Coast To Coast Diary

> Day Fourteen

SATURDAY 10th OCTOBER 2009

NEARING THE END


Nicky couldn’t make this stretch due to a previous engagement. He was doing a bungee jump at a pub in Harrogate but the walk had to go on as we would be running out of time with the winter coming in and the dark nights. PL said in March that hopefully it would be done before the clocks went back in October. This stretch would be from Clay Bank Top to Glaisdale (around 18 miles) but as the weather was supposed to be bad with rain and mist and us going across the moors, PL was asking Smithy on the way up would he mind if we split the walk and pick us up at The Lion Inn at Blakey (around 12 miles). Smithy said not at all, he didn’t mind a bit and said that was a good idea as we could always add another section on.

On the journey up it was so foggy on the roads that we could hardly see the cars in front of us. PL was saying he didn’t like the look of this one bit but was also saying the route finding should be easy on this stretch (thank God for that then or you probably wouldn’t see us again!).We arrived at Clay Bank Top car park and this just didn’t look good to me at all. PL was playing for time eating his sandwich and drinking his tea hoping that it would clear up a bit but Smithy was laughing and telling him to hurry up and get his boots on and get up there and besides, Smithy was wanting to get off and go into Hemsley then on into Pickering before picking us up at the Lion Inn.

But as we climbed up, it is suddenly looking promising up ahead. That is looking like the sun through the mist now then hey presto we were out of the mist and into the sunshine, the mist now being below us. Walking merrily along now we come across a rock pool where people have been throwing money into (well, two pence’s’ anyway!) PL says that he is carrying no change only a twenty pound note and a five pound note and he will not be throwing them in thank you very much! Off we trot again and looking back on the path we have come across so far the weather is absolutely brilliant.

We leave the path for a quick visit to Urra Moor’s summit which is Round Hill, and PL takes a picture of me sitting at the trig point but it looks as though the mist is coming in again in the background. When we come back from the summit onto the path PL starts checking all the ancient direction posts for the face stone but is not having much luck. We come across one with a little stone on the top and PL lifts it up and there is a twenty pence piece and a five pence piece. He was saying that he heard somewhere that it was tradition to take something from the stone, as a previous traveller had left something for us, and also leave something on the stone for a coming traveller. He was telling me that he had nothing suitable to leave as he franticly searched in his sack. There was just nothing he could leave; he only had his stuff, gloves, hat, torch etc. The only thing that he had on that scale was little bits of chewing gum but they were in a resealable packet.

So if you were the next fellow traveller along dear reader, PL apologises profusely at his little gift but it was the only thing he had and you were not getting the twenty pound note or the five pound note, no siree! On our way again and on a track that would lead us to Bloworth Crossing and the old railway track. Miles and miles of track around 5 miles I think. As we were about a mile away from The Lion Inn PL got a phone call from Smithy. It was to tell him that Smithy was already there sitting in the pubs car park waiting. As they were on the phone PL was asking Alex if it would be ok if we could extend the walk a little further as it was such a nice day. As we had been walking along the track PL had been looking at the map and wanted to extend another 3 miles to a second car park that Smithy could reach near Seavey Hill about a mile after Fat Betty.

Smithy was all for this as it would give us all an extra hour on the moors on such a fine day and said he would see us when we got there. We carried on walking and if you were thinking there that PL should not have been walking and reading at the same time because Mr Wainwright said ‘always watch where you are putting your feet’ please feel free to read page 141 of Wainwright coast to coast book. After a while we rounded yet another curve and we could see The Lion Inn buildings in the distance now.

The old railway track runs below the pubs intake but there is a path to the left up towards the pub then upon taking a right at the a mound which was once used for cockfights, it brings you down to the pubs entrance. Smithy’s car was in the corner and he came across to meet us. On passing the pubs window we noticed a sign telling us that Mangie (the talented all singing all dancing female duo) was performing there tonight.

Then we all went over to the car and had a bite to eat and a drink while they got the map out and had a look. There where 2 car parking signs on the map, one about two miles away and the other around three so it was decided to walk to the one at three miles away and that would knock a chunk of the next section. It was a beautiful October afternoon now as we set off from the Lion Inn walking up the road with Smithy passing us in the car and I didn’t even want to get in this time I was enjoying this walk so much. PL had left a lot of his walking stuff in Smithy’s boot and had even taken off his walking boots and was wearing trainers. The only thing he had was his camera and my lead and of course the book. He said it states in the book that this was just one of those stretches of just too much road walking in one chunk. I think we both agreed it wasn’t, as we were enjoying striding along on the wide grass verge on a lovely day with beautiful views all around with no chance of getting lost and also knowing our sherpa was waiting up ahead for us.

Smithy had said if it started raining he would give us five minutes to get wet then come and get us, charming, it would be a wet dog smell for his car then on the way home. But it wasn’t going to rain now as we strode up the verge and I could tell PL was really enjoying walking in his trainers for a change. We turned right at a junction just before the Ralph’s at what would be the first parking space. We were walking on the right with the traffic coming towards us but we crossed to the other side to get a picture of Fat Betty. Then it was an easy walk up to where Smithy had parked the sherpa. As we approached he was standing at the side of the car day dreaming what he was going to have for his breakfast the next morning. I was hungry now and PL obliged with two sachets of food and a nice drink of water.

And with that we were off home (the three musketeers ride again, one for all and sod the rest!) with me settling down for a nap in the back and those two in the front planning the next walk. I heard them saying only 26 miles and two sections left and I fell asleep with a feeling of sadness that this soon would all be over.