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The Yorkshire Dales
Gold Duke of Edinburgh
Expedition

It was the first day and off we set
with smiles on our faces until we got wet
It's amazing how water has such divine power
it effects so many things whether downpour or shower.
Speaking of shower Steph really stank
and combined with Cat's feet, man we were rank!
Then Ruth piped up "limestone, dead ahead"
and sure enough, there a calcium carbonate bed
weathered and smoothed forming grykes and crags,
slippy under foot, difficult with bags.
Malham cove, what a beautiful sight
we climbed to the top with all our might.
Twenty minutes later we were finally there,
riverside camping without a care.

We got up the following morning
sick of Steph's snoring.
Later on we saw many spurs
interlocking the river beyond the tree furs.
Along our path crags were appearing, to
ttling over, overhead we were peering.
Acid in the rain, alkaline in the rock,
crumbling and dissolving just like our socks.
In the distance more limestone paving could we see,
slimy and mossy, Ruth needed a wee.
The limestone was alkaline, therefore very mossy,
xerophytes and heather forming a flora possie.
But noone beats our possie, we are the best,
when Starbottoms are down Beth motivates the rest.
And hell we needed motivating - rain, surprise surprise!
The wind was so strong, beating in our eyes,
looming down the hill the other group were waving
and deodorants we were a craving.

The next day there was sunshine and off we set
walking at pace determined not to get wet.
But as Buckden Pike loomed,
peat bogs - we were doomed.
Formed from undecomposed plant matter
the acidic black humus of peat gives us a batter,
protecting its xerophytes, heather and moss

water eroded gullies showed us who was boss.
Just as it had splattered Tony in the face
in comparison to him we were a disgrace,
covered in peat over our knees,
smelling like the boys' tent, mmmmm cheese!
Down in the valley sat an oxbow lake,
the erosion and deposition of a meandering river - a kidney shape it did make.

Now to day four, so what did we see,
hmmm mist and rain, how much worse could it be?
But the end was in sight as we stormed along,
with v-shaped valleys on our left as we broke into song.
So lan, what have you leamt from all our commotion,
well let us recap - oxbow lakes, v-shaped valleys and headward erosion.

So what's so important about this limestone, hey?
Well it forms our walls from cement and clay
O and fertilises our ground so our plants can grow
that's what's important about limestone - bo!

Funny Moments:

Don't look! Who let the monkeys out!! Who! Who! Who!..... Who! Who!

Overall our Duke of Gold Expedition was a success as we met our ultimate challenge where we conquered 50 miles/ 80km over four days in gruelling conditions. Although we got wet and cold during our expedition, soaked to the skin, wet sleeping bag which became cold at night, and disturbed in the night by sheep, we survived and matured in the process. It was amazing that everyone despite the weather and the test of endurance remained high spirited, and this was evident especially on the last day as we set our hope on reaching our finish, to get a nice hot shower and beat the other group to the log cabin.

The two groups combined on the last night in Ribblehead pub reflected their relief of attaining expedition was rewarded by the pub meal and the alcohol in the bar. Unfortunately the leaders at the pub won the contestants in pool, we enjoyed every moment of the warm relaxed atmosphere without a tent. The important thing that spurred on everyone in the expedition was I who had rashly said to Ruth Illgunas over breakfast "If we all completed the expedition I'll drink a bicardy breezer." This really enthused Ruth I.'s group and apparently spurred on the other group to finish just to see me drink. This was particularly significant as I had never drunk any alcohol before and had refused at other opportunity at parties and everyone wanted me see have my first alcoholic drink. What was really kind of everyone, they had all chipped in to buy me a drink as a present. I hasten to add I didn't get drunk. The last evening after we had finish was by far the most rewarding, as we were able to share our experience of the expedition and the our sense of combined achievement.

Lastly everyone was really thankful to the leaders especially Ian Rodham who organised the expedition making it possible, pushing us to the limit and make us realise the importance of teamwork.

Ruth Holiday, Hayley Penhale, Steph Turner, Simon Crudge, Ruth Illgunas, Lizzie Nixey, Beth Clifford, Catherine Taylor, David Towers, Matt Bradshore, and David Jones.
Produced jointly by Ruth Holiday and Beth Clifford. July 2002.