Attempt No.1 at Blue Man

Ok, I get a Saturday off when the weather is perfect for walking, so I decide to take Bernie and the Deej on the Blue Man.  I managed to download the route from the long distance walkers association –  and with meatballs packed for lunch, along with some goodies – Mr Bean drops us off at the top of Reasty Bank just before 8am.  There is a bit of a cool breeze, but the sun is shining, the sky is clear and the Deej is happily mincing along!  At the bottom end of Reasty, we can see our goal – Langdale Rigg accross the valley:


The path down from reasty starts off nicely enough, but soon turns into a rut laden quagmire and is quite tricky in places – thank goodness for the walking poles!  Down at the bottom there is a familiar bridge to cross, and Deej being Deej, can’t help but be drawn to the water!

That bit is easy, and I know from past experience, that there is another stream to cross, but no bridge this time.  Last time, I crossed via a big fallen tree which has now been removed, and apparently, the stepping stones are supposed to get you across!  Good job the boots are waterproof, and managed not to slip – seen as someone was poised for laughter:

The climb back up the other side is challenging, and quite muddy, but we eventually get there.  Now according to the route i downloaded, I am supposed to follow the footpath which skirts around the outline of a large field before climbing the rigg, and upon reaching a style into the field, I was a little bemused by the blue man marker telling me to go into the field when i could see the path going straight on around the field as the route said.  As I stood deliberating – enjoying the solitude, my peace was shattered by a rather large group of walkers – about 20 or more i would guess, all came by and over the style and away.  Having resigned myself I would have to do as the waymarker said, I looked at the style and wondered exactly how i was going to get Deej over, he is too elderly to jump over it, and with no lift up panel for dogs, I was offered salvation as the last of the walkers offered to help me lift him over.  How undignified it was for him, and how nice it was for a stranger to be manhandling your muddy and smelly dog!  Thankyou Mr Stranger.

Still not convinced by the waymarker, i decided to follow the route as per map, and skirted around the large field, feeling extremely relieved there were no cows or bulls hiding in it!  Looking back, I could have done what the other walkers did, and just taken the direct route across the field, but never mind, you live and learn, I wasn’t sure if the route went back into the forest as it showed on the map.  We climbed up the hill and over the top of the ridge to be rewarded by spectacular views over langdale and across to crosscliffe – our next destination!  Time to stop for a drink and some goodies, although deej is still not convinced he can’t have any haribo!

The walk along the valley floor is quite hot as it is sheltered from the wind, and there are a couple of streams for deej to cool off in.  Again, the waymarkers do not necessarily match with the route I had downloaded, so i followed the markers this time, and I am glad I did as it meant i avoided following the tedious wide tracks and went instead, along some smaller beautiful paths.  When we reached the bottom of jerry noddle, I was feeling a bit weary and a bit hungry, but I could tell Deej had had enough.  We climbed slowly and wearily, calling Mr Bean as soon as there was a signal for him to meet us at Crosscliffe so he could pick up the Deej.  We ate our late lunch at the crosscliffe veiwpoint, deej was ready for his meal, and was pleased to see the car I think too!  We said our farewells, and arranged to meet at the end, so alone, I went looking for the familiar marker posts.

I followed the route along a tiny path through the forest, crossing a path and then going down what I believe to be one of the cycle routes, so i cautiously walked down, listening for sounds of bikes careering down behind me.  I need not have worried, in fact, bikes were the least of my worries!  The path ahead was strewn with the odd tree that had fallen over, passable – but tricky in places!

As I ducked under, straddled over and limboed under (yes you did read that right!  I did limbo under a tree!) – I eventually got to the point where I could go no further!

Back up the path I went, going around, over and under all the previous obstacles again (all with bernie on my back!).  Consulting the map, I found an alternative route to where i could pick up what i hoped (going on the previous experience) – to be the blue man, and yep, I found one of the markers.  Hurray!!  I followed the path until I reached Jingleby Drop where the marker disappeared, no notion, and when i checked the map, lo and behold, I was on the wrong path.  Setting off in what i thought was the right direction which turned out to be the wrong direction, I eventually found my way to the forest drive, and found a path which would lead me to the blue man again, only half way along it, i found it to be blocked by more fallen trees!  it was 4.30pm. I still had a couple of hours walking to go, providing the paths were clear, which i could not be certain of.  My phone did not have a signal, or much battery life left, so I made the executive decision to abandon the walk, and go to where I know I can get a signal, and make my way to Bickley Gate.

As I trudged, disheartened, and wearily along the boring road, i worried that Ian was already at the meet point wondering where I was, and not able to contact me.  Eventually i got hold of him as he was in Snainton, and we met at Bickley Gate.  I hadn’t managed the full Blue Man, but I did managed just over 13.5 miles, with time to spare if I hadn’t been tied to meeting someone, and there was a bit more light to spare.  I will try the walk again later in the summer when hopefully, the paths are clear.

Poor Deej, he is still recovering, and seems to have moved into his bed, refusing to get out of it!  He eyes me suspiciously when i pick Bernie up, so i guess he won’t be coming on any more training walks with me, except for part way if Mr Bean comes with me for a bit!  At least i can truly say the new boots are walked in now!




3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Doreen Jaques on March 23, 2011 at 8:55 am

    A decent tramp under your belt Anne. Next time you do a forest walk seems you should consider packing a machete!At least the sun has come out to play. Hopefully by June Pennine paths should be cleared but I guess you may still come up against the unexpected.Keep up the good work I’m sure success is waiting ahead of you.


  2. Posted by Ian Hunter on March 21, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Keep it up, you’re doing well, although try not to kill the dog next time!


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