Successful Crossing – Sunday 19th July 2020

In such strange times, challenges can be relied upon to lift your spirits and The Lyke Wake Walk was certainly one of these. Months in the planning, and with several miles of practice walks in our boots, myself and my friend Ross set off at 4am from Osmotherley with one thing in mind – to complete this challenge as best as we could. Accompanied by his brother, Sean (who was offering moral support up until the Lion Inn), we touched the Lyke Wake Stone and began our journey. We were immediately blown away by industrial nature of the views that met us towards Middlesbrough.

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With lights twinkling, and a red hue in the sky from the impending sunrise, we began what can only be described as one of the most breathtaking 15km of views I have ever seen as the sun rose. Carlton Bank and Drake Howe offered an unmatched panorama and we were honoured to have this area to ourselves so early in the day.

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As Checkpoint 2, we would meet our next supporter, Lee, who would join us for the remaining part of the walk. With the terrain now changing, and the sun beating down on us, we would welcome the sight of The Lion Inn at the half way point and a well deserved dinner break.

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Saying a fond farewell to Sean, and a welcome to a next supporter, Miles, we began the final half of the walk paying respect to Fat Betty as we walked past her. Apprehension had in fact been building about the notorious boggy section that was to follow but we need not have worried, as any nightmares we had of being up to our knees in stagnant water never came to fruition and, instead, we were bouncing over the peat like trampolinists.

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As Flyingdales came into view, we seemed to get an extra energy boost and made for that as our next target. Shunner Howe, Wheeldale Beck and Simon Howe came and went and, after what seemed like forever, we reached the huge concrete structure.
Moving onto our final section of the walk, the sight of Beacon Howes and its mast meant we were in touching distance of the finish line. With increasing excitement that we were close, we were greeted by something that brought impending doom to our feet – Jugger Howe Ravine. Silent groans came from of joints but we persevered through and plodded to our finish. Touching the Lyke Wake Stone, we were greeted by our families who had beer and fish and chips as our reward. A fantastic end to what was, and is, and amazing and beautiful walk.

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A video of our adventure can be found here:
https://youtu.be/tHKcm4vLHiI

Simon White

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