4.21.2014

PRE TGOC Daunder 2014 - The End Is NIGH

'TWAS ANOTHER DAWN AND ALL WAS WELL WITH THE WORLD!


Sloman was forgiven!

The previous day was forgotten.

Adventures and Bog Trotting and Heather Bashing are the STUFF OF GIANTS

Not for us the Namby Pamby Path of Track or Common Sense.

NO SIR!

We are a Team

ALL FOR ONE and ONE FOR (Themselves IF Shit is happening) -That is not true. ( The bit in Italics )

Thomas Blug - September rain 
 Should be called [MAY RAIN - IT WILL]

So The day dawned.

It had been a night of WIND & RAIN.

Both Inside and Outside the Tent! (The Former maybe due to Whisky)

I was woken to the sound of Disney -  It's a Hap Hap Hap Day and Al's Dyson hoovering up the remnants of the previous nights party.

I had left early, or late, or the same time as everyone else.

Having lain on a 3 mm strip of something made of highly disintegrating polystyrene and my ever expanding sit mat, that had now got FUCK ALL Baffles left.

It was a triumph of Multi-Use, since it now did as
a Pillow,
A Sit Mat,
and also a wobble board for working on knees.

It is broken
Then Mrs Twinky Sloman called

"Are you up yet Walker"

"Yes I am .. Now FUCK OFF and let me sleep"

"By the way, What time are we leaving?"

 "9.30...."

 "It's not even 8.00 - Bugger Off!"

And I turned over and went back to sleep until 8.30 which is a sensible time time to get up when you are leaving in an hour.

Then all kit packed away, we were ready to leave an excellent pitch.

The weather was a bit better than yesterday.

Still cold, but ok.

Just before we left, the Cumbrian Way (What..You are really sleeping in Tents? People from yesterday bimbled past)

We said good morning, and then they wandered off.

We were going the other way back up towards Skiddaw House.

Just before leaving, there was a brief pause Cos MICK (Croyden) had lost a microscopic Tent peg that was made of Platinum or some such really really expensive shit.

It had blown away in some gusty moment in the middle of the night, and was now no longer attached to his Tent.

Helga Hex, had been rock solid as ever (she just gets better and better).

I used to have a Laser Comp. Good tent, but noise as ***K in high wind, and those skinny little tent pegs are pointless.
Well, not all, but the daft Carbon dooddat ones that come with it are usually pointless after the 3rd pitch since they were bugger all use.

So anyway, Mick says.

 "OY. Tent Peg!!!!"

 And being a Team, we all started looking, and fannying out and doing our special NCIS investigative stuff, and took out torches and UV lights and all manner of clever stuff that real police never have cos it costs load a money init, we started to look for Mick's tent peg.

Al took control of the command centre and planned a strategic reconnaissance of Cumbria and all the surrounding Fells, and worked out using trigonometry and all manner of clever engineering shit (that he is like well good at), the most likely location that the peg could have landed, taking into account, mass, and gravity and wind resistance, and unknown cosmic forces and stuff like that, and we searched for what could have been seconds when as a unilateral decision we all said.

"MICK MATE! This is a FUCKING waste of time.
 Now move on Geezer cos it is bloody gone, 
 and we are are bored, 
 and anyway, what sort of nut job tries to hold a tent down in high wind 
 with fucking toothpicks?"

And with a miserable hang dog expression,
Mick came to the realization that the 24 carat gold highly expensive tent peg that he had inadvertently bought was gone forever.

And thus, with a tear in his eye,
and after faffing about with the front pouch of his rucksack thingy
that really isn't part of a rucksack,
and was designed by someone who had never ever,
and was never ever going to use it for real,
he headed off after us.

The walking in the morning was easy going. 

NO BIG UP's over Skiddaw for us.

Visibility up high was not happening, and even though it was not too bad it was obviously blowing hard on the tops, looking at the speed the clouds were zooming along.

It is Al's Daunder, and Al chose today's route, and everyone nodded.

"Cos we wos beein fed up wiv getting blown over init, 
 wot wiv it all beein windy an shit up there, 
 an a fella could get injured and stuff - 
 Anyways.. You is avin a larf init"

 "So we walked low an stuff.. Right"


This is an early moment, with Mick and I doing a scene from Star Wars.
I am attempting to use the force on my light saber sticks, but try as I might, I cannot channel my thoughts to them 

(that's why my eyes are closed).
It may be because they are upside down.

No, NOT MY EYES.. The Sticks!


Good grief, just read it more carefully!

Back to the story/ walk/dander .. whatever................


We wandered along the path, and then after a short time, and a jelly baby stop, for no reason other than Phil had jelly babies out, we all stood about taking photo's


We carried on for an amount of time that I cannot remember, until after an interesting decent that could have been alleviated by stayng on the track, but was more fun being narrow and slippery we came through the gate and down to
White Water dash, where many took failed photographs of the Falls, although Mick had a flash camera with a Gazillion X zoom so he may have got it.

My attempt with the Pentax Optio is below.

It is an OK camera, that does have a GPS facility.

However, it is NOT a brilliant camera (review pending), and the GPS eats batteries like Desperate Dan eats Cow Pie.

Phil ponders on his youth, and his Victorian up bringing (no, literally)


I fiddled around with failed zoom, and then turned to discover that apart from Mick, they had all buggered off sown the track.

Not to worry, I hurried off on my one good knee.

View down
Just before the end of the track, where it goes through the gate, and joins the wall, we hunkered down behind the wall, and had a break, and some lunch type stuff except as far as I can remember no one had a brew.

This was the point at which my sit mat, that to that point had had a small blimp in it, transformed into the pillow.

Best NOT to blow it up this much if using it as a seat.
After a stop for biscuits and balancing on precarious sit mats, we eventually headed off sown the road.

There were rumors of PUBS.

You have to remember that THIS is the Daunder, and as such exertion must be avoided as much as possible.
It is a social event that encompasses a small amount of kit testing and checking A bit of genteel walking Reminding oneself briefly of the potential weather horrors of walking and wild camping Partying and Socialising.

As such, no form of Public Hostelry may be passed by without entering unless it is shut.
And for those that read last years account.

For some even if it is shut, you MUST wait there until it opens. regardless of how long that may be. Now of course had we done the original route then we would never have been here.

But since we were, and since Bassenthwaite was sooooo tantalizingly close, it would have been wrong

under Rule 11b subsection iii of the Daunder etiquette NOT to go there.

 A short walk it was then and on the way we passed this upside down tree

It does make you wonder how it got there.
Did a Cumbrian Giant hammer it into the Ground.
Was this an ancient Tree tossing competition?
Do Cumbrian Trees really grow upside down?

We may never know!
And thus is came to pass that we ended up somehow at the SUN INN




I did have a pint I admit, but moderation is true temperance, and so I stopped at the one. As did many here.

Al and Phil however, have been doing this a lot longer than most of us.
And Al with 3 kidney's now to fuel, had a number of pints in the region of 3.

Phil is a true friend and reluctantly (or so he says, cos Tini will give him a bollocking about the Beer and Pies and lack of any green foods if she ever reads this) - oh dear done it now!, he managed to keep parity.

Well finally it was time to go, apart from the quick Whisky chaser that Al bought for those that had no more will power (yes I did have one OK).

And thus eventually with the sun still attempting to peek through, but the chance if some more rain and wind and .... we headed off to our camping spot for the night. 

All was going well, when Phil plunged off the tarmac and tumbled in a most spectacular way onto the verge.
So quickly that no-one had time to get their camera out.
Obviously this was just unlucky, and had nothing to do with the 3 pints of beer and whisky. So, he was awarded marks between 7 and 8.

He could have got more but unfortunately the landing was rather poor, and so he was out of the medals.

Listen NO-ONE is laughing at Phil.
All were concerned.
Especially Al and I.
Our Amigo may have been injured.
AND more to the point he was diving us back tomorrow!
Still some fine views, but a hint at the weather coming AGAIN.




On route near Orthwaite Hall we spotted this little group.
Phil had seen them the previous week when he was here, but they were looking a lot thinner now.


We carried on and eventually left the road, just as it looked like the weather may start to turn a bit ....WET?

I walked with our latest Daunder recruit.
The fine Mr D Williams. I jolly decent fellow.

It is always good to have an enjoyable and interesting conversation with ones fellow daunderer (and this was nothing like an interesting and ...). Just joking sir.

I had an excellent time chatting with you. Most interesting, and we shall have to do it again some time.

Then when we were within spitting distance of the nights camp, and with clouds a forming and rain a looming, Al decided (as he does) that this was the perfect time for a sit down by the wall. 

Which we did, as it is Al's Daunder and .......................

This was a short pause whilst Mars bars and things were eaten by some. 

Personally I just looked on bemused at the new shape of my sit mat, and experimented with the amount of air that should now be blown into it for it to semi function as a comfortable seat rather than an ejector seat, or some form of Pilates exercise mat.

And then it was time to head off again, and we did, marching the extra 800+ metres further up the hill, and across a small piece of boggy ground IN THE WIND AND RAIN!!!! to find our blustery angled pitch for the night.

I was quite surprised actually at how long it took everyone to arrive.

Then again, we had strode off at a goodly pace.

Well, before long, the wind had picked up, but all the tents were in place in one form or another.Helga hexPeak yet again had amazed me at both how easy it was to pitch, and also how stable she was in wind.

Due to the uneven nature of the ground, even though it does NOT look it in the pictures, I had to pitch her a bit lower than normal, and as such she was about 5 cm too low, for the inner to work well.

With hindsight, I should have increased the height, but instead, I just slackened the inner a bit to ensure separation from the outer.

This worked, but it is not really the solution I would recommend.

Get the Gal the right height and she is a TOP TOTTIE.







I got some soup on the go, and lay down partly in the inner and partly in the porch.

Due to the lie of the land I had to have my head for sleeping at the non door end. The inner would be so much better if it had an inverted T zip .

See my review here again for those interested.

But she was fine, even with the blustery wind, and cooking in the porch was easy. 

I had used the Jetboil in the Monadhliath, so brought the other stove this time to see how that worked in the same porch.

I feel safer with the Jet boil, but this was still absolutely fine.

Soups and stuff over, I went out for a bit of a stroll.

The whisky party was already on in Al's tent. I did not go in.
The room was minimal with 4 incumbents already, and my feet had got cold by foolishly not putting some warmer socks on them in the tent, so I stayed for a short while.

LONG ENOUGH for some of Lynsey's Excellent 15yr Arran Whisky (that may have been 12 yr), and then went back to the tent to play music.

OK, I may have just had wailing guitar music blaring away in my pocket all the time.

Lynsey with what is left of her whisky.
Phil in the background is about to lapse into coma.
It may have been the fall or the whisky.
OR, he has seen something terrifying near the porch.

That could have been ME!
Eventually everyone went off to their tents, and Al shouted

"turn that bloody music down", which I did.

Time passed, and I used my ENORMOUS ........ "Wait for it ................"

ENORMOUS Galaxy Note 2 to watch a movie, which I think was a really old version of  "The Thing".. 

See, NOT just a Phone and GPS, but so so much more

Then I stuck the headphones on.

Those are the ones that the real UL boys say don't take, and don't take the phone either, because they like to listen to the wind and the blood pulsing through their heads.
That is probably because they are dying of hypothermia die to having too little gear.

Well, that line should get a comment eh.....

And I SLEPT... Well apart from going outside several times in the wind and rain to pee which was annoying.

Then again, I did trigger a twitter thread about comfort and peeing that ran for days...

AND I AM NOT UNLES I AM IN A TENT AT -25 deg, going to pee in my bloody Titanium MUG or carry an additional water bottle to pee in.

NOPE... Not happening boys and girls.

Just LEAVE IT....

AND...Never ever ever offer me a CUP OF TEA!  Just sayin....

And soon, it was morning, and Al was back hoovering and whistling while he cleaned out his tent from the second party, and asking YET AGAIN if I was awake..

You Know the answer ALREADY!!!!

TODAY was a short walk, along a track, and then back to the car.

OK, there may well have been a PUB on route.

So at a very leisurely pace, and with intermittent stops to partake of views and benches and things like that, we followed the Cumbrian Way until we finally arrived back at the Odd Fellows Arms (A Pub that despite his many visits, David had never been in).

Well, that was about to change.

I had discussed hedgerows and things with Mick on route, who will be testing my knowledge at Callater Lodge.
He has also left me some coursework to find out why there are so many Gooseberries in Cumbrian hedgerows.

In fact, I must crack on with that soon, because there are only 18 days to go as I write this, and I don't want to fail.

As we arrived back in Caldbeck I spotted this for sale.

The whole building, NOT just the door!!!
Then round the corner to the Pub... We went in, and I believe I ordered Coffee.

Al and Phil rather surprisingly had BEER.

Nice enough, but not as nice as the Pub in Heskett-Newmarket...

We stayed for some to have food. I was not really hungry at this point so just had coffee and then Coffee!!

The weather was looking up.

In fact it was looking NICE!

Bloody typical since we were leaving.

Soon it was time to go. And we all trooped off back to Throstle Hall to pick up cars.

Daunder 2014 was OVER.

Pete had made it back OK, and hopefully will get that CHEST sorted out....

We said goodbye to Lynsey and David.

And we headed HOME with our Chauffeur Phil

IT HAD BEEN ANOTHER FINE DAUNDER, despite the weather.

To be honest, it is the company that makes it what it is.
The walking, and the scenery add to the whole package.

NOW, I MUST REFINE MY KIT LIST (AGAIN).

THERE IS NOT LONG TO GO!