About 20 feet in length, at our best estimate. Murky, muddy, and covering the full width of the walkway. On either side, steep mossy banksand cascading water, lling our obstacle moreand more every second. The puddle, probably more a shallow pool, stretched from the edge of the tunnel to a distance no human being would consider ‘jumpable’.
We deliberated for a few minutes, looking at one another and seeking an answer to the impending problem for which no one was prepared. We took some photos and considered turning back.It had been a long, ful lling walk, but this wasthreatening to put a damp full stop on our trip.
Monsal Head and the famous Headstone viaduct had drawn us to Bakewell from our base in Nottingham. We had a late breakfast in the village before beginning our hike, cameras in hand. It didn’t take long for the distance markers on the well-trodden trail to indicate that this would be a bigger adventure than first intended.
At every sight of the phrase ‘Monsal Head’, we followed obediently. One sign, a few miles in, pointed us away from the path and over a stone wall. We wavered. We were sure that we should stick to the main path, but the sign suggested otherwise. A family and their dog clambered over the wall, and we followed. ‘They seem like they know where they’re going,’ we thought.
Three muddy elds and a possible trespassingviolation later, we concluded that they were going somewhere else. They drifted away into the distance and we were alone. Not only had we ventured away from our intended path, now we were no longer safe. We hastily scrambled over a broken stone wall, and arrived at the peak we had been searching for — Monsal Head.
We sent up the drone and took photos of the viaduct, and then the rain set in. We had been lucky with the weather up until then, but the area was sodden after weeks of downpours. With thoughts of tea and a warm meal in mind, we ventured back to the car. This time, we followed the path.
And that’s how we arrived at the puddle. The sun was drawing in as we devised a plan, looking to the surrounding fence for a solution. Gradually,and lacking any true nesse, we shu ed acrossthe metal railings and over our watery hurdle.
As afternoon turned to evening and dusk set in, we trundled back to the car. Our trip was one to refuel our creative tanks and bring the team a little closer together. Along the way we realised that not only do we really like each other’s company, but also that we’re built to overcome problems — together.
We stumbled, took wrong turns and got our feet a bit wet. It wasn’t textbook hiking by any stretch. Over the course of a day we had committed dozens of cardinal sins in the adventure handbook. But, regardless of all that, we stayed true to our goals. We had fun, we took some photos that we’ll cherish forever, and we experienced the great outdoors in all its unpredictable glory.