A 10-mile roundtrip from home that turned into a bit of a wild walk. The ascent to Collier Law follows the former Stanhope and Tyne Railway and it’s no surprise that there used to be steam-powered winding houses along the line to haul the wagons uphill. It’s not unduly arduous but having climbed up the escarpment by Crawleyside the legs were feeling the effort of walking in to a ‘stiff’ wind. As we climbed higher the wind was joined by sideways rain which, while not directly head-on, proved difficult to combat, often leading me to lose balance particularly with the rutted, heathery ground underfoot. Reaching Collier Law (just over 500m above sea level) it seemed like a good time for a break but there really was nowhere to get out of the weather so we pushed on. The weather was quite extraordinary because every so often the rain would stop to be replaced by bright sunlight straining through the clouds, a beautiful full rainbow appearing in the West. However, for the most part it was head down, splashing along part of the ‘Stanhope Horseshoe’. Finally we managed to get out of the wind behind a wall next to the radio mast above Frosterley. We had to eat fast as the cold was spreading through our bodies and Millie just kept shivering and looking sorrowfully at me. Still, a bit of cheese sandwich had her looking slightly less like she might admit herself to the nearest Dogs Trust. The rest of the walk simply followed a tarmac farm track down in to Frosterley where we crossed the Wear and returned to Stanhope along the back road.
As something of an aside and not the first subject that I thought I might write about in terms of ‘equipment’, I came across the marvel which is Lanacane. I had been suffering from some quite serious chafing that had led to bad bruising and weeping sores (sorry, if you happen to be eating) but a single application of this cream has resolved those problems and given me one less pain to whinge about – one less winjury. I cannot recommend it highly enough.