13 November 2017

Mud

At Dale End before The Mud
It looked fine on my map of The White Peak. I would travel via Youlgreave to Dale End, park up and walk south through Gratton Dale, thence to Elton Common and down to Elton itself before returning to Dale End via Gratton Lane.

But maps do not show everything. The first part of Gratton Dale was no problem. I passed an old lime kiln and observed the sapphire blueness of the sky as I rambled along, happy to be out in the countryside once more. 

After a few hundred yards the path through the valley started to become rather muddy. I kept to the margins sometimes striding from rocks to firm green sods. "I'll just get through this", I thought to myself, "I'll soon be back on solid ground".
The Quagmire of No Return
In Gratton Dale
I noticed hoof marks in the mud - evidence that  as well as occasional ramblers, cattle also used this this pub;ic right of way. They had really churned it up and in places the mud was knee-deep. At the sides of the path there were hawthorn and rosehip bushes, meaning there was no escape from the mud.

My progress was reduced to a snail's pace as I tried to avoid two things - the cloying mud and the very real possibility of falling down in it. When I thought I had reached the end of the mud, I looked ahead and there was more mud. It was awful. It went on for half a mile or so.

Finally, the mud began to recede as the path climbed up towards Mouldridge. What a relief! But as I turned another hawthorn bend what did I see? No! Not more mud but The Guardian of the Path!
The Guardian of The Path
It was a young bullock who had somehow got away from his little herd and appeared lost and jittery. He jumped whenever I moved and blocked my way. For a moment, I thought of turning back but another half a mile of mud! I would rather take the risk of being trampled to death by a frisky bullock.

Bravely, your intrepid correspondent edged past the snorting  Minotaur and up out of The Valley of Death in which The Quagmire of Bovine Revenge has consumed countless walkers in fancy cagoules and hiking boots.

After Gratton Dale the walking was much better and I saw some lovely sights, including these two tumbledown barns on the edge of Elton Common...

26 comments:

  1. Even half a mile - normally no distance at all for the likes of you and me - is way too long when the ground is like this! And then, to top it all off, to encounter the Guardian...!
    You made it through all of it, though, and as a result not only have you got a story to tell your great-grandchildren, but also an entertaining blog post and some great pictures to show.

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    1. I knew you would like the last two pictures as you enjoy old ruins. Thanks for calling by again Librarian.

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    2. Possibly why she likes you then YP

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    3. Ha-ha! Nice one Derek!

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    4. Is there such a thing as a young ruin? If so, I would like to see that and DO NOT LOOK AT ME.

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    5. Why the BLOCK CAPITALS Vivian? I will bet you have been the ruin of many a good man.

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  2. Maps do not certainly show everything. Good that you made your way out and got to see some lovely sights. Thanks for taking us on the journey. Greetings!

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    1. I guess that soldiers of World War One had more problems with mud than I had yesterday afternoon. Thanks for calling by again Mr B!

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  3. You're braver than me, I find most cows full of malicious intent, I'd take the mud instead.

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    1. Trouble is with cows, you can't argue with them. I was quiet and slow as I edged past that jittery beast.

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  4. Seems hard to find a pathway that isn't muddy sometimes. You were very brave to confront the frisky bullock. How far did you walk in total?

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    1. About six miles. If you recall, I have suffered from a dodgy knee this year - all the more reason for moving very carefully through the mud.

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  5. is it possible your bullock was curious about this person unexpectedly walking through his field?
    I'm glad you decided to keep going, another half mile in the same mud would just be miserable.

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    1. It wasn't a field. It was a public footpath. His mates were further along behind a barbed wire fence.

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    2. ah yes, right! but it was still "his field"

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    3. Okay your honour - I submit! It was more his territory than mine!

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  6. You can have that on your own..apparently you did...trudging through mud is not my idea of a fun day out! lol

    I guess it saved you going to the spa and wasting money on a mud pack. Your skin must be baby soft, Mr. Pudding. :)

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    1. I know this will disappoint you Lee but I didn't fall down in the mud! Another thing I forgot to mention - there was a lot of cattle dung mingled with the mud. Surely you wouldn't want me to fall down in that!

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    2. I don't wish you to fall anywhere, at any time in any substance, Yorkie.

      I wasn't implying such misfortune should fall your way. :)

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    3. Thank you for clearing up that misunderstanding Lee. I would like to fall down in a swimming pool filled with Tetley's bitter. This would not be a misfortune.

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    4. I have lurked here for a while and thoroughly enjoyed reading about your adventures, but I cannot let this pass. Tetley's? The most tasteless foamy dishwater made in Britain? What's the matter with you, man! Now Fuller's ESB or London Pride, that's a different story. With that, you would never want to get out of the swimming pool...

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    5. As a baby I was weaned on Tetley's bitter and my blood group is Tetley. I even drink Tetley's tea. I would never touch a southern beer as gastro-enteritis is not a condition I favour. Thanks for emerging into the light Creaking Oldie!

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  7. The suspense!!

    I think I'd have chosen the mud over the bull. I was always told to be careful around bulls; they can be twitchy indeed. Or is a bullock less pushy than a bull?

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    1. As a bullock has lost its testicles it has a more subdued character but he remembers they were removed by a six foot farmer looking something like me.

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  8. It's a shame Tetley's is no longer brewed in Yorkshire. Despite being a Lancastrian by birth I always preferred Tetley's over that unbelievably bad Liverpool beer, Bent's.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.