DATE                                 08.12.2013

DISTANCE                        9.8 MILES

WEATHER                        COLD WET AND WINDY

START / FINISH               OFF ROAD PARKING AT CLENNELL

Wet paws at Kidland

Once again I found myself watching the evening news waiting for the weather , I already knew that it was going to be a wet and windy day come Sunday , but part of me was hoping that something had changed , I don’t really like walking in the strong winds because of my arty leg  but  I have developed ways of coping (just like many other amputees I expect ) but I was going to cheat and use the shelter of the forest to protect me from the worst of the wind , yes I was going to go back to Kidland forest and explore another section that the forestry people had opened up , my last two big walks had been up here and I had really enjoyed them so why not ? , I had two more routes to do so I figured if the weather is bad why not do one of them ……..seems like a plan to me .

I mentioned this to Bob who was busy snoozing by the fire with Munchy and Flynn, who just looked at me like I was stupid or something , but I couldn’t help but notice that he soon went upstairs to bed leaving  the spot by the fire for the other two pups , anyway I set the alarm for a nice early start , and before I knew it off it went and its time for me to get up , after a quick wash it was downstairs for breakfast and coffee , and as normal the boys came downstairs , wanted to go outside to do what young dogs do first thing in the morning  then both Munchy and Flynn went zooming upstairs and back to bed  with out so much as a hello mick how are you , where as Bob sat down waiting for me to get my gear sorted and once again I found myself thinking how does Bob know that he is coming with me and not the others ? He is either really switched on or really stupid I really don’t know which , I mean I did mention to him the night before but does he understand or is this a pure coincidence ?.

Anyway gear was sorted and thrown into the car, Bob jumped in and promptly dropped off to sleep and off we went.

Due to some brilliant planning we arrived at Clennell Street just as it was starting to get light, I knew that to do the route that I wanted I would need all the daylight hours, naturally I had my head torch and back up batteries and had even fitted a flashing light on Bob coat just in case but really I wanted to be back before it got dark.

Gear was sorted and off we went, it was cold dull and well miserable (and that’s just the weather) but that didn’t stop us, Bob pestered me to confirm that I had packed extra food for him and a large supply of treats then went on to inform me that he had noticed that I had cut a rather large slice of cake and if I didn’t share with him he would tell on me ……….talk about being bribed.

We hadn’t got far when we got hit with our first shower, coats where put on even though Bob wasn’t that keen but at this stage I really didn’t want Bob to get wet and a small bribe of a tasty treat allowed me to get his coat on without to much trouble, naturally ten minutes later we took the coats off again.

I was hoping to catch a glimpse of any wildlife, you know deer, fox’s, herons even sheep but we didn’t see anything, I don’t know if it was because of the weather or just bad luck, seeing as there wasn’t even any sheep about I gave Bob the nod to run around but much to my surprise he stayed pretty close and would often stop and wait for me, maybe he knew that he was in for a long day and was saving his strength.

On entering the trees, they seemed dark and foreboding, so different from my last few walks up here but they offered shelter from the wind so all wasn’t bad, the weather had finally decided to turn lousy a cold wet heavy drizzle settled down and gave the impression that it was in for the day, so both Bob and me got our coats on again and I managed to get Bob Fleecy under coat on as well, now at least I didn’t have to be concerned about him getting cold or wet.

The path I had picked out followed the forestry track as it slowly wound its way up , I wanted to get onto Inner Hill (there are about 4 or 5 inner Hill in the Cheviots ) and have a look around now that the trees had been cleared and take it from there , but as we started to gain a bit of height the drizzle got heaver I knew that we would be wasting our time as I suspected that we wouldn’t be able to see anything , a clearing I the trees confirmed this and I could see that the cloud had dropped and the tops where now covered , however the wind was blowing them clear , maybe we would get lucky , thirty minutes later I had my answer we wouldn’t get to see bugger all , with the wind picking up and the drizzle getting heaver I decided to give Inner Hill a miss and not go any higher today , the drizzle was mixed in with light rain being blown at us , and as any one would tell you its that sort of condition where you can get soaked very easily , our coats are waterproof but …………………..anyway the hills will be there for another day , and to be honest it felt rather good to drop down a bit and get some shelter from the driving rain and wind , my plan “b” route  would allow me to get back on the forestry track and make our way back (still a good 5 miles or so to go) , Bob seemed to approve and I promised him as soon as we could find a dry sheltered spot we would stop for food , after a while we found a suitable spot and settled down for food , Bob of coursed scoffed most of my roast Beef out of my sarnie leaving me with the salad and then went on to demand a large piece of my fruit cake , I did try to point out that as a dog he really shouldn’t like cake but once again he  woofed his down and then sniffed around for any crumbs. Then to show how grateful he was he promptly sat on my lap and snuggled down, naturally his paws where wet and muddy but he didn’t care, we where both warm and dry and out of the wind so I decided that we would have an extended lunch break, knowing once we left this sheltered spot there wouldn’t be much chance of a dry spot to have a break in later on.

After a rather extended lunch break we both set off , Bob taking  point and setting a good pace down and along the forestry track , at one point we found a sign informing us that the track was closed but hey its Sunday and we didn’t care , after a mile or so the track turned into a mud bath , that sticky clay type of mud , throw in the rain and it was slow hard going , even Bob seemed to struggle a bit , the reason became clear as we rounder a bend , they had been (or still are) busy harvesting the trees and there heavy plant had made a right mess of things  , still we slipped and plogged on and finally got back on a solid track again , as we descended the Drizzle lifted and the valley views opened up once again , but it was still dull grey and wet , we managed to find one more dry spot just as the heavens opened up once again , it was at this point I decided that I had had enough exploring for the day and we headed straight back , a quick look at the GPS informed us we would be far from ten miles by the time we got back to the car so not to bad .

On arriving back at the car, my first job was to get Bob out of his muddy coat and try to dry him; I keep spare gear in the boot just for days like this, Bob once he was dried had a treat or two settled down for a snooze , being the softy that I am I covered him up with a warm blanket and you know I felt very proud of him , the mud was hard enough for me , and I have huge legs , where he must have been scrapping his belly along the ground in all that cold wet mud and he never moaned once .

I of course had coffee made from my trusty jet boil then it was time to head back home. On arriving home I duly handed Bob over to the girls who promptly put him in a warm bubbly bath and made a right fuss of him whilst rollicking me for getting him in such a state, I dumped all the wet muddy gear in front of the washing machine (sort that out if you can) and went to see Munchy and Flynn who where laying in front of the fire at least they where pleased to see me. Then it was shower time for me, Bob looking like a ball of fluff  came bounding downstairs and proceed to go daft with the other two pups and spent the next hour or so running around the house like he hadn’t done anything all day ……………….I just about crawled upstairs .

As normal a few photos not many because of the rotten weather.

Looking along the river Alwin on a grey day

 

The dull grey sky doesn’t look that promising

 

Our first drizzle shower (one of many today)

 

Then with the strong wind it clears up as quickly as it came

 

Five minutes later another shower (this seemed to be the weather Patten for today)

 

Looking back towards Kitty Crag and its clear again.

 

Bob waiting for me as normal

 

Looking along the Yoke Burn

 

The cloud is starting to come down, it’s already covering Cushat Law.

But looking back down the valley it all clear

 

Looking across to where the foresters have been quarrying for stone for the new tracks?

 

Starting to gain a bit of height, looking back down the valley

 

I think that I am looking towards where Heigh is? I believe it was a small farm or something all I can make out is an old ruined stone wall

 

Looking back down the valley, what you can’t see is how the wind is picking up now

 

Evidence of the tree felling.

 

AND down comes the weather again

 

Yep closing in all round

At this point I have decided to give Inner hill a miss as soon as we drop down a bit the views start to open up (a few snatched photos)

 

Bob looking very snug in his coat

Still heading down, signs of recent tree felling

 

The stone track is starting to get a bit muddy

Looking towards the cloud covered hills in the distance

The tree felling zip wire thingy

 

Still making our way down

Bob is rather wet and muddy

 

Looking back and up

 

A nice sheltered spot so I can dry Bob off a bit, I carry a micro towel, and despite its size it’s really good.

 

Timber stacked up ready for collection but rain is heading our way again

 

Hail / rain starting to fall

Our route along the valley looks like this rain is set for the afternoon now.

 

A few more (rather wet) photos as we make our way back

Last rest stop in the trees Bob having a sniff around

A couple of photos as we do a mad dash back to the car

 

Typical just as we get to the last bend (we are parked up half a mile away) the rain stops

Day after thoughts

 About 9.8 miles with 1652ft of the ups and downs , pity about the weather but that cant be helped it just means that I will have to return to this area.

stump wise no real problems , but I was a bit stiff between my shoulders first thing in the morning but I think that was because I was using them much more to walk a bit faster than what I normally walk at .

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