For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

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Monday, 29 October 2012

On the flat


Pete is insisting I avoid hills to give the knee  chance to recover.

Last Thursday we covered nearly 8 miles, south from Hest Bank almost to Lancaster and back on the Lancaster Canal, which runs from Kendal, south to Preston. The canal lost its isolation from the rest of the system when the Ribble Link was opened in 2002, though this involves tidal river cruising to link with the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Tarleton branch.

Previously I have walked north from Hest Bank to Carnforth, so today, shunning hills, I started on my own at Carnforth  (SD 501 704), and walked north to Capernwray and back. I am not sure if it is possible to walk all the way to Kendal because the canal is blocked in a couple of places by the M6 and the A6 but I intend to continue exploring section by section. I could of course find out by Internet browsing, but that would spoil my little adventure. These retracing, linear walks are something I usually avoid, but as this project is now under way I am quite motivated, and see it as a pretty macho undertaking because there are no tea shops throughout the whole length (as far as I know).

Today’s walk was only about 5 miles, starting in bright, colour enhancing, autumn sunshine, but after half half an hour, penetrating rain took over, but somehow this didn’t seem to matter - it was a pleasure just to be out and about.


Carnforth is just off the bottom left hand corner








Thursday, 11 October 2012

Car damage

Replying to Bowlandclimber's request here are photos of the damage to the car (see my last post - A day of good and bad bits - River Sprint 3).

At first glance the damage looks minimal, but the whole of the panel outlined in red dots, and the silver one underneath have to be replaced and painted plus a new number plate, but even so the cost seems excessive. Fortunately it will be met by the third party's insurance.

Although I have had the car for two and a half years I never knew that the circular disc in the photo houses a spray which comes out automatically when the windscreen washers are operated and sprays the headlamps.

A new key for the Yeti with automatic operation would cost £140, but I can have a manual one for £67. The Skoda dealer has to send off for the key and wait about two weeks, then they have to have the car and "code" the key.




Wednesday, 10 October 2012

A day of good and bad bits (River Sprint 3)


8:15 am - I am driving daughter’s colleague to school ( a favour), up a country lane. The builder’s wagon in front starts turning right, then stops. A car following is now right behind. The wagon reverses. My hand on the horn gets no result. I just sit and watch the front of my Skoda Yeti get crunched.

A good bit:  Feeling sorry for myself I reckon I deserve breakfast at the Artisan - a high class eater at Booth’s supermarket in Kendal ( the local equivalent of Waitrose). 

Five miles down the single track road in Long Sleddale, Tarmac ends and  a rough track ascends to Gatesgarth Pass: departure for my final exploration of the River Sprint.

Strangely there are more cars than normal; several have driven well up, despite the rugged surface. Farmers with flat tweed caps, shiny with age, moulded to their heads and wearing well worn tweed suits with waistcoats, despite the sunshine, are leaning against the wall with binoculars and hob-nobbing. Many of the cars display cb aerials, and dogs abound.

I know about hunting; my father was secretary of the Airedale Beagles for twenty five years.

At NY 480 073 where the track steepens I descend from track to river and photograph the tumbling, waterfally river with  blue skies, and rowan and holly trees sporting red berries.

Higher up I recross the track to the east and climb, strenuously over rough, pathless terrain to the summit of Tarn Crag. Something tells me I shouldn’t be doing this with the recovering knee. 

Inexplicably (perhaps wishfully reverting to junior-hard mode), I decide to descend via a ravine, and out onto suicidal steep grass skirting the southern edge of Buckbarrow Crag.

The knee is protesting. I am bemused at my folly for engineering this situation. I have never used the bum-sliding technique before on steep grass (too amateurish and unmanly), but find it effective for eliminating knee stress, and furthermore it is jolly good fun.

Back at the Gatesgarth track thoughts turn to car and a hot bath. Feeling for the keys in my back pocket I know immediately what has happened: I have paid the price for that joyous bum-sliding.

There is no mobile signal. Back at the car the Ullswater Hounds fraternity are preparing for departure. I hardly subscribe to their activities but decide now is the time to abandon principles and play the, “My father was secretary of the Airedale Beagles...” card.

One of the “followers” lives in Arnside and I get a lift in a car rancid with the smell of three border terriers. Daughter, spare keys from home, and a lift back to the car combine to complete the day.

I find myself, at last in the hot bath glugging a large, strong gin and tonic. Crumbs! I hope I’m not pregnant.
The start of the track is to the right of this bridge

Looking up Long Sleddale to Gatesgarth Pass. Red dots mark my descent route

"Followers" cars well up the track. Red dots show my descent route again - it was much steeper than it looks 

Long zoom back down the dale showing jumble of cars. I didn't dare photograph the farmer "followers" in case they thought I was an undercover hunt saboteur gathering evidence. I reckon they are just carrying on as before now after the hunt ban legislation


The track up to Gatesgarth can be seen, top right, and the point where I turned off up the righthand skyline ridge



Tarn Crag summit*, Windermere apparent

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*Extract from Wikipedia:This is one of four such pillars built during the construction of the Haweswater aqueduct. Below Branstree and Tarn Crag is the first section of the pipeline carrying water from the reservoir toward Manchester. The tunnel, some 1,300 ft below the summit, required 250 tons of gelignite for blasting, and when constructed in the 1930s was the longest such pipeline in Britain. It emerges into Longsleddale below Great Howe, where the spoil can still be seen.[1]

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Sunday, 7 October 2012

Arnside on a good day

A walk round one’s own locale tends to be taken for granted, and not worth a post. Today I elected to entertain Katie whilst daughter got on with some school work (yes teachers do toil with lesson planning etc. outside school hours).

The first item that took me by surprise was a totally black swan with a bright red beak, and from there on the idea of making a post was formed. Unfortunately I only had the iPhone, and this series of pics only serves to demonstrate its limitations. I tried my best with Photoshop - next time I will take the proper camera.


Later research told me this is an introduced bird from New Zealand and likely to be seen occasionally almost anywhere in the UK. Arnside railway viaduct is in the background with a train passing over. Further enlargement of the bird proved pointless

These guys were setting off to paddle out into Morecambe Bay and return on the celebrated Arnside Bore

A multi-month project increasing the size of storm drains and minimising pollution of the bay is under way in Arnside

Katie sleeps - the fisherman is possibly doing the same. Looking across to Grange-over-Sands

My brother (blogger RR) probably thought this post was going ok until now, but his disdain for my predilection for visiting a café will now be reinforced. Katie and I shared a Bob Marley Shortbread - I had to ask who Bob Marley was, and having obtained the answer omitted to find out the reason for this unlikely pairing


Arnside's prestigious YHA youth hostel - a splendid building, but not easy to photograph with its accompanying tree

Coming back along the front this beast was parked outside the Posh Sardine café ( Sardine, anagram of Arnside, and I've only just noticed posh = shop).
It is a 1920 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost with a 7.4 litre engine

Katie sheep watching. Ascending  the very steep footpath from the station back up to daughter's flat