The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Day 12 - before Cold Kirby to beyond Appleton Wiske

12 April (not May as I erroneously said yesterday!) (0720-1745)
Distance: 21.5 miles (Tot: 220)
Fitbit steps: 50500
Weather: drizzly start to both morning and afternoon, but otherwise dry with a cold wind. Lots of blue sky as I type this at 1830.
Number of killer dogs: 4 (all in one pack, making defence a bit difficult)
Number of slugs I carried all day in my cook-pot: 1 (I really must stop transporting slugs!)

Contrary to the forecast, when I first peeked out of the vent this morning it was high cloud I saw, not rain clouds. My optimism of a dry day was misplaced as within half an hour there was the sound of very light rain on the fly. It was never troublesome and didn't last more than an hour, so by the time we had regained the Cleveland Way (having strayed off it to short-cut the around-the-houses bit that goes via Sutton Bank) it was dry.

Racehorses out training gave us something novel to watch as we made our way back to the Cleveland Way and once we got there the views off the escarpment, whilst curtailed by the weather, were still impressive. With very little noticeable up and down, save for a few small sections, for the next eight miles of first the escarpment and then moorland, we strode along the good path. Even with breaks for second breakfast and elevenses, plus a good few faffs, we were in Osmotherley before 1230.

Having established that we were going to be a bit stuck for cooking fuel for the next couple of days, and having decided that it was far too early to be stopping for the night (Osmotherley being our originally intended night-stop) we repaired to a cafe for lunch. Huge quantities of food were eaten (the portions were very generous), lashings of tea drunk, and an hour and a half frittered away before we moved on. I even had a shower, although it was accidental and fully-clothed, thanks to the mis-firing high-flush cistern in the cafe toilet!

We would have stopped for more tea in Ingleby Arncliffe, except the pub was closed, as was the cafe at the A19 services (where I did a happy dance upon finding that the petrol station sold canisters of gas), so on we plodded.

A pause on a bench in West Rounton (we were trying to kill time, with a stealth camp being on the cards) told me that benches that circle the trunks of trees are a really bad design, as I got splatted by a bird. We swiftly moved on.

The problem with this area is that it's very flat and open, so having failed to find a hidden field-corner in the area we had ear-marked, our only remaining option (other than sitting around until dark - over 3 hours away) seemed to be to ask permission to camp. Eventually, a farmhouse presented itself directly on our route and we crossed our fingers that the farmer would be both home and friendly. A refusal at that point in the day (particularly given the upcoming surroundings) would have given us a problem.

Happily, the farmer was both home and very friendly. Hence, we are lawfully pitched with a good view back to the high ground we came across this morning. Having completely forgotten to take a blog-photo at any point during the day, the one attached is taken from inside the tent.

It's nice to spend the evening hours until dark without the paranoia about being spotted and moved on.

And, with a plentiful supply of gas, I may just be extravagant and put the kettle on for another cup of tea.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange


  1. They do say being pooped by a bird is lucky. I think it depends.

  2. your route now suggests to me that you are preparing to be (pretend to be?) a new Prince Bishop, entering his/(her?) princely domain the ancient traditional way:
    tread carefully - sacred ground for the next hundred miles

  3. Great stuff Gayle. It brings back memories of my coast to coast trip. I asked to camp almost every night and I didn't get refused once. In fact I sometimes ended up with some freebies of food. So, 220 miles, that's one challenge over then.