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Archive for April, 2013

A Holiday Walk

Easter Sunday – A visit to my cousins in Sheffield (where my mom is from).

Walk this way...

Walk this way…

Steve and I had not visited my cousins Brad and Maxine since I returned from Southern California a few weeks ago, and there was a holiday weekend coming up. This meant that Steve had Friday and Monday off from work, giving us an extra day to go on a walk with Brad, Max, their daughter Alicia (Lissie) and their new puppy, Ruby. Ruby is only four months old but has already grown into a good size doggie.

Introducing Ruby

Introducing Ruby

It turns out that a few of their friends also wanted to join us on the walk. Brad, Max, Lissie, Ruby and Steve and I drove to the Forge Dam in Sheffield where our small group assembled. We were greeted by friends Alison and Geoff, whom we have known for a few years, and their friends, Lorraine and Paul, who were new to us and my cousins. Each couple had their dog with them. The sun was out but it was freezing, and we all brought our layers of clothing, coats, scarves and boots to get bundled up for this walk. Just after we set out, Brad’s son Ashley and his girlfriend Charlotte, met us on the trail.

Left to Right (seated): Charlotte, Lissie, Maxine, Maxine, Lorraine; Left to Right (standing): Steve, Ashleigh, Geoff, Paul

Left to Right (seated): Charlotte, Lissie, Maxine, Maxine, Lorraine; Left to Right (standing): Steve, Ashley, Geoff, Paul

What  Steve and I did not know was that there was still a good amount of snow and ice on the ground and that it was a good four mile walk over the rivers and through the woods. Once on the trail, we got used to walking very carefully on the snow and the ice. The ice can be very slippery making it dangerous if you do not concentrate on every step. Not to mention that there were no railings to hold on to, and in some places there were big drops on each side of the trail; one fall and you could end up in the river or over some rocks and brush and into the deep bushes.

Hard to tell it is two weeks into Spring

Hard to tell it is two weeks into Spring

After we got past all of these logistics we finally relaxed and enjoyed the walk one step at a time. My cousin Max said that their friends, who were leading the group, had taken a different route then the one that they usually take. A longer route at that. But we did not care as we were having fun talking with each other and getting to know our new friends. I lagged behind a bit at times as I had to stop to take pictures of the beautiful scenery along the way, as you can see below.

Very scenic

Overlooking the valley

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After an hour or so we reached our lunch destination, the Norfolk Arms – a popular pub in the area that caters to walkers and is dog friendly to the point that there is an area in the pub where your dogs can come in and sit next to you while you have a drink and a snack. They even have a large glass “cookie jar” filled with an assortment of dog biscuits and a bowl of water. We all gathered inside the pub where the fireplace was keeping us nice and warm, especially after coming in from the freezing cold. We ordered some drinks – hot coffee and tea, and a few guys ordered beer. We sat around talking for a while until Alison, Geoff, Lorraine and Paul left to walk back to their car. Max had booked a reservation for the five of us, not counting Ruby, to stay for lunch. The pub allowed Ruby to come with us into the proper dining area while we had lunch. She was very well behaved and was rewarded with some treats from our plates on the table.

Steve, Ruby, Lissie and Max

Steve, Ruby, Lissie and Max

After a nice hot lunch and great conversation we left the pub to go back to the car, where we started our walk. The other thing that Steve and I did not know is that we were having to walk back to the car, another three miles. By now it was mid afternoon and the sun was hiding behind the clouds making it even colder and the snow slushy. We were told that it was faster to go on a short-cut, down a hill and through the park to the car park.

To the short-cut

To the short-cut

We started down the trail but when we got to the hill – which was really a mountain that went straight down, we realized that it was not safe in the snow to tackle it, and decided to turn back and walk along the road which was the longer route but it was definitely safer.

Turning back from the short-cut; looked more like a cliff

Turning back from the short-cut; looked more like a cliff

We survived the three mile trek back to the car and headed back to my cousins’ house for a welcomed cup of tea (how English are we?). I am happy to say that a great day was had by all.

Following the road - the safer alternative

Following the road – the safer alternative

Can’t wait for the next one. Where will it be?

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