Saturday, July 28, 2012

Three Shires Stone fell fix

 The Three Shires Stone marks the boundaries of the old counties of Lancashire, Cumberland and Westmorland.  It was the starting point of our bit of work for Fix the Fells today.  Driving over Wrynose Pass was great, especially as I wasn't driving and took the opportunity to recce the hills for a future bike ride.

After parking next to the stone, we got absolutely soaked on our walk along the path, clearing drains and generally making the path appealing to walk on.  Some of the drains were pretty clogged with scree and mud so it was a worthwhile trip.

As soon as we finished the sun came out and it got really hot.  That's all good because nobody likes to work in the hot sun and the rain helped us to check that the drains were working properly.

More on the Three Shires Stone

our route - all nice and fixed now

Dove Crag & Priest's Hole Cave

I'm mobile blogging because my computer is on the fritz. I'll keep this short because it's not that easy. We set off for an easy walk, bagging a few Wainwrights and practicing navigation. After a quick stop in Glenridding for maps and drinks, we parked at Brothers Water and set off up High Hartsop Dodd.

Once up on High Hartsop Dodd, most of the climbing was done. Great views opened up over Brothers Water and beyond. We met another bagger here. He only had three Wainwrights to get.

Top of Little Hart Crag, not much further along but another Wainwright.

Climbing up to the wall that runs up to Dove Crag, views to the south over Windermere

This is a boundary feature. On a map it looks the same as a fence or a wall. The fence line can be followed as a handrail.

Heading up to Dove Crag

Dove Crag summit

Then we decided to look for Priest's Hole cave. This is a well known cave on a crag of Dove Crag. I'm not sure what the history is, I don't think it is known in detail. The climb up looked quite scary but it was not too bad at all.

You soon pick up a path and before long, you are at the cave.

The cave is well kept, there were candles, emergency blankets and gas canisters (although I'm not sure if there was any gas in them). There was even a brush and shovel to clean up after yourself. The cave is a popular wild camp place.

Lovely walk, and we didn't get lost.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Coniston Guided Walk

Today I took the opportunity of joining up with a guided tour around Coniston Old Man, learning about some of the history of the slate mining in the area.  Our guide was Alastair Cameron, who was very knowledgeable on the subject.

I was the first person to get to the car park at Walna Scar Road and I was unsure if I was in the right place.  A quick check of Google Maps showed a whole bunch of cars here on the day they took the satelite image so I chilled out and waited for the others. 

We set off up the Old Man Road, Alastair pointing out some bronze age sites and other areas of interest.  We were soon into the old mine area.
old smithy

An old smithy powered by water from Low Water. You can see the paddles here.  There is a water pipe, still largely in place all the way down from Low Water which then goes back out of the smithy and down into the beck.
Being with the National Trust Upland Rangers and a group of Fix the Fells people, a thorough inspection of the paths, walls and drainage was undertaken.  The verdict on this wall, as well as the drainage ditch at the side was not particularly good.

the sawmill
More inspections.  This time I think it was an old mine shaft and a consideration of whether or not to dig it out.
mine shafts everywhere
part of the aerial runway, recently fallen
end of the line?
We left Alaister at the top level (we didn't leave him, he went back down) and a few of us carried on up to the summit of Consiton Old Man, along to Brim Fell and on to Swirl How before descending down Prison Band, turning right to Levers Water and back to the car park.

Low Water from the climb to the summit
top of Coniston Old Man
this would be a great fell run
Brim Fell summit, cloud coming in a bit now
down at Levers Water
the route, look at that nice ridge from Coniston Old Man

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tag-a-long bike ride at Grizedale Forest

I have been thinking about trying Hannah on one of these tag-along bikes for a while now.  Today we went for it at Grizedale Forest.  We went around the green loop, which is about 17k and a hilly forest track.  She did really well and loved every minute.

"Daddy, those bikes only have one wheel"
not quite gopro
Pedal, Pedal, Pedal!
plenty of friendly people in the forest, one kindly took a pic
she slept all the way home

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Raw Vegan Cheesecake

I've tried making raw vegan desserts before with limited amounts of success so I have stayed away for a while.  Just recently though, I found this wonderful website with this even more wonderful recipe on it for raw vegan cheesecake and decided to give it a go.  

No cooking (that's the raw bit) no cheese or dairy (that's the vegan bit), just a whole lot of nuts, fruit and blending.  Here is my version, go to the original website for the beautiful version as well as for the full details of the ingredients, amounts and how good for you this is.

First thing is to get the ingredients and equipment all ready.  A blender, the higher power the better, a springform tin, measuring devices (this recipe is in cups, half-cups etc) and two big bags of stuff from Holland and Barrett.

this recipe is supposed to be healthy - I certainly lost pounds!

In actual fact, I spent almost £50 in Holland and Barrett but the good news is that I actually have enough ingredients to make about twenty of these cheesecakes.

The biggest expenditure was the coconut oil, £15 for a bottle.  Next time I will look out for the buy one get one free sales that this shop often has.

After sorting everything out and getting my cup measurement, err measurers out (I wanted to follow the recipe as closely as possible and measure everything accurately rather than the usual adaptations that I make along the way), the first thing to do was to make the base.  This is a mixture of dates (mmm), almonds, lemon juice and a bit of salt.  Into the whiz whiz and pulse to a sticky crumb mixture.

I think the next time I make this (and I have a whole lot of spare ingredients) I will bulk this layer up a bit and blend it a bit finer.  The crust that this made was a little bit thin and flaky.  It looks a lot thicker than it actually was in the pictures.

rapid soak cashews
Once you have the crust to the desired consistency, you just press it into the bottom of the tin, the same way you would for a normal cheesecake.

I put the tin in the freezer after doing this layer as I thought it would help to set the next layer.  The next two layers only took about fifteen minutes to make so I'm not sure that putting it in the freezer was so helpful.  Oh, well!

The middle and top layers are made up largely of pre-soaked cashew nuts as well as some coconut oil and sweetner.  The top layer is simply the middle layer with some raspberries thrown in.

Now, when I say pre-soaked cashew nuts, the original recipe states they should be soaked for at least five hours and preferably overnight.  Mine were soaked for about ten minutes.  The key here seems to be to get a smooth consistency (nobody likes a lumpy cheesecake).

My blender was being a bit funny but I added a bit of water to the mixture and it blended up nice and smooth.

You pour on the middle layer, spread it out, throw some raspberries into the blender, blend in and then pour on the top layer.  I put the cheesecake in the freezer overnight and then put it in the fridge when I got home from work this evening.  It seems to be going down quite well.

going, going

A success!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sale Fell - Recovery Run

This week I have been ill.  It started on Sunday.  To be honest, I was feeling a bit croaky last week but by Sunday I had proper man flu and had to go to bed.  I had Monday and Tuesday off and then today was well enough to return to work.  My decision to return to work was partially influenced by a consideration of the environment in which I might experience the most peace.


 As I had returned to work, I decided that I really did want to play out.  So, after a quick change at home, I set off for a nice easy evening run to one of my favourite haunts - the magical Sale Fell.

I parked at the usual spot, just past the church and set off on a gentle run.  I was still a bit cardio-vascularically challenged and so the plan was to take it really easy.  Not many hills were run up and there were a lot of stops for photos (more than usual).

cut through into the woods
forest track

another excuse to stop
Skiddaw and Dodd across Bassenthwaite
cows, trees and sheep

another stop!
the heather is high and the foxgloves are tall.  Not pleasant to run anywhere but on the paths at the moment but the paths are very pleasant indeed!

especially ones like these - Wheeeee!!

yep, slow
I'm back!