Still with me? Good! As usual you can click on the pictures to make them bigger.
The attentive amongst the congregation will be aware that three of the four idiots retreated to softer climes down south, leaving just the one idiot in the Yorkshire Dales to continue the adventure.
After hauling Rick’s wine lake from his car boot to his cellar and delivering a fridge to a chap in the village (it’s what friends are for) I set off once more for the hills. Today was a totally different kettle of fish. If you wanted a dixie full of silver-shiny mackerel with glass-bright eyes, today was the day to be outside. I set off in virtual shirt-sleeves. Visibility was pin sharp and the wind keen. Very keen, in fact so I put my jacket back on.
I had enjoyed Crummack Dale so much on Friday that I was once more strolling up into its secret charms.
You notice the little things that would otherwise pass you by as you walk on your own up Crummack Dale. Today, it was the little splashes busily cascading through the emerald enclosures; their springs bubbling from beneath glistening limestone steps at the backs of the fields. This spring water bubbles and flashes brilliantly in the sharp sunlight, tugging at the grasses on either side.
I scampered past two chaps in bobble hats, britches & boots, intent on having the views at the head of the dale for myself. I had a rucksack full of food and was looking for a grand spot for lunch, which I found as I clambered my way through Moughton Scar and into the limestone pavement.
I was working my way back over to Clapham Bottoms, as it sounded like a place that really should be investigated, over wonderful limestone moorland. It’s barely 1300 feet up but the enormous views over to Ingleborough, Pen-y-Ghent and Fountains Fell make it a fabulous spot to be, in the wild, sharp wind.
This poor quality video does give a flavour of the place and the wind:
Then it was a delightful push into the wind down into the Bottoms and the track below Thwaite, into the tunnels and down into sleepy Clapham.
The pub in Clapham serves much better beer than the one we visited in Horton and so some Black Sheep were dealt with in a confident style in front of the fire. I had then to drag my carcase out of there to climb back through the tunnels to regain the Pennine Bridleway above Austwick as the sun was slipping sideways into the secrets of the Forest of Bowland.
It was just an amble down the sleepy lanes into the village as the dampness seeped into the stone roofs and the sunset silvered the window panes.
Back at base, Rick & Lindsey again looked after me handsomely, knocking the top off a lovely Vacqueyras and polishing off one of Lindsey’s stash of single malts. A perfect end to a great weekend.