Friday 24 March 2017. Every once in a while I do a walk which is something out of the ordinary and today was one such walk. Setting out from Austwick my leg was giving me serious grief and I almost turned back within the first mile. However, by the time that I reached the hamlet of Wharfe I’d warmed to the task, stopping for a break at the clapper bridge over Austwick Beck: one of my favourite spots in the Yorkshire Dales.
Up until now the route had been familiar to me but, after my rest, I trod new ground following a bridleway which would lead me up to the top of Maughton Scars. This was wonderful with bright blue skies and Wheatears hopping along in front of me. I met a couple of walkers soon after who commented that the Wheatears were early returners to the Dales and a sign that spring is here. It certainly felt like it today.
The best part of the walk came as I reached the top of Maughton Scars from where I could see Ingleborough away to the west and better still Pen-y-ghent and Fountains Fell off to the east. These latter two fells still had a good covering of snow which I hope to experience close up when I climb Fountains Fell tomorrow with Jacqui.
As ever, the return and downhill part of the walk was less pleasurable as it put more pressure through my right knee with a consequential increase in pain. I was relieved to get back to Austwick for a post-walk pint of lime and lemonade in the village pub. The walk was 7 miles with a total ascent of 1,000ft.