bunn (bunn) wrote,

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Autumn walk

 We went down to the river Walkham from Grenofen this afternoon. Rain was threatening so the wooded river valley seemed a more tempting idea than the high moors.   The trees are all yellow and gold now so it was very pretty - quiet too, so the hounds were able to rush about furtling happily in the undergrowth. 

It's a very steep climb up out of the valley through Sticklepath Wood from the car park by the river.   The track was obviously once of some importance - it's sunken and walled with stone banks which must have involved quite an effort to build on that steep slope.   Looking at the map, it looks like it may once have been the direct route from Grenofen to Buckland Monochorum, but nowadays it is unsurfaced and rather slippery walking. 

We spotted sheep ahead,  so avoiding the hassle of putting hounds on the lead,  turned randomly right towards Bucktor, and came down an unexpectedly tarmacked path (I think the tarmac was because it's also a driveway to one  very isolated house) in the direction of Double Waters where the Walkham joins the Tavy.   We put Duke on the lead as we came down the tarmac: there was a definite large-mammal smell about, and he was becoming quite excited.  I think probably we inconvenienced a group of red deer who must have been sheltering in Bymore wood shortly before we came through. 

There is a footbridge over the Walkham at Double Waters, but the way up to it is quite slippery and uneven, so rather than risk doing it when tied to a large excitable dog, we decided to let Duke off again while we crossed.  So, I went over, then Mollydog, then Az, then philmophlegm.  Duke was busily rummaging in the undergrowth while we did this.  Suddenly he looked up and saw us vanishing over the river, and panicked, rushing to the bank and trying to find a way over.    We turned back  and started coming back over the bridge to get him, as he didn't seem to be able to spot the way up to the bridge - but too late!  He plunged into the river and swam it!    Luckily it wasn't in full spate, so he made it across without too much difficulty.  Still, how intrepid!  How unsighthoundish!

 We were a bit worried that he would get cold, but he seemed all right so we turned back and followed the Walkham back along the other side past Buckator (how confusing, Bucktor and Buckator on opposite sides of the river) across the bottom of West Down past the old mine buildings to Lower Grenofen. 

It was a bit further than we'd intended to go, but the hounds kept up very well,even Mollydog with her bad leg.  I think philmophlegm was the tiredest member of the party at the end.  On the other hand, he is still awake, and the hounds aren't!
Tags: dogs, foster, walks

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