It was probably a blessing in disguise that I left Castlerigg at sunrise. It had been a cold night and as I drove out of Keswick, I could see plenty of mist in the valleys. Although I had really hoped for still, misty mornings during my stay, I really didn’t think I could be that lucky. However, I had the most stunning mist on all three mornings.
So it was that I parked up at Gatesgarth Farm and got chatting to a lovely gentleman who was up from Staffordshire for the day. He was doing all the Wainwright walks and had a massive trek planned for the entire day. I admired his fitness and I felt a little ashamed to say that later I would be driving up to Honister mine to try and find Warnscale Bothy. The route had been planned to remove the majority of the climb, but as it turned out, the round trip eventually took me five and a half hours.
I walked the few hundred yards to the edge of the lake, chatting to the friendly sheep along the way. I fell in love with two types while I was in the Lake District – one was an almost chocolate-brown with a pale face, while the other was a definite shade of blue. I found out later that they were both of the Herdwick breed. The youngsters are nearly black when born, turning a blue/grey hue in old age.
It had been my intention to rush to the promontory to get a good view of the Sentinels (a well-known group of trees), but a single specimen on the end caught my eye. Bent and twisted with age, it had seen better days, but it made the most incredible foreground interest. Out came the tripod and the image is featured here at the top. The mist can clearly be seen over the water, extending from right to left. By the time I had walked to where I had a good vantage point looking back, the mist had retreated to the right, as can be seen in the photograph below. I can only assume it was cooler by the foot of the hills and the mist had not yet been burnt off.
Not long afterwards, the mist swept in with a vengeance and the Sentinels are almost obliterated in this closer view.
The mist eventually cleared and I packed up and headed back to the car. I wanted to spend a couple of hours at the other end of the lake before having lunch and setting out for the bothy. As I reached the spot where I had photographed the first tree, I found a group of foreign tourists had parked up to admire the view. It was still beautiful, but what really caught my eye was the black and white cat rubbing around one of the front wheels. He must have come from the farm, but it was a long way off. I imagined he was out for a spot of hunting and had lingered for a bit of fuss while it was available. I made sure the driver knew the cat was there before I carried on. I turned around one last time to see him heading off in the direction of the lake and a pair of unsuspecting Canada geese.