Day 16: Blakey Ridge to Grosmont

Another beautiful day for a hike!  Began with breakfast at 8 -normal fare.  We made some PB&J sandwiches with morning toast and then headed out by 9.   We knew today would be a fairly easy day even though it was a 13.5 mile day - it was mostly a descending day.  We averaged almost 3 mph, our fastest of the trip.  That was probably a mix of topography, our excitement, the weather, and our constantly improving conditioning.

The first few miles were all on an asphalt road, not our favorite terrain, but at least we were surrounded by beauty.  And we did find one alternate route that took us on a footpath.  So we got off to a good pace as we wanted to get the road miles done fairly quickly.

Once we turned off the main road it was time to start the next part of Les Mis.  Lots of wide dirt paths/ farm roads today.  We were often surrounded by fields of blooming heather, which add a wonderful color to the mix.  And at a few points, we could actually see the North Sea, where we will be dipping our toes at the end of the hike tomorrow!

At one point we met a woman who was hiking with her terrier and Olivia jumped back.  We were surprised by her reaction because she LOVES all animals - in fact it is rare for her to pass a sheep that she doesn't say hello to, and there are a lot of sheep on this trek!  So we didn't understand her reaction.  It turns out that she wasn't jumping at the dog, but at the large adder snake that she almost stepped on just as we came to the dog.  Olivia saw it before the rest of us, but we were certainly on the lookout for the remainder of the day.  After the snake cleared out we met the woman and her dog, Salty, who has already done the C2C once (the dog, not the woman), and will do it again next spring (this time with the woman).

Our destination for the day, Grosmont, is a wonderfully quaint English town.  We arrived at about 2 pm and checked in to The Station Tavern, an Inn right near the train station.  That might sound less than ideal, but here it is actually perfect, for it allows us to watch the occasional steam engine train slowly work it's way down the track.  After showers, we headed to the Artisan Cafe, where we had tofu sandwiches while a couple of painters were making beautiful art.

After lunch we watched a steam engine pass and went to the train shed.  Fine dinner here at the Station Tavern included a nice talk with a pair of English twins (Jim and Peter) in their 60's or 70's who are doing the C2C for the second time- and they are doing it in 12 days!  

Time for bed- tomorrow is a big day, not only our longest, but our last.😄😩

Distance hiked: 13.54 miles
Total time hiking:  4 hrs. 35 min. 
Avg. miles per hour: 2.95 miles per hour
Total Ascent: 482 ft.
Total Descent:1591 ft.

Lara's Observation of the Day: This day felt both bittersweet and exciting- knowing it was our next to the last hike here! We all had some extra pep in our step and the trek went through the final moors with heather blooming. I will truly miss this gorgeous English countryside and am already thinking of our future return :-)

Olivia's Observation of the Day: It doesn't seem real that tomorrow is the end of our trip.  I'm having bitter sweet feelings.  I can't imagine what it will feel like to dip my toes in the North Sea tomorrow.

Jonah's Observation of the Day: I loved today because it was long but there was barely any climbing. I also loved today because it was filled with talking, storytelling, fast walking, and much more.