Mist on the Dales Way

March 19, 2012

5 big days walking, great bring it on and if Mist could think ahead I am sure that would be what she was thinking.

Frankly she could not care less about whether it was ‘exciting’ walking or simply a drag, to her the pleasure is pretty much the same. It is all about being out and about and the longer you are out the better it is. As it happened I did not complete the Dales Way in a continual 5 days but ended up splitting it up over 10 days although my suspicions are Mist could get used to continual walking rather easily!

My own journey of the Dales Way can be found here but this is Mist’s perspective – the pleasures and problems of a typical long distance walk. The problems of a long distance walk with a dog (particularly an official trail) can be put in to 3 categories

  • Finding somewhere to stay. A good chunk of B & Bs do not take dogs and this does create problems in finding somewhere to stay. Farms are notoriously reluctant as are larger towns. The Dales Way being typical of some of these difficulties, clearly camping is the best option. Fortunately for us we were returning home each night so that was fine.
  • Stiles & Gates. I wish I had counted the number of stiles and gates on the Dales Way. There are certainly many hundreds. Now Mist is pretty agile and can leap most of them but some defeated even her. A choice of allowing her to become impaled on some barbed wire or picking up and lifting a filthy dog is an unappealing choice at the end of a long day.
  • Farmers. Despite my prior reservations I encountered no difficult farmers; outraged that I had the audacity to be taking a dog on the walk. I never have Mist on a lead at any stage on a walk, she sticks to me like glue in the presence of sheep (or cars!) and this can upset some farmers. However some watched, some even grunted, but good on them, none complained. I know of a walking friend who will rarely walk their dog on lower levels because of the animosity towards people with dogs and sticks to the high level at all possible times.
However, despite some of the potential difficulties she absolutely loved it! A happy dog she was, summed up for me when after walking for 6 hours she started on her habit of ‘rabbiting’, which is when she just races madly in circles for the sheer joy of being out and about. Yes she was tired at the end of the day, I could tell as I was not persecuted by a ball being dropped on my lap all night, but she could have gone on and on. Everything was a pleasure for her, whether making little bunny hops towards frogs or attempting to negotiate a gate with a ridiculously large stick, it all simply added to the enjoyment. There is nothing like walking with a dog to bring a smile to your face.
So yes, Mist enjoyed the Dales Way but hell she would probably enjoy a walk along the M1.
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