Monday, April 23, 2007

Lake District Walk

On Sunday George and I went for a walk near Newby Bridge near Lake Windermere. The annual Northern Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue fundraising sponsored walk. It was a nice 2+ mile ramble. It did seem that most of the walk was uphill. How can a walk be uphill BOTH ways? Oh, and it was raining. By the time George, Polly and I finished our walk, we were soaked!

The thing about the Lake District is that even in the rain, it's gorgeous! We were driving into this part of Cumbria from our northern home and the first thing that we see is this huge perfectly formed glaciated valley. Glaciers rule! I was wishing for a wide angled lens. Our ordinary camera lens can never do justice to sweeping vistas.

I did manage to take some pretty stuff on a smaller scale.

Here are some recently emerged larch needles. The green was so intense next to the rain darkened branches.

George and Polly at the dam.

Here are the other walkers sitting on the dam at the end of our walk. We walked to a place called High Dam. So pretty! The little placid lake that is created by this dam had two Canada Geese floating across the glass-like water. They sure didn't like the fact that almost 100 Staffordshire Bull Terriers had visited their lake with their families in tow.

I tried to get a good photo of the geese, but they were rapidly decamping to the other side of the lake plus the camera lens was a little damp. You'll notice that none of the photos have particularly sharp focus.

This little man I believe was the youngest Staffie on the walk. He also found the best stick and was very pleased with himself.

These are Herdwick sheep. They are rarely found outside this small part of England. On days like yesterday, you have to look hard when looking at the hills to find them. They're the same colour as the rock! The little lambs were very young but weren't gamboling about as it was too damp for any of that nonsense. Somebody planted some beautiful flowers near the road. George took this photo of them. You can't see it but there is an old railway line behind and below this flower garden. We were delighted to see a STEAM TRAIN puffing along the tracks not once but TWICE. The engineer tooted the whistle once too. It turns out that there is a regular steam train that runs up by Lake Windermere. I have already put in a request for a family hike, picnic by High Dam and a ride on the steam train some sunny Sunday this spring or summer.

The bluebells are almost in bloom. The flowers are up, but the blossom isn't open yet. I'd say that they'll be at their peak next weekend. So, all you friends of bluebell woods, you should pencil in a walk in the Cumbrian Fells next weekend.

Polly was amazingly well behaved yesterday during the walk. George and I got a bit damp while walking but we dried off at the Newby Bridge Hotel where we had a wonderful pub lunch during the other fundraising events (auction, raffle, etc. . . ). I had Cumbrian sausage and mashed potatoes!!! (I saved a bit of the sausage as a reward for a very well behaved dog.) George had homemade tomato soup and chips! I don't know why there aren't more pubs in the world. Go for a nice pint (I skipped the pint part as I was driving) and a wonderful home cooked, rib sticking lunch after having had a walk in some of the most beautiful countryside around. Its not a bad life really.


Jay said...

What a great time that must have been. Beautiful scenery and all for a good cause too!

J-Funk said...

I like your comment about the puppy-boy with his stick. My mom's puppy is thrilled to find a good stick, too, and my Dad once said his boys are all about finding the perfect stick whenever they used to go hiking. What is it with boys and their sticks? (ack, that pun wasn't intended but there seems to be no other way to say it)

susan said...

I'm trying to imagine 100 dogs all going for a walk together and being good. Hmmmm....bull terriers must be less excitable than labs.

What beautiful scenery! I can't wait to see the bluebells...I have it penciled in "Peggy goes to Cumbria" tee hee

Kell said...

That was wonderful. Thanks for taking us along! Beautiful photos--it sounds like a great time. I had never seen those sheep before, very wooly.

Tink said...

I love the picture of the people on the dam! That is so cool. We have a fort wall that we like to sit at around here.

Betty said...

I would love to take the train ride through the Lake District. Someday, maybe.

Anonymous said...

Hi Peggy

It was great to see you again yesterday.

The walk was actually approx 7 miles in total.

And 150 Staffords booked in and claimed their Rosette.

I am sat at my office desk desperately trying not to fall asleep from such a hectic w/e.

Interestingly a lot of folk were booked in the hotel for the whole w/e me included. On the Saturday we had two options a short walk down the lanes to another pub or a ride on the steam train and then onto the steam boat at Lakeside for a cruise up to Bowness.

I did the walk as I had done the train / boat last year.

See you soon.


Dogbait said...

Oh, to walk in the rain and get wet! I may rue those words late on Friday!

We've done a bit of "rambling" in the Peaks District(our friends live in Chesterfield)and one memorable walk was in the freezing fog across moors and dales and coming upon a pub in the middle of nowhere. That meal around the open fire was fabulous.

Peggy said...

Jay - It WAS a great time. You would have liked it.

J-funk - Boys and sticks. They really go together. Polly isn't bothered by sticks or rocks.

Susan - A lot of the Staffies don't like other dogs so there was a bit of growling and yapping. NONE of the dogs were off their leads (leashes). As far as excitability goes, I think they're just like any other breed. I think if this was a lab rescue group most of the dogs would have gone for a swim. Most of the Staffies were content with drinking the water. None of the dogs wanted to swim.

Kell - This particular strain of sheep is now funded by the Beatrix Potter Trust. She left them money in her will.

Tink - It was cool! I bet you and Hoop would have loved it.

Betty - If you get over here, I'll take you on a steam train ride.

Andrea - Thanks for the numbers. 7 miles is more than 2. I guess I wasn't paying any attention. I guess I didn't realize that we had 150 dogs registered! Excellent!

Dogbait - I hope you DO get wet on Friday! It will be miserable for certain meter readers, but the earth will be grateful.