Following on from the rather miserable trip to the country show on Saturday (for me anyway), we decided that the perfect way to spend Father’s Day would be up a fell, and we even somehow managed to convince next door to join us. We decided to tackle the, rather amusingly named, Great Cockup in the Uldale fells, as it’s not too far from home, not too big, a fairly straightforward route and would be manageable for our two to walk it unaided.
The day was blisteringly hot, which is never really the best weather for a fell walk, at least it’s not for me unless my aim for the walk is to turn puce, though fortunately there was the occasional cool breeze and so we didn’t all feel like we were being completely baked in our skins, although all photographic evidence of myself would prove this totally untrue. This is the first time we’ve properly climbed a fell with the children walking as well as in company, other than family, and so we did warn them that they might not look at us the same way afterwards, when they saw what nagging, cruel parents we are, forcing our little ones up mountains at the tender ages of 3 and 4. But actually the joy of walking with friends with kids, is that a) they understand the need to nag children and b) the children all keep each other going to some extent. Because we weren’t constantly having to push the children on, or hold their hands and drag them up, it was more relaxed than some of our other walks have been. Also, because of the heat, and the fact we didn’t really have any need to rush home, we took lots of stops for refreshments and there was plenty of time to let the kids have a play and plenty of time to take lots of pictures. There was a particularly nicely placed stream about halfway up (and down), which was very handy for paddling and cooling hot feet, as well as a bit of head dunking (the children were very firm that the feet washing and head dunking shouldn’t happen in the same spot).
As with all the walks our family takes, we did end up on the wrong path for a while, but on the bright side that did mean the walk became more of a circular route than a there and back again.
Also, as with all the walks our family takes, there was of course the occasional strop from the boy, particularly on the way back when he was much more hot and tired. I’d like to pretend that I took this into account and didn’t just get really annoyed at how slow he was walking, or the fact he stripped off his pants and boots and threw them down the side of the hill, but of course I didn’t. I too, was hot and tired. And stuck way behind everyone else, trying to convince my 4 year old to get dressed and get walking. We were so far behind everyone else that J ended up coming back for us, we did the temper tantrum handover and I stomped on to join everyone else.
All in all though I think the walk was a success, there was only the one casualty when our friends’ daughter managed to hurt her ankle trying to leap a bog (but landing rather spectacularly in the middle of it), and considering there were four children with us I don’t think that’s too bad a result. I’m not sure we’ll have totally convinced them to join us bagging a few more fells over the summer holidays; but we’ve still got a few weeks left, to give those memories a nice rosy tint.