DATE                          12.09.13

DISTANCE                  JUST UNDER 7 MILES




Flynn hits the hills

For todays walk I was planning on taking Flynn with me , I would really like to take Bob as well but as I am not 100% happy with the amount of control I have with the two of them off there leads amongst  the sheep I really don’t want to take the chance , no I will wait a bit longer before I take both of them out together into the hills , so that meant it was Flynn’s turn today , somehow he knew it was his turn again and was waiting by the front door as soon as I came down the stairs , breakfast was thrown down my neck , woofed down by Flynn and then it was gear and stuff thrown into the car and off we went .

I was planning to park up at Clennell Hall and do a sort of training walk , with a bit training for Flynn and I could get some training walking over different types of surfaces and chambers plus a bit of the ups and downs thrown in.

We duly arrived, gear was sorted, coffee was made and drunk, I read Flynn the riot act and he as always barked back that he would behave and could we please make a start. So that was it, off we went, I had Flynn on his extendable lead for the first part of the walk, mainly because we where surrounded by sheep and I wasn’t sure how he would react, he has proven himself in the past BUT he is still a very young pup and easily excited, however he seemed more interested in sniffing and cocking his leg at every thing we past and when I say every thing I mean every thing and so we made our way slowly along the valley , I love this valley and never get tired of looking around even though I must know almost every blade of grass and rock .

I was planning to see how I got on with a bit of a steep climb, the last time I tried I was rewarded with some serious pain in the stump and so have been avoiding any steep up hill bits, today we would see how I got on. Flynn had once again proved himself by not bothering with the sheep and so I let him off the lead, I knew that he wouldn’t go very far away from me and so we both set off up the farmers quad bike track up the Dodd, at 332 meter it certainly isn’t the highest hill in this area but believe me within minutes my lungs where bursting and my head was starting to turn a funny shade of red , Flynn of course had four leg drive and youth on his side and wandered up , tail wagging and didn’t even look as if this was a hill, about half way up I sat down (which really means that I dropped  in a snotty heap)for a five minute break , so far so good with the stump pains , nothing yet ! if only my lungs would start to work , several minutes later I was up and plodding up towards the high point , my route for the day was to follow the ridge line along the valley , up past Kitty crags along to Puncherton Hill (410 meters) then cut over to Ravens crag and cut down some seriously steep hill side to the Allerhope burn where if I hadn’t died due to lack of breath just getting there or slipped and fallen down the hill or even drowned crossing the burn we would link up with a delightful grassy forestry track that would take us back down to the valley bottom.

However as we started to get a bit of height, we where introduced to some seriously strong winds, ………….this wasn’t part of the plan, I decided to give it a hour or so to sort itself out (the weather that is) and if need be I could either swing round to another valley and make my way back or simply turn around. But first it was time for a sit down and rest , we managed to find a small depression and got out of the wind , Flynn decided to sit on my lap and have a nap , I decided to open up my goodie box and get a bit cake , Flynn decided that he would help me with it …………….and before I knew it the cake was gone , even now I am still not sure how he could go from being asleep to munching my cake in a heart beat . Cake eaten coffee drunk it was time to make a move , the wind was still strong and after a couple of gust that nearly blew me over I was starting to get a bit concerned for Flynn , I needed have worried he was walking in a sheep trail well below the wind and didn’t have a care in the world . then as we started to drop down towards Ravens Crag you would have thought someone had switched off the wind , what a difference this made a few minutes later the sun came out and we was treated to another glories late summers  day you know the type bright sunlight, warmth without getting to hot and sweaty . We slowly made our way down to the base of Ravens Crag without any mishaps and decided to stop on the forestry track for dinner, the sun was shinning, and Flynn had tasty treats as well as most of the beef out of my sarnie so he was a happy pup.  I was feeling pleased that I had gone up and down a fair bit with no pain in the stump so all was well.

Being a lazy sort of person and having got to where we where a lot quicker that what I thought we decided to have a nap , just fifteen minutes or so ……….somehow that extended to a hour or so , time to make a move , Flynn was dreaming and had snuggled down into my fleece and wasn’t to impressed when I informed him its was time to get up, from this point is was a slow wander along the side of Kidland forest , Flynn popped down into the burn every now and then for a drink (I often wonder why I carry a bottle of water around for him) and was busy mooching around , at one point we spotted a deer but it disappeared before I could get a photo of it , Flynn found some fox pooh and proceeded to roll I it (dirty sod) but fortunately it was had dried up and so he didn’t skink to bad ,I made a mental note to let him sleep in Kerrie’s room that night and I know that she lets him get on the bed with her so I could imagine Flynn getting a bath later on. (That will teach him) but on a wonderful afternoon it really didn’t matter. As we wandered back we both did a bit of training, a few sheep got a bit to interested in us and so Flynn had to go on the lead for a bit but again that didn’t matter , and for the first time in what seemed ages I strolled back to the car without limping or having any sore spots . Yep it had been a really good day, distance wise or height climbed it wasn’t anything to get excited about but for the first time in ages I think that things have started to improve.

As normal a few photos.

The start of todays walk heading along the river Alwin.


A bit further along the valley.


Looking at our route up the side of the Dodd (it’s steeper than what it looks)

Flynn heading up, by this time my lungs where really having problems.


Flynn looking up and thinking whys Micks head turned red,


Nearly at the top (a rest stop) looking back down the valley.


Now walking along the ridge (if that’s the right term) looking down along the valley.


A bit further along looking down and towards Kitty’s crags (that you can’t see from here but they are there believe me)

Looking down.


Our route today , there is a bit of weaving involved rather than going up and down.


Another rest stop, Flynn taking his job as arty leg checker very seriously.


Taken a bit further along.

Looking across towards where they have been cutting the trees down.


Looking back, there are no paths as such up here, just sheep trails and the odd quad bike track but its easy walking and all open access.

Starting to cut down now, it’s pretty easy to start with.


Then it starts to get a bit steeper.


Looking across towards Ravens Crag, I plan to have a mooch around its base a bit later.


Still heading down, at least the wind has dropped now.


Looking back up.

Still got a fair way to go down but now I have found a well used sheep trail to follow so things start to get a bit easer.

Looking back at the sheep trail (easy walking at this point).


Flynn waiting for me to catch up.

The base of Ravens crag, there is a waterfall in the wetter months.


No no waterfall today, in fact there was barely a trickle of water coming down.


Believe it or not there is a steep drop in the Burn before we can get onto the forestry track.


Made it after much swearing and mucking about.

A few photos looking up at the ridge we walked along earlier.

After lunch snooze time.

Time to start heading back, Flynn taking point as normal.


A few more photos of the area as we make our way down.


Looking along the Alwin Valley our route back.


Just left the forest.


A few photos as we make our way back along the valley back to the car.

Last look back.

Day after thoughts.


Much to my surprise I wasn’t sore or stiff in the morning but better than that I didn’t have any pain going up and down the hills which is like a million pounds win for me, now all I have to do is start to build on this and start getting fitter and better again then I can start belting out some much bigger harder walks so all in all a very good day.

Flynn let it be known that he had a great day as well , and wants to do some bigger walks with me  BUT ………………… wants a bigger share of my roast beef sarnie .

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