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? 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.
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.
I 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.