Day 312: Meet Me on the Ledge
Walking on the Derbyshire Edges When Everyone Else is On Their Way to Work
A new ruck sack actually soothes the pain in my lower back. I should be up a ladder painting windows but I strained my back two days ago and have ordered myself away from anything too strenuous. I take Jolly into The Peak District for a long walk and her first encounters with sheep and cows. She copes admirably; though we take a little detour to give the cows a wide berth. My experience is that they are suspicious animals and nervous of the very concept of dog. They can either get worked up or end up following you across the field. One man followed by one dog followed by a line of thirty cows. These were Highland cattle and have a fierce appearance (if you ignore the Beatle mop top) and horns the size of klaxons. In fact they are quite a mild breed but it did us no harm to skirt the field. They continued to chew the cud.
I was really worried about Jolly and sheep. She’s fine until something spooks her or excites her. Here two thousand years of breeding kicked in. She locked onto them and was transfixed. She also became even more responsive to commands. (She is a well trained dog with occasional red mists…more and more occasional). She watched them, they watched us and everything was very peaceful. Eventually they wandered off and the magic of the moment faded. To the best of my knowledge these are the first sheep she has seen since she left the farm at six weeks old.
We dropped T off at work and were parked up near the Robin Hood Inn by 7.30. Three hours of pure delight. Breakfast was a ham sandwich and an apple near the Wellington Memorial. We walked up, along, under and beside Gardom’s Edge, Birchen Edge and took in views of Baslow, Chatsworth and most of the eastern side of The White Peak. As well as the sheep and the cows we met one farmer and a small party of silver hikers enjoying the view, each others company and the well earned leisure time. There are three or four more edges to explore in this part of the National Park. Now that Jolly has passed stage one with flying colours we will be back up on the moors next week to have a look at them. It’s perfect therapy for an anti social rescue dog that was re-housed (several times) for biting and a retiring fellow with a shocking head for heights. The long term aim is to take on a long distance (2 weeks or more) walk carrying everything with us. We’re not ready for it yet but are a little bit more ready than we were.