It was a quick walk before the rain set in for the afternoon. The Dog and I headed to Caton and the metalled Millennium Path where we were guaranteed not to get blathered in mud.
We parked up just off the roundabout and picked up the Path. We sauntered along, The Dog sniffing and splashing through water. It was reasonably pleasant and the sun tried to push its way through the clouds. The few brief times it managed it, there was a definite warmth – it was nice to feel some heat.
We stopped a couple of times to pass the time of day with fellow dog walkers. It’s a pleasant stroll through the edge of Caton, past sheep fields and rows of trees, just following the path, an easy stroll. We crossed the River Lune as it meandered one way and then the other way, walking across the old iron railway bridges with splendid views of the river and beyond. We carried on walking up towards Halton following the river. Here it’s more wooded, but you could see civilisation. We reached the old railway station freshly painted and looking smart. Here we turned right and crossed into Halton via a single track vehicle bridge. The river was running fast and the weirs making a thundering sound.
At the end of the bridge, we turned right again and into a modern housing estate. There were two separate new estates going up, one across the field and another further up river, peeking over a high hill. The estate butts the river and we soon left the brick and mortar, to drop down by the fishing area and past the eco houses. We were soon back into countryside.
I was startled to see the river bank had been washed away quite severely. The power of the water is unbelievable. Recent weeks has seen heavy rainfall and with water pouring off the Dales, the rivers have been at maximum levels. It makes you stop and think how dangerous water is when it’s in full flow and how much damage it can inflict. Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with.
The sun had gone in for the day, but bright yellow gorse was out and brightening up the riverside. Birds were singing in the trees and as we entered woodland, I realised that the floor was green with foliage. It was like spring was in the starting blocks. Just waiting for the sun’s heat and then it would burst forth. I love the anticipation of everything coming to life and the delight of seeing new growth. I had seen lambs and the daffodils are at their peak. It was lovely to see.
We picked our way through the woodland and up towards the road. The Dog was back on her lead as we briefly followed the pavement and into a field. I kept her on lead in case of any sheep were hiding around the corner. We came up to a picnic site with lovely old benches carved with animals. They were in a great spot looking up the valley towards Ingleborough and the Dales, though Ingleborough has been consumed by low cloud.
We stopped here briefly to look at the information boards and look at the white stumpy installation with Witches 400 written on it. It is one of several way markers on the Lancashire Witches Walk which ends in Lancaster, remembering the women back in the 17th century accused of being witches on the most flimsiest of ludicrous charges. This one commemorates Jane Bulcock, one of the women accused of witchcraft, along with her son John, in the Pendle Witch trials of 1612. I had seen other commemorative stones in Clitheroe too.
After our musings, we dropped down back onto the Millennium Path and sauntered back to Caton. A nice stretch of the legs, some 4 miles. I noticed that the hawthorne bushes were starting to sprout too with that vivid bright fresh green. A brilliant colour. Spring is definitely around the corner, but I wished it would hurry up!