Have you ever followed a road or path in the belief it would take you to X only to find it went to Y instead which was bloody miles away from where you wanted to be? Yep, well that was me and Scout this morning aimlessly wandering about the County Durham countryside. I suppose I only have myself to blame as I always carry a map in my over the shoulder bag, and yes you've guessed it today I didn't.

        When  I say aimlessly wandering we weren't lost, it was more a case of the footpath didn't go where I thought it did. It didn't help the standard yellow way markers suddenly petered out as happens all too frequently around here. In fact it is worth noting if you do go for a walk in these parts always check both sides of the fence, gate or stile these markers are attached to. Today for example approaching one gate  there was only one arrow showing the path turning right along a field edge. On the other side of the gate there were two arrows one showing the path to the right and one showing another right of way straight across the field in front (or behind depending on your direction of travel). You really do need eyes in the back of your head at times.

        The upshot was instead of doing our usual three miles my four legged friend and I ended up walking seven. Not that we wee complaining, the unexpected bonus of our misdirection being we were introduced to some beautiful new scenery which is going to warrant further exploration. It also brought back memories of my dad telling me about an ancient hill fort secreted away in the woods. Much to my surprise when I looked at the map when I got home this was not without justification as a fort or fortlet is clearly shown. This obviously needs further investigation once I've got shot of this damned bug which has been dogging me since the beginning of December.

        In many ways today's walk reminded me of when I was eleven and got my first decent bike which had a whole set of 10 gears and weighed about 30lbs. It didn't matter to me what it was, the freedom it gave me to explore the roads and back lanes of the Yorkshire Dales fr outweighed any short comings. I guess I've always been a bit of a wanderer at heart.

           One thing I have noticed this winter is there have been some fantastic early morning sky's.

            The sun poking itself a above the horizon heralding what turned out to be a glorious day.