|Where the River Tees meets Langdon Beck|
Late yesterday afternoon, on the A1 Motorway in North Yorkshire, I noticed a sign - "Leeming Bar Rest Area 1 mile". And I thought to myself, "Hell, I need a rest".
So I drove off the motorway, parked in the promised rest area, reclined my seat and promptly fell asleep. I woke up half an hour later and wandered into the "Costa" coffee shop for a medium latte. Then I went in the Gentlemen's toilets (American: rest room/ bathroom) to urinate and to splash my face with cold water.
Back on the motorway, I felt alert with no chance of falling asleep at the wheel. It had been a long day.
I had woken at 6am in a tiny single room in The Teesdale Hotel in Middleton-in-Teesdale. After reading for an hour, I showered, packed my stuff up and headed downstairs for breakfast. Muesli, toast, tea and a full English breakfast - fried egg, black pudding, two rashers of bacon, grilled tomato and a sausage - all fine quality.
Then I stepped out into the gorgeous September sunlight, strolled around the village for a while, remembered I still had my room keys, took them back and then set off farther up the valley of The River Tees.
|Scar End Farm|
"Where the hell are we going?" grumbled Clint.
"Into a land that is unknown to me," I whispered.
"Let's go," he said.
|"New House", Forest-in-Teesdale|
We parked near an old chapel in the dispersed upland farming settlement that is known as Forest-in-Teesdale. Then I set off. I had my map. It was a diamond day as the weather people had predicted and I had ten miles to walk. Ten beautiful miles of sights not seen before and I loved every one of those miles. No need for a jacket but I did carry my rucksack containing a flask of cold water, a banana, an apple and a packet of cheese and onion crisps (American: chips).
|On Wool Pits Hill|
How good it was to be there and there was something unusual that I had not realised beforehand. Almost all of the farms in that remote upland area are painted white. It was a peculiarity that I very much enjoyed. And I enjoyed seeing the place where the infant River Tees meets Langdon Beck before continuing its journey to the sea. It is a journey that two miles downstream takes the river over a hard layer of volcanic rock - hence the dramatic High Force waterfall thundering down as it has done for millennia.
|A view of High Force Waterfall - Upper Teesdale|