Our ‘elite’ Probus walk this week went well. A five and a half mile circular walk from Pateley Bridge was tackled by an elite band of just four members. [It’s a tricky time to hold a walk – schools are back, grandparents are off on holiday (and there are always hospital appointments!) ]
I know that strictly there were only three musketeers in Alexandre Dumas 19th century novel, but there was a fourth ‘would be’ musketeer, D’Artagnan. I rather fancied myself to be this young, hot-headed, rakish guy, but in fact was probably a bit more like the portly Porthos!
We set off down river in beautiful dry weather, much better than predicted. A disarmingly pleasant level stroll took us to Glasshouses, then we crossed the river and struck off up the hill towards the tall mast that bears multiple devices for mobile phones and goodness knows what else.
Discarding pullovers and coats, we strove up the slope past the beautiful Guise-cliff tarn (what is the difference between a tarn and a lake?), through the beautiful autumnal woods.
We rested at the top, enjoying the remarkably clear view of the Nidd valley as far as the Menwith Hill radomes. Lovely clear sky with just some scudding clouds (and an area of rather grey cloud cover in the distance, thankfully moving away from us).
We continued with a level walk, rather too close to the edge of Guise-Cliff for comfort, and experienced a breezy welcome from over Nought Moor. After Yorke’s Folly we started descending through Skrikes Wood and Fishpond Wood towards Pateley Bridge. All the woods we strolled through were beautiful in their autumn colours. Paths were variously carpeted by silver-birch leaves or pine-needles, and we crossed swathes of tall, browning bracken. Funghi were in evidence everywhere, but none of our group showed any inclination to put their knowledge of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ funghi to the test!
A bridge over Fosse Gill (is that the same as stream?) led us to our final challenge – crossing a field where cows and their young (and a rather large brown bull!) were grazing – before proceeding down the hill to Pateley Bridge.
Actually there was still one last challenge. Our chosen pub for lunch was closed (because the road leading to it was being re-surfaced), and a number of other possibilities were also closed for one reason or another (surely word of the musketeers being in the area had not leaked out?) We settled on the Sun Inn at Norwood, with its magnificent, and huge, steak pies.
Maybe this successful trip bodes well for a future alliance between France and England, Post-Brexit, against the wicked Cardinal Richelieu (does he work for the European Parliament or the Commission?)