This was billed as the easiest day of the entire journey and it probably was – at least in terms of footsteps and walking. We left the Brookfield Guest House at 9:20 and wandered across rolling hills and dales into the Yorkshire Dales. There were no cliffs or swamps to navigate though there was a quantity of mud and animal dung to avoid. Horned sheep and cows were our companions for most of the journey. Near Robin Hood’s grave we met up with the two Australians, John and Andy, who have been marching in lock step with us on the coast-to-coast trek. It is amazing how meeting even casual friends on this long trail can lift spirits when spirits are flagging.
I will not say that spirits are officially flagging but it occurred to me today that Mike and I, though together, are on entirely separate journeys. Each of us is dealing with the challenges of walking – sore joints, gloomy moods, handling the stresses of the unknown, processing things that are unfolding at home – together but very much on our own.
In the midst of this a tragedy intercedes. I need not elaborate here except to note that things happen which can break hearts and upend well-laid plans. Mike and I will press on tomorrow to the town Kirkby Stephen and then we shall take stock as to whether it makes any sense at all to proceed. I am bereft.
A couple of pictures from the walk today.
The Greyhound Hotel, site of last evening’s dinner – in business since sometime in the 1700’S
First attempted video. The chimes striking 5 at All Saints Church, Orton
All Saints Church, Orton