Sunday, 9 September 2012

A Return to Hartington

Welcome, Blog Fans.  It's a return to normalcy in some sense as we were able to enjoy a nice walk in the Peak District with a generally laid back weekend otherwise.  The weather has been fantastic all week and I was hoping it would stick through the weekend and it did.  We started off with a crisp 60F or so and peaked out in the low 70s during our walk.  Could not have been a better day.

The destination was the village of Hartington in the Peak District about 45 minutes away.  This was a return trip for us (see the June 2011 post for additional photos).  I was getting a little flak for picking a repeat (what, we've run out of walks?) but it was one of my favorites and, hey, I didn't feel like looking up a new one.  [I don't see anyone else signing up for the task.]

Besides, last time I didn't have my cool toy either!  Last year was a scorcher and we struggled to complete the 6 miles in 4 hours.  I remember this because I only paid for 4 hours of parking!  I've since learned to spring for the all day ticket when in doubt or better yet, park for free on the street like I did this year.

Quite a different story this year:  6.3 miles in 2:54 with only 22 minutes of non-moving time.  Good job, team.  We had about 1000' of ascent but it was spread out so it didn't feel that way.  I reversed the course this time to shake things up and it also got the least scenic bits over with first.

Note that even with the GPS I still had to turn around once (see the cyan jiggle at the top).  The trails and fences weren't cooperating and there was one mad cow separated from her calf so we high-tailed it out of there.

Can anyone see the Muffin Man's house on the  map? 

Nicole was fortunate to see Her Majesty before we got started.

Now that's a big slug (that's my foot, by the way).  Fortunately, for Nicole we didn't see too many more.

Ah, the return to rolling hills, open pastures and loads of sheep.

More rolling hills and stone walls and a perfect weather day.  Love this scenery.

Cows too.  Blondie's giving me the backside business.

  After walking in the fields awhile, we turn into Biggin Dale with steep hills on each side.

Bigger hill ahead, but we aren't climbing today.

Crossroads and our turn back to Hartington. 

Rocky peaks and blue skies.

Now we are walking along the River Dove.  This is a nice little stretch but noticeably more crowded.  Many do the Hartington -- Milldale -- Dovedale/Iam stretch but I prefer the circle walks.

 Got a kick out of this little gal and the enormous stick she was carrying.

More sheep, this time by the river.


 walking along the river

lots of scree (small rocks) and sheep on a very steep incline

 duck butt

crossing the river (2012 version)

 and 15 months ago


up close with the cows as we return back to our starting point

near the end with Kuk hamming it up for the camera

Decided to do as the Brits do and end up at a pub

This hit the spot.  I jumped right in and had some before remembering to take a photo.  Lunch was okay but as usual started to drag with the dessert course.  I don't think that habit will catch on, especially at £50 and 1.5+ hrs.  Back to packed sandwiches kids!  (and maybe just the beer at the end)

Nice walk and a great day.

Lest we forget, Nicole kicked off her school year on Tuesday, 3 school days later than Alex.  Here is her traditional 1st day photo.

And together with Alex for good measure (we usually have them starting on the same day after all).

Alex had a fun 3 days away on a school camping trip.  He seems to be settling in quickly and making new friends.

Have a good week everyone.

1 comment:

  1. Great weather for the walk Steve. Interesting walking stats (not sure I believe only 22 minutes down time tho) and I loved the mini dog and maxi stick pic. Nice job on the blog as well.

    Alex must really like this school as he is smiling in this pic as well as his first day pick last week.