DATE                            16.12.16

DISTANCE                    4.1 MILES

WEATHER                    WET / GREY

START / FINISH           ROADSIDE PARKING SEE MAP

It has obvious that I had been neglecting the weather god’s just recently and they had noticed it and so it seemed that they were really pissed with me, yet another day off work and yet another dull wet grey day, still I wasn’t planning on going too far or too hard as I was still nursing a sore spot on my stump, nothing big or painful but rather tender and a reminder that I need to allow my body to heal a bit before I do anything daft.

And so it was a rather dull grey day that found me and Bob dog loading the gear into the car and then heading off up the A1 towards Thrunton woods, for today’s wander I just wanted to get out someplace just to keep the momentum going that I am trying to build up, I figure the more I walk the easer and better / fitter I will get over the winter months and so when spring comes with the longer days I should (note the word should ) be ready for some loner / harder walks .well that is the plan and there was only one way to prove it one way or another and that’s by simply doing it . I did however make a mental note that I really need to get back into the weather gods good books again if I am ever going to get some good weather on my days off so that’s something I will have to work at .

The drive up to Thrunton woods didn’t take long and if anything the weather got worse, with a low wet clag just hanging around, you know the sort can’t see bugger all and it will slowly soak you, but not all is lost as I have my all singing still new waterproof coat that should stop me getting wet and Bob dog (much to his disgust) has his waterproof coat so we should be toasty warm and dry.

On approach to the woods I couldn’t help but remember that they had redone one of the forestry tracks earlier on in the year ready for the harvesting that would follow and this got my little brain working, I wonder if they had finished and if they had could there be new areas that have been opened to have a mooch around? And so with that though whizzing around my head we found a spot to park up and that was that, five minutes later found me and Bob dog suitable dressed for the weather and heading off along the forestry track .heading err someplace .

Due to some fantastic navigating (staying on the forestry track and no wandering off) we soon came to the tell tail signs that they had been busy harvesting the trees, and to be honest it did open the views up a bit more or should have opened the views up more but I couldn’t see twenty foot in front of me because of the clag so I couldn’t really say what the views where like , as for new routes leading off into the great unknown I must admit that I failed to spot any of these as well , don’t get me wrong there might be some but if there are I didn’t see any .

Eventually we came to the end of the forestry track and started along a muddy trail, heading off to the crags (Coe and Long crags) where I decided that we would stop for lunch, at this point visibility was really pants (I suppose it was because we had been slowly climbing up for the last hour or so) and was walking in the middle of the low cloud but somehow it all started to get a bit spooky and when Bob dog started to look into the trees and growl my imagination went into overdrive , and I remembered the time when I was actually looking to find a werewolf to bite me so my leg could / would grow back again , I have to say in my defence at this time  I was so high on meds that I was living on another planet  but I had such a realistic dream I actually woke up thinking that my leg had grown back again , and was gutted when I found it wasn’t .link:-http://www.onefootinnorthumberland.co.uk/WWOLF.htm

Yep I’m ready for the loony bin , but I kept an eye open just in case a wolf’y type of dog came bursting out of the trees running at me , after all I didn’t want to miss the chance of getting bitten because as they say there is always some truth behind the legends. (Now your starting to wonder is mick being serious or not and should I avoid him on a full moon?)

Anyway we slowly made our way slipping and sliding to Coe crags where I had decided that we would bunker down under the huge sandstone rocks and have a well-deserved coffee and sarnie break ( Bob of course would have his roast beef) enjoying the fine views of the forest that was spread out below us …….or should have been as it was we was surrounded by a white mist and silence not even a bird could be heard , but as anyone who knows me knows once I get the jet boil out and start on the coffee world war three could start and I wouldn’t notice , so all was well , bob woofed his roast beef down and as normal started on his tasty treats , I had my sarnie and when packing up I made a very welcome discovery of an old KitKat in the back of my rucksack , now this simple discovery really made my day , ( a bit like when you put on a pair of trousers and find a £10.00 in the pocket) and for the next few minutes I just sat there savouring the unexpected treat , yes the weather was crap , I couldn’t see bugger all , the path was a wet slippery nightmare (I hadn’t been bitten by a werewolf so no chance of my leg growing back) but I was feeling very happy , why I don’t really know but this feeling stayed with me for the rest of the day and somehow turned this rather damp very short walk into something special …..And that’s all I can really say about it.

I decided that it was pointless continuing along the crags as the weather wasn’t going to change and I might as well be in a supermarket car park for what I could see so I decided to turn the rest of the walk into a sort of training exercise for arty leg.

As you may or may not know I now wear a different knee (the sensor) and to be honest I haven’t really started to push its limits to see how well / poor it is compared with my old kx06 knee, so I had just the downhill route that would test it a bit (and me as well) .I have come down off the crags using this route many times in the past and much to my delight have survived to tell the tail but it is a very dodgy bit of path , you know wet slippery , covered in huge boulders and small rocks , tree roots , heather bushes all waiting to catch you and trip you up loose scree and lots of pot holes and landmines ( there isn’t really any landmines I just put that in to make it sound good). Normally I wouldn’t recommend coming down using this route to an amputee (unless I didn’t like him / her) then I would just point them in this direction, but today I felt that it was about time I started “man up” with this knee and do something a bit more demanding , naturally I had a chat with Bob dog about this and he agreed it’s time to start pushing things a bit and informed me that he would head off down there and wait for me at the bottom and if the worse came to the worse could he sleep on my half of the big bed at home ? Then went bounding off.

Normally I would have some music playing via my iPod and would switch it to something that would cover up my screams as I made my way down but today I hadn’t bothered to bring it along so all I could hear was the blood pounding in my ears , however this might sound a bit blasé but I didn’t really have any problems , I started slowly and gradually built up some speed as I started to get more confident and before I knew it I reached the bottom where Bob dog was waiting , to be honest it didn’t really cause me any problems , yes the knee behaves differently from the kx06 some good some bad but it “passed” this test without any problems ………..one day I will have to write up a report the “sensor” v “kx06” but at the moment I can’t be arsed .

Anyway using some fantastic navigating skills (which mean I followed a well-used muddy path) I linked up with a forestry track that took me back to the car.

We only did 4.1 miles with 648ft of the ups and downs today but despite not being able to see anything it was a good day and finding the KitKat in my rucksack was the icing on the cake.

As normal a few misty photos enjoy

Old dead trees

 

Bob dog waiting at the start of the tree harvesting site

 

They have certainly opened the area up, but I can’t really see a great deal

 

The shooting range now totally exposed

 

Heading up past some stacked logs (looks like the weather is blighting up a bit

 

A couple of the views that now can be seen

 

Heading off into the woods

As we get a bit higher our visibility drops

 

Now heading towards the crags

 

Old stone marker

 

The main (if wet) path

 

We are heading along this one for a while

 

Looking down the hill (I believe)

 

Coe crags?

 

Looking down

 

Looking back (not a great deal to see today)

 

A few photos from the crags where we had lunch

 

The small stone cairn on Coe crags the highest point today

 

Off we go again

 

Is that the sun trying to get out?

 

Bob dog scouting the way

 

And just for a moment the clag start to lift

 

And for a second it’s possible to see down below

 

Bob dog waiting for instructions

 

Even on a dull day there is still a splash of colour to be seen

Now at the bottom of the crags entering the trees again

 

A few photos as we find our way along

 

And we are out into daylight again

 

Heading back to the car

 

DAY AFTER THOUGHTS

None really , no stiffness , my sore stump was no better or worse , I will admit to feeling rather smug about coming down the steep path with no problems , perhaps the knee will do what I want when I want after all ..As they say watch this space.

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