Martin on Cnicht

Martin on Cnicht

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Sunday 9 December 2012 – A Christmas Walk around Hartington

Descending to Mill Dale

There are other excellent and more timely reports on this fun day out, so I’m just providing a brief overview here before moving back a couple of weeks to try to catch up with some overdue postings.

Gayle’s report, composed literally as the walk was finishing, is here.

Alan R managed to raise himself from his sick bed just in time to take part and his report, which sadly doesn’t seem to offer much for his tractor spotting fans*, is here (‘Martin’s Christmas Mud Fest’).

My short slideshow (not many pictures were taken) is here.

Last year’s report on the same walk, with route details and more information, is here.

Briefly:

28 sundry strollers set off gently in unusually persistent rain, along the Tissington Trail, whose surface had the texture of gluey cement which was soon replaced on our boots by the gluey mud on the descent to Mill Dale, where we were led by the unlikely apparition of a mud loving vampire dressed in a Sherlock Holmes outfit (see above).

The stupid and lazy ploughed through a flood beside the bulging River Dove, leaving them with rather moist underparts. The more sensible avoided this obstacle and even occasionally gathered for a head count (I was taking my leadership duties seriously).  All 28 were still in tow by the time we approached the junction between Wolfscote and Biggin Dales.

It being time for elevenses, a fair number of the party ably demonstrated that they were only there for the cake.  And more cake.

Then it stopped raining and some blue sky appeared, as is customary on most of my walks.  Spirits were high as we ploughed on past a heron and a kestrel to the narrow bridge that marks the entry to Beresford Dale and the last lap to the Charles Cotton Hotel, where we arrived early and left late, after the usual sumptuous Christmas lunch.  Thanks go to all the staff who looked after us so well, albeit they failed to nail the vampire, who very strangely seemed to run out of puff on the latter stages of the subsequent stroll back to the cars in the dark.  Before the night had completely engulfed us we passed through a field of sheep notable, as last year, for the newborn lambs that were tottering around in the gloom.

Then there was much fumbling with Christmas cards in the dark, and we went home.  Thanks for coming, everyone – it’s great to see you, albeit only once a year in some cases!

A quiz took place at lunch time.  Mick, Gayle and Jeff won it, and they lightened my bag by relieving me of some prizes.  If anyone would like to have a go at this quiz – and there’s another prize on offer for the ‘best’ submission by 31 December – it’s reproduced here.

Next year’s walk will be on Sunday 8 December 2013, with further details not yet decided.

* Alan’s blog has an astounding number of followers due to his lifelong obsession with tractors and the tantalisingly occasional iconic images with which he teases those fans!

7 comments:

Alan R said...

A lifelong obsession with tractors! It's much more than that.
Thanks for the link to my scribblings and thanks again for a good all round day.
Funnily enough i have just managed to get all the mud and cement off our boots. I did it in the kitchen but don't tell Sheila.

Phreerunner said...

Thanks for your comment Alan, it was good to see you and Sheila.
I got around that kitchen problem by cleaning Sue's boots as well!
I'll say no more about the tractors... for now.

Jules said...

A good day out - enjoyed by all, it would appear.

I like the Charles Cotton. Last time I was there, they had Whim Ales' Hartington IPA on handpump. By the time I left a stocktake would have revealed a distinct quantity reduction! The stagger uphill in the rain to the Youth Hostel was barely noticeable.

afootinthehills said...

Tractors. Hence the 'ploughing' involved I presume!

Phreerunner said...

That's true, Gibson, but Alan's tractors do much more than simple ploughing! For example we recently saw him enthusing over a particularly hi-tec three-wheeled variety!

Anonymous said...

Never mind the abuse, as you have hidden it where no one will ever find it - on your blog!

Graham (Sherlock) Stevens

Phreerunner said...

Hi Sherlock
I could put it on Facebook - that would bring it to the attention of a couple more folk....

(I know you would feel deprived if I didn't select you as the principal victim ... haha)