Carry on Walking

While the weather has taken a ‘(winter) turn for the worse, Probus members continue to walk -whatever the weather.
Well, occasionally a walk is deferred (not cancelled), but it takes more than a dose of British weather to beat our plucky lads!

In the last few weeks we have had a deferral and a plucky walk.

Gordon wisely chose to defer a favourite walk from Malham Cove because of the wet conditions earlier in September, but on November 2nd a group of us set off for a long drive.

It did look like we were going to be prevented from taking our walk, as a number of ‘Road Closed’ signs appeared on the only road to Malham Cove. Persevering, like a scene from one of my favourite films ‘Strange Encounters of the Third Kind’, where a ruthless government (lucky we don’t have one of those!) tries to prevent sci-fi mad individuals from accessing a site which aliens were coming to, we progressed against orders and discovered that the road really wasn’t closed (maybe it had been some time?)

On the walk, the streams were very full of beautiful clear, rushing water from previous downpours.

Downstream from Janet’s Foss

A wonderful walk with such a variety of views – moorland, gorges, limestone pavement, Malham Cove itself ….)

After 7.5 miles we happily piled into the local pub for fine food and company.

Ten days later and we were in unknown territory – a new walk touted by the Times, no less, as being one of the best walks in England – and none of us had been on it before!

Avoiding our usual ‘belt and braces’ style, we recklessly decided to do a recce and the walk at the same time, starting at a ‘Druid’s Temple on the Swinton estate, near Ilton.

‘Druid’s Temple’ – well. not really, just a folly from the 1700s to keep the local peasants busy and fed!

Luckily among our number we had:

an experienced walker, user of GPS and consultant to the group

a guy who had found the walk, and some directions, in the sunday paper (me)

an experienced walk co-ordinator (experienced in delegation)

His brother and his lovely old dog called Honey

What could go wrong? Nothing!

Weather conditions – fine. Superb views over lovely countryside. Well marked trail (lots of it part of the Ripon Rowell route) some lovely streams and footbridges. Beech trees shedding their leaves most attractively.

Only towards the end did it all start coming apart a bit.

the drizzle started, seriously. the terrain got a bit more challenging. The legs started feeling a bit more challenged.

But, were we downhearted? Certainly not. Six and a bit miles of pure heaven, topped off after a short drive to Masham with a fine meal at The White Bear.

Great stuff, and we keep doing it! No wonder why! You can’t beat a good stretch in our lovely countryside and a lot of (mostly inconsequential, but always interesting) chat as we walk. Great fellowship, as usual with Probus.

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