Sunday, 2 December 2018

Double Standards. . .

I feel a little cheeky at the moment because as I write this, my partner is out leading this walk in what has proven to be rather awful rainy weather.  I chickened out as the alternative of a lazy Sunday at home, knitting while listening to the Archers omnibus and Desert Island Discs on Radio 4,  proved too strong a pull.  I did accompany him on the recce with him last weekend however, so I have contributed a little bit to the final walk.

This walk is an eleven mile plus circular from Kirkby Stephen, a town which is very close to the county border between Cumbria and Yorkshire.  We'd done half this walk over six years ago when we'd completed the Coast to Coast (it's roughly half way); I chiefly remember this bit being rather boggy and that was in the middle of summer.  Not much has changed.

Leaving Kirkby Stephen, you start a gradual ascent up to the Nine Standards. We were lucky in that there was only one ten minute shower last Saturday, otherwise it stayed dry.

Most of the way is along paths that cut across moorland with the Nine Standards (large cairns) gradually getting closer. 

While bits of these are crumbling, they are said to have been around at least a few centuries, showing up on 18th century maps.   You get wonderful views from the top, especially of the Howgills.

Leaving them behind, we crossed a rather sparse path over boggy moorland.  I stupidly stepped on some pristine snow and went down to my calf in bog.

Coming off the hills, we then crossed a few smaller hills and some green fields.

We then headed for a river path that ran alongside Ewbank Scar. It was fairly muddy along this stretch - I can't imagine how bad it might be today as there has been a lot of rain all this week.

We met lots of sheep along the way.

And ended up coming back to the town along a river path as the late afternoon light was reflected in the River Eden.

I do feel bad that I backed out of today's walk, but when winter comes, I am definitely a fair-weather walker.  It wasn't even the rain that put me off, but the ensuing mud that I knew would constitute too large a percentage of the walk.  I will make sure that the Liverpud comes home to a nice, warm dinner however.  And I did have a constructive day - I knitted a hat.