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Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Dales Way - Patton Bridge to Bowston Bridge

Monday 8th August 2016

How far would you drive before returning home to retrieve an item you had forgotten? I suppose it depends on the importance of that item, and the possibility of improvising some replacement. Today it was my camera. I had driven as far as Levens (about five miles). I went back.

My iPhone camera was a possible alternative, but I hate it. I always seem to get part of my hand in front of the lens, or find that it has switched itself to video mode when the shot I am taking depends on a fleeting moment, and the touch screen controls are not, for me, user friendly, and there is no zoom at the time of operation, or macro mode. Multi-purpose inventions nearly always involve compromise.

Even so I was still off and walking from Bowston Bridge by 9:30am for this next section of Dales Way fill-ins. I think it will take two more expeditions to arrive at the Bowness finish, then I will need to walk from the start at Ilkley as far as Bolton Bridge, south of Bolton Abbey. I walked from Bolton Bridge as far as Buckden on the DW during my LEJOG trip in 2008. That section is the definitive heart and soul of this excellent LDP, but that is not to detract from the  specific merits of other sections.

The distance for my sections on the DW can only be half the distance of my walk because I need to return to the car and my starting point. Today I decided to do the foreign bit first. Although there was quite a bit of road walking it was mainly on grass-in-the-middle lanes, with only the occasional, but nearly always spotted little post-office-red Royal Mail van with the usual cheery wave. There were old tracks and bye-ways and constant interest with country cottages, expansive edge of the Lake District scenery which I particularly enjoy, sparkling energetic rivers, and a general feeling of having the good fortune to be a part of it all. That part of the walking was nearly as good as the DW itself and would justify a repeat any day.


Start/finish Bowston Bridge - lefthand end - clockwise

Just before Bowston Bridge, I seem to be getting a thing about VR post boxes. Their surroundings generally seem to be attractive

Downstream from Bowston Bridge on the River Kent. The photo at the end of this lot is taken from below on the left side looking up to this point as I arrived back to complete my circle

Zoom. There were about a dozen of these a couple of hundred yards away spread accross a low lying field

I liked the combination of this patinated iron chain, the ancient piece of weathered timber, and the more modern rusty gate

Edge of the Lake district scenery which has a special attraction for me

I proceeded. See next photo

If you look at the map this is just after the road bridge north of the G of Garth Row about 2km east from Bowston. That road would be rarely used and there are reasonable alternatives, so I can't see there being a priority for getting this repaired in the light of current austerity

As a layman tractor spotter I thought this was probably slightly unusual. I have stopped snapping the more familiar ones.

Another VR
 At last, from here on we are actually on the Dales Way

Black Moss Tarn - perfect stopping place.
I sat on a large boulder here with a flask of black coffee, a cheese sandwich enhanced by my new discovery: Trecklemate's Red Onion Marmalade, and some shortbread biscuits.
Try also Trecklemate's English mustard, it is in a league of its own.

Sprint Bridge (where the pylon line crosses the road below Sprint Mill on the map) is closed due to flood damage.
This aqueduct is upstream a few hundred metres and it now provides the means for the DW to cross the river - it is not marked on the map

Two quality "relics" (for my collection) 

Zoom - this guy (or lady?) was about a hundred metres away looking like this when spotted, but by the time camera was ready the goat was head down - I whistled loudly and up came the head - I was pretty proud of that

The closed Sprint Bridge referred to above. There were guys in high viz jackets lurking at the other side.

Burneside Hall
More about this from the website from which the clip below was culled

"...a ruined 14th century pele tower now attached to a farm house and outbuildings. The fortification of the house was licensed in 1341 when the tower and pele house was built."
Pleasant walking along the Sprint back to Bowston

Bowston Bridge, looking back up to the bridge from where the opening photo was taken


I took fairly accurate notes of time and distance:
9.69 miles
Overall time - 4.83 hours - average 2.01mph including stops
Stops - 30 mins, therefore actual walking -2.4mph

Sorry Gayle - no graphs or bar charts.


afootinthehills said...

Hello Conrad - I agree with you re the iPhone camera. Both Lynne and I forgot our cameras when we went to the hills around Amulree earlier in the year so I used the iPhone. It was very windy and it was a right old carry on trying to get reasonable photographs.I think the results are acceptable and the 4K video is very good but like you, my fingers always seem to get in the way of the lens.

We were nearly at Amulree so there was no question of turning back.

Sir Hugh said...

afoot - Hi Gibson. I just had a look at Amulree on the map then noticed the Rob Roy Way. That looks like a fine walk. Have you any experience of it?

John J said...

Burneside Hall is the location of a campsite that appears in the Backpackers Club Farm Pitch Directory, I camped there a few years ago whilst walking the Dales Way. It's a lovely building and the farmer is perhaps the most pleasant and accommodating people I've ever met.

AlanR said...

Well i think the iphone 6 and 6s camera is pretty good. Sorry to disagree with Gibson and yourself. Maybe a camera course at one of the shops would be worthwhile. The zoom is so simple that it really needs no explanation and macro is reasonable down to 2" away from the subject. I find the clarity and sharp images as good as any of my compact cameras.
I found this article that you may find of interest.

The Ford 5030 was a good tractor being built throughout the 1990's, 65hp i think, 4wd, and 12 speed gearbox.

I did the Rob Roy way with Sheila a while ago and enjoyed it very much. Lots of places to overnight and/or camp if you wish, the scenery is superb as you know.
Our journey started here.

afootinthehills said...

I agree Alan, the images are sharp and I use the iPhone camera a lot but rarely on the hills. All you say about zoom etc is also true but I've yet to be totally pleased with any landscape shots. That may be my fault of course.

afootinthehills said...

I've only walked parts of it when approaching the hills around Amulree and was about to refer you to AlanR but see he's commented.

Sir Hugh said...

Alsan R and afoot - I have to admit to having an illogical aversion to the iPhone camera, perhaps because I spent a lot on my Panasonic (by my standards anyway). I have been having a look, and watched an on-line tutorial, and realise it does do things I didn't know about and now intend to go on a mission with the Panasonic and the iPhone to take comparative photos. There may well be a post to follow. Thanks for giving me the nudge.

The Rob Roy will be added to my crazy wanna-do list. So much out there and not enough time.

AlanR said...

Gibson, have a play around with HDR setting.

Conrad, for day walks and even longer if you can get plugged into the electricity the iphone is a good option. Simply because of its ease of use, lightness, decent image quality. I agree with the fact that it isn't as capable as with expensive camera's with large sensors, they have lots of software settings that the iphone doesn't. But for a complete amateur like me who has delved a little bit into information available on the internet i find it perfectly adequate.

Sir Hugh said...

Alan R - I understand now what HDR does, BUT, in Photoshop Elements I can darken or lighten highlights and/or the same with shadows as well as altering brightness amongst other possibilities. Most of the photos I post on my blog have been fiddled with like that. Is that not the same thing that HDR is doing, but automatically?

AlanR said...

The comment Gibson made was that he wasn't pleased with landscape images. If you use HDR and use a tripod, auto exposure and auto focus can be improved by long pressing the screen.
I agree that any image can be modified using software after the image has been downloaded. But if you are not in a situation where you have that capability then the HDR setting should give you good results. Good enough for the blog anyway.

afootinthehills said...

Hi Alan and Conrad - When I first got my Sony RX100 I experimented with HDR but I didn't notice any difference really. However, since you obviously do feel it worthwhile I'll give it another bash with the Sony and the iPhone and see how it goes. I lost the Sony on the Rum hills in June but miraculously someone found it and it was returned - but that's another story.

Roderick Robinson said...

An excellent mix of plod-plod and the tangential stuff: two journeys parallel in time, one under your feet, the other between your ears. If I were preaching perfection I'd say you missed an opportunity to reflect on just why we resist going back (well beyond inconvenience and waste of time; it's as if we were hard-wired not to do it) but it's your story and all the better for that.

Just a cautionary note about the abbreviations. Yes I know full repetition is a drag and no doubt your mates all recognise what LD, etc, stand for. But I frequently have to track back and these initials do run the risk of making the text look like a NATO position paper (and there's another). The fault may lie in an excessive use of the underlying phrases. Grouping information centred on these matters may allow you to do away with some references. One useful exercise: try using the phrases in full and this may encourage you to accept them anyway, or notice previously invisible opportunities for deleting them.

I liked "energetic rivers". It makes the point that there's often movement in the most tranquil of scenes. Usually, of course, it's the sound of wind since total silence is a rarity in the country. Otherwise there are clouds, tree branches, birds and even vehicles (in small doses they may be visually welcome; a short distance away and they are often magically silent).

AlanR said...

Gibson and Conrad. By getting used to using HDR for landscapes on the iPhone rather than a compact camera should result in the chances of a poor picture are greatly reduces. The difference with HDR and a decent single shot using a compact may not be that great and hence your viewpoint that it made little difference.
The main thing with using HDR with the iPhone is that it needs to be absolutely still and preferably using the timer mode. Using HDR hand held will not give good results, imho.

Sorry for the abbreviation there.

Phreerunner said...

Crumbs! Lots of interesting comments (RR's is my favourite).
I've just spent a pleasurable evening catching up with your exploits. The SWCP entries and slideshow brought back many happy memories of a route undertaken over a 15 year period. I must consolidate my diaries and pictures sometime.
Btw - anyone doing the TGOC and having their luggage transferred would be disqualified.
(With apologies to RR for the acronyms.)

Sir Hugh said...

Phreerunner - you are a hero spending so much time reading my posts.

RR, as I know I have told you is a writer and ex-magazine editor of vast experience, and also my BIG BROTHER, a fearsome combination. He is wont to offer guidance on my writing efforts and I owe much to that advice. However there is a tendency to try and impose fixed ideas that he may have used if he had been writing my piece which would not be characteristic of me. The main thing is to get away from just producing the text for a Cicerone guide, and to use other musings and inter-related ideas to make the narrative more interesting (or provocative) for readers. Writing is a service one gives to one's reader, and consideration should be given to that audience, especially in terms of correct grammar, capitalisation, and punctuation. And so I bumble on.

Phreerunner said...

Conrad, there are only so many divers and gymnasts you can watch without some form of valued distraction!

Some of us (me for example) will never be award winning writers, but current technology enables us to publish what we want to, and read other people's musings that may not otherwise be published. This is great when you know the person/subject concerned or are seeking information that isn't dependent upon the quality of the words by which the information is conveyed.

I found your GR10 book a good read whilst following M&G's recent travels, also referring to my own record of GR10, and the excellent Cicerone guide (don't knock them, they are useful resources - I have Gillian Price's GEA book, and a helpful email from Gillian, in front of me as I write this...)

I've recently bought Steve Cracknell's Pyrenean books and am looking forward to reading those as well.

Enjoy the Dales Way. We are lucky in the UK - some of the best days out imaginable are so close to home.

Sir Hugh said...

Phreerunner - I certainly wasn't knocking Cicerone guides. They are good, having developed a standardised format and keeping subjective description apart from exclusive route instructions. What I was trying to suggest was the avoidance of just having a clinical route description, and nothing else to serve as a post on a blog,

Phreerunner said...

Haha, I realise that - I come across some entries you would love, sometimes when I consult early volumes of our 'diary', which we took turns to complete, to find that the walk is not described at all but the author has chosen to write/rant/draw on a completely unrelated subject - perhaps as a revolt against my regime of diary writing! Some of the entries are excellent - sod the route we took, or even the hill we climbed!

Sir Hugh said...


Just off for my Thursday walk with Pete. I hope I get some kind of inspiration to write about - I call it a "blogger's gift" when that happens, especially if there is something unfortunate (but not too much so) that occurs.

Gayle said...

I'm rather late to the party here, but I just thought I'd throw into the discussion that neither Mick nor I took a camera to the Pyrenees this summer. In fact, I've very seldom carried a camera this year. However, it isn't so much that I think my phone takes quality photos and has just as much functionality (particularly as it has a very annoying trait, after taking a panoramic shot and being switched back to 'auto' mode, of sometimes defaulting to 0.9MP and turning off picture stabilisation). In my case, I ackowledge that I don't have an artistic bone in my body, have no idea as to composition, and thus my level of photography is very much 'one handed point and click'. As such, for my purposes, the photos taken by the phone are fine (except, as aforementioned, when it defaults to 0.9MP and turns off picture stabilisation and I don't notice!).