Yesterday, the weather was deliciously, wonderfully springlike and we decided to take advantage of this fact and head off on a proper good Outing. J was very keen for us to head right up into the Yorkshire Dales to visit one of his favourite childhood haunts. We go to the river at Hubberholme once or twice a year, and it never fails to delight.
It's an idyllic place, and spending an extended period of time here is made easy by the fact that you can park your car right where you wish to be. Simply pick your spot, pull in to the left, park, unload all manner of picnicking paraphernalia, cross the tiny road and set up camp right beside the river. It's all very easy and convenient.
The river itself is just perfection here. It's the same wide, powerful river Wharfe that flows through Bolton Abbey, but here in Upper Wharfedale it is still in it's baby stages. It bubbles and gurgles it's way over the rocky river bed in a series of enticing shallow pools and tumbling mini waterfalls. The sound of all that bubbling, gurgling and tumbling is delicious.
I love our sun tent. J and I always have a mild tussle with the job of putting it up (it has three poles, and takes a little bit of concentrated effort to get it erected), but once it's up we remember how great it is. It's pretty spacious, and allows us to shelter from the wind and have some quiet snuggly time if needed.
It provided a perfect hooky haven. I had a fantastic view of the river, but felt beautifully warm and cosy (it was quite breezy yesterday and despite the sun there was still a nip in the air).
By the time we had set up camp, the Little People were already declaring starvation, so we got straight down to the business of providing lunch. This was to be something of an experiment as we had decided to try something a little different. We were going to be cooking, not on a barbecue.....
....but on our tiny little old gas camping stove. We have had this stove for sooo many years (it is this sort of one) and we love it. J loves cooking on it, he was so excited to get it out again and use it to fry up some onions.
While he was down on the rocks in raptures over the stove, I was cosy inside the tent preparing the rest. We had soft white finger rolls, ketchup and mustard (Heinz and Colmans of course), and in our fabulous food flask
we had some piping hot frankfurter sausages.
I had hastily managed to bake and ice some buns at breakfast, and they tasted scrummy washed down with a brew of fresh coffee (we recently bought a couple of these for picnics and walks which are ace). Add in a punnet of fresh strawberries and some bottles of cloudy apple juice, and the picnic lunch was declared a great success.
The river is beautifully clear, and the flat, dry rocks make it a wonderful place to explore. It's possible to rock-hop right across the river from one side to the other, with only a little bit of help needed for Little B with his little legs.
I love this old ash tree on the opposite side of the river. I love it's mossy roots and the way it leans gently into the old dry stone wall behind.
I spent a bit of time over here by myself, leaning against the old gnarled trunk and observing my family. J was relaxing in his chair reading, and The Little Peeps were very happy playing about in the water and on the rocks together, it made me feel so happy to watch them.
While I was over by the old tree, I had a sudden bolt of an idea. A whim. A desire.
Hahaha! It was hilarious actually, I couldn't believe I was really doing such a crazy thing, but I somehow just had to give into the urge. I took the bunting triangle I had just finished and simply stitched it to the fence.
I thought it looked rather pretty against it's blue and green backdrop, and I really hope it manages to stay there. I would SO love to go back to the river later in the year and discover it still there marking our "spot".
Really, it was a pretty perfect day.