Tuesday, 19th May, Leases to Street, 11.7 miles
I’ve looked at the Met Office forecast on my phone and it says 80% chance of rain for today (no mention of hail). The day dawns bright and clear but I know that is a deception because it has rained heavily overnight, loud hail pellets battering on the Velux window about my bed. Normally, I would feel comforted knowing I am safely tucked up in a warm, dry bed, but I know it doesn’t bode well for the day ahead.
One look at the beck and I decide to put plan B into action which means going over Crosby Garrett Fell instead of crossing the swollen river by the ford and the Smardale Fell way. I manage to tack up my muddy field pony before the heavens open but I can see the dark clouds in the direction we are heading.
Going through Crosby Garrett, we come across this lovely Dales pony in the field.
When we get to the viaduct, I’m a little confused about which direction to take and search around for the road leading to the Fell. With Tina’s advice, ‘take the track with the wall on your left’, I finally make it onto the fell.
The cumulonimbus clouds are looking increasingly threatening until suddenly, they release their load and down comes the stinging balls of ice with some force. Tommy immediately wants to turn his back to them and I wait as long as I can bear it before pushing him on. We get hit 2 more times with these sudden hail showers before we reach our destination, cold and wet.
We manage to pick our way down off the fell through the deeply grooved tracks left by tractor wheels which has obliterated any kind of path we might have been able to follow, eventually finding the path made from boulders leading to Bents Farm, over the busy A685 and into Newbiggin on Lune where we take a breather on the village green.
Heading out of Ravenstonedale, Tina draws up beside us on her way to dropping off our bags at Alison’s to find out how we have fared in the storms. Bless her, she has been so incredibly kind and helpful. It is a relief to know there will be a dry set of clothes waiting for me when we get there.
Turning onto the A683 by The Fat Lamb pub, a monster truck comes speeding down the road without any attempt to slow down, disappearing in a cloud of spray which leaves me cursing and swearing at such an inconsiderate driver. Nearly there and we pass Alison taking a group out for a short trek. Wendy is back at base at Stonetrail Trekking Centre, waiting to welcome us, put our wet tack away and settle us in. Tommy in a stable with hay and me in a delightful little flat. This will be our home for the next 3 nights.