Monday, 10 September 2018

Lake District September 2018. Day 4.

We awoke to a wet morning today after a night of rain.  It is noticeable how much greener it is over here than at home where we are in the rain shadow of both the Pennines and then the Lincolnshire Wolds.  After the rain we found rivers in spate yet reservoirs such as Thirlmere and Haweswater are still empty.
Eventually the rain eased and we set out for Borrowdale with those magnificent bath buns in our bags for lunch.  Again, as we drove up Borrowdale, We noticed the first signs of approaching Autumn. When we arrived at Stonethwaite I was surprised to find how quiet it was and how easy to park despite it being Sunday.  Keswick and Borrowdale were particularly busy.  Our plan for today was to walk up to the Langstrath Birch, the fifth of our Long View trees inspired by the work of Rob and Harriet Fraser.
Passing through the attractive village of Stonethwaite and it's even more attractive pub, we were soon making our way through the flat fields of the valley bottom.  Once through Stonethwaite campsite we arrived at the junction of Lagstrath Beck and Greenup Gill where the two become Stonethwaite Beck.  As the river poured out of Langstrath it thundered through a spectacular gorge looking and sounding mightily impressive being in spate as it was.  Thomas and I indulged in a spot of nostalgia at this juncture remembering being here on mountain bikes 10 years ago when we're were riding Wainwright's Coast to Coast.  We laughed at the memory of climbing Lining Crag at the valley head with bikes on our shoulders and the bemused looks on the faces of two fell runners as we pulled up onto Greenup Edge.  That was a hard day.  I remember then looking up Langstrath and thinking how attractive it looked.  I had also looked down into Langstrath from above on many occasions but had never walked in it, so it was with anticipation as we headed upwards accompanied by the roar of the river to our left.  As we climbed it was good to see the herdwick sheep (herdies) on the open fellside as well as in the intake fields below.
Soon the valley widened and flattened and the river began to meander.  At the head of the valley white water could be seen tumbling down the slopes of Stake Pass with the brooding heights of Bowfell enveloped in cloud further west.  Checking our position on Viewranger,  We soon found 'our' tree at the top of a spectacular cascade of white water.  We spent a happy hour with the tree revelling in the changing light, drawing and photographing it.  All too soon it was time to head back down into the valley delighting in the excellent view we had of a red squirrel as it ran along the top of a fence it's ginger blonde tail stretched out behind it for balance.
We finished a fine day with an excellent pint in the village pub.

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