This weekend was an adventure. In addition to figuring out how to make a five hour trip up to the Lake District (it included three different trains and a bus), we went on two different hikes and visited William Wordsworth’s home – all within about 24 hours.
We left Oxford at 9:30 Saturday morning, and made it to Grasmere, a small town in the center of the Lake District, around 3. We dropped our bags off at the hotel (an adorable house with a garden, sheep, and great views of the mountains) and then asked around for directions to a good path to hike. Despite the directions, we ended up getting lost trying to get to Loughrigg Fell. So when we did finally come across a path (which probably was not the one we wanted, I’ll admit), we decided to just take it.
We ended up venturing into the hills, though we didn’t go too far because it was rainy, a little cold, and pretty muddy. Still, we got a great view from the top of the hill and enjoyed the physical activity and breathing in the cool mountain air.
After our hike we showered off and grabbed dinner at a pub (which was pretty much the only thing open at that time). I had my first Yorkshire pudding, which was good but not anything like pudding (those silly British…). We went to bed early that night – we had planned to hike again in the morning and wanted to be prepared.
After breakfast in the hotel, we set off on our adventure. This time we were better prepared – we bought a small card of directions for a hike someone recommended we take. Around 10:30, we headed up to Easedale Tarn. First, let me say that before this trip I would not have considered myself a hiker – an adventurer, maybe, but never a hiker. But I have to say that it’s this hike that changed my mind.
Even with the directions, we really didn’t know where we were going. Occasionally we saw signs that told us we were going in the right direction, but mostly we just followed the path. Even before we started up the mountain, the view was beautiful. We made our way across the rolling hills tucked into the valleys of the towering mountains. We climbed past rivers and waterfalls and hopped on rocks to keep from getting wet. And then finally we made it to the top (after saying “I think this is it” about five or six times).
Easedale Tarn is a small lake (basically), nestled in the top of Easedale Crag (don’t worry, I also have no clue what those words mean…). Supposedly it was created by a glacier melting, and the water that runs down from it creates the waterfalls we could see all down the mountains.
It was breathtaking. When the tarn finally came into view, we all paused and took in the sparkling blue water pooled in between the green peaks. The water looked clear and calm before it bubbled over the rocks and began to pour down the mountain. After spending plenty of time posing for pictures and just taking in the scenery, we decided that the quickest way to get back down was to cross the water. There were rocks all the way across, so we just rolled up our pants and took the plunge. The water, though not very strong, was freezing, and came up past our ankles. But it was clear enough that we could see the rocks we needed to step on and everyone made it across safe and sound!
The way back down was just as pretty, and a little bit easier since we were headed down the mountain and not up. We were in a little bit of a hurry, though, since we were starving and wanted to grab lunch before heading to Dove Cottage (Wordsworth’s house).
By the time we made it back to Grasmere, it was about 1:30. We had planned to start the train journey home around 3, but we knew that we needed to go to Dove Cottage or we would regret it. So we decided that instead of missing something we might later regret, we would just take a later train. Of course, then we missed the train we wanted to take and ended up having to wait an hour, but that’s not the point.
The point is that this weekend was a great example of taking advantage of every moment, and choosing to do the things that you know will make you happy.