23 September 1968 In the distance, the length of Wastwater shimmered in the sunlight and the plains merged into the sea.
Autumn has been slowly creeping up to the fells and the last day of the best summer for years will soon be only a memory. Perhaps it came the other day when I was wandering alone over Gable and the Borrowdale fells – a day of sultry heat and hazy blue distances, of lazy farm dogs sleeping in the shade and smoke from cottage chimneys spiralling slowly above the birches. Down by Stockley Bridge a proud father photographed his children splashing in the Derwent and higher up the fellside a paraffin stove, tended by two youngsters, was roaring away merrily on a shelf of rock by the beck – so still was the morning. Only one tent by the quiet waters of Styhead Tarn, nobody by the stretcher-box, but two or three specks of red and blue above Piers Gill on their way to the Pike. Far below, the great bowl of Wasdale slept in the haze and, in the distance, the length of Wastwater shimmered in the sunlight and the plains merged into the sea.