Being wise and having had the Golden Lion recommended (something we would heartily endorse) we set out on a West to East crossing at a rather tardy 3:40am from Osmotherley. Ste had caught a couple of hours sleep in the car after driving up from Birmingham – possibly not the best preparation but some people just won’t be told. Taking on calories in the form of real ale was clearly the better option.
It was with great vigour and not little speed that we flew across the first 10 or so miles, and it was only at Bloworth Crossing that the curves of the old railway started to feel a little endless and the promise of a break – and breakfast – at the Lion Inn because more and more important. A brief but heavy shower did little to cheer us on, not least because there were no actual clouds for the rain to be coming from. Combined with the considerable mocking for my poor memory of exactly which corner you’d see the pub from, it was all a bit grim for a while. As a consequence it was with great joy that we arrived just before 10am and undertook a brief conversation with a wonderful member of staff who wrangled the somewhat unwilling chefs into making us some bacon and sausage butties despite the pub actually being shut. We were eternally grateful and the disgustingly decadent but suitable tip was well deserved.
The main concern for us all had been the bog. We tried our best by repeatedly tempting fate, saying to each other how it wasn’t that bad – but it wasn’t ever that bad! We probably added a mile or two on avoiding some of the more lake like areas but emerged with mostly dry feet. I was actually cheered by the sight of Fylingdales at first but hours later it seemed no closer and we decided it must actually be moving itself away from us. Oddly enough, the radio mast at Ravenscar appears to be able to do the same thing. Ignoring blister based pain, we skipped up to the mast at 18:30 giving us a crossing time of 14 hours 50 minutes. I still can’t quite understand how we managed that! Top tips: The Viewranger app is great and means the maps can stay in your bag. Eat more than you think you need to or you’ll end up with low blood sugar, a dizzy spell, and testing the temperature of a radiator with your head (it was very hot).
Foolishly completed by Rob Parker, Ste Weatherhead, and Mike Baines