Post 233: The Inn Way, 1 February 2018, Sheriff’s Pit to Rudland Rigg.
With the alarm clock due to go off at 6.30am, what better way to prepare for a tough walk than spend half the night Supermoonlighting. By Supermoonlighting I mean looking at and photographing a Supermoon.
It started at 5-6pm the night before when Sid the Yorkshireman telephoned me to ask if I had seen the Supermoon that would not occur for about another 175 years! I think that is not quite right as I have arranged for another one on my next birthday on 21 January 2019. However, there will not be another record Supermoon until 25 November 2034, by which time I will be watching it from heaven I reckon.
I said to Sid the Yorkshireman that it was too cloudy to see the Supermoon. However, he lives at the posh end of the village and they have direct access to Supermoons as he pays higher council tax, despite being a Yorkshireman. So I donned my cold weather gear and got my camera equipment and drove down to the other end of the village just in time to see this big moon rising up into the clouds.
It was not until about 11.00pm, just as I was going to bed, I saw from my bedroom window some breaks in the clouds and the Supermoon appear. My camera and tripod were ready and I snapped my first photo through an opened window. I then got further photographs at just after 3am (through the opened landing window). I woke up at 6.00am and looked out of the front door to see the Supermoon at its best. Here are the results. An awesome sight.
Leaving home at 8.00am we arrived at the very windy Farndale turning car park just before the Lion Inn, Blakey and commenced walking along the Rosedale dismantled railway line to Sheriff’s Pit, to resume The Inn Way.
After some tricky route finding through overgrown heather, we resumed descending into Farndale with fine views.
Then light snow started and we thought that wasn’t forecast by Paul Hudson our weatherman. We hurried onto Church Houses for our coffee and banana break, alongside the closed Feversham Arms.We ascended steeply towards Rudland Rigg, with fine retrospective views back to Farndale.
It was a bleak area in low cloud, not the bright sunshine forecast.
However, in better weather one can appreciate James Herriot’s view of Rudland Rigg that:
‘Oh, the feeling of freshness and freedom up there, with the air keen and the wind sharp, but carrying with it, in the season, the scent of heather. I often feel that the soul of the North York Moors lies in and around Rudland Rigg because of the motif of the whole area is distance and heather,’
We then left the Rigg and The Inn Way on a quickly disappearing path to descend back towards Farndale.
It was very tiring through overgrown heather. Eventually we picked up a path and stopped for lunch in a sheltered spot out of the wind. There were great views along Farndale. Until………
To our great surprise a snowstorm arrived! Paul Hudson was not the most popular weather forecaster at this time, but fortunately we had our full winter gear. In my case this includes 4 hats (removed for photographs above!).
We kept saying that this wasn’t forecast. It was only when I watched Look North News that Paul Hudson admitted that things didn’t go according to plan and it was the first time since 2003! Not sure we would agree with that.
At the bottom of the valley we reached the Duffin Stone. It is one of the stones referred to as a boundary marker by Walter Espec in the documents relating to to his grant of land to Rievaulx Abbey in the twelve century. The name of the stone in those days was Duvanasthwaite. Duvan, or Duffin (on the Ordnance maps). Thwaite refers to a clearing that would have been near the stone.
We then had to cross the River Dove, which fortunately had a new bridge.
We then spotted three deer cross our path. You can just see their white rears. At Esk House we came across a lovely Shire Horse, looking miserable with the poor weather.
We then climbed the final hill of the day only for Sid the Yorkshireman to realise that he had dropped a glove about half a mile back. You can just see him (blue spot!) heading back down the hill to retrieve it! After some delay we arrived at the dismantled railway, which is a section of Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk. The Rosedale Ironstone Railway was constructed in 1861, a considerable engineering achievement.
Now you will know of Alfred Hitchcock’s film The Birds. Well we were suddenly surrounded by sheep running hither and thither. Could be an inspiration for a horror movie based on sheep.
Surviving the onslaught we then had a level walk along the railway line, with fine views down the very tranquil Farndale. It is hard to believe that as Wainwright put it in 1973:
‘there are men with souls so dead, with visions so clouded, with appreciation of natural beauty so withered, that they actually scheme to flood the valley with water permanently. You simply can’t credit, can you? ‘
Fortunately, its beauty remains for current and future generations.
I then started looking at the ice patches and the varying patterns they formed. Nature up here can be so creative.
There was a final look down Farndale before reaching the car.
Miles Walked 12.6
Calories Burnt 3,700