Day 9: Keld to Reeth

We wanted to get a really early start today because we knew it would be another scorcher.  We actually got breakfast brought to our yurt at 6:30 am!  Since we were in more of a campground type setting, it wasn't the typical gigantic meal.  We merely had porridge, apples, and 4 small baguettes. We ate the porridge, but decided to make the baguettes into peanut butter and jam sandwiches and take them along with the apples for a snack.  We've learned to call it jam instead of jelly here because 'jelly' in England is actually what we call 'jello' - and it would be quite nasty to have peanut butter and jello!

In the yurt, we were safe from the attack of the 'midgets'.  From what I hear, the people in tents weren't so lucky!  The little buggers were swarming all around us as soon as we opened our door this morning.  Note to self - it is beautiful to live near water, but beware the bugs that come along with that proximity!  The yurts are right next to a stream and waterfall - beautiful in photos, but not so much when you are being swarmed.

By the time we filled our water, finished packing, paid, and ventured out it was 7:30 am.  So we got a good 75  - 90 minute head start on our typical morning's departure.  The first mile was difficult, not because of the terrain but rather because of the signage.  There are quite a few options to get out of Keld on foot and I had to continually check my maps and GPS to avoid taking the wrong options.  We did manage to avoid mistakes though and began our ascent out of Keld.   There are two options for going from Keld to Reeth - we opted for the original high-level route. The first 3 miles were going uphill.  By now we're all used to that, but our legs and backs are beginning to feel the grind a bit.  We did follow a stream and waterfalls for a few miles so that provided a nice visual for the early part of the day.  And Lara provided the kids with the audio diversion as they were beginning to feel the climb in the legs.  She made up a story about a girl who had been injured by riding a horse and how both the horse and girl grew from the experience.  The kids were completely taken by the story and it must have lasted for almost an hour!

Most of the day we saw vestiges of the mining industry that used to dominate this area. Lots of ruins from stone buildings along the way.  As the morning wore on and the heat began to climb, Jonah started to lose steam.  As if following a plan, Olivia was the trooper today and didn't have a problem with her body or the heat.   That is except for blisters.  Both Olivia and Jonah have gotten a few on their feet so we have been putting moleskin in the appropriate spots for the past couple of days.  During the hikes they seem fine as far as their feet are concerned.  I took over the reins as far as a diversion and began to teach the kids the next verse of Modern Major General.  Unfortunately the words start to get difficult and hard to understand, so instead of providing a diversion for Jonah, it just made him frustrated.  So we started talking about other things.  I did learn a valuable lesson - it is very hard to be in charge of navigating as well as entertaining at the same time!  For at some point I must have taken a path on the right instead of one on the left.  It's very easy to do as many of these are not marked.  I wasn't even aware that there was any alternate paths.  Fortunately, after a bit I looked at my watch and saw that we were a bit off track - still heading in the right general direction, just not on the path designated.  So we had two options: turn back and get back on the original path or continue on and see where they join again.  I thought it would be disheartening to the kids to have to double back so we kept moving forward and kept it to ourselves.  Well, I did.  Lara was having a bit of a rough day with body aches.  Add that to her not having done yoga really since we've started and . . . well let's just say you don't want to get on the wrong side of a yogi who hasn't done yoga for a while! ;-)  

Our path did eventually join back up to the main path, but we did end up adding some mileage to our day - not ideal for bodies that are eager to rest. I think the part of me that likes rounded numbers is just trying to get us to 200 miles instead of 192 miles for this trip! I kept up with the diversion stories for Jonah (though mine wasn't nearly as good as Lara's) and Olivia had found a way to keep her mind off any body pain.  She interviewed herself and played three roles:  her shadow, and interviewer, and Olivia.  She managed to talk to herself for over an hour - a little schitzophrenic but still very amusing to watch and listen to!

We worked or way down through pastures into Reeth and made our way to our lodging for the night: a B & B called Springfield House.  Denise, the owner, let us in and showed us to our room.  She had some vegan scones and drinks for us.  Delicious!  She's a vegetarian and is ready for us with a vegan breakfast tomorrow.  We walked into town for lunch but didn't find anything we could eat so just decided to make reservations for an early dinner and headed back to our lodging to shower, read and rest.

We went back in to town (only 2 minute walk from our B & B at 6 for dinner at the King's Arm.  All portions are large!  We each got vegetable curries and some chips (fries) and onion rings.  And Lara took her aching body medicine: a very large glass of white wine.  I've gotten in the habit of speaking with a slightly British accent - just a mishmash of lots of different dialects.  I'm hoping to keep it when we get back to the States.  It serves the dual purpose of making me sound more intelligent and embarrassing the kids!

We're now back reading and doing journals before an early night of bed.  Cheers!

Distance hiked: 13.8 miles
Total time hiking:  5 hrs. 56 min. 
Avg. miles per hour: 2.7 miles per hour
Total Ascent: 2,255 ft. 
Total Descent:  2,584 ft.

Lara's Observation of the Day:  I hit a bit of a wall today. Physically my body was hurting and the heat was draining.  Looking forward to a day off after tomorrow's hike!

Olivia's Observation of the Day: Making up games to keep my mind off of my pains helps keep me going when things are tough.

Jonah's Observation of the Day: I loved the rolling hills with all of the ruins that we walked through.