Himself is planning the Lyke Wake Walk
So we’ve an early start in the morn,
Three of his friends sleep on the lounge floor
Ready to walk at dawn.
The alarm goes off, the panic starts
And what a dreadful sight,
Each worried man has lost some kit
And their socks walked off in the night.
We load the car with too much gear
So none in the back can see,
Whilst four men snore and dream of moors
I drive to Osmotherley.
At Sheepwash car park in the dark
I think they’ll never start,
They fret and moan and re-pack bags
And then at last depart.
Bleary eyed I check my route
And drive round to Carlton Bank,
The weathers changed, it’s raining hard
And the hills turn grey and dank.
They slide down from the glider station
Demanding flasks of tea,
While we shelter under the tailgate
They drip rain and sweat on me.
Himself sits down in the driver’s seat
I point to the passenger side,
“Nay love we can’t let that get wet
I’ll be resting there when I’m tired.”
I send them off, I’ve had enough
They chose to walk today,
I scowl through streamed up windows
And set off round to Clay.
Now they want their breakfast here
But the stove won’t light in the rain,
They need some food for the next long leg
So they dine on damp biscuits again.
I drive for miles, North then South
Through pretty Westerdale,
The rain has stopped, the suns got up
Along with a force 10 gale.
Old Margery stands close to the road
And the cars go zooming past,
The walkers throw in wet cagoules
And the windows steam up fast.
At Millennium Stone I set out lunch
And curse the wretched weather,
For the gale still blows and the table turns
And their food flies over the heather.
They drag themselves along the road
Regretting now this hike,
I offer plasters for blistered feet
But they’re not the type they like.
As the sun shines down on Hamer
They arrive with tales of woe,
The bogs were bad, Himself fell in
He’s soaked from top to toe.
By Roman Road they’ve aged a lot
And groan about their knees,
They hold up feet devoid of skin
“Can you sort out these?”
Goathland’s packed with tourists
They stop and stare at sheep,
I drive right up behind them
And give the horn a beep.
Ellerbeck is Hell on Earth
Few spaces to be found,
Potholes swallow up my car
And dogs and kids abound.
A steam train sounds its whistle
Men with cameras rush on by,
A cloud of bees comes swarming in
And a baby starts to cry.
Then one by one the kids shut up
And their parents take them home,
The train fanatics pack their bags
And at last I’m left alone.
The walkers trudge along the path
As I spread out their tea,
Himself nods his approval
“Tha’s had it quiet I see”.
I enquired what took so long
They’re looking quite refreshed,
“Well we thought we’d have a nap
And give our legs a rest.
Oh and Fred shared out his picnic
His wife deserves applause,
Her baking is superb
So we’ll not be needing yours.”
I pour away the their drinks
Give local birds their food,
And set off down to Sleights
Darker now my mood.
Another long drive round for me
Whilst they have just walked East,
I reach the final checkpoint
And lay on quite a feast.
But the walkers take no heed
They’re staring straight ahead,
Not a glance is sent my way
They look like walking dead.
They try to climb the stile
With knees that will not bend,
Himself has gritted teeth
“We’ll see thee at the end.”
So I set off for the mast
This torment almost done,
I find it hard to fathom
How some can call this fun.
The gloom has now descended
They should be getting near,
And as I wait in bitter cold
Is that singing that I hear?
The men come storming in
You can see I’ve not been missed,
For after lots of back-slaps
The stone gets hugged and kissed.
Himself is looking rather proud
“The lads and I’ve been talking,
We’re going to cross it once again
Now that we’re into walking.
And we’ll go the other way
To have a change of view,
And I’ve put thee down for backup
It’s a nice day out for you.”