All Friday night a raging westerly rocked the house and roared in the chimney affording us very little sleep. Driving back to the Dales on Saturday morning a double rainbow arced across a gunmetal sky ahead of us. We drove through it into gale force torrential rain that continued all day and well into the night.
|The path had become a stream (Click to enlarge pictures)|
By Sunday morning things had calmed down, the sun came out and our minds clicked into running mode. At 10.30 we donned suitably studded footwear and squelched our way by soddened fields and flooded lanes towards Grassington where the last of the Dickensian events was taking place.
|Wait for me...high water down High Lane|
Goodness knows how many inches of rain had fallen but for much of the way we were paddling through water over the tops of our shoes. But hey, we're fell runners, we can cope...
The forecast had been for wall to wall sunshine but, as is often the case, they didn't get it quite right. There were welcome sunny spells that gave warm respite from the bitterly cold cloudier conditions, but they didn't last long.
|Wallowing in a few moments of warmth at one of the drier parts|
Strange wailing noises assailed our ears approaching the flesh pots of Grassington. The entertainment had begun - for some. A little later, wandering down the busy street past well stocked stalls, we arrived at the source of those weird high pitched sounds to discover it wasn't a lady, as we'd thought, but a bearded falsetto gentleman. We didn't stay!
|What the Dickens? Kids dressed for the occasion|
In early days it was considered de rigueur to dress appropriately for Dickensian weekends, not just stall holders and active participants but most visitors too. It was a glorious, colourful sight that added greatly to the atmosphere of the event.
Sadly, that seems to be no more. Very few people nowadays dress for the occasion though one group of people, the Morris dancers, might seem to take it to extremes. The black faced, gaudily dressed flag-crackers were stood around awaiting their turn to clatter their clogs. It was too cold for us to hang around so we missed their performance.
We left the gathering crowds and tootled down to the raging River Wharfe. Roaring under the bridge it was quite a sight after all the hours of heavy rain. Some people who'd parked in Linton to walk into Grassington were quite concerned about crossing the bridge and raced across rather quickly.
|Nip across quick before that pillar gets washed way..|
We always find it quite fascinating when the water is high and invariably stop for the obligatory photograph before heading on our way. Sunday was no exception and, to be honest, I found it more interesting than anything that was going on in the streets of Grassington.
We dragged ourselves away and trotted off down river, heading for home. With very little running over the past few weeks yours truly was beginning to feel the strain. Forward progress was little more than a gentle jog. interspersed with walks, for the next two miles to Hebden Suspension Bridge.. A guy in shorts admitted "I always hate crossing this bridge" and, like people at Linton Falls, was rushing to get it over with.. I nipped over to take a photograph before trailing up the road into the village, trying to keep up with my wonderful partner who seems to be taking over the reins.
For the time being..