For Fathers day I met up with my dad to go walking. I’d actually suggested I come home for the weekend but he suggested we go walking on Sunday instead – he’d pick me up from a station somewhere between where I am, and he is. I was actually relieved by his decision versus disappointed. I wasn’t entirely comfortable going home, and it is expensive. Although I did want to, and still want to see my cat and I am not sure what to do about that.
Anyway, I went to bed late on Saturday so I wasn’t particularly pleased waking at 7am on Sunday. My bus was at 8:56am so I had quite a bit of time to get ready. This was a good thing- I was so sleepy and out of it that it took ages to get ready and in the end I rushed out of the house, pushing for time! I walked very quickly to the bus station and somehow managed to get there on time. The bus came and I sat at the back and listened to music. I’d updated my mp3 player on Saturday which was good, although I still could not quite settle. I got into the city centre earlier than anticipated, walked to the station, collected my tickets and then waited for the train. There had been a staff shortage on Sunday so I had been worried my train would be cancelled. I’d even phoned up the train provider to check it wasn’t, but I still could not help but worry. Thankfully my train was running, although it was busy. Well, I managed to get a seat anyway. The journey was long and boring. Even though I’d put new music on my player, I again found it hard to settle. I couldn’t quite relax, felt agitated and nervous for some reason, too aware of my surroundings, too aware of the time. I kept shifting position, kept looking around me, kept fidgeting with the volume of my music. It began to rain soon enough, which did not bode well for my day either.
I began to wonder why I had bothered to leave the house. That anxious, scared part of me wanted to retreat, wanted to go home and lock the door and forget it. To be alone.
I got into Sheffield around 10- something. I was surprised my dad wanted to meet me there, as its a long drive for him, and I was also curious about where he was taking me. He wasn’t there when I got down to the station entrance and I paced nervously around the station, still unable to wait patiently in one place. I was relieved when he phoned to say he was there. He picked me up and we set off for the peak district. Well, we tried. Sheffield is a large and confusing city, our sat nav took us here and there until my dad got frustrated, turned it off and decided to follow the road signs. In this way we finally managed to stop going in circles and escape the city. Turned out, my dad was taking me to around the Derwent Reservoir. I was a little nervous about this, as I’d been in that area with my walking club, but thankfully my dad decided to take me somewhere different. We arrived and managed to find parking – it was very busy. It had thankfully stopped raining by the time we got there. We set off, walking through the forest and past the Derwent Dam towers. Then through more forest around the Derwent reservoir before taking a path up off towards Little Howden Moor.
We walked along wide pathways in the forest, and eventually we got out to the moor, surrounded by lush green bracken, lots of sheep, and not many people any more. The path climbed up, stayed this way for a little bit, and then down. We stopped to have a bite to eat before carrying on, trudging up another sharp ascent but thankfully keeping this height. The lakeside pathway had been crowded, there had been a certain amount of people in the forest, but the valley we came to was very still and quiet. The bracken was thick, and we walked along a narrow pathway just wide enough to stand with both feet together that snaked along the hillside. Our path jutted out from the side of the hill, with the river of the valley on one side, and a steep, sharp drop down to it. We were a little exposed, the pathway was narrow, uneven and very muddy – and slippery – in parts. I began to feel a bit disoriented, worried that with just one wrong footing I’d tumble down to the river below. I don’t like such sheer, exposed heights. I had to stop often but my dad was patient with me, and allowed it. We walked through the valley, coming to a stop to have a bit more to eat at one of the high points where we could admire the view. Then we carried on walking, eventually climbing right out of the valley. We then walked back along the Derwent edge – passing both Dovestone Tor and the Wheel Stones. My dad insisted we climb the rocks at Dovestone Tor, which was little frightening. My upper body strength is not great so it was with considerable effort that I hefted myself up – although the views were great from up there. (In the photos, the white marker shows where we climbed up to.) The weather became a bit misty, a little damp now. I kept annoying my dad by fussing over whether it was, or was not, raining. I really did not want to get wet. The mist made pictures a little difficult too. However it was nice and cool – a cold breeze blowing to stop it from being too sticky, and the sun was covered so it wasn’t hot either. The path was a well maintained stone pathway along the top so it was pretty easy going for the most part. Although I had hurt my leg at some point earlier last week, and it had started to hurt sometime in the valley, and by the time we were on Derwent edge it had become noticeable enough that my father was asking why I was limping. “I’m not,” I mumbled, even though I really was.
We also saw lots of Grouse, and even baby grouse, which was quite nice – it became a bit of a game for me to peer closely at the bracken to see if they were there.
We descended down to pass through more bracken, then through fields of wildflowers, then back to the lakeside. We passed the submerged hamlet of Derwent along the way – which was a little creepy to think of. One picture showed the top of the church poking out of the reservoir. The walk back was pretty long, and a little dreary, it was drizzling proper, and the scenery did not change much. My leg was aching fiercely, the pain long spread from my upper thigh right down through me knee and my foot, although I was enduring as best as I could. It was a bit of a relief to get back to the car. “It’s nice just to sit, isn’t it,” my father remarked. This is why I like walking with my father compared to the hiking club – we can go slowly, stop often, and at the end I don’t have to feel embarassed about being tired out.
We drove back into Sheffield. In our mud splattered casual clothes we ended up at McDonalds for supper. I was ravenous so even that was enough. My father dropped my off at the station and the journey back managed to be even longer than the journey there – a train and two buses and I was just tired and sore.
It was a good day, although at first I was a bit tired, and not in the mood, eventually I eased into it, and began to enjoy it.
Somehow though I felt a bit nervous around my dad – which is crazy, but I am even overly concerned about what my own parents think of me. Whenever I say something, even to my dad, I wonder what he thinks. I wonder if he’s just patiently putting up with me. I can ramble on a little bit, especially around my parents, I wonder if my dad finds it tiring. I had a great day, but it was tinged with worry that he wasn’t. I started off the day tired, because I had not slept enough, but ended it a very different sort of tired.