Blue Sky and Sunshine – Mike Hinson

Having worked all day as a landscape gardener I was looking for a good reason NOT to do the Lyke Wake the next day. Unfortunately the forecast was good, kids had gone to scout camp and we had no beer. On top of which my support ‘team’ (wife) pointed out I kept saying I wanted to do it so what was the problem? Pottering in the garden and going to the pub for lunch still seemed a better option!

Saturday morning arrived and we drove across country, me scanning the sky for black clouds or preferably twisters, none to be seen. I even tried not finding the start, but Brian Smailes book made it all too easy for the  support team to point out ‘it’s just up here’ and she was right.8.30 amon a clear sky day I stood at the Lyke Wake stone outside Osmotherely, wondering what lay ahead. Realising there was no way out except injuring myself whilst running, I set off. I was amazed to find myself enjoying it, the undulations, limestone paved route and broad leaf woods, not the boggy trudge I’d heard of, obviously after a while I started to resent the undulations and the limestone paved route, whilst the woodland left me to the moors. I also resented the fact that I seemed to be skirting the edge of the moor rather than striking out across the boggy plateau. Arriving at one then two checkpoints with still no injury I had to carry on to the Lion Inn, with the promise of strong winds to thwart my journey and possibly even getting lost, my spirits were heightened. I  was quite taken aback to find myself running through Australian bush, sandy underfoot through low scrub, large tracts of which were on fire-surely the route must be closed! Then finally a physical ailment to stop me, stomach cramps, must have been the Mr Kiplings at the checkpoint, I trudged in pain along the railway, accepting it was all over, then realising it was in fact the formidable wind that I’d been warned of on this section and probably due to beans and Lucozade and not the wrongly accused Mr Kipling. All of this was quickly alleviated when an Anaconda crossed the path in front of me (well Adder at least). I reached the Lion Inn, still no injury and now half way. The next section promised to be boggy and rocky, so perhaps I might lose a shoe or twist an ankle. I pressed on hopeful of an excuse to stop, after all I’d done half and running 20 miles in one day was enough! The bog arrived and I trudged on, quite a relief to have left the hot snake infested train line behind and at last be on the Lyke Wake I had expected. I mused how boggy this must be when it’s really wet, but not for me still blue sky, admittedly it was a bit boggy and tricky to leap over the wider bits as my legs had grown accustomed to their running shuffle gate. Various tracks lead eastward, all like post office queues seemed to be shorter than the one I was on. Amazingly the next checkpoint arrived, with me finding my support team reading a magazine and eating raspberries, whilst sunbathing, completely uncalled for sick behaviour, I grimaced. Still no bloody injuries and both my shoes! Annoyingly a refreshing breeze had kicked up to cool my last ten miles, this pleasentness was really starting to bug me, endless heather, black grouse, skylarks and curlews this is the Lyke Wake , it’s s’posed to be grim. I pressed on, leaving magazines and raspberries for others. Skirting the military base and arriving at Ulla cross I could see the finish, I could still see it much later, but it didn’t seem any closer! Finally I came to the last road crossing, a quick drink and a chat with a man who’d done the ‘double’ twenty years ago and I sprang across the road along the final section. The elements carried on their patronising kindness and I finally stepped into a bog that almost took my shoe off! Then I crested that final brow, lamenting if I’d gone the other way it’d be downhill to the finish, then there it was the Lyke Wake stone dwarfed by the radio mast, insignificant little thing that is loved by so many who finally arrive. Support crew excelled at this point apparently we had 1 hour to get to the campsite, get the tent up, shower and order food at the pub What a journey. Despite my reluctance it had been a great journey. Not the one I had expected, but I suspect that’s always the case.

 

 

Mike Hinson,Sedberg,Cumbria

April 2010.

“Good Friday” Crossing report – Paddy “The Axe” Hinton

 

I would humbly like to report that I Paddy (the Axe) Hinton, made an unsupported stone to stone crossing on 2nd April 2010, Good Friday an appropriate day if it is to be said as a day to do the Lyke Wake Walk.

At 4.45am we stood at the westerly end of the walk, the moon glistening over the lake, shadowy trees , wispy clouds and stars a perfect start to a very painful day. The Cleveland way was stunning if we could of seen it through the low cloud. A brief glimpse of the sun just after dawn sent shafts of light on to my trusty companion, lighting the hills and low clouds. Well that’s the highlights.

10 miles yea that’s ok , the old railway line in the fog that’s passable, doesn’t half go on though especially when you can’t see where you’re going. Frog spawn that’s what really springs to mind. When you get to 20ish you are glad its lunch time, get off those legs. The Lion was tempting the smell of cooking just wafts over as we got there, but a bit further earlier is a bit less later. We did wonder why anyone would need supporting, it wasn’t so bad.

The next 10.mmmmmmmm  Could have been worse, mud, stones, heather and people setting fire to heather. There was some heather and a bit more mud, followed by mud and heather. Its at this point Eccles and Bluebottle joined our conversation. “He’s fallen in the water”.

Oh look I cried, more heather. Details start to become dim about now Longer periods of silence and dark thoughts. Will my legs really fall off. The slope down to the stepping stones is an ow! moment. Stop for more food now or just do another mile or so. “STUPID, STUPID STUPID, idea. whose was it?”

AH. “a steam train ,a steam train,pissh-t-cuff,pissh-t-tcuff” , Ivor the engine and Idris the dragon get us another mile. That sheep is looking at me, do you think its part of the secret security cameras at Fylingdales. The conversation was getting a bit odd by now. Food IS a marvellous thing.

The last bit, the question on our lips who is the mysterious man going the other way, or is he just leaving foot prints of pyramid studs while walking backwards to confuse us. Oh look more heather, stones and mud. And just for fun rain. Again “STUPID, STUPID STUPID idea. whose was it?”. Legs no longer work, The last 4 miles were just murder. Absolute hateful murder. OH look another gully, one foot in front of painful other foot.

The endorphins coming up the other side though, whoopie, hit the main road, head torch on , more rain, emergency reserve hit the Kendal  mint cake. The last bit, it is there you just don’t know how far it goes on for ever.

20.45hrs  16hours after starting the LWW. arrive. Want Gin and Tonic.

1 day later never do it again. 3 days later might.

Yours

Paddy

Hi Paddy,

Congratulations on getting across. Firstly, I must reveal that I was the torturer who laid down pyramidical studs ( A very old pair of ETA fell running shoes ) from Ravenscar to Osmotherley. I am trying to work out where we must have passed – somewhere near Rosedale Head would fit the bill. I was in blue shorts and shirt, covered in mud up to my waist and had adopted a somewhat stern expression after having been “smoked out” over the Western side of the bogs ( had the smoke been any denser, a compass would have been required ) – delirium was also setting in by then. Mind you, as my food at that time was somewhat low, I would have viewed your drowned  Bluebottle as much needed protein.

All the best,

Gerry.