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]

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Gordale Scar to Little Stainforth

Wednesday 14 July
Distance: 10.5 miles

It was a wet and blustery night, but aside from vaguely waking occasionally when the tent was shaking violently, a good night's sleep was had (a comfortable one too, on my newly acquired POE Insul Mat Max Thermo).

By the time we had succumbed to a lazy lie-in this morning, the rain had stopped and there was even blue to be seen in the sky. Slowly we pulled ourselves together, but by the time we were ready for the off, at 8.30, the sky was again looking rather dull and rain laden.

On Ewe Moor we caught up with 4 of the large group of army chaps who had been at the campsite in the Orange Tent City. After a bit of chat, Mick asked whether their packs were heavy. "Yes" they all said, and one added "35". "Thirty-five pounds?" said Mick. "No, kilos" said the army chap "so about 70lbs". We stood open mouthed. Mick asked if he could try to lift one. Continuing on our way a while later I asked him how monstrously heavy it was. "About 15 kilos, maybe 20" he said.

Having enjoyed excellent views back to Malham Tarn as we made our way over the moor, we started to approach the various Scars to the east of Settle and our already leisurely progress was slowed further. Some sheep gathering was going on ahead of us and not wanting to get in the way and accidentally scatter the sheep, we happily stood and watched for 20 minutes as the couple and the single dog brought in an entire flock off the moor. The dog was exhausted by the end of it, and seemed quite pleased when it wasn't made to chase the single lamb which made a bolt for freedom at the last minute.

Some refuelling took place in Settle, and Mick parted with some cash in exchange for Sorbothane foot beds, which he cut to pieces before even leaving the shop, then it was onwards, up the River Ribble.

Past Stainforth Force we went (perhaps it's just me, but I have real trouble saying Stainforth Force and getting 'forth' and 'force' in the right places!), and to the campsite just a handful of paces further on. It's not where we'd originally intended to stay tonight. We should have walked further, but I really wanted a nice shower, which was available here but not at our planned destination.

It was a good decision. The rain, which had held off the whole time we had been walking, struck the moment we had the tent up. Excellent timing for the second day in a row. This luck can't last, can it?

(Carol, JJ, LIAF - thanks for the confirmations that I wasn't making up words!)
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

1 comment:

  1. I hope you are enjoying the DHW despite the weather. Look out for Maisongill farm - NY 677 108 (it is named on the map) as a potential camp site for the last night before walking into Appleby. The farmer's wife was friendly and there was no problem about camping there.