Snapshots of Grasmere: Hike To Easedale Tarn
From my bottom bunk, I couldn’t see the mountains that were visible the day before.
No one was awake yet, so I let them all sleep while I got up to contemplate the wisdom of dragging my mom and two boys up a misty hill.
“The weather looks pretty great today,” answered our friendly host at the youth hostel in Grasmere when I asked about the cloudy skies.
If you live here, as in Scotland, mist is not bad weather. I remembered to be glad for mist instead of thrashing rain and wind.
“Ok,” I said, “I’m hoping to go up to Easedale Tarn today.”
“Do you have a map?”
Does the one in my head count? I thought, as I shook my head.
He handed me a hand-drawn map of the walk I was hoping to do.
I recognized the scribblings of Wainwright from my two weeks on England’s Coast to Coast trail.
“Cheers! Have a great day!”
Less than an hour later, fed and fitted, we were on our way up cobbled stones and mossy lanes.
I can tell how thick the mist is by how fast my hair is soaked through, even under my hat. Droplets of water falling from the rims of my glasses indicated to me that it was heavy.
But we were undeterred. Onward and upward.
The boys ran ahead and I watched my mama take in the delights of wider Grasmere just I had hoped she would.
Even on a wet March day.
We could hear running water as we climbed higher.
And every once in a while we caught glimpses through the clouds of white water falling in the folds of the hills.
And then we were upon it.
Waterfalls that presumably were running from the lake to which we were headed: Easedale Tarn.
The mist seemed to get heavier as we got higher.
But as long as we could see the trail in front of us, we kept on putting one foot in front of the other.
And occasionally I could see one of the boys waving back at us.
But over half the time I was turned around taking in the views behind me.
I have fallen in love with the Lake District over and over again. In different months and seasons and in all kinds of weather. On our first visit here, it rained almost constantly and I still couldn’t wait to come back.
This was my first wintery visit. My first time to glimpse snow on the hilltops as we made the drive.
Spring was just around the corner. The days were starting to be longer and the air warmer, but officially it was still winter. I shed my gloves and the wool band I usually wear on my ears, but I still had them both handy in my pockets, knowing I could need them again any minute.
It was not too long before we found the lake, where we sat down for a minute to stretch our legs.
Everyone was happy to be at Easedale Tarn, and walked around the lake a little bit before turning around to finish our loop walk. As we edged around one part of the lake, we surprised a hiker who was stripping down for a swim.
We heard a splash and a squeal as he jumped in the lake, another sure sign that winter was at its end, although not one that any of us were ready for.
We came down twice as fast as we went up, happy to be headed for Grasmere, where hot soup and cream teas were waiting for us!
In mist or sunshine, this is the Lake District I love. This sprawling land lined with slate rock walls and dotted with sheep. Where you close your eyes and hear only the running of water and open them again to see your children disappear around the bend ahead. Because who can help running when there is such a world to be explored.
Thanks Mama for exploring one of my favorite parts of the UK with me!
And a big thank you to the Grasmere YHA for hosting us in the Lake District, providing us with maps, hot food and warm (dry!) beds at night!