Jul 03 2011

Walk 32: Triggy in the Middle

Looking back towards Kettlewell

route: Middlesmoor Pasture from Kettlewell
3rd July 2011
distance: 2.6 miles
ascent: 763 feet
time: 1 hr 35 mins
walkers: Dave, gill, Leanne, roland, Sandra & Simon

I had planned this walk in a couple of months in advance as I do with most of our walks. The reason behind this is as everyone has busy social lives it gives them chance to plan around the walking if they want. On the flip, it gives people plenty of time to find something to do should they not want to walk, although surely nobody would want to do that today. After all today’s walk would only be a few miles long and would be followed by a nice pub lunch. The answer to why this was such a short walk lies in last week’s Yorkshire 3 Peaks marathon. I fully anticipated us to have aching limbs, a few blisters and possibly less toenails than we should have. In truth the four who attended both last week and today were in very good shape and I almost felt like a fraud knowing we were only doing a few miles. Still, at least we were making the effort and for that we couldn’t be faulted. The day was a lovely sunny one as we arrived in Kettlewell and prepared for the off. I didn’t feel hung over even though I had been drinking the night before, which is something I don’t do usually, but I was obviously not treating this walk as a big task. As for whether I would regret that decision, only time would tell and we took the team shot before setting off to find out.

We left Kettlewell by following the road over the River Wharfe and heading towards Kilnsey, where after a short distance a footpath forked off to the right. This path continued to run parallel to the road for a while before it slowly angled into the hillside ahead.

A little further on the path turned into the hill a little and gave us the chance to test our legs and see if there was any lingering stiffness from the week before. I don’t know about the others but mine felt ok and we walked through a few trees and then out of the other side where we paused for a rest. It wasn’t a rest that was really required, instead we used it to have a little natter and to ensure the walk lasted more than an hour!

With our rest over we set off once again and headed to a ladder stile in front of us. Up to our right we could see a scar with something perched on top. Under normal circumstances we would have been looking at going more or less straight up this or certainly finding a direct route to take, but with time on our side (the pub didn’t open until noon) we continued along the footpath and began to circle the trig. Eventually it made no sense to continue and we swung right and took a little climb up a little hill as the rabbits scampered off to avoid us. We soon had a glimpse of the trig point and we made our way towards it with the minimum of fuss and effort.

It felt a little weird to be at your intended target and not really have been tested along the route. Normally there would have been a couple of points where the lungs were going or the legs were screaming at me to take a short break, but I suppose after some of the other walks we had done this didn’t really compare. The day was still lovely and as such the views were too. We chatted and chuckled about various things and even the suggestion of a nude calendar fitted seamlessly into the conversation. After ten minutes or so we began the non too taxing return journey and headed for the pub.

The planned route back took us over a little mound in front of us (see above picture) but after giving L’Autobus the option of going over it or the easier route around, we opted for the latter. There wasn’t a path as such but the grass was short and there were no underfoot problems of any note so we were happy enough and made good progress. That progress was halted by a wall smack bang in front of us but down to our right was where we needed to be so we followed the wall for a while until a gap presented itself and we nipped through. From here we found a small wooden gate that we took it in turns to climb over before we continued back towards the refreshments.

We had actually walked past our start point now but that was all part of the plan as we soon hooked up with a clear footpath that crossed the route we were taking and we turned right to join it and Kettlewell was now right in front of us.

All that remained was the simple task of following the path back to the car and we were done. Not that I was in any rush, in fact I felt like I was just warming up and in a way I didn’t really want to be stopping soon. The weather was lovely and even though we weren’t too high up we had a great view of Upper Wharfedale and Starbotton in the distance.

Our only little bit of fun today involved a simple little drop down the northern end of Gate Cote Scar. It wasn’t anything difficult or taxing but added a little something extra to a walk that had been a little bit too easy. Yes we could have extended it but we had already decided that today would be as much about the nice pub lunch as it would the walk. Normally we don’t do that as we only have a quick drink before setting off home, so today would be a treat. That said it did feel a little too short even for a short walk. I liked the fact that we had encountered this little drop as it goes to show you don’t have to travel far from the beaten track to come across all sorts of different challenges.

Ten minutes later and we had reached the road. All we had to do was cross the bridge and we would be back at the car and our job would be done. The good weather had brought plenty of people out and we could see a handful on the river bank with their picnic. When I see people doing this I always think it’s such a great idea and that the next time the weather is nice I will have to have a word with Wu Tang and we should go off for the day, but somehow I never seem to get round to it which I must put right.

With the walk complete it was time to relax and we headed to the pub to do just that. A lovely lunch and three pints of Kronenbourg made me wonder if we were missing a trick. Maybe all future walks should be an hour or two long , followed by some nice pub grub and a few pints. I knew the answer to my own thoughts though. Yes it was nice to do once in a while but I didn’t want to get into the habit of it. The rewarding feeling of knowing you have achieved something or completed a walk of a decent length was missing and not even an ice cream could make up for that.

Sir Edmund


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