DATE                          25.01.18

DISTANCE                  6.6 MILES

WEATHER                 BRIGHT AND SUNNY (WOT NO RAIN)

START / FINISH        MAIN CAR PARK IN SIMONSIDE WOODS

 

Once again I would be fighting against the weather for the best place to head off to for today’s walk, well maybe not the weather itself but the forecast, according to the weather people it was going to throw that much rain at us later on in the day we would all most likely drown if was caught out in the downpour , being the sort of person that I am I decided to basically take no notice of it all and just see how things panned out on the day , I contacted my long suffering “old” walking buddy Edwina the intrepid explorer who in her wisdom informed me that it was going to throw it down and we would end up like drowned rats but seeing as she wimped out of our last walk and missed a right good one she reluctantly agreed to join me , so that was that all sorted , the only problem was where ? , we ruled out the hills as it would be like a swamp with all the rain & melting snow that we had been having so why not head up to Lordenshaw for a wander, it wasn’t too far away plus it gave us the chance to adjust our route if and when the rain hit us, according to the weather people the further north you went the sooner you would get wet so we should be good to at least two in the afternoon before it got to us , and of course I had to cut my last wander short the last time I was up this way just before Christmas because of the strong winds and I really wanted to see if using my new(ish) knee and the Echelon foot would help with walking along the stone flags that had been laid along a section of this route so it seemed like a win win situation , then the adorable Edwina (note she is not the “old” Edwina anymore) informed me that she had been making a new batch of Tiffin and she would bring a batch along for us ( me) to try , now as you can guess I love Tiffin so this made the day complete , anyway times and stuff like that was sorted and before we knew it we was off , naturally Bob dog was with us , and I had packed his coat just in case , he might not like wearing it but if he wanted his roast beef slices ( I know I spoil that dog at times) he would be wearing it.

Bob dog in hid wet weather coat

The weather might not be freezing cold but I knew that with his low ground clearance his chest fur would soon get coated with mud and get soaking wet and I really didn’t want him to get cold and wet so he would be wearing his full coat end of story ………………and I reminded him if he started to roll in anything smelly I would let his mum Yvonne deal with him when he got home and she can be mean at times believe me.

Looking up at the sky

With one eye on the sky we finally arrived at the forest of Simonside, gear was sorted and off we went, heading along the very well-used.

Me showing the Orion3 knee off (yes I know that I am a bit of dick at times)

 (“red route” to start with) forestry track with the Bob dog ranging off in front, we decided that we would press on rather than stop for lots of breaks till we got up onto the crags and could see what was happening in the northern sky as we didn’t want to get caught out whilst up on the crags and so like a couple of speeding cheetahs we belted along the path , stopping briefly to get our breath before we tore up the steep hill up to the top of the crags …………….Well we didn’t actually race up more like a slow …..Very slow plod up, I think that Bob dog went racing up and back down several times before I dragged my sweaty arse up over the top where I had to stop and wait for my lungs to start working again and my head to return from a bright red to its normal colour and the roaring sound in my ears to get back to normal after a while things got back to normal (whatever they are)

Bob dog at the top waiting for us to catch up

Loads of photos were taken with Edwina doing her best to look like the wind swept young lady she is, Then finally she suggested a Tiffin break ……….well who am I to say no to such a tasty treat and I have to say that Edwina Tiffin is a real treat and something that I look forward to sampling again and again ……and again (not that I am dropping a hint or anything)

Edwina looking a bit windswept

 

Sometimes I really do need to get a life

 

 

 we also had a look towards the north and this doom and gloom weather front that was heading our way ……………..well much to our surprise there was no dirty black clouds waiting to get us, just the wind but it’s always windy up on the crags but knowing how quickly thing can change we both agreed to press on and only stop once we was down off the crags and so we went belting along up and over Dove Crag.

Whooshing past Dove crag

 

 where we decided that we wouldn’t cut down put “press on” to the beacon where we would cut down to the car park at Lordenshaw , I was feeling rather pleased about this as it gave me more time to see and feel how the Orion 3 knee and foot worked together on this type of surface , once again I found that I liked how things went which is always a good thing but …(there is always a but) the downhill section did prove to be a bit of a drag in places as the surface kept changing from stone slabs to very uneven stone covered ground with the odd few boggy slippery places then throw in the boulders that are scattered around , well let’s just say it made things fun and by the time we got to the bottom I was looking forward to stretching my legs and walking “normal” ,

We stopped on the grassy path heading away from the car park for a very late lunch , Bob dog woofed his roast beef down like it was the end of the world and then proceeded to scoff his treats as fast as we could find them . Edwina (what a lovely lady she is ….so young looking as well  ...produced yet another slab of her top secret Tiffin and what a joy it was to scoff that down, I mean we was out of the wind, had some very easy pleasant walking ahead of us, the sun was still shinning and we was eating tiffin what more could I want (apart from a big lotto win).

After lunch it was time to follow the well-used grassy path to have a look at the cup and ring marked rock, we had heard that it had been vandalised sometime earlier, but we could see anything that looked bad .but then we are not experts, from there we headed back towards where we parked the car in the forest, all easy walking.

 Cup and ring sign

 

The rock itself

 

 On arriving back at the car it was gear sorted and once again that lovely lady Edwina came up good and made the tea and produced yet another bit of tiffin, now this is the proper way to finish a walk, and as the dreaded rain still hadn’t made an appearance it gave us time to simple sit back and enjoy a hot cuppa with tiffin and basically all was well in the world.

Looking at the GPS we walked about 6.6 miles with 1197ft of the ups and downs , I have to be honest and say I thought that we had done more than this but hey a good walk no the less.

A few photos:-

Heading along the forest track

 

Leaving the trees and heading outwards towards the path heading up

 

A few photos as the views start to open up

 

Gulp we are going up there!

 

Part way up, it’s not as bad as it looks as it has stone path now thanks to the park ranger service

Part way up (catching my breath really)

 

At the top Edwina looking her best (like a windswept 21 year old)

 

Holding my gut in (for god sake Edwina take the bloody photo so I can breathe again)

 

A few photos from the top

 

Looking towards the Cheviot Hills

 

Our path this stone path was a good place to test out the orion3 knee

 

A few photos as we make our way along

I think Edwina farted just as the wind changed direction of course she blamed Bob dog . (OF COURSE IT WAS BOB DOG WHAT AM I THINKING ABOUT)

 

Our route

 

Looking back

 

Sandstone rock

 

Cairn

 

Looking back at the ridge line

 

Edwina (no I don’t know what she is doing at this moment of time thinking about another Tiffin break?)

 

Looking down towards the car park at Lordenshaw

 

Cup and ring rock (nearly world famous)

 

Our path, just look at the sky ….heavy rainfall my arse!

 

Bob dog checking in

 

Some of the locals

 

Our path heading back to the car park in the forest

 

Last look towards the Cheviot Hills before we get back (this was one of those walks that I didn’t want to end)

 

One last photo that edwina took of Bob dog and me starting up the stony path (I think that she like looking at my arse )

Day after thoughts

Home gear sorted , Bob dog brushed and fed then hot bubbly bath , no problems with my stump , but then again I didn’t expect to have any , my real knee ached but no better or worse than the day before so all was good with that . There was something about the walk today that made it something really special, I don’t know why….. Was it because we had a great day weather wise when we expected to be washed away, was it because of the Tiffin treats? The area?   I can’t really say after all I have done this route so many time I can almost do it blindfolded, was it the company? Again I don’t know but somewhere along the line todays walk became something special and I don’t know why…… but the “good feeling” is still with me now as I attempt to write this trip report up , cheers

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