Ragtag Tuesday: Wet walking

Near the Ripon Canal.

It was my turn to lead our walking group on a hike on Saturday.  When I was planning what to put in the programme a few months ago, I had an idea of taking the group on a pleasant wintry walk along frost-rimed canal paths with delicate fine sheets of ice coating any puddles we met.  A weak sun would glimpse through downy dove-grey cloud, and we’d walk briskly in the cold clear air.

Well, that didn’t work.  Last week,  we’d had four days of largely non-stop rain.  And Saturday was no different.  Anybody with any sense would have rolled over in bed that morning and gone back to sleep.  I got up, and took myself off to our rendezvous, completely confident that nobody would be there waiting for me.  I’d come home and toast my toes by the fire.

Five would-be walkers greeted me.  Yes, they did want to walk.  No, they didn’t think it was too wet.  We’re here now.  Let’s get on with it.

The Ripon Canal was still looking inviting as we began our walk.

So we did.  We’re an amiable bunch who like one another so the conversation flowed.  We got in our several-thousand-steps for the day.  But we also couldn’t see much as our glasses got wetter and wetter.  Our rain gear kept the rain out and the sweat in.  Our over trousers dripped and sulked.  Our boots got damper and damper. The canal tow path, normally a fine surface for a winter’s walk, slipped and oozed.  The trees dumped giant water drops on our heads to add to the rain’s constant spillage

Those umbrellas were a mighty fine idea.

We got to our half-way point in record time.  We got back to base in an even more record time.

‘Now honestly,’  I said to my fellow-martyrs as the end drew nigh.’If you had your time over again, knowing what you know now, would you have come?”Of course!’ they all said.  And they meant it.  Not me. I scuttled off home to my fireside, and stayed there for the rest of the day.

This bridge by the River Skell provided much needed shelter as we said our goodbyes at the edge of Ripon.

Today’s Ragtag Challenge is ‘Rain’.

Author: margaret21

I'm retired and living in North Yorkshire, where I walk as often as I can, write, volunteer, and travel as often as I can.

19 thoughts on “Ragtag Tuesday: Wet walking”

  1. Ah, you need Melissa Harrison’s book Rain to set you straight on the joys of a rainy walk 😉 (We’ve had a number of New Year’s Day walks that have turned out like this one. The worst I can remember is when it bucketed down on the walk up Shutlingsloe and back; I was wearing at least five layers and was still soaked through to my underclothes.) While there’s a certain degree of misery at the time, you get a keen sense of accomplishment afterwards, and you feel you’ve truly earned your heating/hot drink/warming snack/rest afterwards.

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    1. I’ve been trying to borrow that book for weeks from the library. I’ve heard her on televison talking about exactly this. She’s convincing – but not convincing enough.


  2. You all look like hearty folk with admirable resilience and the correct weather gear. However, I think it would be a once only endeavour for me with your welcoming fireside sounding much the preferable option. I do hope nobody caught a cold.

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  3. At first glance, I thought the river was the path! I admire your dedication. I’ll brave drizzle, and once walked in driving hail by accident but I’m more of a fair-weather walker.

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  4. I have to think that you are not doing this quite right. My wife and I belong to a Thursday walking group, 20-30,and a splinter group on Mondays that like longer walks. (10-15k). This is a morning effort which usually wraps up around noon hour. Now to the good part. Quite often we finish our hike at one of the local pubs. Good food, welcome beer and great conversation. Food for thought? Cheers.

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    1. Oh Dan, you’re a man after my own heart. Yes, this is our style too. I’m in two walking groups, one of which does the lunch option, like yours. The other has a picnic part way through the walk, then a nice tea shop afterwards. This particular walk went horribly wrong from my point of view. Enjoy tomorrow’s walk!

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  5. No one has ever enjoyed (and deserved) a warm fire and warming beverage more than you did after this walk! I like a short walk in a light drizzle but that’s the extent of it. Your description of wet glasses and sweaty rain gear is all too familiar.

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  6. You describe so well why I too dislike rainy walks. Added to all that is the need to concentrate on where one puts one’s feet to avoid slipping on muddy pathways and so one scarcely ever has a chance to look up through one’s wet and/or fogged glasses. I love the rain, but not walking out in it …

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