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Day 315: On the Edge

Getting Ready For the Next Trek

If I’m going to take Jolly on a trek then I need the practice as much as she does. Once underway we’ll be fine. I can never remember worrying very much about little things like what to eat or where to spend the night when I’ve been off on a journey in the past. At least not after the first couple of days. But normally I’m on my own. With a dog I want to try out some routes and check out campsites and other possible places to pitch a tent.

DSC_0122As well as getting her used to walking on open moorland  for many hours a day often through livestock, we are planning out the early stages of a possible route. I have a fancy for combining the five great attractions of Yorkshire. (Pennines, Dales, Vales, Moors and Coast.) If the Tour de France can explore the county then A Lancastrian walker and a Yorkshire dog can do the same. We plan on starting in the Peaks but hope to get onto the Pennine Way after a few days. This should take us up the “backbone of England” and along the wild exposed moors. Once we’ve passed the famous sites of mass trespass, the fast flowing streams that powered the industrial revolution, the moorland world of the Brontes and Malham Cove we intend to take a few days crossing the Yorkshire Dales. I quite fancy an amble down Wensleydale but I could be equally happy exploring Wharfedale or Swaledale. Twenty miles of flat farmland with monasteries follows. This is Herriot Country and with Sutton Bank ahead we should find ourselves on The North York Moors. Once we’ve crossed these we come to my favourite stretch of coast. The whole walk should end in Scarborough and if we manage that in less than three weeks I should be very much surprised. If we manage it at all I shall be more than proud.

DSC_0096She’s had a rotten start to life and even though she is happy and full of fun most of the time, it doesn’t take much to remind her of when things looked bleak and cruel. Like most of us she needs love and attention. She needs calm, patience and she needs to be kept busy and stimulated. She is much the cleverer of the pair of us. We both need a challenge. We plan to celebrate being retired (she is a big reason why I chose to take the pension) by setting off in September. The moors and campsites will be quieter and we can gloat like anything every time we pass a school. Not that there are many schools on the route we’re planning.

DSC_0098These are very early plans. They’ll change as I see difficulties or opportunities (often the same thing) and by September we’ll be planning something altogether different. The planning is half the fun.

DSC_0057Today we walked along some more Derbyshire gritstone edges. The sun shone at its best in the morning and we caught the best part of the day. I’ve got the route planned now from Newbold (in Chesterfield) to Grindleford. In the next week or so we’ll find the best way to follow the River Derwent up to Ladybower Reservoir. After that we will be in the heart of the dark part of the dark peak. I can’t wait.

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