Saturday, 22 December 2018

A year in the life...

We're nearing the end of 2018 and it's been a busy year here at Crowther Towers. I've finally managed to wild camp every month through the year. I'm including spending a night in a bothy in November...cos it's my rules and, in any event, I'd already managed a full 12 months before then, starting in, I think, August 2017. So there!

So here's a quick run through with some pics starting in January when Chrissie and I saw the New Year in with our pal James up in Kielder with the motorhome, visiting a bothy on a day hike, wearing the daftest of expressions...

 ... we also spent a night with the pups up near the summit of Brown Knoll...

...and I had a cold  night with James on Kinder in the snow again.

In February I had another snowy camp, this time with Dale in the Ashop valley...

...and a Ghost Camp with Chrissie, Dale, James, Gordon and the pups on Kinder.

March was a very busy month. David christened his new touring cycle with a short overnighter with me at the C&CC Delamere Forest site...

... Dale and I had a two night trip over Bleaklow and Kinder...

...and we swapped our motorhome, again, for a much smaller one. More sensible for us.

April was time for another Ghost Camp on Kinder with the same gang as February, plus Reuben.

In May I had a superb, two night, cycle tour through the Peak District with Dale, including a wild camp, this being a shake down for my BIG ADVENTURE in June and July.

I also, in May decided to offer a spare kidney I had kicking around to my friend Jamie who was on dialysis and suffering with chronic kidney disease. This led to months of testing and a date for the transplant on February 19th next year.

I was due to leave for France in late June and knew it was unlikely I'd be wild camping so, for the sake of completeness, I dashed out with Islay, on a warm evening, to a favourite local spot to ensure I had a June wild camp before I left.

Then in late June I left home with my bike and set off on a route from St Malo on the English Channel to Nice down on the Med. It took almost 5 weeks and was the hardest physical challenge I've undertaken, so far. Here's a few snaps along the 1100 mile journey.

An utterly amazing experience.

Once home in July I made time to squeeze in another Kinder wild camp with Chrissie, Dale and the pups.

August saw an unbelievably idyllic camp near Brown Knoll with Dean...

...and we found time for a few motorhome/caravan nights in the Dales with James and Corrina.

In September I enjoyed two nights with David on a Buttermere ish two nighter in the Lakes. It was a delight.

I managed three wild camps in October. The first was a quick dash up to High Spy with Islay,

...the second was a visit with Chrissie, David, Moss and the pups to the sabre crash site,

...and the third was a first taste of snow for this winter with Islay and Dale on Kinder again.

November was time for another Ghost Camp. This time the usual crew were joined by Mike for a wintery jaunt up to Greg's Hut on Cross Fell. The first night I've ever spent in a bothy, though I've visited loads.

Finally, this month, December, I spent a night up on Red Screes with Pete Dixon, in atrocious weather...

...and just this week Islay and I had a camp on Brown Knoll again followed by a fabulously sunny descent down into Edale.

And that's about it. 

I've missed a few short motorhome trips. We've not done any long ones this year due to so many things going on, not least lots of health checks for the transplant. Please keep me and my friend Jamie in mind in February, primarily for a good outcome for him.

Chrissie's had a bad time with plantar fasciitis, leading to her being forced to drop out of this year's TGOC, but thankfully she's on the right side of this now.

Next year, after the operation in February, I'll be focused on recuperation and getting hill fit for our BIG TRIP of 2019, walking the whole of the Kungsleden in northern Sweden. This should take us 4 to 5 weeks and will be in August/September.

We've shared lots of camps with friends this year and that's been especially enjoyable. My sincere thanks to all of you. Please know, your friendship is valued so much. Where would we be without friends?

I wish all of you out there a happy Christmas and the best of years for 2019. I hope it brings all that you wish for.

Finally, I couldn't leave this round up without a pic of the special little man in our family, who turned one year old in November. Here's one of my favourite recent photos of Noah, showing off his very first pair of shoes. Chrissie and I are very much looking forward to spending Christmas day with Abi, Dave, Pepper, their lovable flat coated retriever and, of course, Noah.


Monday, 17 December 2018

Final camp of the year, prob'ly

I reckon some o' these posts get a bit repetitive... repetitive. So, I'll keep the words down here (not in any way tryin' to compete with Dale).

Suffice to say, Islay and I dashed up to, what's becoming, a fave spot near Brown Knoll. It pissed down overnight, but we were snug in the tent. Quite mild, about 4C, falling to 2C in the morning. 

And the morning brought the most glorious weather. Little wind, relatively warm and sunshine. A perfect autumnal day, cos it could not be described as winter, despite Christmas being barely a week off. We followed the edge path, then descended via Grindsbrook. Chrissie picked us up in Edale then lunch in Hathersage.

Here's the pics.

Smile. Life is good.