So, the plan is a second attempt to reach Lost Lad, and for the second time we accept defeat. Rain, drizzle and more rain, although it might clear later, apparently!
We're parked in our usual spot at the side of Ladybower deciding on an alternative. We aren't in any rush so decide to do the long circuit of the reservoirs; Derwent and Howden.
Our route is predictable and easy to follow, so we cross beneath the Derwent Dam wall, climb the uneven steps and start along the track on the far side of the reservoir. It's already drizzling with rain and the dogs, Mollie and Scamp, are soggy.Needless to say, we don't have much of a view, although the low level of the reservoir is a bit of a surprise. Then it really starts to rain and we seek refuge beneath a stand of trees where I dig out my waterproof trousers from the bottom of the rucksack.
We stand there a while, hoping it will pass over, but it really is bucketing it down. In the end we decide to go for it. We have waterproofs, we shouldn't get too wet. Should we?
To our relief the rain does start to ease off to a light drizzle and a potential of some clear - or rather, not wet - spells. We pass the point where out walk up to the Lad would have started and we admire the rather soggy daffodils.
We pass the Howden Dam wall and continue along, not meeting another soul. Perhaps the weather is keeping everyone under cover.
Mollie finds a discarded ball at the side of the path and gleefully picks it up to play with. She plays fetch for a while, with Scamp's little legs whirring to keep up.
We pass the stream running down from Howden Clough and the dogs have a paddle before we turn the bend with the view down to the dam. It looks as though the water stops in mid-air, like at some upmarket hotel with their suspended swimming pools. Although this is undoubtedly much colder!
We see our first couple of walkers, then go through the gate where we put the dogs back on their leads. There's always the possibility of sheep.
And we see a helicopter coming down the valley - the first of a few we see through the course of the day.
Then, as we are walking along the long length of Cold Side, the sun comes out and the view clears. We have a superb view up the valley.
There's been a lot of planting done on the slope down to the water, and some up on the hillside on our right too. Mollie tires of carrying her ball and leaves it for some other fortunate hound that may follow in her pawsteps.
Soon enough we see the bridge at Slippery Stones and we know that we'll soon be able to stop for lunch. We go for the huge log cum bench at the far side of the bridge where we can sit in some comfort and enjoy our food, including quite messy but very nice custard slices.
There are sheep around here, good job the dogs are on their leads.
But as we walk around the views improve again.
Though the dogs are a little tired, there's still a way to go.
We are on tarmac now, much more tiring underfoot. The gorse is in glorious bloom though, and we hear a curlew up on the moors.
The dam wall looms ahead, and another helicopter goes overhead. As we pass the wall, and the cottages beneath, we enter into the woods where Tin Town was: the construction village for the dams. It's mainly wooded now, with little indication of the industry. A
And we hear a cuckoo - our first of the year. Does this mean it's Spring?
The last stretch of the walk always seems the longest, and is undoubtedly the slowest. But at least it isn't raining anymore.
It's a good job we weren't in a rush. We are quite late getting back to the cars. So late that we hit the rush hour traffic on our way home.