eejits and brainless prunes, with no respect for their dead and wounded great-grandads have decorated the plaque with felt-tip graffiti. FFS. Had they any appreciation of the massive casualties suffered by the 2 Craven battalions of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment and the other units mentioned on the memorials and the aftermath suffered by the survivors and their families, they might not have scribbled their puerile bollix in such a way.
And then, there's Cracoe War Memorial - an obelisk a mile or so further on with the initials of the local dead carved into the stones and the names and units provided on a plaque. Happily, this is mostly unreachable by scum with felt tips, although they did leave their lucozade bottles and little yoghurt tubs around as memorials to their visits. (Yoghurt is not a medicine by the way - just a tip, there.....)
At last a descent to Thorpe is made and a final killer hill (for twenty-mile legs) through more green pastures and a bit of road took us back to the cars which were exactly where we'd left them.
The Crook Ramblers route is the first half into Skipton. It's very nice, quite pretty and so on.... but the best bit is Barden Fell. Crook Ramblers won't be seeing Barden Fell other than from below.
Further Long Walks will be happening over the summer.