DISTANCE 7.10 MILES
WEATHER DULL BUT DRY
START / FINISH ROADSIDE PARKING AT SKIRL NAKED
Today was the last day that I would be able to get out someplace before I had to pack up the van from the secret place we had been staying and heading back home and returning to the rat race for a while so I was determined to make the most of it , seeing that I was based near the National park I decided that I would head off into the hills some place , I talked about it with Bob dog and to be honest he wasn’t really that bothered as long as I brought tasty food for him and lots of snacks , then it hit me why didn’t I do a walk where I could have a chat with a dear old friend “Carey Burn” who sadly is no longer with us , her daughters scattered her ashes at the small but delightful water fall at Carey Burn and to be honest it is a lovely area so why not , Plus thinking of Yvonne (Carey Burn) and even chatting to her as we approach the waterfall will remind me of how lucky I am simply to be here today , so many folk never get the chance so yes today I am going to make the most of it and have a brilliant day , and if someone see me walking along chatting away to myself well that’s their problem , yes thinking about Yvonne even though it is bitter sweet will remind me how lucky I am just to be here .
With that thought in my head I quickly got the gear ready and threw everything into the rucksack, Bob dog did spring into life as he realised that we would be off in a few minutes, first a quick check of the weather, it looks like a wet dull day but you never know we might get lucky and stay dry or even get a bit of sunshine and after throwing the gear into the car we was off.
The view from where we parked up looking along the valley
As I stated earlier it didn’t take long before we was parking up on the grassy verge at the bottom of the rather steep road at Skirl Naked (just love this name) gear was sorted and off we went, our route for the day was simple and one we had done several times before, I was a bit concerned about the narrow path that runs alongside the Carey Burn in places with the overgrown gorse bushes that has scratched my leg to bits in the past but it was too late to do anything about it now.
Bob Dog taking point (and cocking his leg on a few things on the way)
Sensing that we was off Bob dog took point and off we went, following the well-used (but slightly overgrown path) that runs alongside the Carey Burn, this path is a joy to walk along even though it is a bit tricky for me in places, but it is what walking in the hills and valleys is all about and this is without a doubt is a beautiful valley in its own rugged way.
Very rugged in places but it has an unspoilt beauty to it as well
Thinking about this it reminded me of why Yvonne wanted her ashes scattered here , of course I had a chat with her and told her things that I have kept to myself and any general crap that sprung to mind , and I am certain that she would have had a laugh and come out with some sort of answers but somehow just talking to her reminded me of some of the good times we had when out walking and yes it felt good , I don’t know if it’s even right to think of someone who has passed away with fond memories and joy but that’s how I like to remember her . Naturally I got my leg scratched to buggery when I wasn’t concentrating but when you are in the middle of a huge section of gorse bushes there isn’t really anything you can do but carry on, Bob dog of course could weave in and out of them so wasn’t bothered, I saw the small waterfall and snapped a few photos then it was time to say good bye and carry on,
The Carey burn waterfall
Our route took us up onto the moors and towards the shooting lodge at Broadstruther; years ago this used to be an old ruin and would make a good spot to stop for lunch.
The shooting lodge at Broadstruther
But last time I was here I noticed that they had put down rat poison and so I decided to carry on past the building rather than risk Bob dog picking and eating something he shouldn’t , however we found a nice spot for lunch where the footpath dropped down to cross over the Hazelly Burn and lunch was eaten by the side of this small stream , naturally Bob woofed his food down and proceeded to eat mine but that didn’t matter , however it did give me the chance to look around at the Cheviots and I couldn’t help but notice that there was some very dark clouds just hanging around on the tops
Clouds hanging about above the Cheviot
That is fine by me as long as they stay there we should be ok, then we was off again, naturally I decided to take a detour (don’t I always) and head off to the top of Cold Law rather than head down to the valley bottom, however my fitness let me know once I started up on the long uphill section that perhaps I wasn’t as fit as I like to think and several times I had to stop (to take photos)
Stopping to get my breath back looking across towards the Langlee crags
to let my lungs get some air into them , it was a lot harder than what I remembered , however after nearly passing out twice and blowing a few blood vessels in my head I finally made it to the top , at 452 meters it is dwarfed by its bigger mates the Cheviot and Hedgehope a few miles away but it does give some great views of the surrounding area , yes I might have been a bit late to catch the heather in full colour but there is still a hint of colour about and to be honest it felt good just to be sitting by the small pile of stones that made up the cairn just taking in all the views knowing that I had this huge section of the Cheviots all to myself . then after I had caught my breath it was time to head back down , naturally I went off route again and linked up with an old footpath (more luck than judgment) that brought me down by Steely Crag where I met up with some sort of new “road”.
Not sure what this has been built for
To be honest I don’t know who or why this track was made and as of yet I haven’t found any info out but it’s just too well build to be just left as it is , especially as it leads to a flattened square that looks like it’s been cleared for a reason …..Only time will tell, from here I was planning on linking up with the footpath that would take us back along the top of the Carey burn valley but I discovered that the fern had completely overgrown the path and was soaking wet and to be honest I really didn’t fancy a fight for the next mile or so , so after a chat with Bob Dog we decided to follow the track down to the bridge at the base of Skirl Naked , as much as I don’t like this track down it did make sense and of course it gave me another chance to see how my new knee the Orion3 would behave , I have to say that it had performed very well today and I was feeling rather please with it , but I was feeling a bit tired now and this downhill track is err …..Well a bit of a bitch with its lose stones and uneven drops so I decide to relax and not fight the knee and see just how good it is especially if I’m not fighting it , and so we set off , I must admit that is a bit scary when you know if you fall it will hurt but I was determined to let the knee do it stuff (trust comes very hard for me) and after a slow start things did seem to fall into place and I felt the knee doing its thing in slowing and supporting my weight as it bent , off course the foot helped as well but absorbing some of the downhill angle so all in all I was pleased with how things were going But me being me I wanted to walk that tiny bit faster and found myself fighting the knee again and things went to rat shit and the last quarter of a mile or so I found myself neither walking correctly or stumbling along (if only I had carried on as I was) till I reached the flat level ground at the base of Snear Hill where once again we got on and started to get our act together , by this time the car was just around the corner which was a welcome sight as the big dark clouds had decided to move and the heavens were just starting to open up , as it was both Bob and me just got into the car before it threw it down …….good timing eh?
A few photos from today:-
Looking along the Burn
There is still a bit of colour around even if it’s past its best
Bob Dog on point duty
Having a sniff
Looking across the other side
First sighting of the Carey Burn waterfall
A couple more as we get closer
Our route is in there someplace
Not really sure what this is for
Bob dog has found a path again
Looking back towards Hart Heugh
A bit further along and looking back again
Crossing over the burn
Heading onto the moors last look back
A distant Broadstruther.
Bob waiting for me again
As we get onto the moor the views start to open up a bit
Now heading up the side of cold law
A few photos from the top
Well who is this good looking chap ?
Bob dog leading the way back down
Old shooting stell
Heading towards Steely Crag
Looking down from Snear Hill towards the car
Part way down looking across to the other side of the valley
Nearly down now
Day after thoughts.
Back to the van, gear sorted, hot shower and no aches or pains, at 7.10 miles with 1374 ft. of the ups and downs I was feeling pleased with how this walks turned out, I was really pleased with how the knee preformed, it is just a pity that I can’t just relax and let it do its own thing but hey it’s a steep learning curve and is it so wrong for me to give up control? Only time will tell I suppose as they say watch this space.
ABOUT ME NORTHUMBERLAND WALKS 2017