It’s another glorious day in Yorkshire, a little chilly with the wind, but sunny and clear.
The Dog and I find ourselves in Gargrave, a pretty little village, cruelly dissected by the A65 main road which runs from Leeds to the edge of the Lake District. It also has the Leeds Liverpool Canal running through the middle of it, which we chose for today’s saunter.
We parked in the little free car park and walked the hundred or so yards to the Canal towpath, where The Dog rejoices in her freedom as I unleash her. She loves canals. We wander under the dapple shade of the trees lining the path while The Dog is trying to figure out how to get into the canal. She’s a bit of a wuss as she won’t just jump in and hope for the best. She dilly dallies on the edge, trying to see how deep it is. It’s painful to watch and I’m tempted to give her a shove.
Leaving her to it, I carry on, saying hello to fellow canal walkers. The Dog gallops past, startling two ducks who were happily sunbathing and now flapping across the water, quacking indignantly. The Dog looks proud with herself.
We come to the first lock which looks like it’s under renovation and a little further along, our first canal boats. I’ve always fancied living on a canal boat, it looks so romantic. I love peering into them and fascinated how the living arrangements are set up. It’s so compact and cosy, so simple and easy. In reality, it probably isn’t and I would probably end up hating it. But I can dream.
The views are lovely across to the fells of Barden Moor. The colours of the heather are deep and purple. It’s really vibrant at the moment.
We have a brief, but exciting interlude when The Dog, investigating a bridge ahead of us, discovers a sheep on it and her inner Collie. The sheep legs it with a frantic baa with my hound hot on its heels. I holler at The Dog across the water and thankful she gives up the chase almost immediately as the sheep carries on before doing a nifty leap over a dry stone wall into a field full of its mates. It had obviously escaped the field for whatever reason. The Dog returns, looking very pleased with herself and her achievement of herding a sheep. I’m just very relieved.
We walked for about an hour, I suppose, before we turned around. The next village is East Marton and a few more miles further along. I didn’t have the time or energy to walk there, even though it’s got a pub, which is quite an incentive. We walked up to the little mile stones, paused to admire the countryside and slowly wandered back to Gargrave and a delightful little cafe for coffee and a teacake for some sustenance.
The Dog looks suitably worn out, even with an infusion of dog treats and water courtesy of the cafe. We saunter back to the car, where The Dog shows some reluctance to jump into the back of the car – either through being too tired to jump in the boot or sorry, I don’t want to go home. We finally leave the little car park and Gargrave and drive slowly home.