Yes… I had a little fall. Sounds like a line from Monty Python - like,
“I’m not dead yet!. I’d like a little dance!”
I am OK. I did the right thing as I lay on my back with the water rushing past me. I kept still and checked everything before I moved. I am sure that is the right thing to do.
Phone… yes all good… screen is all fine… still got signal.
Watch… Yes all good… still counting my steps. What if it had been a new one eh!!! The Apple Watch 4 that catches falls and checks you are OK. Instead of me checking the watch is fine, it would be asking me if I am OK or to call for help.
Camera… yes shutter still works. Seems to still focus as it ought.
Sun Glasses… Yeh… not dislodged at all… no scratches.
Car Keys… wet but all fine… won’t be a problem.
Room Key… Ahhh good not lost in the bog…
So there we have it All fine nothing to worry about. Now! Can I stand up?
I am OK. Perhaps I better tell the whole story.
I grew up in a little village in North Yorkshire called Teesville. We will drive through it tomorrow just to look at the old house. Teesville is on the bank of the river Tees. It is not the most majestic river ever. Bit like the Torrens to tell the truth. It is about 60 miles long. It played a big part in our childhood. So a challenge for this trip was to find the source of the river Tees.
We located it in the Cow Green Reservoir in the Pennines. This reservoir is close by the Coast to Coast walking track and the Pennine Way walking track. We knew there was walking access down to the source of our little river.
This morning’s drive took us from Penrith across the spine of England to the Cow Green Reservoir. This was the first excursion we designed for this trip. We were not disappointed at all.
It was cold, 9.5˚, as we got out of the car. It was threatening rain as we began the walk from the car park to the Reservoir and the waterfall. We had defined the waterfall as the goal for the walk. 3km each way. Rough and boggy. Some track and lots of wet.
We got there sharing the track with some hardy sheep along the way.
Hey… just as a little BTW. Sheep really do look weird with long wooly tails. These all look like Shaun the Sheep.
I walked across the dam and loved what I could see. The sun was taking over from the clouds now. I knew we were gonna have the best possible view of the falls.
The track to the falls was muddy, sucky wet black peat bog. Yukkkk. And wet rocks.
Each step was carefully planned and executed with attention to detail. It was slippery for sure but I was all over this. Then I came to one nasty, tricky bit. The only solid solution was to rest my right foot in the sliver of water trickling across the rock. Then transfer my weight slowly. Step 3, across onto dry rocks. Julie had chosen the soggy grassland to drag her feet through.
Flash! I am flat on my back in the running water. I was a couple meters (yards) from the river. Safe enough. And I lay there. Wet through.
Julie said, “What do I need to do? Give me the camera” I had already checked and it was working. I passed her the camera and tried to move. My left hand did hurt. I had smashed it on the camera as I kept that out of the water.
I know, such priorities.
My waterproof jacket was being - water proof to the max and keeping me insulated. My Gortex infused shoes keeps my feet dry. So I was ready to see if the rest of me was working.
There was no leverage to be had on the rocks where I lay. Any movement and I would just stay wet. So I moved my left hand across to the dry grasses on my right. And that was enough. I tugged at the grass. It did not give and I pulled myself up. I did feel foolish of course - foolish and wet - but there was no big crowd standing around to have a good laugh at the old man on his back.
I had done everything with the best skill I know and I still fell. And this at the extreme from the car. This was exactly 3 km from the road and the car.
But I am fine. 9 hours later and nothing more hurts.
Let me exempt the fall from the rest of the day.
It was perfect. The walk to the dam was all I had hoped. The waterfalls were exactly as I had seen them on the internet. The sun shone. All well with the world.
Back to the car we drank bubbly water and snacked before heading off. We wanted to get to the end of the river Tees where it enters the North Sea. Next to a wind farm and a nuclear power station.
A successful day all round. See if the pictures give you a sense of what we achieved today. I hope so. This was a special trip for us and it was perfect.
Well except all the bits while I was wet, horizontal and foolish.