DATE                                  03.11.06

DISTANCE                         3.99 MILES

WEATHER                         COOL BUT BRIGHT

START / FINISH                ROADSIDE PARKING (SEE MAP)

Afternoons wander to the crags

Today’s wander was always going to be a bit different once again I had been mooching around on various sites on the internet ………..no not porn sites……walking  and  hiking sites (get your mind out of the gutter ) and after looking at a few photos taken from the top of Thrunton woods big crags (coe crag & dove crag) got me thinking could I make it up there, at this present time I knew that going up to the crags via the red route would be a no no , so I decided to actually have a look at an ordnance survey map that covered that area and much to my surprise I found that there was a forestry track heading up that way which turns into a footpath later on and leads on up to the crags , the only problem was until I actually got there and walked it myself I wouldn’t know how good the footpath was or was there a footpath at all. After all it wouldn’t be the first footpath that has totally disappeared or had turned into a forest making it impossible to follow but unless I got my arse up there and looked for myself I wouldn’t know one way or another.

Over tea I mentioned this fantastic discovery to my better half Yvonne and informed her on my next day off that I was planning to have a wander up there and see one way or another, much to my surprise she said that she would join me …….well I never !!!.

Sadly things didn’t go quite to plan as we both had to do a couple of jobs before we could throw the gear into the car and set off, when I say gear what I mean was my rucksack which somehow had been stuffed full of her gear that she just had to have with her just in case and her rucksack had  next to nothing in …………………..even today years later I still can’t understand why my rucksack is full of her stuff and her rucksack is almost empty …I’m certain that there is a reason for it but I can’t for the life of me think of what it is .

Anyway with the late start, I knew that we wouldn’t be doing a great long walk or anything but .what the hell, today would be an exploration walk nothing more nothing less and I really wanted to try out how my micro arty leg would be, since my last day out wandering I had been back to the limb centre and we had a new program set up on the knee, so today would be a selecting this program and seeing how I got on with it and just to make things really interesting  I was planning on not using my hiking poles , I would of course have them attached to my rucksack just in case , but I really need to work on my body core strength and so today it would be a combination of all these things .

It didn’t take long to drive up to Thrunton woods and we parked up right at the top end of the forest where we would start the walk up a forestry track, boots where put on, gear was sorted, I put my arty knee into its “new” program and off we went.

The pace was very slow as the new program on the knee took a bit of getting used to , basically the knee was very stiff and took a lot of effort to get it to bend and swing but it should make things a lot better for me when I get out into really rough ground or when walking through long grass / fern etc. etc. as it should be a lot firmer / stiffer  …………of course this means nothing to most people but I was hoping it would make a big difference to me …once I got used to it.

The weather couldn’t have been better , bright dare I say sunny but being November it was still cool , in fact I would say great weather to be out .

Our route for the day (see map above) was simplicity itself, a wander along the forestry track which was a slight uphill pull all the way but nothing to get excited about, then the track just seemed to fade away turning from a stone forestry track to a muddy track to a well-used footpath, a bit wet and boggy in places but basically well used and ok, walking along this path we found that there was lots of other footpaths branching off and heading in all directions none of which were shown on our map , something to explore another day , following the main path we left the forest and headed straight to the crags , as time was getting on we went straight to Coe  Crag where  we were treated to some wonderful  views of the surrounding country side . then it was time to head back , we decided that we would try to find and link up with one of the other paths that we spotted earlier on in the walk , as it was we found a sign warning us about some beehives and so being the curious type of people we are we headed off that way which was in the right direction , however we didn’t find any beehives I suppose this could be because it was now November and the hives have been removed to warmer / safer locations ……………do they do that ? To be honest I don’t really know what happens to bees in the colder months, but as luck would have it our route took us back onto the forestry track that we walked up on earlier on in the day so it was a simple case of following it back down to the car.

We walked about 4.0 miles with 489 ft of the ups and downs but today was really about mooching around and trying out my new setting on the knee and I have to say it was a very successful day, we found a very easy way up to the crags, I had a good day with the knee which fills me full of hope for more bigger rougher routes in the future

A few photos:

Taken from where we parked up looking along towards the main woods

 

Mushrooms (sorry don’t know the name)

 

Power lines (not nice to look at but necessary)

 

Trying to do a posh arty shot (and failed)

 

The forestry track has slowly started to break down from stone to dirt

 

Some lovley colours today

 

More / different type of mushroom

 

The “track” is now a heathery path but still easy to walk along

 

Looking over towards the Simonside hills

 

Now linking up with the “red path” that runs along the top of the crags

 

An old way marker / boundary stone or something 

 

Looking towards the Cheviot Hills and someone has got a fire going

 

Me heading up o Coe Crag (note my left arm is sticking out for balance)

 

Looking across towards Alnwick moor

 

A few photos from the crag ….what a view eh?

 

Taken at max zoom looking at long crags

 

Looking at the smoke

 

Looking straight down

 

At max zoom looking at the RAF early warning dome

 

Looking down

 

Me slowly making my way down

 

Our route?

 

Look what Yvonne has found!

 

Following a grassy path back

 

Looking back

 

Day after thoughts,

Due to the slow easy pace today I didn’t have any problems with my stump getting any sore spots, but the muscles on my stump did ache , I think that the new program is going to take a while to get used to but on the good side it will help build up the muscles on my stump and help stop the leg from withering away so that must be a good thing , but it looks like I have got some hard work to do , but strangely I am looking forward to it and I am very excited about the new settings on the knee .

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