Today was our third full day in the beautiful mountainous (or should I say fellanous?) Lakes District. Today was also our third day where we had the option of a valley walk or a ridge walk, and we again chose the mountain tops. My arthritic knees were seriously complaining about the over-use, but once I got them working each morning, I was ok.
A Quaker B&B...I've never actually seen Quakers beforeIt was foggy and rainy out when we started, which was actually a nice relief from the sunny wind the day before, but it didn't last. By the time we got the top of the ridge, the sun was out in full force again. It was a long slow slog up the valley at first, surrounded by sheep and with fields divided by stone fence along the way. We passed several waterfalls but didn't stop to take pictures this time. There were also quite a few other people on the trail because it was getting towards the weekend. This made it harder to discreetly stop for bathroom breaks, which I certainly needed after drinking several cups of tea at breakfast.
We met the ex-RAF pilot part way up and he took our picture. His wife was taking the bus that day because her feet couldn't handle the hills for another day. He phoned her from the top of the ridge--there was cell phone reception up there!
There were actually two alternate routes this day. The first one everyone seemed to take as it climbed the valley at a more gentle rate and was cobbled. The second one took us up on the third highest peak in Britain and over a really neat craggy ridge called Strider's Edge (I kept thinking of Aragorn from Lord of the Rings when we were hiking it). At the fork between the two routes we met Allen again, who was taking the low route, and he told us he would buy us a pint in Patterdale if/when we made it down off the peak.
On our way up we met volunteer park workers digging up the seriously eroded path and putting in rocks that would make a cobbled new path. Hard hard work on a hot day.
The top of the peak had a shelter shaped like a plus sign so that no matter which way the wind was coming, there would be relief from it.
We sat on one side and were quietly inspected by the local sheep. We found out that the breed that lives up here is called the Herdwicks, and they spend all their lives up on the peaks, only coming down to lamb. They are an important part of the Lakes District ecosystem because without them, the fells would grow brush again and eventually fill up with trees as it was originally. The sheep's presence means the mountains remain grassy and full of ferns and heather, which is conducive to tourism. So very different than the management of the Canadian mountainous parks!
While the pub was cozy, our room was not. Our window was directly over the door of the pub, so we heard the pub traffic late into the night. The staff were grumpy to us and the food was just ok (except for the pudding). ;)