Do The Hokey Cokey: Josh Hawthorne and John O’Boyle

Crossing report, 15th July 2023

It was a wet one… First ever crossing for Josh Hawthorne and also his first walk beyond 26 miles. John O’Boyle first crossed 25 years ago (and still has the blisters to prove it …).

Started at first light from the Osmotherley side and enjoyed a nice saunter up to and across the Three Sisters. Passed a group from down south attempting the crossing for first time – hope they made it. Experienced a few short heavy showers which started the pattern of playing the hokey cokey with the waterproofs that would go on all day.
Walk nearly ended abruptly on Clay Bank Road crossing as a car sped around the corner at what must have been 50+ mph (but thankfully managed to jump out the way albeit close enough to see the terror in the driver’s eyes).
Section up to and beyond Lion Inn was comfortable and got a decent pace up. Met further groups attempting crossing and had a good chat – some of them supporting charities. As we were unsupported on route we had left a car at Lion Inn. Turned out to be perfect timing as heavens absolutely opened just as we opened the car door! (Sandwiches eaten in the front seats).
Got very wet feet across the peat bog section but all still going well until Wheeldale to Ellerbeck. As we went down steep decent the heavens opened again and it became a mud slide. Josh felt a bit of a twinge and that point and set up what would be  slog the last 10 miles.
Loved reading about the Saxon hero Lilla and pleased to battle up Jugger Howe. Was a relief to see the transmitter at Ravenscar and a great feeling to get the job done. Massive thanks to the support team from another group who picked up my waterproof backpack cover after it had fallen off during the unplanned mud slide.