It was a lovely autumn morning when four canoeists descended on the sleepy Cumbrian village called Lazonby. We met in the car park just upstream from the old red sandstone road bridge. We unloaded canoes and when Mike was asked if he needed a hand. He replied, “it is ok I have a Ruth”. Ruth came in very handy again as Mike’s car and trailer needed reversing out of the car park. Once safely out of the carpark Mike jumped in the driver’s seat and both him and Keith ran the shuttle.
Once on the water the river we noticed it was a couple of foot higher than usual and was flowing swiftly. There was a lot of the bouncy stuff and a couple of rocks in view. I think at times both mine and Keith’s canoes had sprung a leak, but it was just that we were bouncing through the waves and not picking many dry lines.
With what seamed no time at all, mainly due to the company and the quick flow, we arrived at the red sandstone cliff where there were faces carved into the rock. We took a late lunch here and even got out one of the open boaters’ staples – the Kelly Kettle. We were all soon enjoying warms cups of coffee and soup.
Luncheon over and the canoes where back on the river. We were soon up to the weir. After close examination Ruth and Mike opted to get out and portage down the very rocky middle. The daredevil Keith decided not to bother with the portage and followed a line down a rocky tongue on river left. It was then my turn, the impressionable idiot. I took a line which dropped off the tongue at the bottom into slightly deeper water which was quiet a wet ride. We stopped to bail out. The end was then insight, the sandstone bridge at Armathwaite.
A great day’s paddle and great company. Thanks to Mike Ruth and Keith for a very enjoyable day
Report by Lee Doyle
Posted by Mike Alter on Saturday, 16 November 2019