Today’s route was to be completed at around 33 miles, from Kettlewell to just past Sedbergh following the Dales way again and the river Wharfe, the morning was warm but as expected damp still hung in the air and the ground was fairly saturated, the area was quiet with few people up at this time of day.
I set fourth out of the village and joined the Dales Way just over the bridge, 2 walkers passed by with their dogs who I gave a little fuss to, the paths were fairly straightforward with a mixture of rocky paths and wet grass providing a secure footing. I encroached on my first village of Starbottom and decided that I would cut up and through the village to see if there was any tea to be had, but nope my search for a brew would continue as the village was a sleepy place. I wandered down the road and into Buckden finding the same closed stores, I took a slight wrong turn and had to back track down from where I had come but it was easy enough to locate the path and I was soon following the path along the winding river, the sun glistening off the water like a thousand stars.
Hubberholme, Yockenthwaite and Deepdale were all passed quickly with me opting for the road instead of the wet grass, the route pretty much followed the road and there were no dramas here, a few cars passed by taking little notice of me. After Deepdale the rain returned, lightly at first and then in torrential downpours on and off, it wasn’t long before all my waterproofs were soaked but being new they held fast and apart from a little sweet I was fairly dry. I took the path out of Beckermonds which followed the road way for a short time, I took 5 and stopped at a disused road side quarry and drank a little water and consumed some mountain fuel jellies before setting off again.
The route here more or less mirrored the road and in an effort to try and reduce some of the 33 miles from the route I opted to join the Outershaw road and then cut across the Roman road, rejoining at Bleemoor. The route took an immediate and steep climb out of the valley, all the while I was being lashed by rain, now this was a particular type of rain, it was a sticky rain that hung in the air and clung to your clothes saturating everything in its wake. As I wandered a few cars passed me by, until one stopped next to me, an older couple asked if I wanted a lift and without a second thought I took the opportunity to pass the time in the dry.
We shared some tails, they on a little holiday but were fed up of the rain as much as I was and felt a little sorry for me, they took me into Hawes where I decanted and took up a seat looking onto the village. I took use of the garage and had some pop and crisps, no where near to me seemed to do anything substantial and so the search for a cuppa will go on.
I wasn’t sure what to do at this point, I was now cold and beginning to shiver, it was wet with more wet forecast for the day, I did consider taking the bus towards Sedbergh and then onto my accommodation for the night and skipping a section, the thought of any more miles in this weather filled me non joy. I took off along the minor road towards Widale, dodging fast moving lorries, some narrowly avoiding me and some giving me space, at Hazel Farm I took the path out towards Dent fell, this was part of the original route to avoid the down and up of the Dales way, the path were made up of forestry roads but once the climbing started so did the weather.
The climb was steep and nasty with the wind combining with the rain to form a duo of misery, I climb for what seemed like an eternity before I joined the Pennine Bridal way down Arten Gill, cutting under the rather fancy Arten Gill viaduct, it spans 11 arches and rises to some 117 ft, making for a most impressive feature in the landscape. I was now rejoining the Dales way which took a straightforward route along the main road and into the little village of Cowgill. with the rain still coming down, I took the opportunity to make up some time along the road which involved little thinking on my part and allowed me to head straight into Dent.
I was soon coming into Dent, a sleepy and delightful little village, I wound my way along the cobble streets seeking any kind of food place and passed a few pubs, until I opted for the museum come cafe, stepping in people looked at me dripping in the moisture of the day, I declared it was lovely and sunny outside to some passing walkers who surprisingly enough didn’t believe me. I took some fine tea, some pop and then onto a rather nice and hearty ploughman’s lunch, here I weighed up my options, if I stopped here I would be doing a further 33 miles tomorrow, on the other hand I would need to cover another 6 miles today and then out up my tent in the rain and then sleep in the rain and pack away in the rain. A quick search found a cheap room in a local pub and I jumped at the chance, a quick call secured the room and off I set, booked in I quickly unpacked my gear and was delighted to see that bath awaited me.
Suitably soaked, I set to the task of drying my gear while I made my way into the bar and consumed some wonderful and generous portions of food. With a beer also had, i made my way back to the room for some much needed rest.
28 miles had been run today, in some rather shocking weather, I checked the weather forecast for tomorrow and was disappointed to see much of the same was promised.
At least my gear would be dryish.