Crossing of one Stephen Scorer on May 30th 2018.

Just before sunrise on the morning of May 30th, 2018, a figure was seen to skulk out of The Golden Lion public house and stagger across to the churchyard. A black and white cat is believed to have been the only witness to the doleful deeds that transpired prior to the departure of this soul.

 

As the church clock tolled at 4.30, I left the church yard, walking up North End and was quickly consumed by a motionless and mournful mist. The dam at Cod Beck stood like a gothic pile as I pushed on towards the stone marking the beginning of my journey to the other side.

 

Soon enough, the tombstone like marker emerged from the mist, the letters, LYKE WAKE WALK, scored into one side. The trial was about to begin.

Soon I entered Clain Wood, paying respects to Mr Cowley as I passed through. In the depths of the wood I felt a tingling trickle down my spine. I was sure that someone, something was watching me. I kept on walking deeper into the wood and saw a tall, dark apparition appear in the fog. I walked closer in silence, was it a bush, an animal another being? Suddenly, cloven hooves propelled a deer into the trees.

Progress to the Carlton Bank trig point was good, I kept my head down, focussing on the few feet of path I could see. As I dropped down to Lord Stones, the mist lifted a little and I could see some of the new buildings by the path.

On Kirby Bank, I sat in Mr Falconer’s seat, looking out into thick fog. The plaque said optimistically that Penshaw Monument, a landmark near my childhood home, was directly in front of me. Sadly, I would have to enjoy this view another day.

Dropping down to the Broughton plantation, pine trees were covered in a phantasmagoria of mist bejeweled webs until suddenly, I found myself in a wasteland, smashed branches and tyre ploughed earth showed a recent harvest churning the earth in a mass of destruction.

Heading up to the old train track, the wind stiffened, blowing thick mist like wet smoke across the track. As the wind gusted from the north and from the east, the cold wet seeped in to me, penetrating waterproofs and chilling. I pressed on along the interminable track, unable to see much around me. The track seemed to go on for ever until, eventually, I hit the junction and car park at Little Blakeley. I’d totally missed the turning to The Lion Inn and had to walk along the road. Annoyed at myself for missing the turning, soaking wet, cold and hungry, I almost walked past the inn. I happened to look up and noticed a light in the mist, I then saw the sign and found my way into the warm heart of the Lion at 1130.

After two hours in front of a fire, drying out, warming up, drinking hot chocolate and eating chips I was ready to set off for what I knew would be the more difficult part of the journey.

By this point, my phone was on its last legs, a heavy power pack I had been carrying to try to feed the device had failed and the charger lead had also died. I wanted to keep the little power my phone had left for emergencies so I knew that for the rest of the journey I was to be totally alone.regardless at 1330 I set out once more into the mist, refreshed but concerned about the infamous bogs and worried about my ability to navigate safely in such conditions.

I carefully picked my way across Glaisdale and White Moors. The roman road on Wheeldale was particularly spooky in the mist. At Goathland Moor, I had to work hard to keep out of Little Eller Beck. At Lilla Cross, I was amazed to see a clear cycleway leading me clearly into the mist but sadly, this didn’t last long. The tyre tracks in the ground got my wondering ‘who on earth would cycle across these moors?’

As I approached Jugger Howe, the mist seemed to miraculously clear. I saw a fence ahead with a sign saying Jenny Fell…..poor Jenny – I hope she didn’t do herself an injury. I crossed the beck and had a fantastic view of the steps up onto the moor. Gee thanks!

Once up the steps, down came the mist and the final slog to the mast and the Ravenscar stone. Throughout the walk I had seen very little apart from the track in front of me. As I approached Ravenscar, I was sure I saw the mast several times to find that I was actually looking at trees. I’m sure I was attended by phantom visitations several times in my mist bound crossing but was sadly unaware as I pressed on, desperate to get to the warmth of Raven Hall.

Finally, I saw the mast appear out of the mist. As I passed, I touched the Ravenscar LWW stone and a few seconds later, my watch that had been tracking my walk gave up the ghost. Exhausted after 17 hours 24 minutes and 38 seconds of tracking my movements. It said I had walked 44.68 miles and was later to give me a route map of my crossing to the other side. It was 9 50 pm and still light……just about.

I walked down to Raven Hall where I had booked a bed for the night and checked in, wet through and tired but incredibly exhilarated to have completed a journey I had wanted to make for years. Please do graciously consider my request to be accepted as a Dirger after walking alone and unsupported from The Golden Lion, past the Osmotherley Lyke Wake Stone to the Ravenscar stone in 17 hours 25 minutes. A journey accompanied by dense mist at all times apart from the descent to the stream at the foot of Jugger Howe.

 

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