The Final Frontier. One More Doozy Bog To Cross: Day 15: Walking Across England: Coast to Coast

Day 15: Grosmont to Robin Hoods Bay: 15.5 Miles

Surprise! Surprise! This is the first day that my back doesn’t hurt. The sun is shining , pigeons are cooing, and…wait a minute….

More Moors.

More Moors. Walking to the horizon.

I just realize that we heard doves at dawning. Was it that way yesterday? That seems strange because through most of this hike, we’ve been awakened by sheep baaaing beside the windows. At what point in the geography did our alarm clocks change?. The ubiquitous sheep have disappeared. Even the grouse song is gone—replaced by common birds and a few gulls.

The first step outside of Grosmont treks uphill and continues upward at a heart-knocking slant.  We make good time to Little Beck, another stream, dancing through a forest. It seems Wainright has a penchant for wooded glens so muddy it requires big stones to tread through it.

As we slip and slide from stone to stone, I notice when we’d started hiking two weeks ago, the Elderflowers in the woods had been creamy-white and fragrant . Now most of the blooms have dried up and are brown. Even the blackberries which hadn’t opened their flowers when we started at the Irish Sea, now have knobby green fruits on the vines. It makes me a bit melancholy to see evidence that time has kept rolling along, but while we were wrapped in this adventure…it had seemed to us that it had stopped.

44a.To RHB

I think the trail ambles up here to look at this not-so-special tree on this moor.

It’s best not to look at a map at this point. The trail meanders far south, only to amble off to the far north again, and I’m wondering why we don’t just head  straight for the sea. At Falling Foss Waterfall, we step over several dogs in order to  sit in the tea tents. At almost every pub, there are dogs. Big and little.  They are all welcome. The well-behaved canines thump their tails a couple of times if we talk to them.  Mostly they curl up and ignore the world.

Dallas Cowboy Fan and I are tired. We’re mustering ourselves for the last push. At the Tea tents several people wish us well and luck to the end of the journey.  At this point, I suppose we look like well-worn travelers.

As we continue ambling, I’m grumping about the trail’s incessant meandering. After a bit of road walking, the trail cuts across…MORE MOORS. Hooo Boy!  Low, soggy moors. The path fans out in fifteen directions due to hikers trying to find a way across the bogs. There are duckboards floating on top of one of the swamps. There are stones for long-legged jumpers on other bogs. I’m doing my elf-hop across tufts of grass through the worst of it.

And KER-SPLASH…I go down. One leg—knee deep in swampy water. I had almost made it through. I have a few choice words for Mr. Wainright.

We range through cow paths and finally exit from the moors through a drainage ditch. A honkin’ DRAINAGE DITCH!! slippery and choked with weeds. Now, I’m really cursing the trail’s ignoble passage into the final stage.  Eventually we come out on a road called “Back Lane” and a sign that says Robin Hood’s Bay is only 2 and a half miles. Whew! Hooray!

Following the official C2C  along the Back Lane (and through a trailer park) we find signs that indicate  we’re now THREE  miles away from Robin Hood’s Bay.

Whaaaat??!!  THE TRAIL IS GETTING LONGER THE MORE WE WALK ????? I’m really using some choice vocabulary now.  At this point, I suspect Wainright was simply roaming around because he didn’t want to go home.

Go to the tippy, tippy point...and walk in.

Finally! The North Sea! Go to the tippy, tippy point of land..and walk in.

Finally, we reach the sea. Though beautiful, the cliff walk goes on until my feet are numb.  This last day has thrown everything at us, bogs, hills, mud, and  steep stone steps up and down, UP and DOWN, the cliffs.

We arrive in Robin Hood’s Bay.  We suffer culture shock.  The streets, alleyways, sidewalks, beaches, and restaurants are crammed with people. So many people—too many people—after days and days of quietness. (And maybe that was why Wainright wandered around and took his time getting here.)

WE toss the pebbles we’d picked up on the west coast  into the North Sea, and then go to the Bay Bar. Two C2Cers are already there. Four others arrive, and it is a quiet, but satisfying celebration.

By tomorrow morning, before the town and the tourists awaken, we’ll be waiting on the sidewalk for Bus 49 to take us to the train at  Scarborough and a plane to take us across the ocean to plumbing problems that “are kinda fixed.” (“I snaked the lines and put off-brand Drano down them,” Scout says. “They drain…most of the time.”) We won’t think about what lies ahead. I’m sure that as the sun comes up over Robin Hood Bay, we’ll be thinking about the other hikers across the C2C, lacing on boots and beginning their day.

Of the 26 people that we started with, 9 made it to the end.  13 dropped out. 4 persons we lost track of. We hope they make it.

And we expect all of our paths to cross again someday because that’s one of the things we’ve  learned on the amazing C2C: You never know who you’ll meet around the next bend in the trail.

We’ll be taking home more than memories. (I’m taking home the Little Magic Pillow!) We were shown many kindnesses: encouraging words from locals, extra flapjacks or candy bars  in our lunch sacks from good-hearted hosts, and I fondly think about the wizened fella who dresses in his tweeds and sits outside his cottage each morning so he can help hikers through a tricky passage, calling out, “Compt this a-way. The trail’s be passin’ behind that barn.” I experienced what hospitality means to a weary traveler. My hope is to carry that graciousness with me into my regular life.

But for tonight…we’re headed to the pub. Dallas Cowboy Fan needs to lighten his pockets of those heavy, heavy British coins.

47.The Bay Bar


Next: Resources/Advice: What to Take If You Go On the C2C

If you’d like to read more stories, check out the “Books” or other Blog Posts in the ribbon above.  And thank you, thank you for reading!

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.

29 Responses to The Final Frontier. One More Doozy Bog To Cross: Day 15: Walking Across England: Coast to Coast

  1. restlessjo says:

    This is definitely my territory, though I don’t do distance walking. I’ve gone kerr-splash a time or two 😦 Robin Hood’s Bay and Runswick and Staithes are all much better out of season. 🙂 Glad you made it!


  2. Margie says:

    A huge congratulations! You know, for all the things I cursed about living in the UK, there are hundreds of things that I miss. Thanks for reminding me of some of them!
    One last UK story that I thought of when you mentioned the dogs: We once dined in a pub where a cat wandered from table to table, begging for scraps. (Very dog like.) The waitress spotted the cat, scooped it up, and put it outside (by the back door.) A few minutes later, the cat came back in – by the open front door. This cycle of cat in, cat out was repeated a number of times, with the waitress increasingly surprised to see the cat back in, and obviously unaware that the front door was open… very entertaining for the patrons, who all kept the cat’s secret.


    • Barb says:

      I love this story. I think it’s funny that the cat got pitched out, but there were probably several dogs lying around, watching it wander under tables.

      I was only in the U.K. a short time, but I miss the culture and the people already.


  3. momaescriva says:

    Whew! Glad you made it. My feet are sore.


  4. Elyse says:

    Congratulations! What a wonderful accomplishment.

    Thanks for taking me a long for the, ummm, ride.


  5. Pingback: Harry Potter, I’m Waiting At the Station with Father Brown’s Pear Drops: Day 14: Walking Across England: Coast to Coast | Before Morning Breaks

  6. rosetoes2 says:

    I truly enjoyed your hike across England. So glad you and Dallas Cowboy fan made it the entire way. Have a safe trip home and good luck with your plumbing


  7. Huge congratulations. And envy. And awe.
    I am so glad that Little Magic Pillow came home with you. And thank you (so much) for taking us along.


    • Barb says:

      Thanks so much for reading along. I had a great time and hoped others would enjoy it too. I’d planned to leave Little Magic Pillow, but the last place we stayed was rather well-decorated and themed. I figured they’d simply toss the Little Pillow because it didn’t have a cover. Now, I’m proud to say it’s traveling with me.


  8. jono says:

    You made it! That is so amazing. I would bet the transition back to your pre-C2C life will take a bit of doing. I hope to take on a fun, exciting, yet somewhat painful, challenge like that in the next few years.


    • Barb says:

      I hope you take on a challenge that’s bigger than you think you can handle. It sure gave me confidence. Now when I look at a map, instead of thinking..”That’s a mile, away, good grief!”, I think. That’s only 15 minutes. Thanks for your comments and support.


  9. Alice Lynn says:

    Congratulations! I’ll miss your adventures even though you’re able to sleep in your own bed and catch up on things. (plumbing?). What new adventures are you turning over in your mind now? New Zealand? Austria?


  10. M j rivera says:

    What a great accomplishment.! A little like Hood to Coast Run but slower. Hope to see you in person soon. Safe flights to you.


  11. CONGRATULATIONS! You guys should be very proud of yourselves, because completing that long hike was quite an accomplishment. Your end destination looks gorgeous, but man oh man, what an incredible journey to get there! Thanks for taking us along.


    • Barb says:

      Thanks for your best wishes, Susan. It’s so funny because now that it’s done, I can’t believe I did it. I sure didn’t think I was going to complete the journey when I first started it.


  12. Roxie says:

    You are a freaking hero! I am so impressed. I would have done a lot more whining, some kvetching, and perhaps a little bitching. You managed to enjoy yourself, bad back and all. Heck, who am I kidding? I would have pulled out the Visa and said,”To hell with this misery,” on the first day. Thank you for bringing us along on your adventure and letting us vicariously enjoy the good parts.


  13. Rose L. says:

    I think I would never attempt what you two did. I am not that much into walking/hiking/torturing myself to make it from one coast to the other! Nope, not me, I would rather have a tour bus and a guide taking me to all the scenic sights and giving me the historical information and saving my old legs from tromping too much! I applaud you two and am glad you survived. Next time a more relaxing and easy trip to you!!!!


  14. Al says:

    Congratulations! As a descendant of Robin Hood, it’s all the more special for me to see you made it to my bay. (I’m still the majority stockholder) What a great accomplishment, but more than that was the fascinating record of it all that you provided us. Your journalistic chops were on full display. Enjoy your well-earned rest, have a safe journey back and have fun with your upcoming date with a pipe wrench!


    • Barb says:

      Well, darn it. Now you tell me. If I’d know Robin Hood was your great-great-great somethin’ or other, I would’ve been throwing your name around and getting cousin-in-law discounts on ale and if you have a brother-in-law who does plumbing, send him over.

      Liked by 1 person

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