Unexpected Joys in the Clag

Barely am I back from my cruise to Greenland, Iceland and Norway (more about that if I get around to it in due course), then the post-holiday gloom of returning to work hits full face. A lack of decent walking opportunities on the cruise, means it’s 3 months since I did any form of backpacking, and I’m itching to get out. One break from work quickly spawns the need for another.  Continue reading “Unexpected Joys in the Clag”

Above the Clouds

After a couple of weeks in which preparing for and holding my first art show proved to be pretty much all-consuming, I was keen to get out into the landscape again, and to do so before winter started to rear its ugly head. By which I mean not the winter of crisp days on snow-covered hills, but the winter of rain and gloom that is the more normal state of affairs. Memories of a successful late autumn trip to the Lakes a couple of years ago were in my mind as I looked at the forecast to identify a likely window. The forecast appeared to be predicting conditions of valley mist and warmer on the tops themselves, or in other words temperature inversions. This was an opportunity too good to miss. Continue reading “Above the Clouds”

The Eskdale Escapade

I really should have been on the Cambrian Way, but I just didn’t fancy it. For once I wanted to do something I wanted to do. It’s been 6 years since a truly memorable trip to Eskdale, and a couple of years since a less successful one – I was itching to retread some of those paths, re-see some of those views and above all to immerse myself more deeply into the valley by spending some nights camping out there. So I did. Continue reading “The Eskdale Escapade”

The Gathering of the Clan

From far and wide they came – the south west, the south east, the bit in the middle, and one on foot from Langdale – the Social Hikers gathered near Keswick for our third crack at the 10-in-10 and 5-in-5 in aid of MS Society. Now less a gathering of people who know each other online but had never met face to face, increasingly these meets are bringing together established friends. Old banter and jokes are reworked and the fun continues where it left off last time. Continue reading “The Gathering of the Clan”

Ups and Downs: Referendum Night on Blencathra

The sky was dumping large amounts of water as Colin picked me up and we headed onto the motorway network for the long journey north. A combination of rush hour and large amounts of standing water made for unpleasant conditions, but the gradual change to better was discernable with every mile further north. A quick stop at Keele Services to pick up Cath and we were on our way, the day now getting nicer and nicer. As we entered the National Park, we discussed the original plan involving a camp near Ullscarf, and then a better plan emerged.

Continue reading “Ups and Downs: Referendum Night on Blencathra”

A Short Jaunt in the Lakes

This trip had been in the diary for a very long time, ever since the day I signed-up to support Terry Abraham’s Blencathra film in March 2015. With me opting for the VIP premiere tickets package, this meant I knew pretty much what I’d be doing this particular weekend. Hopes of a more extended trip faded as other, art-based, priorities won out leaving me with a Friday to Monday trip. It would be long enough though…

Continue reading “A Short Jaunt in the Lakes”

On My Tod

 

Looking to the North Western Fells #sh
Dawn looking over to the North Western fells

Dirty cloud obscured the rising sun, with just a small distant patch of orange beyond Great Mell Fell and some reflected colour to the west to betray the start of a new day.  A cacophony of barking, baying and yelping accompanied the start of my climb above the kennels at Gategill, and I could still hear them some time later from hundreds of feet above. Continue reading “On My Tod”

Moon, Mist and Matilda

Cath was on a bus heading home, but I still had another night and a day to go. The weather was stunning for October, and the thought that was foremost in my mind was repeating the previous night’s stunning camp. Could I take another night of fiery sunsets, 360° views and clear moonlit skies. Hell yes. Especially with a full lunar eclipse due. Continue reading “Moon, Mist and Matilda”

A night on Madonna’s chest

The taxi dropped me at Grasmere Youth Hostel, my wallet lighter to the tune of a pony. It was either that or a long wait for a bus. A quick check-in and then a squelch around the lawn in the dark to find a suitably dry spot to pitch the tent. Matilda went up relatively speedily, I threw my stuff in as quickly as I could Continue reading “A night on Madonna’s chest”

What Do I Do Now ?

Being the hostelry I’d visited for a restorative lunch on the day in 2008 when I decided what my final fell would be, it seemed fitting that I should mark the completion of the project in The Bridge. I sat in the pub with a pint and a pie and whilst taking advantage of the free wifi to get the trip photos onto Flickr, was otherwise at a bit of a loss. All too soon, the bus was taking me into Keswick, which I walked through with some distaste – it was crowded with weekend shoppers and tourists and I was tripping over dogs everywhere. There was nothing for me there this time. I waited the time before my next bus and headed away without a second thought. Continue reading “What Do I Do Now ?”