Paddles with an Anas acuta...... unashamedly biased toward the sea kayak of that name (actually the voyages of two boats, one 'traffic over gold', one 'quill')

Thursday, 2 June 2011

A break from paddling

An energetic circuit on the mountain bike from my parents' home in Appleby, climbing over the shoulder of Cross Fell,

a break out of the cold wind and blowing mist at Greg's hut;

where I met a public spirited local quad-biker leaving some coal for cold bothy dwellers. The only person I met all day, despite it being Half-Term; though admittedly it was thick cloud and blowy. Then down the Pennine Way to Garrigill.

There is a km of track missing between Metalband Hill and the Cow Green footpath, joining the Tyne Head bridleway to the Tees Valley, so some off-piste through the cottongrass. Years ago there was more trace of trespassing hikers using this obvious route, but nowadays people seem to stick to documented rights of way and it has fallen into complete disuse, not a footprint to be seen. Yet you save yourself 10 miles including a stretch of 'B' road.

Finally along the Pennine Way from Cauldron Snout over High Cup Nick, the brisk westerly was blowing the cloud off the lip, so even a view down the valley. Then, thankfully, down hill all the way through Dufton to Appleby. 55 miles and over 1400m height gain, almost all cyclable.

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