The Cumberland Pencil Museum was supposed to be the highlight of the day … at least for Shelly. And then buying food stuffs for our lunch was supposed to be just that, going to a grocery store. But, I got sidetracked in the beer aisle, I mean beer section.
And the walk to Castlerigg Stone Circle – this area’s Stonehenge – was supposed to be a relatively quick 2.5 hours hike. But the day didn’t turn out as planned.
On our way to Castlerigg, we stopped and had lunch (yes, I carried a full bottle of cider and a pint of bitter – heavy) and then continued up the path toward the top of the hill. Many great views and dozens of sheep sightings slowed us down a bit – I took way too many photos of sheep and their babies. As usual, Shelly was way ahead of me as I lingered back for photo ops. My eye caught a handful of lambs gathered at a gate down a driveway. I motioned to Shelly that I was going to wander off to take their pictures.
I approached the babies, took a photo, and then realized something wasn’t right.
The babies were hanging out at the fence because one of their own was on the wrong side of the fence. He’d probably been showing off, escaped to the other side, and couldn’t get back. No one was around. No sheep herder. No guy on his tractor with his trusty border collie sheep herding dog by his side.
OK. Something had to be done. I tried wrangling him back through the gate myself. Everyone started baa-ing, babies, moms … it was getting loud. The sheep backed off from the gate enough so I could open it and try and shoo him in. Not happening. I started to hope that Shelly would notice I was taking a while and come back to help me. She showed up just as I was shutting the gate and as the little sucker got through another gate into another empty field. I motioned her over, we removed our packs, and got into operation lamb rescue. She went into the next field as the baby was running up and down the fence, trying to head butt its body through the wire. We thought he was going to hurt himself. And boy, was it cold up here. Shelly kept getting smaller as the lamb led her farther and farther away.
I had had enough, opened the second gate walked a wide circle around the lamb, got behind him and border collied him back out to the driveway. I ran over to the original gate, opened it wide, got out of the little guy’s way … and waited. Naturally, he thought this was the best time to stand still and stare at us both. I told Shelly to scare him through the gate, but was scared he’d bolt into the street. Finally, the little bugger darted back into the field baa-ing as he made his way back to his mom. We high fived each other and watched as he got a well-deserved milk break with his mom. We told him to stay put and set off again toward Castlerigg.
And yeah, Castlerigg and the hike down was pretty cool. We made it back into town more than four hours after we set out.