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Monday, August 08, 2005

Not The Ennerdale Round

It's been a minor ambition, for some time past, to complete the Ennerdale Round, a long hill-walk beginning and ending at the western end of the lake, taking you up over Herdus & Starling Dodd, along the north side of the valley to Great Gable and returning via Kirk Fell and the peaks of the southern side. No minor excursion, about 24 miles in all, requiring a long cool dry day at the height of summer.
Sunday turned out not to be the time for such excess, but the hills beckoned and I spent the day walking along the tops of the southern side of the lake, from Grike, past Steeple, to Pillar and as far as Black Sail, before dropping off into the head of the valley at Black Sail hut and walking back long the forestry road towards Bowness. Altogether a gorgeous, exhausting, spectacular way to spend the day. The hillsides were shot through with green and purple, I looked down onto Pillar Rock and watched enthusiasts scrambling up Slab & Notch, the sky was cloudless, and for the first few hours, in the open grassy country to the west of Steeple, I saw no other person.
I drove away seriously worried that if my legs cramped then it would be impossible to drive safely. I arrived home to find a line of cars pulled over at the roadside opposite the house. Thinking an accident had occurred I parked and walked over, asking if I could assist. Oh yes, I certainly could. They were a convoy of local enthusiasts out on a film-themed treasure hunt around the byways of North Cumbria. They were looking for The Yellow Brick Road, having already positively identified The Tin Man (the Renaissance Couple's garden is graced by some rather fetching African statuary). I then had the greatest difficulty convincing them that I was not in fact the Wizard Of Oz. It's a testament to the indomitable optimism of the human spirit that they persisted in this belief long after any rational person would have accepted the evidence of their own eyes. Eventually they departed, casting longing glances backward, in search of some other wizard. I do hope they found him.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Eleanor said...

24 miles hoo-doggy. Actually, I think this does make you a wizard, Nick!

8/8/05 8:18 pm  
Blogger Nick said...

A broomstick would have been very welcome for the last few miles . . .

9/8/05 8:16 am  

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