10:00 Abandoned at Cod Beck I struck out past the marker the cattle grid
Saw the stone tribute to Bill Cowley in Clain Wood, a fitting stone-up, up and away to Scarth woods there to find a stout lady who thought I was her husband; I was coming to her from behind. Needless to say I did not stop running until I reached tribute to a remarkable man. Climbing through up the woods towards Knolls End was not too pleasant, painful memories of a time when I did not have walking poles. Ouch ouch ouch!!.
Met man and dog between cairn 315 and Gold Hill, dog spoke, man did not-swivel heads for you!
Lord Stones is a real shock horror; how did all that get through Moors planning department? And who needs a posh, all singing toilet block; what ever happened to mother nature?
First stop for solid refreshments (platypus already hit several times for liquid sustenance!) was just before the gate on Carr Ridge; nice bench, where I disrobed to “air the fairing.” Fifteen minutes then onwards and upwards.
Blazed along railway track careful to avoid some of the recent limestone repairs. Struggled through smoke from widespread moorland burning. Came off railway track and headed up onto Flat Howe (sorry Gerry I am old school with no financial interests in the Lion Inn). The erosion is still evident here, I remember it from yore
I was stunned crossing West Gill Head, my memories were of a “straight as a die trail” to Shunner Howe, I wasn’t prepared for head height grasses and having to negotiate to one side of the original trail (no matter, the ‘ell are we tribe did not get me!)
White Moor and Wheeldale Moor became a blur as my pace increased. With the sun dipping behind I was anxious to get as far across Wheeldale as possible; needless to say I reached Wheeldale road just as light was fading. Time to put shorts away and get into longs plus jacket; in addition to fading light the temperature was dropping fast.
Across the Roman road and down into the beck, by now darkness had descended. Up the other side and, feeling weary, made my way across to Ellerbeck.
Last sips of my half gallon platypus and handful of sultanas before tackling Little Ellerbeck et al. This is still the part of the walk I do not look forward to but needs must. I kept to the right hand side and, with mist decreasing visibility, made my way to the line of trees beside what remains of the hard core track. Looking back all was covered in mist, so peaceful and, when the moon rose, all was so serene and beautiful. Reaching Lilla Cross I curled up and slept for a while before the cold permeated my jacket.
Now on familiar ground I made my way downwards towards Jugger, oh so beautiful Jugger; you are so right, by now I am out of my skull Ha Ha!
I reached the mast around 0145 and texted home that I was finished. Curling up in my space blanket sleep called which was just as well because it was after 3am before my wife arrived, nearly running me over
Footnote: A wonderful crossing, for once from west to east. I look forward to the onset of winter when, hopefully there will be another to go with a paper before the next wake