The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Sunday, 22 April 2007

A Quick Dash Up A Small Hill

Acknowledging that hills have been woefully lacking in our Keswick to Barrow training, when I found myself in Yorkshire visiting Ma & Pa-in-law yesterday, it seemed like a good opportunity to go and find a hill to walk up and down a couple of times.

Off I went to Ogden Water with Husband and Ma-in-Law and whilst they strolled along the reservoir to the visitor centre for a cup of tea, I set off up along the inlet stream to the moor which houses a wind farm.

The problem with my plan came when I saw the barriers across the path just after I set out. So as to avoid any actual knowledge that the path was closed, I peeled off into the woodland to my right, following a path that was clearly visible on the ground, and came back onto my intended route a way after the barrier – only to find that the stile has been covered in barbed wire by way of further indication that the path was closed (although interestingly all of the sign posts were still in place). I did the obvious thing and clambered over the barbed wire.

Making my way up the edge of the stream it became apparent why the path had been closed, for the erosion of the bank has crept perilously close to the path. I didn’t feel in any danger making my way up there, but considering that Ogden Water is something of a family-out-for-a-stroll-in-sandals sort of a place, I can see why it’s been felt necessary to close route.

At the top I walked around further barriers (which confirmed that it was due to ‘severe erosion’ that the path is closed) and from there I trotted up the stone steps to the gate onto the moor.

With limited time, I decided against a full round, across the moor and back down the hillside at the other side of the reservoir, but instead turned around and retraced my steps to the stream to then trot up the steps the other side of the small valley. Not wanting to disobey the ‘path closed’ signs having now seen them, I took a route back down the spur, although on reaching the bottom I turned back around and made my way half way back up, before returning to waters edge to make my way to the visitor centre to find Husband and Ma-in-Law (where I had a Yorkshire Dales ice cream and disappointingly found that it is made in Cwmbran!).

It was only a half hour walk, but I maintained quite a pace and it involved a bit of a slope, so I was happy with that; after all, I didn’t want to tire my muscles for today.

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