Perfect day for a hike today - warm, but not too sunny. But before we started, we needed to get some fuel in our bellies. Our host at the Frenchgate guest house, Ralph, was up to the challenge. Another great breakfast, same as yesterday and we were out the door by 8:30 am.
Today's hike was the easiest as far as elevation change - felt like a stroll, just with quite a bit of weight on my back! The beginning of our hike mirrored what Lara and I did yesterday. We went down by the abbey and across the bridge and then caught back up with the actual Coast to Coast path. We followed along the stream for a few miles before heading through wheat fields and then switching to walking through pastures.
Many pastures today and many animals - mostly cows. In fact, cows were the handstand theme of the day. They were very intrigued by Lara's handstands and came over to watch and lick. Just after the cows we came to a dreaded sign on a post that listed a diversion because of work being done. Unfortunately, this not only added about a mile to our day, but also made it so that we had to spend more time on busy roads than we have had to for the entire trip up until now. We did finally get back on the path and walked through some horse paddocks. A mamma was being protective of her foal so we had to stay clear so we wouldn't get kicked.
Jonah's shoulders started to hurt after about 10 miles so I carried his pack for a little over a mile to give him a breather. We're going to try to adjust his pack in the morning since it seems that he is the one most affected in the shoulder area. He feels it from the start of the hike. A minor adjustment can make a big difference so we'll continue to tweak. Today's diversion was Les Miserables. I've been reading it for most of this trip and am still only 20% through! It's a marathon! I've seen the musical a number of times; it's one of my favorites. I hadn't even thought of how many details obviously had to be left out from the book. And have renewed awe for Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, who had the idea in the first place. Couldn't imagine reading this book and thinking of it as a musical - so dense. Anyway, I started to tell the kids the story and they were fascinated.
The final stretch was back to roads, but at least these were all one lane farm roads. And then before we knew it, we had arrived at our destination, the Ashfield Inn in Danby Wiske. No one was there but the door was open so we let ourselves in, took off our packs and then headed next door to the White Swan for lunch. The White Swan is the only store in this little town so not many options. We had roasted red pepper soup with bread (only option for us) and then came back to await our host, Jean. While waiting we played some euchre.
Then Jean (our host) came - it turned out she was delayed because she had a difficult time finding some items for our vegan breakfast, but she eventually was successful. We have two rooms again - kids love their private room. We showered, read, and watched some Wimbledon before heading back to the White Swan for dinner: vegetable lasagna.
Now we're back in our rooms reading, journaling, and relaxing before calling it a night. Another day closer to our destination - starting to get a bid sad that it is coming to an end.
Distance hiked: 14.4 miles
Total time hiking: 5 hrs. 18 min.
Avg. miles per hour: 2.7 miles per hour
Total Ascent: 338 ft.
Total Descent: 584 ft.
Lara's Observation of the Day: I loved passing all the farm animals today. Seeing the cows with their babies is always bittersweet as I know that they will eventually be separated so humans can have the milk. One sweet cow walked right up to me and gently licked me- she must have known that I am vegan!
Olivia's Observation of the Day: At this point in the trip, the days are going by quickly - a little too quickly!
Jonah's Observation of the Day: I really liked playing euchre, even though we didn't get to play for very long. It's a fun game and something we can play as a family.