What a jam-packed, fantastic weekend! I'll play it back in reverse order for you. After another week of generally miserable weather (60s, wet, etc.) we caught a break and had some pretty good weather (60s, dry and some sun).
What better way to take advantage of the rare nice weather than to go for a walk. We had a few firsts on this one. The location (Dark Peak) was new; it was our longest walk to date (7 miles) and we were joined by our good friends the Seppanens (Jay, Karl and Kalle).
The Dark Peak is part of the Peak District National Park. Specifically from wiki:
The Dark Peak is the higher, wilder northern part of the Peak District in England. It gets its name because (in contrast to the White Peak), the underlying limestone is covered by a cap of Millstone Grit which means that in winter the soil is almost always saturated with water. The land is thus largely uninhabited moorland plateaux where almost any depression is filled with sphagnum bogs and black peat.
The walk started about an hour away near Hathersage. Jay planted the seed of hiking Stanage Edge and I combed my walking books and decided for a "stretch goal" of combining two "Short Walks" into this longer 7 miler. However, I did tailor it to not have too much climbing.
Longshaw Estate and walked to the Carl Wark hill fort, Higger Tor and along Stanage Edge to Robin Hood's Cave. [This is Collins Short Walk #5 and Jarrods Short Walk #3 for those interested.]
GPS stats: 6.9 miles (to the pub, 7+ overall), 3:57 with only 0.57 not moving. 1000' total ascent but only 500' in one stretch. Great job! Thanks to patient Karl for keeping Alex entertained -- we may have to rent Karl on all our long hikes!
Setting off -- sheep, countryside and blue skies. Perfect!
The excited crew having clamored up the first rock.
A dark stream with one of our goals in the distance.
cool rocks on Carl Wark (a prehistoric fort site)
Higger Tor back to Cark Wark
the final ascent to Higger Tor
Taking a break on the rocks. I think Karl is answering Alex's 3423rd Pokemon question.
Nicole's first up top
a nice view of the rocks and the valley below
Hathersage in the distance -- notice all the cars parked along the road as well
another nice view
further along is Stanage Edge -- it was fun to walk along the stones
cool rock photo
a view looking down Stanage Edge and the cliff faces -- lots of rock climbers were out practicing
no slugs today! this caterpillar will have to do
we huddled here and called it good enough
the vastness of the moors in the Dark Peak -- I also liked the leaning tower of pancakes on the left
heading back now; crossing a stream
coming back around the other side -- that's looking at Carl Wark and Higger Tor from a distance
attempted artistic shot of the day
sharing the path with sheep
there they go
some climbers head down the rock face -- great blue skies today
One last look back.
Great hike all around: great company, great weather, and great exercise. We ended the walk at The Fox House pub for a semi-traditional Sunday roast. [The food was good but would it kill anyone serve a meal under 2 hours?]
So glad the Seppanens could join us!
Treasure Trail which is a company that makes up scavenger hunts all over the country. We had to find 23 clues that would help us solve our "mystery". The first clue was on this sign near the parking lot.
Note: Ashbourne is known for its annual two-day Royal Shrovetide Football Match, in which one half of the town plays the other at football, using the town as the pitch and with the goals three miles apart. Check out these photos.
Saw a few ducks on the way. Check out the do on whitey there.
a very close goose
WWI (and II) memorial
a church on the outskirts of town
I was right. He had to text-a-hint for this one. The clue was at the bottom, covered up.
I like this one
an old marker
our good friend Bonnie Prince Charlie was here as well
We enjoyed our 2-hr stroll around town finding all the clues to our "mystery" -- we might have to try another one in a different location.
Friday -- Dinner at Masa
The kids have reached an age where we feel comfortable leaving them behind every now and then so we can enjoy a nice dinner (ALONE). On Friday, we tried Masa's which is a restaurant set in a converted church. [I grabbed this off the internet -- it was not this nice on Friday.]
from the inside -- another borrowed photo
my lovely wife
Kuk's scallop starter
my pork main
Kuk's sea bass
and finally our almond & peach tart
The food was really nice as was the atmosphere and it was good to enjoy a quiet, relaxed meal together. We will likely go back (and the extra vouchers they gave us don't hurt!).
No blog update next week as we will be on our way to Normandy. Have a good 2 weeks everyone.