Saturday, 20 April 2013

A Dales Weekend with the Walkers Forum - Wensleydale

I had the "brilliant" idea of setting up a Walkers Forum meet.  I mean, it can't be that hard?   I know parts of the Dales quite well, and I thought it would be nice to show the area off.   I'd also been sort of nagged to set one up, which might have had an influence.

I originally planned it for 23rd/24th March, then changed me mind because I wouldn't be ready by then.  Good job n'all, cos that was the weekend that the country got snowed in.  I set it instead for 20th/21st April with the idea it would be 8-10 miles per day.  I should be able to manage that............  I think.

Thing is, when I got to planning the routes, I wanted to include everything, which meant the walks kept getting longer.  They ended up  at 12 miles and 11 miles, which in turn made me worry, cos I didn't think I was fit enough to cover that sort of distance.  I mean - I'd hardly done any proper distances this year.

So I've got the route, and posted the meet, and watched to see if people would attend.  It's more worry when you do this..........  Will people want to come?  Will you have loads of people put their names down?  No-one wants to be a Billy No Mates, and even worse, no-one wants to be a public Billy No Mates.

This the tiniest new lamb I've seen
 As it happened, I was dead chuffed that a few people I've walked with before took the plunge and agreed to walk with me, including the very gentlemanly Chris and Andy from Cleveland Way Day 3,  and Tracey, who organised a walk on Derwent Edge.   For the record, the guy who nagged?  He didn't join us.   

So.  Walk 1 on Saturday - from Aysgarth to West Burton, up to the Height of Hazely, across to Penhill and back round in a big loop to Aysgarth.  (Me n Peter had reccied the route the other week - Drifting around Wensleydale, only it looked a bit different then, a lot whiter!)  Chris, Andy, Tracey and the lovely Helen that I've not met before, and of course me, set off at 10am to view some of the delights of Wensleydale.   The bonus companion, that I have to mention, because it made our day, was the sun.  Glorious sunshine all day, we even got sunburnt,  Brilliant!

Some pictures...........  (Not sure why I never took any of Aysgarth Upper Falls?)
Aysgarth Middle Falls
Aysgarth Lower Falls
West Burton Falls
What a beeauuuuutiful day

Gaining height and looking over Wensleydale
Another worry about leading a walk like this is the constant concern that everyone was enjoying the day, you're constantly sort of checking.  Are people happy?  Do they look happy?  Is it what they expected?  Do they like the walk that I like and spent ages working out for them?  I have to admit to not having thought this out properly, and my poor walking companions walked for hours without a break and ended up eating lunch in the wind.  (Heartless I am).  But they all seemed very forgiving, and in my defence, your honour, the views from the end of Penhill are lovely. 

We ended up changing the route slightly and adding another mile on our way down.  It was just so wonderful to be out, with  miles of open land and sky on such a gorgeous day. 
The Three Musketeers - (or should that be the Three Amigos?)
On the way back, one of my favourite views of the River Ure.
All in all, a lovely walk on a lovely day.  Map of the route on the recce walk here Drifting around Wensleydale

To Tracey, Chris, Andy and Helen - thank you so much for your company, and for not complaining when you ended up eating lunch in a gale, and for looking happy during the walk.  And even better, you came back for more.........

No comments:

Post a Comment