Monday 23 February 2015

A Mossdale run

Porridge with sultanas, milk and a splash of golden syrup, then toast with butter and marmalade, and a jug of coffee finally got me out of the house to clear the frosted windscreen to drive back to the Yorkshire Dales. The in-car thermometer read 1ÂșC so the heater got turned to max. Low sunlight from a clear sky dazzled me through side and windscreen mirrors and I didn't altogether trust the road surface through Queensbury where everything to left and right was white with frost.
Head down, steaming past the bent tree near Cupola Corner...(Click to enlarge)
 Back in the Dales it took two more cups of coffee and two carbohydrate filled rock buns to finally get me upstairs to perform various ablutions and change into running gear. Meanwhile my wonderful partner was well on her way, storming up the ghyll for a head start. She was rewarded with a first sighting this year of a flock of lapwings, no doubt bound for their regular nesting sites. I missed them. Serves me right for being so slow.... 

Mossdale run profile....
We'd agreed on a steady run to the wilds of Mossdale which, as can be seen from its profile, is rather hilly and a little over ten miles. Not easy, but for a couple who this year will have accumulated 153 years between us, I think we coped rather well. The sun shone bountifully upon us, though a cooling wind across the open moor didn't exactly encourage us to stand and stare - or take many photographs.Unusually in this quiet place, we passed a couple of walking parties, three mountain bikers and an elderly gentleman whose GPS had led him far astray. Or his brain had!
Enjoying myself, bouncing across Kelber towards Yarnbury.....
  Unlike last week's fatiguing run to Barden Bridge my legs were feeling strong again and I really enjoyed bouncing over the springy turf, down past Bare House and on towards Yarnbury before dropping back into Hebden Ghyll. At the end of this run I didn't feel at all tired and it was reassuring to know I could have gone further. Which is just as well. In two weeks time I might have to....
The Clarendon in summer....
 To replenish stores of depleted glycogen, Saturday night was spent feasting and drinking. It began at our local hostelry, The Clarendon, where a convivial crowd had gathered to offer fond farewells to our genial hosts, Ashley and Hayley Crampton who, the following day, were moving to pastures new. That whetted our appetites for the main event of the evening, the demolition of a veritable food mountain all cooked and baked to absolute perfection by our wonderful neighbours, Charles and Barbara. As a friend of mine was wont to say, "It was a gradely do".
Harbinger of Spring, the curlew   (Photo from internet)
 Sunday dawned cloudy and bitterly cold. After Church it was a struggle to forsake our cosy fireside and don some warm running gear to face the unruly elements. But after yesterday's long run we needed a short one to loosen our legs. Four miles, we decided, would be quite enough as we headed into the wind and sub zero temperature to run to the village of Burnsall and back along the riverbank. Then, as we ran past Ranelands, a wonderful thing happened.  A curlew called - its iconic notes floating on the wind and lifting our spirits sky high. The weather could do what it liked after that, it couldn't take away our joy of hearing that harbinger of Spring that made our footsteps all the fleeter as we went our way.
Returning by the fish farm during Sunday's run....
 We passed a pair of gaudy goosanders idling around on a calm stretch of river and wondered if they were considering starting a family?
Within the hour we were back to the confines of our cheery cottage with warm soup and dancing flames in the hearth to dispel the winter gloom as curtains of sleet and hail swept across the banking outside our window, obliterating the landscape. Time to start the crossword....


  1. That is just my kind of 10 mile loop, a little climb and lots of down hill far from the madning crowds, but it looks like you never see a crowd!

    Oh and that picture of your partner running up past the tree, you should get that painted! (I do know a painter is Scotland!)

    1. We hardly see anyone round Mossdale Coach, which is why I like it, but Saturday was an exception. Can't blame them, it's wild and beautiful....
      Not sure my wonderful partner would agree about that tree picture!

  2. Sounds to me as though you had a lovely weekend, with a good mix of running and enjoying good company.

    Hope the crossword went well .........

    All the best Jan

    1. Thanks Jan. According to Garmin the Mossdale run burnt 990 calories but I think I stuffed three times that amount back from all the wonderful food Saturday night.
      Crosswords and Codewords are our foul weather alternatives....