Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

March 15, 2011

Simon's Seat and Dales Way hike, 11 mi

In a quest for a mega-weekend of training, I am following up the 32 mile Wuthering Hike yesterday with another day out on my feet.  I had actually meant to drive down and do the 15 mile route of the LDWA Walk to 'Ell and Back.  However, on Sunday morning, it was cold and raining, and my sore legs were not very motivated to get soaked out there.  Sorry, blogger Deb, there goes my chance to meet up with you...  So I slept in a bit longer, then discovered that the sun was actually supposed to come out that afternoon. 


Sure enough, it did get sunny, and so I had my chance to explore some local trails near my neck of the woods, which usually take a back burner to the route dictated by my races.   A friend had mapped out a good route up to Simon's Seat, and I convinced my husband to come with me and take pictures (he's really the photographer, not me).   Secretly, I was hoping to find a really boggy section of trail for him to walk through, as I keep complaining about bogs during my races.   He has yet to see fall into one.   Oddly enough, my route from Storith's up to Simon's was short on bogs, and long on a nice smooth rocky track.  There was also a scenic trail along a creek, and a short section through some deep woods, where we saw pheasants and some deer. 
The rocks around the trig point at Simon's Seat gave us a chance to hunker down out of the mild breezes and take an untimed tea break (it's nice to not be in a race while out on the trail sometimes).  From there, we decided to take a longer route back to the car by dropping down to the river and picking up the Dales Way for a section of it.  However, our slow walking pace + frequent stopping breaks for photos meant that this was going to take us right into sunset.  It didn't help that the navigator (um, that's me), throught for a second that we had missed the right trail on the way down the steep hill from Simon's Seat.   It seemed like a no-brainer at then time, to go heather-bashing across the moorside in an attempt to avoid back-tracking.  After a few hundred feet of this, I reevaluated the map and decided we hadn't missed our trail at all!  So we bashed across some more heather to get across to the stile that marked the trail, and the only way down into the valley across the stone fence.  
Simon's Seat Trig Point

We had hoped that getting down into the valley would be a little warmer than the breeze over the tops.  But by the time we got down to the river, the sun was low enough that the evening chill was creeping in.  Tired from the day before, I couldn't stay warm in the mild temps, and put on rain jacket and pants (it wasn't raining), in an attempt to keep some heat in.  We then walked a little faster, drank the last of our hot tea, and had a fine sunset hike along the river.  Once again, every time I get out on the trails around here, the scenery is gorgeous.  Even if it's a little chilly....

Knee-deep in heather

The Dales Way


  1. Hey, that Dales Way picture is where I was running last Saturday, and Simon's Seat has suffered my studmarks on many occasions. Wonderful country!

  2. It's nice to have such beautiful countryside so close to home!

  3. Great pics, and thank for my mention!! Elland Back was SO SO muddy!