Recently I have been seeking adventure in between the time living and the time working. Even living in a national park, I struggle to get out and get some head space in the mountains. But you don't need to go far to refuel and be able to enjoy the outdoors. Sometimes just a little drive down the road or even closer to home can be enough.
After a long shift, I finished work and stepped outside into the cold crisp air. The sun had gone down and the sky was full of stars. The wind had gone, the moon was bright, the mountains were well and truly calling. I packed a bag and my tent and opted for a night under the stars before work the next day. After getting dropped off ten minutes up the road I set off up Blencathra. A spectacular mountain on the edge of the northern fells with an impressive ridge and spectacular mountain tarn. As I set off, the moon illuminated my pathway and I slowly made my way up the frozen track. The ice was forming as I climbed higher and the snow hardened on the banks.
As I climbed out of the corrie and onto the plateau, it was completely silent. I stood and watched the glistening lights of the road far off in the distance and scanned the mountain for head torches in the distance. I was totally alone. Great comfort can be found in finding solitude in the mountains. As I climbed higher, I found a perfect opening for my tent, overlooking the valley and at the foot of the ridge I would climb the next morning. I lay back in my sleeping bag and watched as ice crystals formed on the fabric of the tent.
With an early start, I woke to watch the sunrise and waited by my tent for a friend to join me. As the sun warmed the snow we tackled sharp edge, an impressive ridge leading up to the summit of Blencathra. After stopping for a late breakfast, we continued to head down off the mountain and back to the car. Sitting content as the heaters warmed us up again, I threw my bag into the front room and lay back beaming. Sometimes you don't need epics or days away in the mountains, sometimes all you need is a chance to head out, no matter for how long or how far. That morning I could head into work knowing I had made my bed beneath the stars. And sometimes, that's all I need.