DATE                                          25.02.2014

DISTANCE                                  ABOUT 5 MILES

WEATHER                                  COOL BUT DRY

START / FINISH                       FORESTRY CAR PARK AT SIMONSIDE

 

The boys hit Simonside crags

25.02.2014

After spending what seemed like a lifetime on weekend night shift I was determined to get out and about someplace on my days off, the only problem was where, I have been doing the coastline to death and really fancied a change, the Cheviot hills would be nice but the ground would be soaking wet and I was planning to take the pups with me and as I have mentioned before due to there low ground clearance they get soaking very quickly and it just isn’t fair on them to be cold and wet all day so that meant that the hills would be out till it either warms up a bit or the ground dry’s up , either way that wouldn’t help me today. After much thinking I decided to go to Simonside , there are miles of forestry tracks to walk along with lots of interesting stuff for the boys to run and play with and of course there is the crags to climb up , and as I know once up on the crags there is a well laid stone flag path to walk along so really it was a win win situation , the boys should stay dry (ish) lots for them to do , myself I love the area and the views from the crags are brilliant plus it will give me and arty leg a bit of practise when it comes to climbing up the crags , with this in mind I went to inform the boys , they of course couldn’t really care they just love being out someplace for the day , I did however pack there coats “just in case it rained” really that should have been for when it rained but as luck would have it despite a few very dark clouds and a few showers falling all around us we didn’t get rain upon till we got back in the car , so may be all that naked dancing and singing to the weather gods is starting to pay off ……who knows .

On arrival at the car park I parked right down into the woods as far away from the main entrance as possible, this was so I could lets the boys out and they could go daft whilst I made coffee without having to worry about some driver coming into the car park and not seeing the pups (after all they are rather small) as it was I needn’t have worried as I was the only car there. Also I picked a spot right by a picnic table which made for a bit of comfort whilst I put my boots on and made the coffee.

Coffee was made and drunk, gear sorted and off we went, I hadn’t really got any definite route sorted …..A just make it up as we went along as it turned out I did what’s known as the red route according to the forestry peoples notice board. once we where off the pup’s went mad for the first mile or so running , playing and generally mooching around , Munchy almost disgraced himself by trying to roll in fox poo , but I got there just in time and informed him that this was a no no .

Climbing up the crags proved to be a bit more of a challenge , with the mud being very slippery and the fact that the boys had gone racing to the top in front of me only stop turn around then come bounding down jumping from rock to rock , only to get under my feet before racing to the top again , in fact I think that they went from top to bottom about four times by the time I clambered to the top breathing very heavy , once on top of the crags the wind did what it normally does and started blowing a hoolie , its surprising how much shelter the woods offer . And for the first time that day it made me realise how cold it was. Nothing to get concerned about but could be a problem if any of the boys had got wet.

Flynn had to be shouted at a couple of times , he has this thing about getting close to the edge of the crags and looking over , it’s a long drop and I know that I would have been in big trouble if I went home without one of the pups or one of them got hurt .

Lunch was had or should I say my lunch was eaten in a sheltered spot, only once my roast beef roll had been scoffed the boys woofed there lunch down, then it was off again, this time cutting down off the crags and back into the woods, the boys where still running about and playing but started to show signs that they where getting tiered, still it was only a short distance to the car and they kept running all the way back , I think that we did about 5 of our earthly  miles with1000ft  of the ups and downs as normal a few photos enjoy :-

Looking up towards the crags on a dull morning

 

The boys leading the way, at this stage I was just following where they went, I had no set route or anything planned

 

Look we have found a dark hole, I’m not going down there said Flynn

 

Flynn and Munchy playing “lookout” on a rock

 

Bob leading the way yup a very wet and muddy path

 

Heading up, there was something on top of the big rock ahead

 

Just Bob checking on me

 

A couple of the huge sandstone rocks that are scattered around these hills

 

Munchy having a look across the path

 

The small cave that munchy was looking at

 

About to leave the forest and the weather has brightened up

 

Now heading up towards the crags

 

The stony path up to the crags.

 

Flynn waiting for me to catch up “hurry up mick it’s nearly lunch time”

 

Munchy and Flynn on there way down to see me.

 

Looking up to the sandstone crags (really I getting my breath back)

 

 Flynn & Bob heading back down

 

Munchy getting ready to jump on me

Flynn jumping down from rock to rock

 

Another breath stop

Yet another breathing stop looking in the other direction

 Looking down, it doesn’t look that steep but trust me it is and would hurt if you bounced all the way down

 

Yeah at the top looking towards the distant Cheviot Hills

 

Same view just a bit further along

Looking towards the stone cairn

 

The boys tearing along the flagged path towards old stell crag

 

Looking along the old route that closed to prevent further soil erosion

 

Munchy mooching around

 

Our path, it’s still muddy where it hasn’t been flagged

 

Flynn mooching around, this dog is fearless when it comes to steep drops either that or he’s stupid , I had to call him away from the edge a few times

 

Looking back at the crags, we had our lunch in there out of the wind

 

Bob checking our route out

 

Back on the flagged path, looking back

 

Munchy waiting for me to catch up

 

Now at Dove Crag and the strange sandstone rocks

 

Flynn waiting under one

 

On our way back down Bob and Flynn waiting for me to catch up again

 

The path, it’s a bit wet and boggy in places

 

Looking up to the crags

Still heading down towards the forest

 

Last look across at the crags

 

Now back on a forestry track about to enter the woods again

 

Last look up

 

Heading down towards the car, Bob coming back to check on me

 

Followed my a Munchy

 

With Flynn bringing up the rear

 

 NORTHUMBERLAND        WALKS 2014        BOB, MUNCHY & FLYNNS DAYS OUT

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