The High Adventure Tour with The Mountain Goat, Black Sheep and Oreo Cows

Tuesday July 29th ~ The Lake District, England

Sheep

Sheep marked with paint to determine who owns them

After our snafu with the booking the previous day, The Mountain Goat driver showed up right on time.  We were off to a great start on our second day trip with them.  Our first trip had been a couple of days earlier when we took the “Ten Lake Spectacular” trip.  Today we were signed up for the High Adventure tour.

Our driver, Malcolm, is chatty with an ongoing dialog about the history, geology and highlights along the drive.  He is well-informed, friendly and keeps us interested in what we are seeing.

Rock wall

Rock wall

When the land was first settled, the fields were full of rocks.  As they cleared the fields, the rocks were used to create both property borders and a means to keep their cattle, sheep or goats from roaming.  All built by hand, the rocks are carefully fitted together in an intricate pattern.  No cement or mortar was used.  Many walls are several hundred years old that still stand today.

The Herdwick sheep breed is unique to this area and was championed by the children’s author, Beatrice Potter.  Ms. Potter was also an accomplished artist.  One of her most well-known works is The Tale of Peter Rabbit, which she both wrote and illustrated.

As her success and wealth grew, she purchased many farms and land around the Lake District.  Leasing some of the farms out, she stipulated that only Herdwick sheep could be raised on them. Upon her death, she left her vast property holdings to the National Trust.

Today 99% of the Herdwick’s can be found in this area.

The wool is coarse, and they are raised more for food than the fashion industry.  The lambs are born black and change color as they age from brown to grey and eventually almost white.

Herdwick Sheep

Herdwick Sheep

I guess the black wool, due to its coarseness is undesirable.  Also for clothing, the white wool can more easily be died to any color they want.  Got me thinking about the nursery rhyme,

“Bah, bah black sheep have you any wool, yes sir, yes sir, three bags full”

And about our saying “Black sheep of the family”.  The origins of saying sometimes surprises me.

Belted cattle

Belted Galloway cattle

Another interesting breed we saw was the Belted Galloway cattle.  Black in color with a white “belt” around their middle section.  They have been nicknamed the Oreo cows.

Traveling over high mountain peeks, and through valleys, many of our views were disappointing due to the weather.  Coffee stop in a small village along the way.

Stone mill with dual working water mills

Stone mill with dual working water mills

Anyone know what these are called?

Anyone know what these are called?

UPDATE:  Lisa, who we met on our India trip in March has identified this flower for me as Allium.  Thank you Lisa!

We took another train ride today.  This time it was on a narrow gauge heritage line, Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway.  The tracks are only 15 inches apart.  It felt more like a kiddie train, but fun none-the-less.

Narrow gauge railroad

Narrow gauge railroad

And finally the view we had been waiting for.  Wastwater Lake is England’s deepest lake with the highest mountain behind it.  This was once voted Britain’s favorite view.

Wastwater Lake

Wastwater Lake

Our last stop of the day was at Muncaster Castle.  We were mainly there to enjoy the gardens and visit the World Owl Trust Sanctuary.  From Eagle Owls to Barn Owls, exotics to common, large to small, Burrowing, Striped and Speckled, this is a wonderful showcase of a wide variety of owls.

Small Owl

Small Burrowing Owl

With limited time, we chose to enjoy the Owl sanctuary and the gardens instead of going inside the castle.

Muncaster Castle

Muncaster Castle

Castle wall

Castle wall

View from the castle gardens

View from the castle gardens

We ended our time at the Lake District on a high note as the weather cleared and the sun once again came through.  We leave tomorrow for Scotland!

Gratitude Moment:  Today I am grateful for animal conservationists.  Thanks to the efforts of a few dedicated people, many animals that would have become extinct are still here for us to see, enjoy and appreciate.  Thank you!

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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7 Responses to The High Adventure Tour with The Mountain Goat, Black Sheep and Oreo Cows

  1. Looks so fresh out there in country side…

    The lake looks so serene and each image has got a lively feel 🙂

    Hope you had a great time 🙂

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  2. Lisa speissegger says:

    Hi Joanne and Tim – it’s Lisa Speissegger from your India trip. I am loving your travels vicariously through your blog! Anyway, the purple ball-type flowers look like some sort of allium to me- it’s a bulb related to garlic. Wishing you the best!

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    • Hello Lisa! I’m delighted that you are following along with our travels. Thank you so much for identifying the purple flowers. I thought they might be related to the garlic, but had not taken the time to research what they were. I appreciate your input and have now updated my post to reflect your answer. I hope our paths will cross again someday, perhaps on another Gate 1 trip?

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  3. Mike Alesko says:

    Joanne, in the 60s there was a good sized colony of burrowing owls for years in a meadow across from Hoover grade school in Medford on the east side. I went there often to watch them. It saddened me on a recent visit to see that meadow now all covered with houses.

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    • Mike, these were amongst the smallest of the Owls that were in the Owl sanctuary. So cute! Yes, it is sad when “progress and growth” eliminate natural habitat for our animal and feathered friends. I have yet to sort out the balance on that question. I could argue both sides passionately. But it definitely breaks my heart whenever animals are displaced.

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      • Mike Alesko says:

        While it would be unrealistic to expect cities never to expand and develop, I think too little consideration goes into wildlife displacement. Maybe today the Medford owls would be spared, but I suspect that field was long ago paved over. Btw, Oregon’s state bird, the Western Meadowlark, is seldom seen anymore in Oregon due to all the development of its meadow habitat.

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