A Wainwright walk: the last of my summer holiday. (See my other blog for the technicalities.) A struggle with pre-holiday-weekend traffic that I should have anticipated, and a long journey for what was a couple of hours of light exercise. But the views from the summit of Faulds Brow were very fine. Here, the direction is north-west, the city in the background, Carlisle.
A third day in four spent walking, bringing to an end a very fine long weekend in the Lake District, on which all was pleasingly normal. This pointy slab of rock marks the highest point of Eagle Crag, a fine (and finely-named) eyrie from which to keep an eye on the Stonethwaite valley below. See more photos on my other blog, if you like. Back to work tomorrow — but I will return here, I will always be returning here.
A glorious Sunday in the Lake District. The title of the post has layers of meaning. My walk today (see my Wainwrights blog for the details) involved a circuit of the placid and remote tarn of Devoke Water. It was a feature in multiple photos taken along the way, of which this was the last of the day.
But as I walked back to the car, I mused — is this perhaps the last ever? I have visited some of these marvellous places multiple times as I have gone round and round Cumbria over the last 12 years, but the project will end at some point (next year probably), and after that — will I find an excuse to return?
Some might say, that is in the hands of God/Inshallah/fate/whatever you believe. But in the end, I believe it is up to me. If this blog does make it to, say, day 8,000 — perhaps we will see this place again. I certainly hope so.
Those nice people in Authority have promised not to threaten arrest for doing something as subversive as going on a walk, on one’s own, in countryside that doesn’t happen to reside within spitting distance of home. So Joe and I went out on a walk. I bagged my 600th Wainwright and Joe, his 50th. (Full details soon to be posted on my other blog.) Both those milestones came on Wether Hill, but that is a rather unphotogenic lump — Steel Knotts, its predecessor in each sequence, was rather better. It’s appeared before on the blog, too: pictured from a distance on 6/2/17.
The Lake District mountain that is Barf has a very silly name, but it is a rugged little beast and has a great view. Its summit has featured before, as some eight and a half years ago I was up there with the couple who’d brought their grandson’s Action Man along for the ride. With a weather forecast that is significantly deteriorating, I made the most of a chance to rebag it (and its two neighbours, Lord’s Seat and Whinlatter) today as part of my ongoing second Wainwright round. I’ll work some other day…. OK? Wouldn’t you?
A beautiful late May day. A public holiday in the UK. A need to stop having a head like Munch’s The Scream, a need to say no to fear and paranoia. And all these things for Joe, too. The first shot taken outside Yorkshire since 21st March.
I have exhibited no symptoms of viral infection. No one around me has exhibited them either. So I am not locking myself up in my house, not yet. What will be the overall impact on public health of the proposed lockdown (and along the way, creation of a police state)? On mental health, levels of domestic violence and abuse, et cetera? The UK is not the only country launching a massive experiment in depriving tens of millions of people that they have come to rather like. Maybe it will relieve pressure on the health service. But maybe it won’t.
Anyway this lockdown is not quite yet in operation. Hence, I got outside today, because there may not be many more chances in the next few weeks. This is the summit of Watson’s Dodd, above Thirlmere in the Lake District — behind, the peak of Helvellyn, at 3,117 feet the third-highest mountain in England.
These two walkers had the same idea as me — that there are better things to do sometimes than sit around in an office on a Wednesday. I started my trek in Keswick and had come along this path just previously, so I know where they’re going.
The little peak rising to the right has no official name but stands at 1380 feet above sea level and counts as a Wainwright, hence why I sought to climb it. If you have no idea what ‘a Wainwright’ is, see my other blog. This was the 61st out of the 63 that I turn out to have rebagged this year.
One last chance to get away from it all before teaching starts, and if one is going to get away, the Shap Fells, in the far east of the Lake District, is certainly the place to do this. Two days’ walking (of which today was the first), over 24 miles, and I saw more deer (three) than people (none). High House Bank is the easternmost Wainwright and rises attractively over the valley of Borrowdale below (this is not the Borrowdale you’ve heard of, by the way).