Falling into the Valley of Desolation

During the floods of 2009, I remember running in the Wharfe valley, the river swollen beyond recognition - the strid, upstream of Bolton Abbey, several metres below a standing wave that would not have looked out of place on the Nile. It was a remarkably wet month although the rains that fell then could not have compared to those in 1826 - the storm that year and subsequent flooding, the event which gave the valley through which Posforth Gill falls, its name: The Valley of Desolation.
Despite the name, it is a beautiful valley, the path which follows the gill giving a lovely route up onto the moor. It makes for an excellent run, never too steep and with great variety; first following the twisting wooded trails of the valley and then up and onto the exposed, rocky tracks on the moor passing coarse grit outcrops and on days like these, tiered ridge lines fading into a blue haze across miles of heather, before falling once more into the Valley of Desolation.

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