Party!! In the Middle of A Sheep Farm: Day 9 & 10: Walking Across England: Coast to Coast

Day 9: Keld to Reeth: 11 Miles

We are now in a routine. Each evening we walk into a village, thirsty for a pint of something. We eat, do our chores: filling water bags, replenishing our packs with snacks, looking over the next day’s route, and rinsing  FAST-DRY underwear. We text for updates on the plumbing and get nebulous replies like: “Still working on it.” I slather my feet with Vaseline and snug them into socks, then make notes in my journal, falling asleep with pen in hand. Dallas Cowboy Fan tries to find sports on TV, falling asleep with the remote control in hand. The next day we walk and do it again.

But this morning….while we are waiting for our porridge, beans, and smoked bacon, a young lady slips into the chair next to mine. KIM!!

Kim of Berlin, dredlocks, and swollen knee fame.  She’d stumped in late in the evening. Through the rain. Wet as a fish. And here she was ready to go again.  Tyler Burgess in one of her walking tip guides has said that during the C2C, almost everyone has some part of their body hurting.  I think of that often whenever my back aches. But here is a gal doing a stiff-legged stump along the trail. I’m inspired.

We begin the day on a lovely low route next to the chocolate brown waters of the Rosegill. 28a.Beck from ReethDifferent locals tell us different causes:

  • a) Iron in the soil
  • b) The water is filtered through peat
  • c) The roiling water is carrying sediment because the stream has risen 2 meters since the day before due to all the rain.

We also cross many rabbit warrens with their holes punctuating the ground. And we often step over dead and rotting rabbit carcasses on the trail. (We are later told that the rabbits are such a problem, farmers shoot them, and I see why because we once passed a rabbit metropolis with at least 50 hares grazing and digging up a playground.)

Dallas Cowboy Fan enjoying a Bounty candy bar in Healaugh

Dallas Cowboy Fan enjoying a Bounty candy bar (which is just like a Mounds bar) in Healaugh

We have begun stopping at village benches, having a snack, and watching the world go by. Actually, while here in Healaugh, nothing goes by. Not a car, bicycle, or human, and we wonder if the world has ended and we’re so far in the dales, we don’t know anything has happened.

We stay at the Buck Hotel in Reeth. It has a grand pub, and I’m surprised to be served one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had.

Day 10: Reeth to Richmond: 11 Miles.

Whoo-Hoo. This day starts out sunny.  We blink like bats at the light. Within a few miles of starting out, many of the C2Cers have clotted together. Fourteen of us traipsing across a pasture.  This is the first time we’ve ran into more than 2 other people (except in pubs).  We thread our way through a corral  of cows lying around, and I take off on another shortcut. I laugh at how nervous and insistent I used to be about staying exactly on the path. Well…actually my wanderlust  turns out not to be a smart shortcut. We’re soon tracking in cattle muck 4 inches deep, but armed with compasses and a GPS we make it to a local bridleway by cutting across fields. I’d bent off-trail because I’d read about a tea room in the middle of these pasture lands. A refuge among the sheep, and I’m looking for it.

And sure enough, we find Elaine’s kitchen. Her glass conservatory has a group of32.Elaine's farm house.To Danby Wiske neighbors packed into one table.  Dallas Cowboy Fan and I step into her kitchen. Thousands of ribbons for sheep awards hang from the rafters. A frypan of something  on the stovetop smells delectable. We ask for hot chocolates, toasties,  and homemade apple pie.  Soon 3 other C2Cers find their way to her little tearoom.

I look around, amazed that I am in the middle of England, eating at a sheep farm, like it’s a family reunion with old friends.

Moving on another 3-4 miles, we stop at Marske, an estate town with proper, tidy lawns. Taking our well-suited place on the town bench, we have lunch and I discover that I LOVE the pack lunch of tuna and sweetcorn on malted brown bread that last night’s B&B has made for me.

In 6 more country miles, we arrive at Richmond, the biggest city on the trail. We do a quick tour of the castle ruins, but hurry back to Arandale Inn. Our eyes pop out of our head when we see our room.

We’re soon floating around a hot tub (and I soaked in the claw-footed tub, too) before we head out to a French restaurant.

And Scout’s Text didn’t even phase us: Still working on plumbing problem.  Now a gutter is plugged, water running off roof  and down side of house.

NEXT: I Don’t Think We’re In England Anymore: Day 11: Walking Across England: Coast to Coast.

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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.

21 Responses to Party!! In the Middle of A Sheep Farm: Day 9 & 10: Walking Across England: Coast to Coast

  1. What a walk! I’m going to have to check back at the beginning to see what inspired you. How fun would this be were I forty years younger!

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  2. Pingback: Butt-Squeezing Walls: Day 7 & 8: Walking Across England: Coast to Coast | Before Morning Breaks

  3. Elyse says:

    Wonderful post. I presume you’ve read All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott (or watched the wonderful show).

    BTW, that stream is beer.

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    • Barb says:

      Thanks, Elyse. One of the museums in the Dales explains the agricultural beginnings and has part of the set from the TV show of All Creatures Great and Small. (We didn’t go there.) Perhaps if we had, we would discover why sheep crap so much.
      You know…I never made that brown water and beer connection. Now I know why there are so many pubs along rivers.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Rose L. says:

    That tub looks like something from a movie! Did you do a few poses in it? Maybe for a book cover, wink wink! I would have freaked with all the bunny bodies around!!

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    • Barb says:

      HaHaHa. You are sooooo funny, Rose. There’s already a rumor circulating that the legs on my latest book are my legs. (Why take pictures and prove the rumor wrong?) Yes, the bunnies were sad…at first, but then there were places where there were so many bunnies, it was frightening and I hoped they hadn’t picked up any carnivorous habits.

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  5. Ooooh.
    Magic. Sadly even without the C2C bits of me hurt. Your pain, and Kim’s pain sounds like worth-while hurting.

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    • Barb says:

      Worthwile hurting. I’ll have to think about that because I consider all my pain worthwile (even paper cuts), but what I appreciate the most is your commiserating with me. Thanks.

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  6. nrhatch says:

    Sounds like 2 great days . . . and one wonderful room.

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  7. jono says:

    Normally I shower, but for that tub I would make an exception.

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    • Barb says:

      Well, here’s the good news. You wouldn’t have to jump in the tub. Besides that fancy-pants bathtub in the center of the gigantic bathroom, there was a very spacious stand-alone shower in the corner. Dallas Cowboy Fan was very happy about that.

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  8. Sounds like one of your best days yet. That tea room out there in the middle of a sheep ranch must have felt like a glass-enclosed oasis. And that room! A little piece of heaven. I hope the French restaurant topped your day off with some outstanding food.

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    • Barb says:

      Susan, you bring up an enlightening point. The food at the French restaurant was good, but now that I think about it….I don’t remember a thing about it. Not what I ate, or even the dessert (which I gift to myself every night). But that little kitchen tearoom in the middle of sheep fields…I can still close my eyes and taste the chocolate and see the sunlight coming into her solarium.

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  9. Margie says:

    I sure wish I had been with you – except for all the walking bits…
    Glass conservatories – absolutely heaven, especially on a rainy day! Our local pub had one, and there were many drizzly winter days that we headed to the pub so we could sit in a place with natural light!

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    • Barb says:

      Well, I wish you were along, too. Margie. We could’ve created some new tales to tell. Those conservatories are the most brilliant invention. Snug, warm, and heart-lifting on the grayest days. Do you think they have to clean the windows often? Perhaps it just rains them clean.

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      • Margie says:

        I just about found out about conservatory window cleaning. The owners of the house we were renting had a conservatory installed. We were there for the construction and got to stand in it once before we moved on to hubbies next assignment! Drat!

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  10. Alice Lynn says:

    More great details of your “tramp” through, across, England! I did shudder at the mention of dead rabbits littering the fields but revived at the sight of your marvelous room with the claw foot tub! And what’s with the eaves at home? Ah, the joys of travel; a world full of wonder and new friends,, far from plumbing woes.

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  11. Al says:

    Great update. For a moment I wished I was with you, but then my back pain flared up when I moved in my chair….sorry, maybe next time? Tip a pint for me tonight.

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