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Tuesday, 6 February 2018

A Grandpa walk

Sunday 4th February 2018

For some time I have shunned the idea of repeating previous walks on the grounds that every opportunity, at my age, of discovering things new must be taken. Occasionally there are exceptions, and I would happily repeat all parts of the Dalesway which I have previously walked in sections  (I have yet to fill in the five miles from the start in Ilkley up to Bolton Bridge.) Every section of that walk is shear delight, on old tracks, cropped turf, accompanied by lively streams and seventeenth century farms and barns, skilfully blended into the landscape. One can let the imagine wander on tracks along ancient hawthorn and holly hedgerows where pack horses would have trudged.

Sunday gave us intense blue sky with a nip in the air and ice on puddles as I set off with daughter Jill and granddaughter Katie on a typical section not far from the finish of the Dalesway at Bowness-on-Windermere.

I particularly enjoy this fringe of the Lake District terrain where sheep graze in fields of mini undulating fells, mainly untrodden by cows, and topped with enticing  outcrops of the kind of  solid rock so redolent of the classic climbing crags remembered from my erstwhile rock climbing days.

With my recovering knee the distance of 2.21 miles was just about enough: the discomfort seems to fluctuate, from almost normal walking to quite unpleasant pain and stiffness, but I am pretty sure I am not overdoing it. We meandered and stopped for half an hour on the high contour above Crag House and munched biscuits with cheese tomato and basil. We could just glimpse a bit of Lake Windermere to the south-west vividly reflecting the sun. Katie had brought a book; she has all at once started reading properly - I am not saying Katie is exceptional, but seeing young children acquiring language then reading ability is a fascinating business. I am gruntled to see her enthusiasm and obvious enjoyment of books.

All along Katie was way out in front, in cowboy language "riding point", but I'm not sure about "heading them off at the pass." She was summiting rocks, playing King of the Castle, and poking at icy puddles with her stout driftwood staff gleaned from the beach at Arnside a few days ago, and it was a joy to see her imagination running wild.

Including our long brunchy stop we managed a relaxing 0.83mph - that's the way to do it.

CLICK ON FIRST PHOTO TO SEE SLIDESHOW








6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Happy to join you for a Grandpa walk soon - they look ideal.

Roderick Robinson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ruth Livingstone said...

Ah. Sounds like grandpa walks are ideal for recovering post-op patients! I’m dying for grandma walks, but as yet the one-and-only grandchild can’t even sit up unaided... so a while to wait. Lovely photos.

Sir Hugh said...

BC - Just let me know when you can cope with a bit of up.

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RR - I have Frost's poems and have delved to some extent - he is very popular and deservedly so.

After all these years of blogging it has just dawned on me how much material I have wasted by using it as captions on the photos rather than milking it in more sophisticated terms within the body of the post. Woe is me again for not taking a photo of the petrol pump.

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Ruth - Yes. From the outset one's approach is totally different. A modest distance is chosen (I think I sickened my son and daughter off at an early age by overdoing it with them), and no thoughts of achieving some macho time/speed statistics, just a relaxed amble with time for photos, and a good stop for refreshments.

When are you resuming with your project?

Anonymous said...

I walked this section with my daughter on our Silverdale to Keswick trip. There's a very fine view from somewhere just beyond Hag End. That's a corking hat that Katie is sporting. I'm pleased to see you using the word gruntled - I shall endeavour to emulate you in that regard.

Sir Hugh said...

beating the bounds - Hi Mark - Unfortunately we turned off just before Hag End, but I have walked/cycled there before.

We all got different coloured versions of that hat as Chrissy prezzies from my son. Mine is largely orange, although I have no Irish connections or propensity for everlasting argument.

I thought somebody may pick up on that word, the trouble is it cannot be used too often. I remember reading Dennis Healy's autobiography and he used the word seminal over and over - writing should be a courtesy to the reader, not a source of disgruntlement.