Post 15: At Cowgill, the Dales Way leaves the road and I thought Gary might have been there. How would he know which route to take? I waited fifteen minutes but when he didn’t appear I decided that, without maps, he would have stuck to the road. For the next four miles I encountered awful road walking in heavy rain, so I cursed Gary for forcing me to use this route. He had broken the golden rule of walking that you should stick together. I eventually arrived at Dent, noted for the block of Shap granite in the centre of the village, which perpetually spouts water and is dedicated to the geologist Adam Sedgewick. On a soaking wet day this is about the last thing you want see.
The other famous people in these parts are the ‘terrible knitters’ of Dent, so called not because they were useless at their craft but because of an older meaning of the word which indicated the great speed at which they worked, at home or while even attending cattle.
As I walked around looking for Gary, I half expected some frenzied females to come hurtling out of their houses to stab me with their knitting needles as in a Hollywood horror film, The Dent Psychopaths.
So I don’t get into trouble, the lady in the picture perpetually spouting is my wife Celia, not a Dent psychopath or a frenzied female. She nearly qualifies to be a ‘terrible knitter’, although not of Dent. Oops now in trouble. What I meant to say is she is standing next to the Spouting Stone and is a quick knitter!
There was no sign of Gary, perhaps he had been removed by the ‘terrible knitters’? This was getting serious as, without maps, his walk would be at an end. I would then have to keep my own company, which, at the best of times, is not very exciting. After ten minutes wandering along the cobbled streets of Dent, I decided I would give it a further five minutes, then I would be on my way. After four minutes and fifty-nine seconds, I put one foot in front of the other to leave Dent, then, from a pub, emerged smiling Gary.
‘Over here,’ he said gleefully.
‘Where have you been?’ I replied angrily.
‘In there having coffee,’ he said innocently.
‘Why are your trousers that funny colour?’ I enquired, thinking to myself he must have been caught short.
‘I got soaked in all that rain, but I’m drying out now.’
‘You could have fooled me.’
After splashing out on a cup of coffee for me, I forgave him, but only just. It was a symptom of our state of minds and bodies that we had coffee, not the locally produced Dent brew.