After we climbed the mountain on Day 2 we really believed the most challenging part was over. After all, we were on a “walk” and not a climbing adventure. So in the company of three other couples we left Rosthwaite, packed lunches on our backs, and headed out. Innocent as babes in the wood.
The trail became less distinguishable and turning back was not an option. Two people had GPS Garmins and seemed confident we were definitely on the right track. The incline became more tense as we were now climbing over huge rocks and pushing ourselves higher and higher. Every ridgeline above sent silent prayers that we were nearing the top and would soon begin the descent into Grasmere where an extra day of rest was on the agenda.
The hope for a final ridgeline disapated as we continued to follow the others into mist and cloud. With limited visibility we had no idea which way to go. Fortunately, the group had formally adopted us by now and were as attentive as a mother hen with new chicks. They guided us along a zigzag ridge across the top and up yet some more. Finally, finally our boots began to point down instead of up.
Going down a steep incline can be as dangerous as going up. Gravity is not your friend in either direction. Three people fell on the descent. We were all mid-life with a lot of pride so each fall was followed by assurances that nothing was damaged. Charlotte took a short sit down fall on some grass and thus was fine. Our descent was SLOW and careful.
When we finally got down to the valley floor and turned the corner into Grasmere we were ready to kiss the flat ground! The experiences of the past two days put this adventure into a new perspective for us. Knowing what the next day held was suddenly vital. We had already changed direction once … Dent Fell was listed in our guidebook as “This is just about the steepest path on the whole trail. Mind your ankles!” Officially it navigated the south side of a lake. Jeez! That was easy to avoid, we simply took the north side flat path. No genius needed for that.
Little did we know what lay in store ….
Grasmere – How Foot Lodge
Grasmere is a perfect place to linger for a day.
Our lodging was next door to Dove Cottage, home to the famous poet Wordsworth, who lived there for years with his sister, Dorothy. Wordsworth was a sensitive guy who penned prose about the surrounding natural beauty and struck great success writing about daffodils.
Wordsworth’s poetry is sprinkled generously about the grounds. This one reads …
”Through primrose-tufts, in that sweet bower the Periwinkle trail’d its wreaths. And tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes” W.W.
Phil Cox, following our trek while reminiscing about when he and Corina did the C2C in 2004, was moved to bring Wordsworth back to life long enough to capture some of our most memorable moments so far …
“I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw Rita and Charlotte clambering on all fours, Stumbling over yonder hills until, behold, quite near a field of golden daffodils I saw Charlotte’s arse hit the grass, a nasty spill indeed, Undamaged she recomposed herself, sat beside the lake, beneath the trees, singing praises to our dear Lord that their C2C would not abort, and so with joy they exclaimed, “On to Patterson Walk we will go, unruffled and composed!”, and lo, they did with not a sniffle or sneeze march on to the
fluttering and dancing of the breeze.”