OH NO! The Urgent Text From Home: Day 4: Walking Across England: Coast to Coast

Day 4: Grasmere to Patterdale: 8.5 Miles

At Grasmere, we stay at an Glenthorne Inn run by Quakers. And I need to say that it was one of the few places along the trail that agreed to do laundry.  While researching this trip, I found old blogs about the C2C which indicate doing/or having laundry done was readily available. But we found that many of the B&Bs don’t offer the service.  As one hostess said,”I don’t do it anymore. I found that I was up until late night, every night, doing other people’s laundry. Well, I can sure relate to that.

Amazingly, I feel pretty good this morning. Maybe it was the stretching? Maybe the Advil?16.Stream Crossing. Grasmere  Most definitely it was the prayers,/wishes of friends and the nighttime support of the Little Pillow (which now travels daily, bound to to the outside of my suitcase like a piglet strapped to a box.)

Renewed with clean clothing, the promise of a short day, an apologetic husband, and a few sun breaks, we set off at 9:30. There are several alternative HIGH Routes, but for some reason Dallas Cowboy Fan doesn’t mention them. We stay along the pleasant river walk. When the wind and clouds roll in, we’re glad we’re in the valley.  Four people have died on the trail above us this year. (Striding Edge). The narrow path plummets steeply on either side with little room for misstep. It makes me shudder to think of hiking it in the clouds, but I know there are some folks up there today.

When we arrive at at Patterdale, (a small collection of houses and a store) most everyone we’ve met along the trail is there before us. I know this is no contest, but I feel very inadequate that I’m so slow and it takes me so long navigate such a short distance.

17.Lots of Honesty boxes

We’d find these HONESTY Boxes along the trail. Mostly for eggs and flowers. Take some and leave your money.

There’s only one pub in the village, and soon all the C2Cers are in it, snugged together in a room, eating,  telling stories and laughing. The family from Hong Kong is leaving. They only had a few days and chose to just do the first section of the trail.  Two more couples are skipping ahead to do other parts.

I look around amazed that half-way around the world, I nightly meet people in different towns and pubs. These people know my name. I know theirs. I know the problems they’re having with their: blisters, back, knees. We commiserate. We laugh. We miss them when they leave. New people join us. It is a traveling community.

18.On trail to GrasmereI would’ve thought the locals would tire of hikers, but they are overly gracious.  They join us. Tell stories. Give us hints. Drink with us. Again and again, I learn that true hospitality is about making the stranger feel at home.

We return to our B&B with the glow of fellowship (and ale).  Our host was a fell runner—which mean he RUNS up and down these mountains, usually off-trail. (He ran the entire C2C (192 miles) in  two and a half days.) He knows of an easy, flat alternative trail for tomorrow.  We won’t have to climb over Kidsty Pike in the rain.

I am buoyed with hope. Tomorrow will be easier on my back and hip.

And then the text comes in from Scout, our son, who is watching our house.

“Pipes leaking. Water pouring into basement from floor above. What do you want me to do?”

Next: Sleeping At the Graveyard: Day 5: Walking Across England: Coast to Coast

About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in A Laugh, Change, Coast to Coast, England, Humor, Traveling and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to OH NO! The Urgent Text From Home: Day 4: Walking Across England: Coast to Coast

  1. pegoleg says:

    One of those days when you wish you DIDN’T have any phone reception, eh? How brave you are to undertake this adventure!


    • Barb says:

      Isn’t that the truth? I keep wondering how it happens that when the universe, trees, satellites and phone towers align…that’s when we get news about our plumbing. Maybe the cosmos has a recipe for realigning the plumbing?


  2. Pingback: “You Said To Turn Here!” Day 3: Walking Across England: Coast to Coast | Before Morning Breaks

  3. momaescriva says:

    You’ve made such wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing.


  4. digipicsphotography says:

    Loving your adventure! Hope the basement worries are all taken care of.


  5. Ooooh. Love the community you found.
    I assume that you immediately texted back: Put a sign up outside and charge people to swim in the basement.


  6. Rose L. says:

    I also hope Scout was smart enough to turn off the water. Of course, him asking what to do (DUH! Call a plumber and home insurance!!) makes me wonder. You half way around the world and helpless to take care of it! I do hope it was not too bad. I have been through this with the house when I was selling.
    Glad to hear that you are doing better and the miracle prayer pillow is doing its thing!


  7. Alice Lynn says:

    Loving your journeying journal and the pictures! Gosh, just when you get your clothes all washed and you have your spirits up, you get that deadly email. I assume Scout turned off the water and called the plumber! Can’t wait to hear what happens next!


  8. Sorry, but the email from your son asking what you wanted him to do after he told you your pipes were leaking and water was flooding the floor below reminded me of a phone call I got from our vet when we were out-of-state one year. It seems our dog Buck, who was staying at the vet’s, had tested positive for worms. The vet actually asked me if I wanted him to treat Buck… (Naaaaah, just let the worms grow…)

    I do hope your son turned off the water main.

    Great pics, and a great story about the hospitality of strangers.


    • Barb says:

      Believe it or not, Susan, your vet story makes me feel better. As I later learned (and I’m guessing this was true for the vet), it’s the price tag of the “fix” that makes them ask what seems like a silly question.


  9. Al says:

    Your determination continues to amaze. Keep the faith.


  10. nrhatch says:

    My favorite shots and spots so far! Yay! When I do my pub crawl, I can stick to the easy trail, wandering from village to village while skipping the crags and bogs.

    Hope your son turned off the water!


    • Barb says:

      Yes, I wanted to work out all the details for you, including the emergency call from home, so I could let you know the best pubs that don’t receive a cell phone signal.


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