Saturday, 28 January 2012

Keld to Richmond

Once I got off the bus at Keld I was shocked to feel how cold it was compared to Richmond that was further down the dale so hanging about before the run wasn't an option.
To start with, Keld was just on the snow line and a light snow had covered the road but traffic had worn most of it away. It was a postcard picture and if it wasn't so cold I could have hung around a while and got a few photos but a job had to be done and now it was time to get on with it.
The first half of the run from Keld to Reeth is on a narrow road where oncoming vehicles have to slow down to pass or in some instances even have to pull over to the side and stop so with this in mind vigilance was the name of the game and I had to keep an ear open at all times for vehicles approaching from behind.
Running on a strip of tarmac between two limestone walls was rather picturesque, and with the old trees lining the road I was amazed with the colours around me. The colours of the moss on the walls and trees was anything from mild brown through to a beautiful bright green. Then there was the lichen which was anywhere between light grey to a lovely golden yellow.There was also an abundance of snow drops along the way which stood straight up like soldiers on parade as I went past.
After about 4 miles a friend of mine stopped his ash cart to see if I wanted a lift home and on asking him if I looked like I needed a lift he answered “yes”. (Bloody hell, do I really look that rough?).
After politely declining his offer he just told me I was mad and shaking his head we parted company.
Approaching Reeth he stopped yet again and asked if I was ready for a lift and again on declining the offer he again shook his head and drove away.
Now looking back I think I can say that I am either mad or I just like to be out of my comfort zone now and again.
Passing through the small hamlets as I slowly made my way down the valley it was easy to see why some people want to move out of the city and live in the dales. Life is a lot slower and the scenery is out of this world. What more could you wish for when you open your curtains in a morning. Rather than looking at concrete buildings and listening the sounds of cars and buses going by, you see a vast wilderness with green pastures, hills rising into the sky with the streams running down the gills between them.
After 13 miles I reached Reeth and the snow had all but gone and I just had to stop at the bakery and get a cheese and onion pasty before heading to the Swaledale Outdoors shop to have a chat with Richard the proprietor who was happy to make me a cup of tea to compliment the pasty but after a quick chat it was time to move on as I was now starting to cool down.

This second part of the run was done on wider roads but with that came more traffic and the scenery was now more bland as the hills and gills were now behind me.
Soon after Reeth I started to feel my old arthritis starting to come back into both big toes and also the soles of my feet were starting to get rather warm. I suppose that heat problem is expected after a long run on tarmac but the mild arthritis comes and goes intermittently and can slow things down tremendously.
On top of that, an old ankle injury has popped up again and over 24 hours later it is still giving me a hard time and even though I have been taking ibuprofen for the pain I have not been able to run today.
Looking at these aches and pains it seems to be something I will just have to put up with as a mature runner and looking back a few years, I can remember a back problem I used to have when driving long distances that no longer occurs since I stopped driving trucks and I have never had even a twitch in the back since starting to run regularly almost two years ago.

To view the run in detail go to my Garmin page  

The start looking down the Swale valley from Keld

Further down the valley with a view from just above Thwait.
Thwait can just be seen on the right hand side of the photo

Close knit communities like this are in abundance in the Yorkshire Dales

Green meadows and lime stone walls along with frequent lime stone buildings are a common site in Swaledale 

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