Lauren and I are trying to adjust to this new version of reality. We're both having difficulty with the time change and are awake well before 5am, which means we're usually ready to call it a day by 8pm. The view here is gorgeous of course; we're in the Keys. But there's a lot to be said for green mountains and wooded hills that hide gurgling creeks and the accompanying paths covered with fragrant needles from the overhanging evergreens. We both loved the paths that wandered through the woods and along the Swale. You simply can't find that kind of beauty on this piece of coral rock.
However, surrounded by beauty we are; albeit a different kind of beauty. Our yard changed quite a bit in the month we were gone and the transformations are wonderful. The banana trees I planted to screen the house from the hot tub have completely filled in and are doing the job well. The pineapples are taking off, their fronds a very dark green. The tomatoes are looking like something from one of my favorite childhood stories, Jack and the Beanstalk. The gardens are filling in and the baby palm tree is flourishing. Although I miss the temperature and beauty of Great Britain, it is nice to be home.
Lauren has moved on from the walk. I don't think she gives it a second thought unless someone asks her about it. It's different for me. I find myself remembering conversations I had with Lauren and fellow walkers, I see very specific images (such as Whitby Abbey and Dent Hill) with great clarity, and I remember the biting wind and jolting chill on top of The Nine Standards Rigg. I enjoy these rememberings and although I know its inevitable, I will all too soon forget the details. The demands of every day life and the routine of work and cooking and laundry will unfortunately push away remaining images of mountains and babbling brooks and friendly heifers. Until then, I will happily take these memories out while they are fresh and enjoy them often.
When the memories aren't quite so strong and I have to read the blog to remember the little details, then it will be time to plan the next Big Adventure. I hope you'll come along....
17 Day Itinerary
Our walk begins in St. Bee's on the West Coast of Great Britain at the Irish Sea. Almost 200 miles later, we will find ourselves at the North Sea in Robin Hood's Bay.
Day 1 - Moor Row, 9 miles The Jasmine House
Day 2 - Ennerdale, 8 miles Low Cock How Farm
Day 3 - Seatoller, 14 miles Seatoller Farm
Day 4 - Grasmere, 10.5 miles Town Head Farm
Day 5 - Patterdale, 7.5 miles Grisdale Lodge
Day 6 - Shap, 16 miles Brookfield House
Day 7 - Orton, 8 miles The Westons
Day 8 - Kirby Stephen, 13.5 miles The Black Bull
Day 9 - Keld, 14 miles Keld Lodge
Day 10 - Richmond, 14 miles The Old Brewery
Day 11 - Danby-Wiske, 14 miles Old School House
Day 12 - Osmotherly, 12 miles 32 South End
Day 13 - Clay Bank Top, 11 miles The Maltkiln House
Day 14 - Blakley Ridge, 8.5 miles The Sevenford House
Day 15 - Grosmont, 14 miles The Station Inn
Day 16 - Robin Hood's Bay, 16 miles The Raven House
Of course, these distances don't account for getting lost and doubling back a few times, avoiding an aggressive herd of heifers or navigating the moors.... or wandering off in search of a pint.