The good ideas club…………..

As with all great adventures it starts with good planning! Our walk was planned at 18:00 hours on the Thursday night before we set of at official sunrise of 06:27hrs on the Friday morning. My work colleague and good friend Mike did suggest the Gallon walk as a more preferred route but no this 52 year old man with steel work and 5 screws in his foot from falling of a roof just to add to the steelwork and carbon fibre cage in his back from a parachuting crash still has a brain which thinks its 20 years old convinced /bullied poor Mike into the walk.
Trusty alarm clocks were set and unfortunately did the job intended, so after a poor sleep, we call it 6 till 2 syndrome, where you worry about missing your alarm but never have. Don’t get to sleep but toss and turn clock watching, any way I waffle. So at the mast at Ravenscar which we couldn’t see because of the cloud until 30 metres away (after a debate as to if its been pulled down our not) we find our start point and laughed if that’s our first check point god help us.
As we booted up 5 deer stood and laughed at us about 20metres away we set of, within 2 mins I took my first tumble knee deep sink hole much to Mikes sense of humour he started the belly laughing routine I think I became very good at this as the day went on and would of scored 6’s from the judges for technical ability. It was a muddy start, slippery and sliding but hey it will get us ready for the boggy bits.
We strode out with a passion and vigour saying good bye to the Scarborough road down and back up Jugger Howe beck Ravine and over towards Fylingdale, again slippery underfoot lots of water and poor Mike thinking how the Gallon Walk would of been so much better. So I regale him of tales of my youth building barbed wire fences around Fylingdale as part of my military career as a weekend warrior (TA). Bless him he tried to look interested so as we approached Eller beck our thoughts turned to our boggy sections not too bad going over to Simon Howe just wet and sticky and dropped down into Wheeldale which brought back more memories of the Wheeldale tandem my very first LDWA walk from my youth. Off we plodded over Wheeldale Moor and drifted off path for some reason we missed the fork right and by the time we realised a good old fashioned dose of heather bashing was required. Devious stuff this heather is, as I kept finding out over and over I would fall and stumble much to Mikes amusement ( I would of been in this predicament if id of done the Gallon walk too I might add! ). We recover our error even though it was just over 1km the heather had got me, my knees in need of a part exchange from the good surgeon but I’m too young, were giving me grief. Trusty bruphen tablets and Mike telling me to stop whinging as it was my idea to do this made me dig deeper sod the knees Blue Man found, back on track, onwards and upwards. Through Hammer over the top into the bog section same as always its what it says on the tin. As we exit and see the Lion we realise if stop off to support the local economy as in a pint of your finest landlord it would be the end of us so we heavy hearts we miss the chance of a pint of the good stuff and set off down the railway, towards home. That’s how daft my brain works! The trudge to clay bank is a lot longer than in my youthful days and to help me along I realise my big to nail is feeling different, oh well sort it at clay bank was the way forward. We didn’t need to navigate now as it was all ok and familiar however its just around this next bend wasn’t quite true. Bloworth Crossing came and the countdown was on nearly there its just a dog walk now! ( I don’t have one now either). Clay bank what a great sight but trusty leg muscles didn’t want to bend for the steps so again down I go Mike isn’t impressed by my street dancing anymore its taking its toll. Clay Bank boots off change socks and black toenail. Its a first never had one before but resisted the urge to pull it off its still hanging in 2 days later with a lovely blood blister underneath. From here on in it was just a mud bath! no fun no excitement of the finish just dirty sloppy clingy mud.
We then realised as we trundled past Lordstones our plan had a flaw, how are we getting home, Mikes wife was at a previous engagement and my dear lady would be comfortable driving to the nearest retail park rather than out to the country!! So after a quick phone call a bit of persuasion it was to be a public house in Swainby as our RV thanks Nissan sat nav as standard. We finished with no elation I’m afraid to say and the trudge down the road to Swainby was immense but the 2 pints of Marsdens wow that was worth the walk in anyone’s book. I would just like to say thanks to my ever suffering wife for picking us up helping us into and out of the car after we seized up solidly much to her amusement.
The big question would we do it again? Mike said hopefully in jest “next time I have a good idea phone someone else!!”
However I’ve got an urge building as the soreness slips into memory of a night crossing and the other way round!! mmm whats Mikes number again.

Cheers and happy walking folks
Steve Nolan and Mike Richardson