Trails and trials of the writer who walks
Strathmore Arms was way too convenient and I set out today with a slight hangover.
All the way along the Tees, I was hoping there was an alternative path at the river’s head so as to avoid the climb to the top of Cauldron Snout. But there wasn’t, so I didn’t. Pushing my poles up ahead of me, I used knees, hands and feet to find safe holds and scramble to the top. Actually, I’m not a bad little climber, but I have a strong desire to keep drawing my pension for many more years and the back-pack of course demands an exaggerated lean forward to prevent life-threatening shifts in centre of gravity. Added to that, the rocks were now wet after a heavy shower. You know how they say your mouth goes dry with fear? It’s true.
There’s a new road being built on the PW route after Cauldron Snout and the diggers and bulldozers were busy carrying bucket-loads of small rocks to wherever the road ended. It was misty, raining and very uncomfortable underfoot. The rocks laid were sharp-edged and quite large.. I wondered why, and for whom, the road was being constructed. Grouse-shooting parties I suspect. Had I not been walking on the left hand side, I think I would have missed the yellow arrow on a small post that indicated where the PW finally left this road,