Sunday, February 18, 2007

Day 31 : Skipton to Horton-in-Ribblesdale

Wednesday 14th February 2007

Distance Walked: 25.1 miles
Start Time: 8:49
End Time: 17:06
Elapsed Time: 8:17
Weather: Euphoric.
Distance walked so far: 608.9 miles

On a clear day you can see forever. Fashioning a route out of Skipton, through the conifers of Crag Wood and along the lanes to rejoin the Pennine Way at Airton, the Yorkshire Dales today were as vibrant and enticing as any scenery you could wish to encounter. This was a day for big skies and bright colours, for the bluest blues and greenest hues. And though the path by the river squelched with every step, it took me to Malham, through the rarity of mild crowds, and to the foot of Malham Cove, which loomed like a glacier, eating all in its path. The scale is astonishing and, indeed, this land was shaped by glaciers, with the Cove the remnant of a huge, ancient waterfall, and the limestone pavements on the plateau above carved by the weight of snow and ice that once sat here.

Through the stones I danced, down and around Malham Tarn, a limestone lake propped on the impervious rock below, and then a slog up the relentless Fountains Fell to reveal the first sight of Pen-y-ghent. This is why I walk. The effort is genuine. The experience is unique. The rewards are instant and unparalleled.

As the sun set, the peak, like a mighty ship ploughing through the land, shimmered and shone. How I yearned to climb it, but the night was coming and, for once, sense prevailed. Skirting the flanks, I headed for Horton and, descending from on high, I floated down into the arms of my angel. For a brief moment at least, all was well in the world.

Song of the day:

David Ackles
“Love’s Enough”

Cos everytime you fall in love /
That’s the one and only time /
It’s living through the final verse /
Of a one and lonely rhyme /
Cos you know this one will last forever /
And you turn and watch tomorrow drift away /
Cos tomorrow is forever /
And love’s enough for anyone today


Nik: Support Crew said...

No mention of your support crew's tireless efforts this weekend on The Steve Show.
Does this mean you'll be dedicating the book to me as a sign of appreciation?

Ben Joyce said...

Hi Dave.

What else do you eat on your travels? Is ther any particular reason why you choose to eat Snickers bars?


DaveG said...

Ben - I eat Snickers during the day because I like them. mainly, and because they're easy to stash in the bag or coat. I also snack on sausage rolls if i can get them, or chocolate shortbread, bananas & jelly babies. Occasionally i manage to grab a sandwich in the morning (or evening before) and take that with me.

I'm generally eating in pubs in the evening, so fish, chips, stews etc.

It's not exactly health food, but it seems to be working so far.

Nik - What book?

Nik said...

The book of the walk

I want a dedication at the beginning; you can thank the others as well but my names needs to be first. Its only fair

Alan Sloman said...

For real rocket fuel, Dave, try pocketfuls of Peperamis, and be a bit of an animal.

They last forever in their wrappers, are full of fat and scrummy meaty tasty stuff (probably lips and ears). Loads of calories, which you will need.

Atomic Monthly said...

I think Nick is right - a book would be brilliant. I'd certainly have a copy.

Will you be coming up the east coast? Me and my friends could set up a a marathon style feeding station near the border :)

Mark Moxon said...

Biltong is another winner. If you chew it long enough, it turns into a kind of meaty chewing gum, which can send you into a bit of a meditative trance after a while. And it has fewer lips and ears than Peperami... :-)

DaveG said...

I've had a few Peperami but I find i need to drink an awful lot of water to freshen up afterwards and as I'm only carrying 1.1 litres (2x300 & 1x500ml) of water it seems a waste.

If i manage to complete the walk, and complete the writing of it, i'll look into the possibility of producing the book but i doubt there'd be sufficient interest.