BB1533 : Bad Things Come In Threes

Thursday 24th September 2015

Why is it that Bad Things come in threes?  

Agreed these weren’t the world’s greatest disasters but these three Bad Things were very frustrating.

To avoid the squally weather (plus we had an ulterior motive) we three (hopefully not ourselves Bad Things) aimed for Grizedale or, to be more precise, Satterthwaite at its southern end.  Aimed for but missed.  Somehow the turning for Grizedale disappeared and we found ourselves heading way south along by the side of Esthwaite Water.  We think it was hidden behind a bus.  The turning, not the lake.  It was therefore a very long way round, passing Graythwaite Hall, before we reached this attractive hamlet.  That detour was not one of the Bad Things but it did delay us rather.

The landlady at the Eagle's Head kindly allowed us to park at the pub on the understanding that we would be paying them a proper visit on our return.  

Before setting off, I calibrated the gps, took a photo of the pub then
Bad Thing № 1 happened.  

My camera told me it had run out of juice.  

It can’t have, I thought, it was attached to my pc all last night to charge it up.  

The Eagle's Head

Then it dawned on me.  A PC in sleep mode doesn’t want its snooze to be disturbed by having to do any charging.  

Satterthwaite Church

So, I had to resort to the low quality  camera on my rather old phone.

The ulterior motive mentioned above involves some of the Forestry Commission trails in this area so we passed through the village, past its interesting looking but locked church, then up a footpath to meet the trail.

This we followed for a while then the blue markers disappeared and, contrary to the not very clear Grizedale Walks map, dropped down to the very road along which we should not have driven.

In other words, nor should we have walked on it.  But now we had to. That too was not one of the Bad Things but it did delay the arrival at our target somewhat.

Fortunately, the road work did not last long and we were soon able to climb a steep footpath up to a track which is where we should have been all along and where Bad Thing № 2 happened.

My phone, which I had been using as a camera and which had been on charge all night, started to run out of juice.

Grizedale Tarn

Tree, wall, moss and fern

Comitibus: Grizedale Tarn

It struggled on as far as Grizedale Tarn and a little further to a strange tower, the purpose of which confused us.

From one side, it looked like a very large cairn or small tower. From the other it was open but with two approaching walls and a very narrow gap between.  

Stan thought it some form of shelter, common in Scotland.

I thought it was more likely a viewing station, the steps of which had vanished- it being now of no use thanks to any vista being obscured by the large forest trees.  

The strange tower

Tony just thought it was lunch time- we hadn’t brought sandwiches as we intended to eat at the visitor centre.

Fortunately Tony did have a fully charged smart phone so, after examining a launching pad for one of the forest's now closed zip wires, he then took over as official photographer whilst grumbling about his tummy rumbling.

The trail meandered through the forest, past various sculptures.  Sometimes the markers were easy to follow.  Sometimes positively confusing.  Eventually, after a few false turnings, we arrived at the visitor centre.

Lunch, sadly, was uninspiring but not sufficiently so to be considered a Bad Thing.  However, it was during lunch that I was asked how far we had been.  I reached for my rucksack and, to my horror, found the pocket in which my Garmin GPS had been stowed was empty and the zip undone.  Although I had not actually tied it in, I was sure that I had closed the zip.  Somehow it had come loose and the gps fallen out.  Lost.  Gone.  

The boys thought I should consider this a Good Thing as I have never been fond of the 62s and wished I had bought the cheaper and simpler Etrex 30 as had Bryan.  However, the thought of the cost of the replacement definitely made this Bad Thing № 3.

The main purpose of the visit was definitely a Good Thing.  I am not sure whether I should be reporting this now as it could giving the game away about our Christmas Event day out.  No matter.  We went to the bike hire shop and discussed hiring mountain bikes for the day including some with remarkably fat tyres.  And then we discussed electric bikes.  All I will say now is that all three of us were excited about the thought of using them, especially as it would allow those BOOTboys who are no long that good on their pins to join in the fun. 

Return to Satterthwaite

We took the simple way back to Satterthwaite, down the west side of Grizedale Beck then along Moor Lane to the pub.  As we reached the car, my hopes that the gps would be lying on its top were dashed.  It wasn’t there.  Nor was it to be seen inside. We dropped off our baggage and I turned towards the pub to drown my sorrows.  Stan shouted to me.  “Look what I have found,” he said.

Yes, you know what it was.  For a moment, I thought he might have been playing a mean trick on me but quickly dismissed such a thought.  No wonder I hadn’t seen it.  After calibrating, I must have put it down on the back seat and then deposited the map papers that we didn’t need.  Right on top of the gps. Bad Thing № 3 overcome by Stan’s Good Thing.

In fact, all in all, no Bad Things happened.  №s 1 & 2 were only temporary setbacks relieved by Tony and Bad Thing № 3 was made good by Stan.  

Take into account all the various Good Things that happened on the walk plus a Good Thing session in the very welcoming Eagle's Head, in the end it proved to be an enjoyable Good Thing day.  And that’s a very Good Thing.

Don, 24th September 2015




Thursday 24th September 2015

Distance in miles:

8.2 approx

Height climbed in feet:

1,339 approx


Grizedale Forest


Don, Stan, Tony

BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1533 .

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To see which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing see Which Wainwright When? This may or may not be up to date!

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BOOTboys 2015



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