Thursday, 31 January 2013

Return to Rannerdale

Walking friends might have been wondering when Daisy and I would head off to what has always been one of my favourite fells.  The answer was simply "when it felt right" which could have been a week or so ago but the roads were too icy and I didn't fancy it. But this afternoon it looked like we were getting a break in the weather and after lunch Daisy and I set off on a very familiar journey.  I knew this little walk had the potential to be a tad "challenging" - more than a couple of streamlets to cross and the newly rebuilt bridge over Squat Beck to negotiate.

Predictably Daisy threw a wobbly right at the start and would not walk through the little stream by Cinderdale parking area.  I picked her up again which is not sustainable if I want my back to remain in one piece.  It would have then been reasonable to assume that Madam was going to mess around at every subsequent bit of water we came to ... never make assumptions where Her Ladyship is concerned.  She jumped over puddles, found semi-dry routes around boggy bits and even stood in a big puddle by a gate whilst she waited for me to open it.

The biggest surprise was when we came to the new bridge.  I was expecting the walk having to be re-routed at this point but once again Daisy astonished me.  Whilst I stopped to consider our options, she walked straight over the bridge as if it weren't there ... bloody dog!!

Our walk up to the Hause was thoroughly pleasant and uneventful, we even had occasional moments of sunshine!  The wind had dropped and Daisy ignored the couple of sheep grazing near the path, we met no-one and it was completely quiet and peaceful.  Until we came over the rise and looked down into the valley below and the wind came and smacked us both with unwelcome enthusiasm.  The wind was accompanied by a typical Buttermere shower - short, sharp, cold and very unpleasant.  I had intended to walk along the ridge to the summit and back again but we rapidly went to Plan B and walked back down the track a lot faster than we had come up it.

Daisy got through all the streamlets and puddles without too much difficulty and I was daft enough to think we'd make it back to the car without mishap.  Wrong.  No way was she crossing that last bit of water.  She ran up and down the bank trying to find an alternative way across and got very stressed.  I waded back and forth through the shallow bit to try and encourage her and was reminded in the most horrible of ways that I'd meant to reproof the boots I was wearing.

I didn't want to drag her across because (a) she'd have probably managed to slip out of her harness and (b) making her even more stressed isn't going to cure the problem.  In the end I picked her up again, but half way across I stopped and put her in the water - all 3" of it.  She shot off, fortunately in the right direction and seconds later we were back at the car.

The spare (dry) pair of socks I keep at the bottom of my sack for emergencies felt so very good ...


  1. She's definitely making good progress and the pictures certainly make me homesick.

  2. Replies
    1. Fortunately she has such short hair that drying her off doesn't take much. I think my feet were wetter than hers!


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