Bagging A Few More

Over half term I made the journey to the other end of this country to spend some time in the Lake District. While it is quite a drive the views and atmosphere are so worth it.

While in the district of Allerdale I decided to complete a few more of the Wainwrights. There are 214 fells mentioned by Alfred Wainwright in his books and I’ve got a taste for bagging some each time I go to the Lake District. My personal target is to complete the lot by the time I am 60. I’ve got 14 years to go. I need to up my rate a little but the next time I go I am planning some lovely ridge walks that should get quite a few crossed off!

On the first day I went up Walla Crag [number 204 by height].

I parked in Great Wood car park and walked up the Cat Gill route and down again via Castlerigg. It was a lovely little jaunt. Now I had a feel for it I wanted to try and get some of the lower stand-alone fells bagged. I was trying to cross off those that would mean a big detour on future longer routes so this would allow me to make as yet unplanned walks easier.

Next was Binsey [number 192 by height]. A little mound of a fell on its own to the north east of the Skiddaw range.

This was too easy. The car was parked about half way up and was really just a little stroll. The views from the top were amazing. It was a lovely warm and sunny day with visibility running at about 25km. The mist was so fine that I couldn’t see the Scottish peaks but could just see Scotland across the Solway.

Derwentwater Withies Derwentwater Withies

Another day, another walk. This time up Cat Bells [number 189 by height]. I had already completed this particular fell and so wasn’t too fussed about climbing it but I had planned to meet a work friend there.

It was pretty busy at the top and plenty of people were making this their first Wainwright. I t was nice to see so many people enjoying this countryside. The views are just lovely.

Walking down Catbells and I saw this sheep just standing and staring.

The Hills Have Eyes The Hills Have Eyes

The next day was a rest day and I went on a narrow gauge railway and then visited Muncaster Castle. The walk back took in a short distance by the river Esk. The air was so still that the water looked like a mill pond.

River Esk River Esk

I drove back to Keswick through two mountain passes. One was Harknott pass and this is a most ridiculous road. There are hairpin bends with a gradient of 1:3. There were times I couldn’t see where the road went out the windscreen while turning because the road dropped away so fast. It was a very satisfying drive. Then, there was the Wrynose pass which wasn’t as spectacular but was still very pretty.

Another rest day followed with a lovely time doing various things together with going to watch Solo. The final walk day was spent hanging around Crummock Water after getting to the top of Rannerdale Knotts [number 210 by height] adjacent to the lake.

I’m annoyed that I forgot my hat. I don’t do well in direct sunlight, I have a lack of natural head covering, not that I’m too fussed about that, and I burn easily, even with sun lotion on [SPF 50].

Crummock Water Crummock Water

That was it for the week. A journey back to the South East and good broadband bandwidths beckoned the next day. It was good to get back to upload speeds in excess of 0.4Mb/s, it was needed to chuck photos into the cloud.

Derwent Water Derwent Water

DC Day Six

My last day in Washington DC! I knew I’d be leaving for the airport at around 19:30 so I had all day and plenty more to see. Another sunny day in DC and slightly warmer than the last week or so.
Got up, had coffee and then prepared for another run. I hadn’t seen the World War II memorial so far and that was my destination for today.

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On the run I saw a coast guard helo. My helicopter total for the trip was as follows:

  • Black Hawk
  • Marine One
  • Coastguard
  • Park Service UH-1

Back to Georgetown and time to get ready for a busy day. I had lunch organised at midday and so I wandered in to town at about 11. I was planning to get the metro from Foggy Bottom and go two stops to McPherson Square but I had plenty of time and so kept going on foot. I got to 14th and Eye just on time and walked a little further to The Hamilton bar for lunch.

View of the Capitol

After a Hamilton burger for lunch I walked towards the Newseum. I hadn’t quite decided whether to go there or the National Museum of American History. I happened to wander past the FBI Headquarters building and didn’t blag my way in to that place. I figured if I wanted to see inside I could try and get arrested somewhere, although that would probably not be worth the effort. I like my body cavities as they are!
I saw a sign indicating Ford’s Theatre and so I walked to see that. There were many many school children waiting outside. I understand, it’s the place of assassination.
I decided that the Newseum would wait and so I walked to the Museum of American History. Half of the museum was shut for the year to be refurbished which was a shame. I saw the original flag that inspired the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner and some pieces of American History. Again, much like the Natural History Museum, I have a feeling that we do museums far better than the Americans and it all seemed a little “not quite the nation’s museum” even though it was.
I headed for the National Aquarium close to the White House and waited in line to be searched and pay my entry fee of USD10. I’m glad it was only a small amount of money as the Aquarium was pretty rubbish. The London Aquarium is far superior. Apparently there is a branch of this aquarium in Baltimore and I would hope that one is much better. Maybe another trip.
It was time to start wandering back to GT. I was feeling a touch peckish and thirsty and I wanted more coffee so I found a bar on M street in GT. Mr Smith’s saloon fed me coffee, buffalo chicken sandwich and a Goose Island beer.


Much refreshed it was now cupcake time. There are two shops in Georgetown that feature in their own TV shows on some small time channels. I though it might be worth buying a cake from there however, the queue was around the block and I don’t like cupcakes enough to wait that long. Instead I had a muffin and coffee from Saxbys.
Packing my suitcase in Winfield Lane was methodical and calming and then I played some guitar hero Metallica while I waited for Rich to come home from work. The journey to the airport was uneventful and the flight home was boring. I tried to sleep but don’t think I managed it.


It was great to see my boys and spend the next few days with them in the UK.

DC Day Five

On this sunny day spent in the capital city of the United States Of America I had an appointment with a Segway tour company. I had to walk to Foggy Bottom. I could have ridden in a cab or bus but the weather was nice although blowy and walking means you see so much more. It’s also free! I arrived about an hour early and so I went to a coffee shop, ordered a ciabatta sandwich which came with crisps and drank a caramel macchiato coffee. The coffee was lovely and might become my standard although I am reminded of a former colleague’s t-shirt that said “Latte means you’ve paid too much for your coffee”.
I proceeded to the Segway Tour offices and signed all the relevant disclaimers and bought some water to take on my tour. We had some instruction from Rory, the female tour guide, and although I was quite happy once on the Segway I wasn’t very good at getting on and off. I needed a little extra help to do that, although I didn’t care. Better that than falling on my arse! Once everyone was ready we visited the following buildings and monuments:

  • Vice-President’s Ceremonial Office Building
  • First Division Monument
  • White House – South Lawn
  • The Washington Monument
  • Thomas Jefferson Memorial
  • FDR Memorial (saw Marine One fly over while here!)
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • Korean War Memorial
  • Vietnam War Memorial

All of these were stunning and beautiful buildings or monuments. It was well worth the money to experience the Segway and see these sights. Really good value.

Segway Tour

After the tour I needed some food and also wanted to see the White House a little closer so I walked to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and took some pictures of the front of the White House or the North Face. It’s quite small in comparison to the other buildings in the area but much bigger than Number 10 Downing St. Although really the comparison should be made with the official residence of our Head of State which is Buckingham Palace. I could see the West Wing and plenty of people milling in and out of security. I didn’t think it worth the risk to blag my way in. There was a sniper on the roof!
I bought a hotdog from a street vendor and headed to the National Museum of Natural History. It was, again, a lovely building but I think I may have been spoilt in the UK with our museums. I didn’t think the museum anything special although I guess it is probably the best of its kind in the USA. Science and natural history are definitely the way to go people. The museum was ok. Lots of families there again as it was spring break.
I wandered back home and met Kate at around 4. Sorted out my photo uploads and then waited for Mr O to return so we could get to the baseball game.
I had bought some tickets for the baseball as we were hoping to meet some friends there, as it happened we didn’t managed to speak to each other but it was really well worth going to the Nats ballpark. We arrived just as the game was starting after trying to find a left turn way into the parking and having whistles blown at us and lots of waving hands but no instructions about an alternative route. I found that just a little rude! It turns out that baseball is a lot like cricket. Not a lot happens in quite a long time. The Americans just sit and eat and drink and occasionally cheer. Pretty similar to cricket. It’s a game full of statistics (like cricket) and involves trying to hit a ball thrown at around 90 mph. We should import cricket and regain our colonial rule! I saw someone reach 1st, 2nd and 3rd base. Also saw a home run by a Nats pitcher, Gio Gonzalez. The Nats won the game against the Miami Marlins by 3 to 0. We drove home and just went to bed. It had been quite a busy day.

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A Walk In The Park

Such a lovely morning spent walking the dog and children in Cobtree Park. The various tree species make it such a wonderful place. #1 loved it, I think #2 did too. WW had a good time.


Wet or Not?

Lovely weather at the moment. The rest of the country is on flood alert! About 20 minutes to get home. Will I make it home dry? This is what’s coming for me:


Nearly home! Think I’m going to make it.


It’s raining now. Been home about 15 minutes. Job done.

This is the rain shower I just missed. It’s sunny now! You might like the double rainbow!