Friday, May 12, 2017

Walking the Dales Way

Last week, two friends and I explored parts of the Dales Way over three days. The long distance footpath starts in Ilkley, Yorkshire, progresses through the Yorkshire Dales National Park, then finishes in Bowness-on-Windermere in England's Lake District.

We chose start and end points served by rail: Ilkley at the start and Ribblehead at the finish. We stayed in inns and a bed and breakfast (a private home). What we had was on our backs.

Old Friends
It was a joy to share this lovely walk with David from Newcastle upon Tyne (northeast England), and John from Guildford (near London). Friendships stretch back to junior school in the early 1960's, and a Minneapolis computer company in the late 1970's.

A Built Environment

The sections we walked were increasingly rural, but never wilderness. Almost every scene included an element of human activity. At times, the well-maintained trail was hard work, but never technical.
Bolton Abbey

Progressive Disclosures

The softer valley gave way to higher moorland. I love moorland: it's visually less cluttered than the scenes in the valley, but it plays to different perceptions. Light and perspectives changed and vistas evolved as we hiked.

Sheep and Rocks

Yorkshire has a lot of rocks and a lot of sheep, often indistinguishable from a distance.
We walked through scenes that haven't changed much in centuries. The Stone Age happily persists in the Dales.
We crossed many variations of stiles.
19th century limestone kiln
End of the Walk
Station Inn, Ribblehead Viaduct, open countryside
The first two days we walked from accommodation to accommodation. The last day we interleaved rural buses with shorter hikes to reach our objective: the Station Inn at Ribblehead.

We were finally away from it all: no cell signal, no WiFi. There was bonhomie, beer, good food, and comfortable beds.

I'm grateful. I got to be in a beautiful place with 100 years of friendship: chatting together, quiet together; the satisfaction we had shared a great hiking experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment